The Government has given the green light for a large-scale
renovation project at the kever of Shimon Ben Yochai
at Meiron. The plan calls for the allocation of NIS 21
million to develop the area surrounding this landmark
The Ministry of Land Development has so far invested half a
million NIS on the project. At the direction of Deputy
Minister Rabbi Meir Porush, the renovations will be carried
out under the halachic specifications of the rav of Meiron,
thereby avoiding any danger of grave desecration.
The government's decision followed an inter-departmental
agency inspection of the site, which concluded that the
existing facilities are grossly under-equipped. Close to one
million people make the annual Lag BaOmer pilgrimage to
Meiron. The agency determined that NIS 21 million was
required to solve the problem. Plans call for the project to
be completed in three years.
The master blueprint was first presented to Deputy Minister
Rabbi Porush two months ago. Among its features are two
overpasses for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, parking
lots, commercial facilities, a broadening of existing roads
and the enlarging of the area adjoining the kever in
order to comfortably accommodate 1,000 worshipers.
Prior to the cabinet session, Rabbi Porush convened the
relevant parties to discuss their recommendations. Among them
were Rav Stern, rav of Meiron, the head of Asra Kadisha
and Rav Menashe Eichler, Asra Kadisha board
member, along with other concerned groups.