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Yonatan ben Uzziel

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  The Mishnaic sage, the greatest of Hillels disciples, Yonatan ben Uzziel (Hebrew: יונתן בן עוזיאל) [Alternatively Yonosson ben Uziel] is credited in the Talmud with the composition of an Aramaic translation of the Prophetic books of the Bible. He lived about sixty years before the destruction of the second temple and his tomb is in Amukah in the Galilee near Tzfat, Israel.

Insights:

  Rabbi Jonathan ben Uzziel, the first century Tanna, translated the Prophets and much of the Holy Writings into Aramaic. This translation is known as “Targum Jonathan”. He is also said to have written a book of Kabbalah Known as Magadnim. His powers of learning were so great, that if a bird were flying overhead while he was learning it would be singed.

  Tradition has it that Rabbi Yonatan Ben Uzziel gave a blessing to all those who are unmarried that if they visited his resting place they would merit to meet their soul mates and marry within the period of one year. This blessing has worked for all these centuries and countless numbers of people have married.


  It is widespread say that Yonatan Ben Uzziel was either a bachlor or married but childless.Today it is common to visit the burial place on Rosh Chodesh, in the middle of the lunar month, and on 26 Sivan (the day on which he died, but visitors arrive on every day of the year. Since the 17th century people flock to his gravesite to pray for a good marriage partner, for children, satisfaction from one's children, a good livelihood, health and happiness. The source of this practice however is not clear.


Tale of a Tzaddik:


In the time of Rabbi Yonatan Ben Uzziel there was a man his city who had sons who strayed from the path of Torah and righteousness. When the man realized he was going to die he decided that his sons were not worthy of his inheritance and he therefor gave over all his possessions to Reb Yonatan Ben Uzziel. Rabbi Yonatan Ben Uzziel, however refused to have any benefits from this mans assets, instead he sold one third, one third he donated to charity and one third he gave back to the mans sons. When Shammai the elder heard of this he was upset at Reb Yonatan for ignoring the mans’ will. But Reb Yonatan had the courage and argued “Shammai, if you can take back what I sold and donated, then you can also take back what I gave away. If not you cou cannot take back what I returned to the sons.”


Memorial Date:

26 Sivan

Directions:

North of Zefat junction, turn left on road 89. A wide road leads to the site.


Construction:


According to local tradition, which appears in writing for the first time in "Evyatar's scroll" from the end of the 11th century, Yonatan ben Uzziel's burial place is located in Amuka.
Zev Vilnai writes that "Rabbi Shmuel ben Shimshon tells about this burial place: there is a large tree next to it, and the Ishmaelites bring oil and light a candle in his honor and make vows in his honor.


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