Kever Yonatan Ben Uziel Amuka
Amuka, located on the western edge of the Biriya forest, contains the ancient gravesite of the Talmudic scholar Rabbi Yonatan Ben Uziel. Tradition relates that singles who pray at the gravesite of this Tanah will find their “zivug” -- true soulmate. The site attracts many singles, both men and women, of all ages and levels of Jewish practice.
Rabbi Yonatan Ben UzielRabbi Yonatan Ben Uziel was a student of Hillel the Elder and lived in the first century A.D. In the Talmud tractate Sukkah it is written that when birds flew over his head they burned due to the presence of the angels who came to hear Yonason Ben Uziel study Torah.
Yonason Ben Uziel is best known for his Translation of the Prophets, the “Targum, into Aramaic, the vernacular of his day. The Talmud tractate Megilla writes that he planned to author a translation and commentary on the Ketuvim as well but the heavens prevented this from happening because they did not want him to reveal the secrets of the final redemption.
Read full Zissil article on Yonasan Ben Uziel
Tradition Regarding Marriage
Within Jewish tradition, it is customary for people who cannot themselves visit a holy site to commission someone to do so in their place. This generally involves paying someone to pray on their behalf. A number of people in Tzfat are prepared to undertake this mission and pray at Yonatan Ben Uziel’s gravesite on behalf of others.
Hillulah of Yonason ben Uziel
The Hillulah of Yonason be Uziel falls out on the Chaf Vav Sivan, the 26th of the month. Each year thousands of people visit the Kever throughout this 24 hour period and the surrounding three days. A number of organizations set up stands in the vicinity of the Kever to try to fundraise money. Often there is food given out for free at the Hillulah sponsored by private donors.
The TombTzfat in the Biriya forest, along the road that goes by the Bat Ya’ar Ranch. There is also a small village, called “Amuka” consisting of several dozen families, within a few minutes walk of the gravesite.
Kever Yonasan Ben Uziel is located on the side of the mountain, west of the ancient village.
Many diaries of early travelers to Eretz Yisroel describe visits to Kever Yonatan Ben Uziel, the earliest dating back to the 1100's. These describe the grave being near a small Arab village containing roughly sixty houses. The actual Tzion was built from stones with a large, thick beautiful tree growing over it.
Tzion Yonasan Ben Uziel
In 1979 the Tzion was once again renovated and expanded. During the construction part of the original stone coffin was uncovered.
Tree Above the Tzion
Many early visitors to Kever Yonatan Ben Uziel describe a large beautiful tree growing right above the Tzion. Eventually this tree was chopped down by the local Arab governor he needed a large beam for the new house he was building. Within eight days after its completion, the house collapsed upon the Governor, killing him and his entire family. Awe stricken, the Arabs of the Amuka collected the remaining scraps of the tree and brought them back, placing them by the Kever.
Kever MokratMokrat who is also known as Dman Mokras.
Respected by Muslims
Diaries of early visitors to the Kever note how the location was respected by the local Muslim population. Muslims would come to the Kever to light oil and make pledges in honor of Yonasan Ben Uziel. They would refer to the grave as the tomb of Muhamad Al Ajami, literally "Saint not from our nation". There are a number of Muslim graves in the vicinity of the Kever, another sign that it was awed by the Arabs.
- Latitude: 33.005357
- Longitude: 35.518980
A trail also leads out of the Old City to Amuka. Hikers are advised to obtain a good map or directions before embarking on the walk.