Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes is considered to be one of the greatest Tannaim of the fourth generation. A very close disciple of Rabbi Akiva, he was one of the five students of Rabbi Akiva that survived the plague that killed twenty-four thousand. According to the Talmud his father was a descendant of the Roman Emperor Nero who had converted to Judaism. His wife Bruriah is one of the few women mentioned in the Talmud.
The name "Meir" is a sobriquet- his real name was Nehorai. The name "Meir" means "illuminator" and was given to him because the enlightened the eyes of the scholars and students of Torah study. The epithet Baal Hanes means "he who does miracles." He was called so due to miracles that he performed in his lifetime. Many Jewish households have a Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes charity box and on happy occasions, in times of worry or when anticipating a birth, a few coins would be placed in the box and the phrase, "G-d of Rabbi Meir, answer me!"
Rabbi Meir passed away outside of Israel but was brought to Tiberias, the same city where his teacher Rabbi Akiva died, and was buried there on the shores of the Kinneret.
The grave can be found on the right side of the road at the southern exit from Tiberias, going towards Tzemah, opposite the Tiberias Hot Springs.
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