If you are looking to get married, look no further. Go to Amuka and according to tradition your prayers will be answered within the year!

The Tomb

Amuka is in a deep valley about 8 kilometres from Safed. Buried there is the sage Rabbi Yonatan Ben Uziel who was a student of Rabbi Hillel the elder, of the first century B.C.E. He never married and apparently regretted it. The story says that before he died he promised that if someone looking for their beshert (intended), prayed at his grave, their prayers would be answered.

When To Go

Many people go to visit the graves of sages either on erev Rosh Chodesh, the eve of the first day of the Jewish month, or on the middle of the month, as both are considered favorable times. Locally, the grave of Shimon Bar Yochai (also know as Rashbi) in nearby Meron is very popular, and if you are single why not go to Amuka as well?

The most auspicious day of the year to go there, however, is the 26th of Sivan, the anniversary of his death (yortzite). In 2010 the secular calendar works out as the 7th /8th June. Every year on this date, hundreds of people descend on the grave-site to pray hoping that they will be blessed to find their beshert. Some say you should walk around his grave 7 times, others believe that just praying at the grave is sufficient.

The Tree

One of the strange sites you will see near the kever (grave) is a tree covered in various items of clothing, scarves, etc tied to it. This is because many people, women in particular, believe that this will also help them find their partner. Even though there is a notice up saying that this practice is forbidden it doesn't deter people from continuing to decorate the tree! Some people write messages asking for help to find their beshert and use the clothes as a way of tying the message to the tree, in a similar way to people leaving messages in the Kotel (Wailing Wall). You can also see trees covered in messages tied in items of clothing near the graves of other sages as well.

Coincidence Or Fate?

There are many stories of people going to Amuka, and finding their beshert. Maybe they meet someone on the way or return something left behind to its owner, and within a few months get married to them. Of course some people may leave something behind accidentally on purpose, especially for example, a prayer book with their name and phone number inside! But if they meet their intended and get married as a result - is it fate or mere coincidence?

Mitzpe Amuka

Nearby the tomb is the small communal village (Mitzpe) of Amuka which is home to some fifty or so families. It was founded 30 years ago as part of a government program to increase settlement in the Galilee. Dora of the Izadora Café is one of its longstanding residents. It is a lovely place to take a vacation and there are several tzimmers (bed & breakfasts/guest houses) in the village. And of course it is a very handy place to stay if you want to pray at the sage's grave.

Getting There

From the northern entrance to Safed, drive up the hill towards Ibiquir and then follow the signs down into the valley to Amuka. It can be a nice walk or bike ride, although going back up the hill may be a challenge if you are not fit. And you never know who you might meet on the way!