Visiting Rabbis’ Graves Outside Of Israel Is Idolatry

Many of my friends are at Uman, in central Ukraine, to daven at the graveside of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.

I don’t know much about the issues involved in this matter, but from the little I know, I agree with Rabbi Sherlo. When the Torah comes out of the ark on a Shabbos morning, 99% of the Jews kissing it have not spent an hour studying the holy book over the past week. All these extravagant gestures are cheap grace. They don’t matter much unless they’re reflecting a life of sanctity and learning. But most people, including me, prefer to do what is easy. Cheap mysticism. Cheap grace. Cheap spirituality. Throw yourself on graves and clap your hands a lot and hug everyone.

I remember at school I always preferred to avoid hard work (until my second year at college) unless it was in one of those few subjects I was passionate about, such as history or journalism. So instead of doing my assignments, I tried to get easy extra credits doing stupid things and managed to just scrape by on a lot of math and science classes with Cs.

Aramis Aharon Avraham Fernandez:
There is no signficance in visiting the kivrei of anyone. Whatver significance the rabbi may have had, they are now niftar and living only thru their works. a kever is a place of tumah it has no qedusha. What is more some people are actually going to ask for stuff “in the name ” of those niftar, that IS A’Z

YNETNews reports:

Prominent Religious-Zionism figure slams flight of businessmen, celebrities to Bulgarian grave. ‘These days faith is perceived as a convenient deal’ he says.

Rabbi Yuval Sherlo is not impressed with the recent phenomenon of hundreds of businessmen discovering their ‘Jewish sparkle’ upon visiting tombs of righteous rabbis. Following the travel of millionaires and celebrities to a famous grave sites in Bulgaria with Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, Rabbi Sherlo, a leading figure in the Religious-Zionist camp releases a short article in which he implies that the act amounts to idolatry.

Sherlo cynically describes relations between the participants of the event and God as "not a bad deal," going on to write, "What are they ultimately required to do? They travel overseas to throw themselves on righteous tombs and with an important rabbi."

Sherlo also stated, "This trip requires nothing from them – not a change of devotion to halachic law, not conducting their businesses on the values of charity and law; they donate a certain sum to a righteous rabbi; they are forced to endure a flight for several hours and say prayers. That is all.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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