Why is it customary not to say the Bracha for seeing "Kivrei Yisrael" (Jewish Graves) when visiting the Me'aras Hamachpela? (Graves of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron).

The same seems too be the case when people visit the graves of the Rambam and his father Maimon in Teveria.

  • 1
    Can you see the graves to warrant reciting a Birkat HaRe'iyah? – MDjava May 24 '18 at 19:29
  • Seems like an overly literal read of Yisrael to say it on Yaakov Avinu's grave – Double AA May 24 '18 at 19:46
  • @DoubleAA Was your comment said in jest or seriously? When using the term "Kivrei Yisrael" I did not have in mind the idea of the word Yisrael at all, just that the MH is a group of Jewish kevaarim. – RibbisRabbiAndMore May 25 '18 at 5:40
  • See also judaism.stackexchange.com/a/21913/170 – msh210 May 26 '18 at 23:18

Apparently, Rav Chaim Kanievsky (Quoted in Ginei Halacha 5770 #38 page 46) is left unsure.

הרואה קברי קדמונים כמו מערת המכפלה אם נחשבים כראיית קבר שאלה: נסתפקתי האם הרואה "קברי קדמונים" כמערת המכפלה וקבר רשב"י וכדו' מברך ברכת הקברות, דאולי אין זה נחשב כרואה קברי ישראל, כיון דאין רואה את מקום המת עצמו, אלא רק ציון לפתח המערה שבו נטמן, וצ"ע. תשובה: צ"ע. (שער העין, עמוד תמ"ז).‏

Rav Shlomo Aviner (Biurim to Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 60:11) cites Rav Moshe HaLevi (Birkat Hashem vol. 4 Perek 4 Section 6 fn. 146) who says one can not, because it's not in a Beit HaKevarot.

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