I remember learning that many of the famous gravesites in Israel- the Rambam, Dan of the 12 tribes, Rav Shimon Bar Yochai, Ruth from Megillas Ruth (not necessarily these exact ones, just giving examples)- were revealed by the Arizal.

(this is also mentioned on his Wikipedia page, 2nd paragraph in this link).

Have a few questions:

  • a) how do we know this? (ie source)

  • b) how did he do it? (ie what methods did he use to uncover these locations)

  • c) how did this become a (pretty much) accepted fact- so much so that we built giant matzeivot and areas for people to visit for each of these tzaddikim?

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    I don't see how this is on-topic, viz about Judaism. It's about Jews, certainly, but I don't see any Judaism content. – msh210 Jan 30 '19 at 19:41
  • @msh210 I think it could fall under “history of Judaism” or perhaps “general knowledge” but ok if you don’t agree – alicht Jan 30 '19 at 19:43
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    A. We (read: popular tradition) might know of Ari’s grave finding activities through books as Toledot Ari (see M. Benayahu about this book at length), though can’t vouch for any of the specific ones mentioned beside Rashbi. B. Um, most likely divine knowledge, though others have claimed to have located Rashbi’s grave in Meron centuries earlier so possible he read their chronicles. C. See A and keep in mind that graves of such saints will naturally charm people giving way for others to capitliz₪ on them. – Oliver Jan 30 '19 at 19:57
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    I'm not sure why you say it's universally accepted. Most people I know maintain a healthy degree of skepticism about these locations. There isn't any other alternative so it's not like there's going to be a competing site to invest in. I'm pretty sure btw that the Ruth grave in Hebron well postdates the Ari. IINM it's a 19th century invention. But no one is campaigning against it because it doesn't really matter and there's no better suggestion, even if the current guess is pretty much worthless. – Double AA Jan 30 '19 at 22:01
  • @DoubleAA edited out "universally"- thanks for the note – alicht Jan 30 '19 at 22:28

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