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Rabbi Shimon fled to the cave to escape a death sentence for publicly criticizing Roman culture. According to folk tradition, during his twelve years of isolation, he engaged in mystical meditation and wrote the Zohar, the central work of Kabbalah.
The opening moments of Passover are behind me, and I'm left with a sense of something momentous having passed with it. There's a dryness in my mouth and heaviness in my gut that has nothing to do with the matza I've consumed.