Be’er Miriam Discovered Next to the Kinneret


beer-miriamHillel Fendel of Arutz Shevah is reporting that archaeologist Yossi Stefansky, based on texts and legwork around the Kinneret, says he’s found the long-lost site of Be’er Miriam, the well of Miriam, sister of Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon Hakohein as identified by the Arizal. Yosef Idan of the NFC news site has reported in detail on the most recent discovery of Kever Miriam, which has been claimed to have been found numerous times over the years. Stefansky discovered the pillars of ancient shuls alongside the Kinneret, which have long been considered the landmarks for Be’er Miriam, near the Tiveriah Municipal Beach, in the southern part of the city.

The Arizal was the first to note the location of Be’er Miriam somewhere in the Kinneret.  As is well know, it is based on the Arizal that we know many of the locations of kevorim of Amoraim and others are.

The Shaar HaGilgulim, written by one of the Arizal‘s talmidim, states that the Arizal identified an area of the Kinneret as the site of Be’er Miriam. However, the Shaar HaGilgulim did not specify the exact location. The Nagid U’Metzaveh, written by Rav Yaakov Tzemach 60 years after the Arizal‘s petirah, states as follows:

“When I, Chaim [Rav Chaim Vital, the Arizal’s talmid muvhak], came to my rebbi z”l [the Arizal] to learn this [Kabbalistic] chochmah, my rebbi z”l went to Tiveriah and took me with him… and when we were on a boat in the water, opposite the pillars of the old shul, my rebbi z”l then took a cup and filled it with water from between the pillars, and gave me that water to drink, and said to me: Now you will attain with this that wisdom, for this water that you have drank is from Be’er Miriam’s. And from then on, I began entering the depths of this wisdom.”

Rav Chaim HaLevy Horowitz, in Hibat Yerushalayim, writes, “When one goes from within the city to the Tiveriah Hot Springs, somewhere in the middle of the way, where are found ruins of 13 shuls, there are rocks sticking out of the Kinneret, and one walks on them for a few strides… and there is the .”

Based on these descriptions, Stefansky searched the shores of the Kinneret in and around Tiveriah and found what appears to be the remains of the pillars. They are located south of the city beach, near the shoreline of the Holiday Inn Hotel. Four hundred years ago, the site was underwater, as the level of the Kinneret was much higher than it is today.

Two photos on the NFC site, one found by Stefansky in the National Archives and a more recent one taken by Stefansky, show the site as it appeared 100 years ago and as it appears today, reports Arutz Shevah.

The Toseftah in Sotah stated that the Be’er Miriam is actually more like a “rock full of holes” from which water used to trickle, and which “ascended mountains with the Yidden in the midbar and descended to the valleys with them.

After it completed its purpose in the midbar, it was taken into the Eretz Yisroel. The Gemara say that it can be seen from the top of a mountain as a type of sieve in the sea (though the mountain is identified differently in the various sources). One Medrash tells of a person who “suffered from boils and went down to immerse in the waters in Tiveriah, and it was an opportune time, and he saw the Be’er Miriam and washed in it and was healed… The well was opposite the main entrance to the ancient shul of Tiveriah…”

Arutz Shevah says that it has been told by the Tourism Office of the Tiveriah Municipality that although it now appears that the site of the well, as identified by the Arizal, has been found once again, there are no plans to develop the area as a tourist attraction. 

{Elisha Newscenter/Arutz Shevah}


  1. Be’er Miriam wanders around the world, and comes to rest in a different location on Motz’ei Shabbos.

    Hence, the minhag to drink from a well after Shabbos, ’cause ya never know…

  2. They sell bottled water, claiming to be from the be’er Miriam, at the kever of Rochel, eishes Rabi Akiva. They also have a well inside the building that houses her kever, claiming to be the be’er coming from the kineret.

  3. this is brought down from Rav shimon sharabi, and from ziknei tiveria from previous generations, that the beer miriam is the well from kever rochel aishes rav akiva.