Rabbi Meir’s nickname, Ba'al Haness, means “miracle worker” and comes from a Talmudic story describing how he saved his sister-in-law from the clutches of the Romans by a combination of subterfuge and uttering a single prayer: “God of Meir – answer me.”
Jews have been coming to Rabbi Meir’s tomb at least since the thirteenth century, and over the years the blue-domed building, located near Tiberias’ hot springs (famed for their curative powers), became a special place to pray for healing or other divine intervention.
By the way, Rabbi Meir’s wife was Bruria, who is mentioned in the Talmud as being learned in Torah.
For centuries, Jews throughout the world have given charity in honor of Rabbi Meir. You can find people praying here at any time of year, and celebrating the first haircut of three-year-old boys and other happy occasions.
Celebrations reach their height on the anniversary of Rabbi Meir’s death, on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Iyar, a month after Passover eve, when thousands flock to the tomb.