State Comptroller: Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai Tomb in 'Very Sad' State

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss called the situation he found yesterday on a fact-finding visit to the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron "very sad."

A month ago, Lindenstrauss published a harsh report on the administration of the site, and

Lindenstrauss told Haaretz yesterday that a parliamentary investigative committee would begin studying the matter in the coming days.

The tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai is the second most visited Jewish holy site in the country, after the Western Wall. According to the report, disagreement among the many bodies involved at the site has caused "paralysis."

The head of the Meron Galil Regional Council, Shlomo Levy, called on Lindenstrauss yesterday to "nationalize" the tomb, because it has "too many owners."

The state body responsible for holy sites recently took control of the tomb complex, much to the displeasure of the bodies actually running it. The state official in charge, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, has reportedly been threatened.

Lindenstrauss noted the numerous unlicensed souvenir stands at the site and the lack of a proper sewer system.

"The place doesn't look the way it should," Shaul Tzemach, director general of the Tourism Ministry said. "There is not even a semblance of control.