In this fascinating anecdote, quoted by former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l – who was the Rosh Yeshiva of Kol Torah, a Haredi Yeshiva in Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem – had a conversation with a student as follows:
A student in the Kol Torah Yeshiva in Jerusalem, approached his Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l and asked him the question: May I leave my Torah studies in the yeshiva to go [for a short visit] and pray at the graves of tzadikim (righteous people) in the Galil (Northern Israel)?
Rav Auerbach answered, “It is better to say in yeshiva, and study Torah.”
The student replied, “Isn’t there a time I could go to visit the graves of tzadikim? Doesn’t Rav Auerbach go and pray by the graves of tzadikim?”
Rav Auerbach answered, “In order to pray at the graves of tzadikim, one doesn’t have to travel up to the Galil. Whenever I feel the need to pray at the graves of tzadikim, I go to Mount Herzl, [the national cemetery for fallen IDF soldiers in Jerusalem], to the graves of the soldiers… who fell Al Kiddush Hashem, for the sanctification of G-d.”
May the memories of those ‘kedoshim’, those holy ones, be for a blessing.