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Highlights on Safed in the Holy Land
While in Safed a walk through its Old City is a must with its winding little alleys, historic synagagues, numerous art galleries and artist's homes, all situated in a fairly small area which can easily be covered on foot. There are numerous photo opportunities, in Safed and don't forget to find a spot with a view of the Sea of Galilee below.
Several synagagues are worthy of visiting in Safed but two, in particular, are highlights of any tour in Safed. The Ashkenazi Ha'ari Synagague. was originally built in the late 1500's but was later destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt in the 1800's. The congregation was primarily exiles from Spain who made their way to Israel via Greece. They were later joined by Rabbi Isaac Luria, who use to customarily pray with his congregation on the eve of Shabbat and go off into the nearby fields to welcome in the Sabbath. The Abuhav was built in the 16th century and possesses the oldest torah scroll in Safed which is only taken out three times a year.The southern wall of the Abuhav contains three Arks and the bima is in the center. As was customary in ancient synagagues, benches for the congregation are arranged around it.
Other synagagues that are of considerable interest include the Caro, Carlebach, Bano, Beirav, and Alsheich.
Safed is one of the four holy cities in Israel, together with Jerusalem, Hebron and Tiberias, according to tradition. It is also the highest town in the country with its 850 meters above sea level and was settled in Roman times. It has been the centre of Jewish mysticism since the 16th Century and still houses numerous Jewish study centres. Today Safed is a popular resort town for Israelis who are attracted to its old city and its many art galleries, in addition to the breath taking view from Safed in every direction.
Several ancient synagagues dating back to the 15th century are situated in the Old City, including the A'ri, the Caro and the Abubazi shuls. Each offers a different style and design and should not be missed.
The old city streets offer ample shopping alternatives. Judaica lovers will revel in the selection and unique product line, many of which can only be found in Safed
The Safed Candle Factory displays candles of all shapes, sizes, motifs. The store is an attraction in and of itself and is worth a stop. Both kids and parents will love it.
Nearby Places of Interest
Rosh Pina, Kiryat Shimona, Mt. Meron, Western Galilee
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