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Hotels of Safed

A hotel in Safed is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Safed hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Safed are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Safed hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Safed hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Safed have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Safed
An upscale full service hotel facility in Safed that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Safed hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Safed
Full service Safed hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Safed
Boutique hotels of Safed are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Safed boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Safed may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Safed
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Safed travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Safed focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Safed
Small to medium-sized Safed hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Safed traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Safed hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Safed
A bed and breakfast in Safed is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Safed bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Safed B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Safed
Safed hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Safed hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Safed
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Safed hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Safed lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Safed
Safed timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Safed often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Safed on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Safed
A Safed motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Safed for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Safed motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Safed

  • צְפַת
  • صفد
Hebrew transcription(s)
• ISO 259 Çpat
• Translit. Tz'fat
• Also spelled Tsfat, Tzefat, Zfat, Ẕefat (official)
Safed 2009.jpg
Official logo of Safed
Safed is located in Israel
Coordinates:  / 32.96583; 35.49833  / 32.96583; 35.49833
District Northern
Founded 13th century BCE
• Type City
• Mayor Ilan Shohat
Elevation 900 m (3,000 ft)
Population (2015)
• Total 33,358
Website http://www.zefat.muni.il

Safed (Hebrew: צְפַת‎ Tsfat, Ashkenazi: Tzfas, Biblical: Ṣ'fath; Arabic: صفد‎‎, Ṣafad) is a city in the Northern District of Israel. Located at an elevation of 900 metres (2,953 ft), Safed is the highest city in the Galilee and in Israel. Due to its high elevation, Safed experiences warm summers and cold, often snowy, winters. Since the 16th century, Safed has been considered one of Judaism's Four Holy Cities, along with Jerusalem, Hebron and Tiberias; since that time, the city has remained a center of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism. Interest in the Kabbalah was brought to the city by the rabbi Isaac Luria in the 16th century.

Due to its mild climate and scenic views, Safed is a popular holiday resort frequented by Israelis and foreign visitors. In 2015 it had a population of 33,358.

Safed: History

Safed: Biblical account

Legend has it that Safed was founded by a son of Noah after the Great Flood. According to the Book of Judges (1:17), the area where Safed is located was assigned to the Tribe of Naphtali. It has been suggested that Jesus' assertion that "a city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden" may have referred to Safed.

Safed: Classical Antiquity

Safed has been identified with Sepph, a fortified town in the Upper Galilee mentioned in the writings of the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus. It is mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud as one of five elevated spots where fires were lit to announce the New Moon and festivals during the Second Temple period.

Safed: Crusader period

Ruins of the Crusader-Mamluk-era fortress of Safed

There is scarce information about the town of Safed prior to the Crusader conquest in 1099. The city appears in Jewish sources in the late Middle Ages. In the 12th century, Safed was a fortified city in the Crusaders' Kingdom of Jerusalem, known by the Crusaders as Saphet. King Fulk built a strong castle there, which was kept by the Knights Templar from 1168. Benjamin of Tudela, who visited the town in 1170, does not mention any Jews as living there.

Safed was captured by the Ayyubids led by Saladin in 1188 after one year's siege, following the Battle of Hattin in 1187. Saladin ultimately allowed its residents to relocate to Tyre. Samuel ben Samson, who visited the town in 1210, mentions the existence of a Jewish community of at least fifty there. In 1227, the Ayyubid emir of Damascus, al-Mu'azzam 'Isa, had the fortress of Safed demolished to prevent its potential capture and re-utilization by the Crusaders. In 1240, Theobald I of Navarre, on his own Crusade to the Holy Land, negotiated with the Muslim Ayyubids of Damascus and of Egypt and finalised a treaty with the former against the latter whereby the Kingdom of Jerusalem regained Jerusalem itself, plus Bethlehem, Nazareth, and most of the region of Galilee, including Safed. The Templars thereafter rebuilt the town's fortress.

Safed: Mamluk period

In 1260, the Mamluk sultan Baybars declared the treaty invalid due to the Christians working in concert with the Mongol Empire against the Muslims, and launched a series of attacks on castles in the area, including on Safed. In 1266, during a Mamluk military campaign to subdue Crusader strongholds in Palestine, Baybars captured Safed in July, following a failed attempt to capture the Crusaders' coastal stronghold of Acre. Unlike the coastal Crusader fortresses, which were demolished upon their capture by the Mamluks, Baybars spared Safed from destruction. Instead, he appointed a governor to be in charge of the fortress. Baybars likely preserved Safed because he viewed its fortress to be of high strategic value due to its location on a high mountain and its isolation from other Crusader fortresses. Moreover, Baybars determined that in the event of a renewed Crusader invasion of the coastal region, a strongly fortified Safed could serve as an ideal headquarters to confront the Crusader threat. In 1268, he had the fortress repaired, expanded and strengthened. Furthermore, he commissioned numerous building works in the town of Safed, including caravanserai, markets, baths, and converted the town's church into a mosque. By the end of Baybars' reign, Safed had become the site of a prospering town, in addition to its fortress. The city also became the administrative center of Mamlakat Safad, a province in Mamluk Syria whose jurisdiction included the Galilee and the lands up to Jenin.

According to al-Dimashqi, who died in Safed in 1327, writing around 1300, Baybarsbuilt a "round tower and called it Kullah ..." after leveling the old fortress. The tower is built in three stories. It is provided with provisions, and halls, and magazines. Under the place is a cistern for rain-water, sufficient to supply the garrison of the fortress from year's end to year's end. According to Abu'l Fida, Safed "was a town of medium size. It has a very strongly built castle, which dominates the Lake of Tabariyyah. There are underground watercourses, which bring drinking-water up to the castle-gate...Its suburbs cover three hills... Since the place was conquered by Al Malik Adh Dhahir [Baybars] from the Franks [Crusaders], it has been made the central station for the troops who guard all the coast-towns of that district."

Safed: Ottoman era

Seraya: Ottoman fortress
Old Yishuv
A sepia photograph shows three elderly Jewish men sporting beards and holding open books, posing for the camera. Against a backdrop of leafy vegetation, the man in the centre sits, wearing a black hat and caftan, while the two others stand, wearing lighter clothes and turbans.
Jewish life in Palestine under Ottoman rule
Key events
  • Aliya of Nachmanides (1267)
  • Alhambra (1492)
  • Manuel I decree (1496)
  • Hebron and Safed massacres (1517)
  • Revival of Tiberias (1563)
  • Sack of Tiberias (1660)
  • Hebron massacre (1834)
  • Safed attack (1838)
  • Jerusalem expansion
  • Moshavot establishment
Key figures
  • Ishtori Haparchi (d. 1313)
  • Joseph Saragossi (d. 1507)
  • Obadiah MiBartenura (d. 1515)
  • Levi ibn Habib (d. 1545)
  • Jacob Berab (d. 1546)
  • Joseph Nasi (d. 1579)
  • Moses Galante (d. 1689)
  • Moses ibn Habib (d. 1696)
  • Yehuda he-Hasid (d. 1700)
  • Haim Abulafia (d. 1744)
  • Menachem Mendel (d. 1788)
  • Haim Farhi (d. 1820)
  • Jacob Saphir (d. 1886)
  • Haim Aharon Valero (d. 1923)
  • Etrog cultivation
  • Winemaking
  • Banking
  • Printing
  • Soap production
  • Textiles
  • Kollel
  • Halukka
    • Montefiore
    • Judah Touro
  • Musta'arabim
  • Sephardim
  • Perushim
  • Hasidim

  • Jerusalem
    • Mea Shearim
    • Mishkenot Sha'ananim
  • Hebron
  • Safed
  • Tiberias
  • Jaffa
  • Haifa
  • Peki'in
  • Acco
  • Shechem
  • Gaza
  • Kafr Yasif
  • Shefa-'Amr
  • Petah Tikva
  • Great Academy of Paris (1258)
  • Ramban (1267)
  • Abuhav (1490s)
  • Abraham Avinu (1540)
  • Ari (1570s)
  • Johanan ben Zakai (1600s)
  • Hurva (1700)
  • Tifereth Israel (1872)
Related articles
  • History of the Jews and Judaism
    in the Land of Israel
    • Four Holy Cities
    • Applicability of religious laws
  • History of Zionism
    • Timeline
    • Pre-Modern Aliyah
    • Return to Zion
    • Three Oaths
    • Haredim and Zionism
  • Edah HaChareidis
  • ShaDaR

Under the Ottomans, Safed was the capital of the Safad Sanjak, which encompassed much of the Galilee and extended to the Mediterranean coast. This sanjak was part of the Eyalet of Damascus until 1660, when it was united with the sanjak of Sidon into a separate eyalet, of which it was briefly the capital. Finally, from the mid-19th century it was part of the vilayet of Sidon. The orthodox Sunni courts arbitrated over cases in 'Akbara, Ein al-Zeitun and as far away as Mejdel Islim. In 1549, under Sultan Suleiman I, a wall was constructed and troops were stationed to protect the city. In 1553–54, the population consisted of 1,121 Muslim households, 222 Muslim bachelors, 54 Muslim religious leaders, 716 Jewish households, 56 Jewish bachelors, and 9 disabled persons.

Safed rose to fame in the 16th century as a center of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism. After the expulsion of all the Jews from Spain in 1492, many prominent rabbis found their way to Safed, among them the Kabbalists Isaac Luria and Moshe Kordovero; Joseph Caro, the author of the Shulchan Aruch and Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz, composer of the Sabbath hymn "Lecha Dodi". The influx of Sephardi Jews-reaching its peak under the rule of Sultans Suleiman I and Selim II-made Safed a global center for Jewish learning and a regional center for trade throughout 15th and 16th centuries. During the early Ottoman period from 1525 to 1526, the population of Safed consisted of 633 Muslim families, 40 Muslim bachelors, 26 Muslim religious persons, nine Muslim disabled, 232 Jewish families, and 60 military families. A Hebrew printing press was established in Safed in 1577 by Eliezer Ashkenazi and his son, Isaac of Prague. In 1584, there were 32 synagogues registered in the town.

During the transition from Egyptian to Ottoman-Turkish rule in 1517, the local Jewish community was subjected to violent assaults, murder and looting as local sheikhs, sidelined by the change in authority, sought to reassert their control after being removed from power by the incoming Turks. Economic decline after 1560 and expulsion decrees depleted the Jewish community in 1583. Local Arabs assaulted those who remained, and two epidemics in 1589 and 1594 further damaged the Jewish presence. The Kurdish quarter was established in the Middle Ages and continued through to the 19th century.

Over the course of the 17th century, Jewish settlements of Galilee had declined economically and demographically, with Safed being no exception. In around 1625, Quaresmius spoke of the town being inhabited "chiefly by Hebrews, who had their synagogues and schools, and for whose sustenance contributions were made by the Jews in other parts of the world." In 1628, the city fell to the Druze and five years later was retaken by Ottomans. In 1660, in the turmoil following the death of Mulhim Ma'an, the Druze destroyed Safed and Tiberias, with only a few of the former Jewish residents returning to Safed by 1662. As nearby Tiberias remained desolate for several decades, Safed gained the key position among Galilean Jewish communities. In 1665, the Sabbatai Sevi movement is said to have arrived in the town.

Muslim quarter of Safed circa 1908

An outbreak of plague decimated the population in 1742 and the Near East earthquakes of 1759 left the city in ruins, killing 200 town residents. An influx Russian Jews in 1776 and 1781, and of Lithuanian Jews of the Perushim in 1809 and 1810, reinvigorated the community. In 1812, another plague killed 80% of the Jewish population, and, in 1819, the remaining Jewish residents were held for ransom by Abdullah Pasha, Acre-based governor of Sidon. During the period of Egyptian domination, the city experienced a severe decline, with the Jewish community hit particularly hard. In the 1834 looting of Safed, much of the Jewish quarter was destroyed by rebel Arabs, who plundered the city for many weeks.

In 1837 there were around 4,000 Jews in Safed. The Galilee earthquake of 1837 was particularly catastrophic for the Jewish population, as the Jewish quarter was located on the hillside. About half their number perished, resulting in around 2,000 deaths. Of the 2,158 inhabitants killed, 1507 were Ottoman subjects. The southern, Moslem section of the town suffered far less damage. In 1838, the Druze rebels robbed the city over the course of three days, killing many among the Jews. In 1840, Ottoman rule was restored. In 1847, plague struck Safed again. The Jewish population increased in the last half of the 19th century by immigration from Persia, Morocco, and Algeria. Moses Montefiore visited Safed seven times and financed rebuilding of much of the town.

The Kaddoura family was a major political force in Safed. At the end of Ottoman rule the family owned 50,000 dunams. This included eight villages around Safed.

A population list from about 1887 showed that Safad had about 24,615 inhabitants; 5,690 Muslims, 5,675 Catholic Christians, and 13,250 Jews.

Safed in 19th century

Safed: British Mandate of Palestine

Safed was the center of Safad Subdistrict. According to a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Safed had a population of 8,761 inhabitants, consisting of 5,431 Muslims, 2,986 Jews, 343 Christians and others. Safed remained a mixed city during the British Mandate for Palestine and ethnic tensions between Jews and Arabs rose during the 1920s. With the eruption of the 1929 Palestine riots, Safed and Hebron became major clash points. In the Safed massacre 20 Jewish residents were killed by local Arabs. Safad was included in the part of Palestine allocated for the proposed Jewish state under the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.

By 1948, the city was home to around 1,700 Jews, mostly religious and elderly, as well as some 12,000 Arabs. On 5 January 1948, Arabs attacked the Jewish Quarter. In February 1948, during the civil war, Muslim Arabs attacked a Jewish bus attempting to reach Safed, and the Jewish quarter of the town came under siege by the Muslims. British forces that were present did not intervene. According to Martin Gilbert, food supplies ran short. "Even water and flour were in desperately short supply. Each day, the Arab attackers drew closer to the heart of the Jewish quarter, systematically blowing up Jewish houses as they pressed in on the central area."

On April 16, the same day that British forces evacuated Safed, 200 local Arab militiamen, supported by over 200 Arab Liberation Army soldiers, tried to take over the city's Jewish Quarter. They were repelled by the Jewish garrison, consisting of some 200 Haganah fighters, men and women, boosted by a Palmach platoon.

Yiftach Brigade, with their Hotchkiss machine guns, based at Bussel House, 1948

The Palmach ground attack on the Arab section of Safed took place on 6 May, as a part of Operation Yiftah. The first phase of the Palmach plan to capture Safed, was to secure a corridor through the mountains by capturing the Arab village of Birya. The Arab Liberation Army had plans to take over the whole city on May 10 and to slaughter all as cabled by the Syrian commander al-Hassan Kam al-Maz, and in the meantime placed artillery pieces on a hill adjacent to the Jewish quarter and started its shelling. The Third Battalion failed to take the main objective, the "citadel", but "terrified" the Arab population sufficiently to prompt further flight, as well as urgent appeals for outside help and an effort to obtain a truce.

The secretary-general of the Arab League Abdul Rahman Hassan Azzam stated that the goal of Plan Dalet was to drive out the inhabitants of Arab villages along the Syrian and Lebanese frontiers, particularly places on the roads by which Arab regular forces could enter the country. He noted that Acre and Safed were in particular danger. However, the appeals for help were ignored, and the British, now less than a week away from the end of the British Mandate of Palestine, also did not intervene against the second – and final – Haganah attack, which began on the evening of 9 May, with a mortar barrage on key sites in Safed. Following the barrage, Palmach infantry, in bitter fighting, took the citadel, Beit Shalva and the police fort, Safed's three dominant buildings. Through 10 May, Haganah mortars continued to pound the Arab neighbourhoods, causing fires in the marked area and in the fuel dumps, which exploded. "The Palmah 'intentionally left open the exit routes for the population to "facilitate" their exodus...' " According to Gilbert, "The Arabs of Safed began to leave, including the commander of the Arab forces, Adib Shishakli (later Prime Minister of Syria). With the police fort on Mount Canaan isolated, its defenders withdrew without fighting. The fall of Safed was a blow to Arab morale throughout the region... With the invasion of Palestine by regular Arab armies believed to be imminent – once the British had finally left in eleven or twelve days' time – many Arabs felt that prudence dictated their departure until the Jews had been defeated and they could return to their homes.

Some 12,000 Arabs, with some estimates reaching 15,000, fled Safed and were a "heavy burden on the Arab war effort". Among them was the family of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The city was fully under the control of Jewish paramilitary forces by May 11, 1948.

Druze parading in Safed after the Palmach victory. 1948

Safed: State of Israel

In 1974, 102 Israeli Jewish school children from Safed on a school trip were taken hostage by a Palestinian militant group Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) while sleeping in a school in Maalot. In what became known as the Ma'alot massacre, 22 of these school children were among those killed by the hostage takers after the school had been raided by a special forces unit of the Israel Defense Forces.

Over 1990s and early 2000s, the town accepted thousands of Russian Jewish immigrants and Ethiopian Beta Israel.

In July 2006, Katyusha rockets fired by Hezbollah from Southern Lebanon hit Safed, killing one man and injuring others. Many residents fled the town. On July 22, four people were injured in a rocket attack.

The town has retained its unique status as a Jewish studies center, incorporating numerous facilities. It is currently a predominantly Jewish town, with mixed religious and secular communities and with a small number of Russian Christians and Maronites.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas was born in Safed and left with his family when tensions arose in 1948. In 2012, he publicly stated, "I visited Safed before once. I want to see Safed. It's my right to see it, but not to live there."

Safed: Demographics

In 2008, the population of Safed was 32,000. According to CBS figures in 2001, the ethnic makeup of the city was 99.2% Jewish and non-Arab, with no significant Arab population. 43.2% of the residents were 19 years of age or younger, 13.5% between 20 and 29, 17.1% between 30 and 44, 12.5% from 45 to 59, 3.1% from 60 to 64, and 10.5% 65 years of age or older.

Safed: Seismology

The city is located above the Dead Sea Transform, and is one of the cities in Israel most at risk to earthquakes (along with Tiberias, Beit She'an, Kiryat Shmona, and Eilat). The last major earthquake to hit Safed was the Galilee earthquake of 1837.

Safed: Climate

Safed has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cold, rainy and occasionally snowy winters. The city receives 682 mm (27 in) of precipitation per year. Summers are rainless and hot with an average high temperature of 29 °C (84 °F) and an average low temperature of 18 °C (64 °F). Winters are cold and wet, and precipitation is occasionally in the form of snow. Winters have an average high temperature of 10 °C (50 °F) and an average low temperature of 5 °C (41 °F).

Climate data for Safed
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.7
Average high °C (°F) 9.4
Average low °C (°F) 4.5
Record low °C (°F) −3.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 158.8
Average precipitation days 15 13.1 11.7 5.9 2.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 4.5 9.0 13.1 75.5
Source: Israel Meteorological Service

Safed: Education

Beit Knesset Abuhav, one of the city's historic synagogues
Street art in Safed

According to CBS, the city has 25 schools and 6,292 students. There are 18 elementary schools with a student population of 3,965, and 11 high schools with a student population of 2,327. 40.8% of Safed's 12th graders were eligible for a matriculation (bagrut) certificate in 2001.

The Zefat (Safed) Academic College, originally an extension of Bar-Ilan University, was granted independent accreditation by Israel’s Council of Higher Education in 2007. In October 2011, Israel's fifth medical school opened in Safed, housed in a renovated historic building in the center of town that was once a branch of Hadassah Hospital.

Galil Medical faculty was opened in תשע"ב (from end of 2011 till June 2012); the school works as an extension of Bar-Ilan University. The school is affiliated with and governs the northern university hospitals:

  • Medical Center Of The Galilee
  • Rebecca Sieff Hospital
  • Poria Medical Center
  • Mizra Mental health hospital
  • Holy family hospital (also known as Ospedale Sacra Famiglia) in Nazert
  • Scottish Hospital

The Livnot U'Lehibanot program in Safed provides an open, non-denominational atmosphere for young Jewish adults that combines volunteering, hiking and study with exploring Jewish heritage.

Safed: Culture

In the 1950s and 1960s, Safed was known as Israel's art capital. The artists' colony established in Safed's Old City was a hub of creativity that drew artists from around the country, among them Yitzhak Frenkel, Yosl Bergner, Moshe Castel and Menachem Shemi. Some of Israel's art galleries were located there. In honor of the opening of the Glitzenstein Art Museum in 1953, the artist Mane Katz donated eight of his paintings to the city. During this period, Safed was home to the country's top nightclubs, hosting the debut performances of Naomi Shemer, Aris San, and other singers.

Safed is home to a large Kabalistic community, and prompted a visit by Madonna in 2009, there is also a large community of followers of Nachman of Breslov. Safed has been hailed as the klezmer capital of the world, hosting an annual Klezmer Festival that attracts top musicians from around the globe.

Travelers will find an extensive Tourist Information Center in the Old Jewish Quarter on Alkabetz Street. The Center provides assistance to tourists who drop in to access information about the center, and for travelers who are planning a trip. Visitors can explore the places of interest, activities and historical sites when visiting Safed. Tourists may find the stories of legends of Safed to expand their understanding of the town and its history. Accommodations provide boarding opportunities for people of all ages and incomes and the list of eateries is extensive in the city.

Safed: Born in Safed

  • Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian president since 2005
  • Moshe Amar, a politician who served as a member of Knesset between 1977 and 1981
  • Giovanni Giuda Giona Battista, Jewish rabbi who converted to Catholicism
  • Fazil Bey (1789–1810), author of Zenanname (The Book of Women)
  • Wadie Haddad, also known as Abu Hani, the Palestinian leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's armed wing
  • Salma Jayyusi, Palestinian-Jordanian poet and translator
  • Subhi al-Khadra, Palestinian Arab politician, lawyer, and newspaper columnist
  • Meir Meivar, the Haganah commander of Safed during 1948 and mayor of Safed between 1965 and 1966
  • Esther Ofarim, Israeli folk singer
  • Samir al-Rifai, politician who served six times as Jordanian prime minister
  • Nabil Shaath, negotiator for the Palestinian National Authority and its first foreign minister
  • Hayyim ben Joseph Vital, Jewish rabbi and disciple of Isaac Luria

Safed: Notable residents of Safed

  • Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz, 16th-century rabbi, kabbalist and poet perhaps best known for his composition of the song "Lecha Dodi".
  • Moshe Alshich, prominent rabbi, preacher, and biblical commentator in the latter part of the 16th century.
  • Jacob Berab, influential rabbi and talmudist of the 15th century best known for his attempt to reintroduce rabbinic ordination.
  • Moses ben Jacob Cordovero, leader of mystical school in Safed in the 16th century.
  • Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Safed.
  • Joseph Karo, 16th-century rabbi, and author of the great codification of Jewish law, the Shulchan Aruch.
  • Lior Lubin, basketball player and coach
  • Isaac Luria, a foremost rabbi and Jewish mystic of the 16th century in the community of Safed in Ottoman Palestine. He is considered the father of contemporary Kabbalah.
  • Miriam Mehadipur, Tzfat resident Israeli artist since 1999 of Dutch birth, owner of Mehadipur + Collection
  • Yogev Ohayon, basketball player
  • Ben Snof (he), Israeli vocalist.
  • Moshe of Trani, rabbi of Safed from 1525 until 1535.
  • Possibly the Biblical Woman with seven sons whose tomb is often said to be an ancient tomb discovered in the old cemetery of the city.

Safed: Twin towns - sister cities

Safed is twinned with:

  • Spain Toledo, Castile–La Mancha, Spain
  • France Lille, France (frozen)
  • Bulgaria Nikopol, Bulgaria [4]
  • United States Palm Beach County, Florida, United States
  • Hungary Erzsébetváros, Budapest, Hungary
Panorama Safed and Mount Meron
View to the east and Lake of Kinneret
Sunset (Kabbalistic inspiration)

Safed: References

  1. "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  2. "Safed". Jewish Virtual Library Article. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  3. Vilnay, Zev (1972). "Tsefat". A Guide to Israel. Jerusalem, Palestine: HaMakor Press. pp. 522–532.
  4. "Tiberias". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  5. De la Fuente Salvat, Jose. "Palestina: ¿Existe o no? 2017"
  6. "Planetware Safed Tourism". Planetware.com. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  7. "Hadassah Magazine". Hadassah.org. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
  8. Matthew 5:14
  9. Ellicott's Commentary for Modern Readers and Meyer's NT Commentary on Matthew 5, both accessed 9 December 2016
  10. Geography of Israel: Safed, accessed 9 December 2016
  11. "Safed". Encyclopedia Judaica. Vol. 14. Jerusalem, Israel: Keter. 1972. p. 626.
  12. Drory, p. 163.
  13. Sharon 2007, p. 152.
  14. Howard M. Sachar,Farewell Espana: The World of the Sephardim Remembered, Random House, 2013 p.190.
  15. Schechter, Solomon. Studies in Judaism: Second Series (Jewish Studies Classics 3), p. 206. Gorgias Press LLC, 2003. ISBN 1-59333-039-1
  16. Tyerman. God's War. p. 767.
  17. Drory 2004, p. 165.
  18. Drory 2004, pp. 166–167.
  19. Drory 2004, p. 166.
  20. Sharon, Moshe (1997). Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae, Volume One: A. Brill. p. xii. ISBN 9789004108332.
  21. Al-Dimashqi, p. 210, quoted in le Strange, p. 524
  22. Abu'l Fida, p. 243, quoted in le Strange, p. 525
  23. R. Y. Ebied, M. J. L. Young (1976) Some Arabic Legal Documents of the Ottoman Period: From the Leeds Manuscript Collection University of Leeds. Dept. of Semitic Studies Brill Archive, ISBN 90-04-04401-9 p. 7
  24. Abraham David, 2010. pp. 95–96
  25. Bernard Lewis (1954). "Studies in the Ottoman Archives-I". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 16 (3): 469–501. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00086808.
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  27. Keneset Yiśraʼel be-Erets-Yiśraʼel. Ṿaʻad ha-leʼumi (1947). Historical memoranda. General Council (Vaad leumi) of the Jewish Community of Palestine. p. 56.
  28. Bernard Lewis (1954). "Studies in the Ottoman Archives–I". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 16 (3): 469–501. doi:10.1017/s0041977x00086808.
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  30. Abraham David; Dena Ordan (2010). To Come to the Land: Immigration and Settlement in 16th-Century Eretz-Israel. University of Alabama Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-8173-5643-9. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  31. Dan Ben Amos, Dov Noy (eds.) Folktales of the Jews, volume 3 (Tales from Arab Lands) The Jewish Publication Society, 2011 p.54
  32. Edward Robinson (1841). Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea: a journal of travels in the year 1838. Crocker and Brewster. p. 333. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  33. Sa'ar H. When Israel trembles: former earthquakes. Ynet online. 11.05.2012. (in Hebrew)
  34. Morgenstern, Arie (2007). ISBN 0-19-530578-7.
  35. Sherman Lieber (1992). Mystics and missionaries: the Jews in Palestine, 1799–1840. University of Utah Press. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-87480-391-4.
  36. The earthquake of 1 January 1837 in Southern Lebanon and Northern Israel by N. N. Ambraseys, in Annali di Geofisica, Aug. 1997, p. 933
  37. Ottoman Reform and Muslim Regeneration, Buṭrus Abū Mannah, Itzchak Weismann, Fruma Zachs by I.B.Tauris, 2005 ISBN 1-85043-757-2 p. 178
  38. Schumacher, 1888, p. 188
  39. Barron, 1923, p. 6
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  42. Martin (2005). Routledge Atlas of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-35901-5.
  43. Martin Gilbert Israel, A history William Morrow & Co, NY 1998 ISBN 0-688-12362-7 pg 174
  44. Benny Morris, 1948, The First Arab-Israeli War, 2008 Yale University Press, pg 157
  45. Gilbert, 1998, pg 177
  46. Benny Morris, 1948, The First Arab-Israeli War, 2008 Yale University Press, p. 158
  47. Morris, 2004, p.223
  48. Broadmead to HC, 5 May 1948, SAMECA CP III\5\102. Quoted in Morris, 2004, p.223
  49. Morris 2004, page 224 quoting unnamed source from Book of the Palmah II
  50. Gilbert, 1998, pg.177
  51. Morris, 2004, page 224 quoting Yigal Allon from Book of the Palmah II
  52. Sarah Honig (July 17, 2009). "Another Tack: Self-exiled by guilt". Jerusalem Post. Abbas is quoted as saying "People were motivated to run away... They feared retribution from Zionist terrorist organizations – particularly from the Safed ones. Those of us from Safed especially feared that the Jews harbored old desires to avenge what happened during the 1929 uprising.... They realized the balance of forces was shifting and therefore the whole town was abandoned on the basis of this rationale – saving our lives and our belongings."
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  54. Myre, Greg (2006-07-15). "2 More Israelis Are Killed as Rain of Rockets From Lebanon Pushes Thousands South". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
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  57. Experts Warn: Major Earthquake Could Hit Israel Any Time By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United With Israel Date: Oct 22, 2013
  58. "Climate data for several places in Israel" (in Hebrew). Israel Meteorological Service. May 2011.
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  60. http://www.zefat.ac.il/?CategoryID=637
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  64. Ashkenazi, Eli (2009-09-04). "Mystical Madonna visits Safed tomb of kabbalistic great – Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
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  76. Mansel, Philip (1995). Constantinople: City of the World's Desire, 1453–1924. John Murray. p. 185.
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Safed: Bibliography

  • Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
  • Drory, Joseph (2004). "Founding a New Mamlaka". In Winter, Michael; Levanoni, Amalia. The Mamluks in Egyptian and Syrian Politics and Society. Brill. ISBN 9789004132863.
  • ISBN 0-521-00967-7.
  • Schumacher, G. (1888). "Population list of the Liwa of Akka". Quarterly statement - Palestine Exploration Fund. 20: 169–191.
  • Strange, le, Guy (1890). Palestine Under the Moslems: A Description of Syria and the Holy Land from A.D. 650 to 1500. Committee of the ISBN 0-404-56288-4.
  • City Council website
  • zefat.net (in Hebrew)
  • Tourist Information Center
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