I am spending a short vacation traveling all over Israel with old friends from Bucharest. It’s their first visit in Israel, but for me it’s maybe the 20th time I have the joy to be guide to family and friends coming to Israel, to share with them some of the beauties, history, real life here.

I do not have too much time today (I am busy as I am on vacation!) but I would like to share a few snapshots taken in Tzfat (Safed), one of our stops today.

 

 

Safed has a long and troubled history. While a Jewish presence was almost permanent for the last two thousands years, the political and military control over the city changed hands many time in this interval. The last change was in 1948 when the Jewish forces won after fierce fights the battle over the city. In the years that followed the former Mosque Market became the artists district of the city, with many remarkable artists settling here, opening ateliers and galleries.

 

 

This is how the closed Galleries Alley looks today.

 

 

 

From the galleries alley one can access the Yosef Caro synagogue. The original synagogue was built in the 16th century by the famous rabbi who authored Sulkhan Arukh - the book of interpretations of the Halacha written for the Jewish communities in the aftermath of the expulsion from Spain. Destroyed twice by the earthquakes in 1759 and 1837, it is now a beautiful example of the Sephardic style synagogues.