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HOME Tour - Tzfas

On our most recent tour, we traveled to the most Northern of the four Holy cities in Eretz Yisrael. Tzfas, a city with a rich history, has been reborn as a most promising center of Torah and Chassidus.

HaModia published an article about Tzfas this past Wednesday, based on our tour of the growing Torah community in the city. We are delighted to share a section of the HaModia Article below.

In the footsteps of the Arizal and Rav Yosef Karo, these budding masmidim of Tzfas learn into the night. 

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A Look At The Old/New City Of Tzfas

Tzfas is a city with a history. Here was the home of Rav Yosef Karo, the Arizal, Harav Moshe Alshich and Harav Shlomo Alkabetz, author of Lechah Dodi. A city with an aura of mysticism.

Tzfas was also home to the first waves of aliyah from Eastern Europe, talmidim of the Gra and the Baal Shem Tov, whose kehillos were devastated by the earthquake of 1837.

The historic city of Tzfas has grown today into a thriving residential city with a population nearing 40,000 residents. The majority, around 35,000, live in the newer residential areas

with a few thousand living in the Old City itself. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Swerdlow, deputy mayor of Tzfas and chairman of chareidi education, told Hamodia that today’s population is 50% chareidi, 25% national religious, approximately 25% secular residents who are for the most part traditionally observant, and a very small number of Arabs. “The chareidim live mostly in the neighborhoods in the south of the city, called ‘Darom’ or ‘Canaan,’ and in recent years they’ve entered the newer neighborhoods in the upper part of the city,” Rabbi Swerdlow said. The chareidi presence in the city has grown enormously over the past two decades, with a plethora of kollelim and satellite communities of numerous Chassidic groups of the central region. . .

“It’s undeniable, there is a spiritual quality to Tzfas,” says Rav Friedman. “The ancient cemetery is right near the southern neighborhoods; you can go to the mikveh of the Arizal. There’s also peace and quiet here. It’s become a place for older couples who’ve married off their children and come to Tzfas to enjoy the serenity. Also, you’re only about 10 to 15 minutes away from beautiful nature reserves, springs, trails and the Jordan River. “When I travel in to the central region and people hear that I’m from Tzfas, they often tell me that it must be difficult for me to live so far away. “I tell them, ‘And you, you’re far away from here.’ How often do I need to go in to Yerushalayim or Bnei Brak? Two or three times a year. And how often do they come here, let’s say to Meron? Also, maybe two or three times a year. But more than that, here in Tzfas, you’re far enough away that you’re not expected to travel in for every event, and instead you live your life. All the new fashions, all the ‘neiess’ — these generally take time to reach here, so people are not caught up in ‘what’s in style,’ trying to be up-to-date with everyone else, and instead they’re living their own life.”

Adds Anglo real estate agent Chaya Vogel, “There is a ruach here, and there are about 4,000 Anglos living here. On Rechov Yerushalayim of the Old City you can get by in English without a problem. There are areas that are completely chareidi, such as the Meor Chaim neighborhood, but most of Tzfas is a mix where everyone is Jewish and people feel at ease, there’s no pressure. Go into a Chassidic shul and you’ll find people from all walks of life, all modes of dress, and there’s a sense of togetherness.”

One of the Anglo Rabbanim of Tzfas sums it up: “The kedushah of Tzfas is different than the kedushah of Yerushalayim. While Yerushalayim is associated with eish, fire, Tzfas is associated with ruach, wind — and this translates into Tzfas being a very soothing and ‘chilled out’ place.”

See the full HaModia article here: A Look At The Old/New City of Tzfas.

Please see the gallery of pictures from our tour here.

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