web analytics
May 5, 2015 / 16 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Haifa Since Biblical Times

The Jewish history of Haifa extends from the present day back thousands of years to Israel’s ancient past.
City of Haifa

The Jewish connection to the city of Haifa dates back to biblical times. The Hebrew Bible tells that Mount Carmel which skirts the city of Haifa was a the hiding place of Elijah the Prophet. Elijah hid from King Ahab, after Elijah denounced him for idol worship. In what is now present day Haifa, the God of Israel sent a miraculous fire to consume an offering brought by Elijah the Prophet while King Ahab’s priests of Ba’al looked on seeing that their offering was false. During the Passover Seder and during the Circumcision ritual, Jews symbolically reserve a seat of honor for the Prophet Elijah.

The city of Haifa is also mentioned in the Talmud (the Jewish book of Oral Tradition) over 100 times. Around the 3rd century CE, the Talmud described Haifa as a small fishing village and the home of Rabbi Avdimos, as well as other Jewish scholars. Haifa was located just north of Shikmona, which was a center for making dye which was utilized to make the garments of the high priests in the Temple. It is also written in the Talmud that Shikmona had many wild fruit trees. During the Byzantine period, Haifa and Shikmona merged into one city. The name Haifa in Hebrew means “to cover or shield,” a reference for how Mount Carmel has served as a cover or shield for the entire city of Haifa since the Prophet Elijah found safety there.

In the 7th century, in the wake of the Arab invasion, the sea trade in Haifa was embellished and was dominated by Jews, while the civil administration and government were controlled by Muslims. The Jews of Haifa were also quite prominent in trade under Arab rule. The city was best known for dye-making and glass production. By the 11th century, Haifa was a thriving port city. However, in 1100, the Crusaders attacked the city of Haifa. The Jews fought alongside the Muslims against the crusader onslaught, yet without success. When the Crusaders entered into the city of Haifa, they massacred the city’s Jewish population.

In the 1700’s, Jews were among those who resisted Napoleon’s invasion of Haifa, while in the early 19th century, Jews from North Africa settled within the city. However, they weren’t the only Jews within Haifa. Kalonymus Ze’ev Wissotzky, one of the earliest supporters of the Zionist movement, established a tea house which still bears his name to this day in Haifa and upon his death; he left a significant amount of money to found the Technion in Haifa, which has the reputation of being the MIT of Israel. The Technion was founded in 1912 yet opened its doors formally after WWI. The Technion is also joined by the University of Haifa as world class educational institutions.

During 1948 Haifa was a gateway for Jewish refugees seeking to enter Israel from Europe. Presently Haifa is the third largest city in Israel, it is 90% Jewish, while 10% are Arabs, predominantly of the Christian religion. It is a major regional center of Northern Israel with a port engaging in both heavy commercial as well as passenger traffic. Rambam Hospital which serves all of Northern Israel is also located in Haifa. It is also the sister city of San Francisco.

Visit United with Israel.

About the Author: Rachel Avraham is a news editor and political analyst for Jerusalem Online News, the English language internet edition of Israel's Channel 2 News. She completed her masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies at Ben-Gurion University. The subject of her MA thesis was: "Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab media."


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Haifa Since Biblical Times”

  1. Marsha Roth says:

    Thank you Ms. Avraham! I love reading educational articles like this.

Comments are closed.

UWI blog logo
Current Top Story
Aftermath of Texas attack by terrorists in attack now claimed by the Islamic State.
ISIS Claims ‘Credit’ for Attack at Mohammed Cartoon Contest
Latest Blogs Stories
Israeli Flag  Flies at Nepal IDF Field Hospital

If you leave it to the world news, you’d never know the numerous miracles Israel’s doing in Nepal…

Charedi students getting a higher education

There are encouraging reports of increased enrollment in Charedi army and educational programs

Doug Goldstein

Learn why time management is important & how it can help build your business, from Jan Lukacs & Doug

Ethiopian protest

The problem isn’t police violence against Ethiopians. The problem is police violence.

Gazan terrorists use cement that Israel sent to build schools&hospitals for a complex tunnel network

What do we want from government? True leadership that realizes placating others is not the solution.

Rav Riskin’s desire to strengthen ties with Christians is pure but his methods have crossed lines

A minute and a half? What if the kids are upstairs with earphones on and they don’t hear the siren?

My gut says it’s the New Israel Fund behind the violent demonstrations by Ethiopian Jews in Israel

Discover the meaning of financial freedom and if you’ll achieve the standard of living that you want

Today’s world and a shocking amount of Jews and Israelis support apartheid against Jews in of Israel

Let’s revel in Peter Beinart’s unintended “Ma Tovu” praise of the Jewish state: “It’s modern; it’s democratic; it’s pro-American.”

Point is, the eyes are the soul’s windows and forbidden images, face it or not, pollute a Jew’s soul

Israel has sent almost as many people to help Nepal, as the entire world combined.

Who dreamed of Jews hiding behind concrete in our renewed beloved land? Is this the best we can do?

Are consumers becoming too impatient? What happened to the concept of the long-term purchase?

More Articles from Rachel Avraham
1024px-Donna_Edwards_at_victory_rally,_February_13,_2008

Edwards is rated #4 by the Arab-American Institute for her pro-Palestine pro-Arab voting record.

saudi_lady_drivers_2013

A Saudi woman’s like a queen without a chauffeur, driven around by Saudi men whenever she commands

“Most of the Palestinians in Judea&Samaria are former Jews, converted by force by the Ottomans.”

Jewish communities worldwide commemorate Yehudit during Chanukah by eating dairy foods in her honor

In Jordan,Palestinians are discriminated in every field: education; healthcare; employment; business

Living is Israel is costlier than in other countries but how will your kids grow up in the diaspora?

Given these statistics, I feel that it is not worth it to live in the United States.

Pro-Israel groups must broaden their coalitions and feature more pro-Israel minority speakers.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/united-with-israel/haifa-since-biblical-times/2013/06/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: