web analytics
September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 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."

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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
Jewish blood libel cartoon posted on Facebook sometime in 2014 by an UNRWA teacher in Jordan.
UNRWA Teacher in Jordan Promotes Hatred of Jews on Facebook
Latest Blogs Stories
Doug Goldstein

Why is the study of demographics essential to predict the economy?

Seems Obama "Loved" Sderot when he was running to be Pres.

Jews & Israel will have a smaller role and value in the 2016 Pres. election campaign than in decades

obamatargetiran

No one wants war; sometimes there’s no choice. Sometimes it’s the lesser of 2 evils. US must prepare

Palestinians attack an Israeli soldier during clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters, Aug28, 2015, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah.

Despite many IDF soldiers jailed for defending themselves, families say,”Rather jailed than dead.”

Why won’t the gov’t finally annex YESHA & Jordan Valley formalizing their status in State of Israel?

Both “Half-Shabbat” & R’ Yosef’s opinion champion an extreme. There most certainly is a happy medium

Trump’s slogan and story gives American restores hope to dream to: “Make America Great Again”

Is GDP outdated an measure of prosperity? Are there any alternative methods of assessing $ growth?

In their attack on Ban Ki Moon, Hamas admitted to committing a different war crime.

The ideal of Modern Orthodoxy should be not be viewed as a compromise the way most Charedim view it.

Israel shouldn’t rely on US; It has an awful record in protecting allies.

The Halacha of shmirat einayim (guarding one’s eyes) is incumbent on the MAN; it’s his obligation

Dem. presidential candidate Doug Shreffler talks about his campaign & its motto “as good as it gets”

I’ve decided to move away from my safety net-and I wouldn’t change that decision for anything.

Was “Jerusalem” the song Matisyahu planned to perform? It was the PERFECT response to BDS campaign

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: