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August 31, 2014 / 5 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Safed’

Mini-Forest to be Planted in Tel Aviv on Tu B’Shvat

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Three-meter-long trees will be placed at Rabin Square to create a mini-forest in the center of Tel Aviv on Tu B’Shvat, which falls on Thursday this year.

Pupils from all over the city will come to celebrate the holiday by writing their wishes for this year and hanging them on the trees.

Traditionalists can still plant trees in events throughout the country sponsored by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). The age of high-tech now enables people to “plant” a tee via a “click and plant” (and pay) program on the JNF’s website.

An ecological element has been added to the holiday in recent years with an emphasis on conservation.

Dried fruits are popular in Israel on Tu B’Shvat, but if you really want to be Zionist, you might have to stay away from the dried figs unless you can find the few that actually are picked and processed in Israel and not Turkey.

Those who want a trial run for the Passover Seder, or simply want to follow the Kabbalistic custom from the 16th or 17th century, can sit down with four cups of wine or grape juice for the Tu B’Shvat Seder, compiled by the Kabbalists from Tsfat (Safed).

Weekend Snow Update: Jerusalem Lock-down, Blackouts, and Lots of Snow (+ Photos)

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Jerusalem spent Shabbat in lock-down as the largest snow storm in decades, and perhaps 50 years, hit the country. The main highways to Jerusalem were closed. Thousands of people found themselves stranded on the highway.

Some 35,000 households, including 13,000 in  Jerusalem, as well as 2400 in Tzfat didn’t have electricity for at least part of Shabbat. Gush Etzion, where at least 2 (possibly 3) feet of snow fell,  was without electricity for significant parts of the day, as well as parts of the days before.

The army was called in to assist in helping restore electricity to parts of Jerusalem.

In the Binyamin region, many homes were without electricity and water throughout much of the night. Some of the Settlements found themselves cut off without electricity for 3 days, since the beginning of the storm.

On Saturday night, the main highway into Jerusalem is slowly being reopened to public transportation, and some buses are expected to begin running soon.

The Jerusalem Light Rail is shut down due to damage to the rails from the snow storm, and may reopen on Sunday.

Temperatures are expected to drop tonight to below freezing, increasing the risk of icy roads.

On the positive side, children were having a great time in the massive snow storm.

SNOW IN JERUSALEM

 

SNOW IN JERUSALEM

 

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Syrian Patients Return to Fighting after Treatment in Israel

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Poriya, a Tiberias hospital, has joined Safed’s Ziv Medical Center as well as Israeli hospitals in the Western Galilee and in Nahariya in treating casualties of the ongoing Syrian civil war.

One Syrian patient, suffering from moderate leg injuries, arrived at the Tiberias hospital for treatment on Monday, Israel Hayom reported. So far, the hospital has treated 11 Syrians, including a 10-year-old girl.

One of the patients at Poriya, 26-year-old Mohammed, recounted the heavy fighting in Quneitra. “I have been fighting for a year and a half, and I don’t believe the war will end any time soon. When I recover, I will return to Syria and continue fighting,” he said.

Baha, another Syrian patient, said that his friends had brought him to the border after he was hurt because they had known of people who had been wounded in the fighting, and then treated in Israel, who safely returned home. According to his account, most of the patients treated in Israel resumed fighting upon their return to Syria.

Deny Israel’s Existence and You Can Win $100 (Video)

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

The Palestinian Authority’s official television authority is broadcasting entertainment programs that offer the “Arab on the street” $100 for correctly identifying Israeli landmarks and borders as being “Palestinian,” another step in educating people that Israel does not exist.

The program, of course is broadcast in Arabic, so U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry does not watch it. He also probably does not read the Jewish Press or the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) website, which translated and published the program’s dialogue.

Unlike the chosen people who know that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is talking out of both sides of his month when he backs “two states side by side,” the Obama administration remains ignorant of the program, which shows that Yafo (Jaffa), Tzfat (Safed), the port of Ashdod and metropolitan Tel Aviv all are really cities in “Palestine.”

“On the beach of which Palestinian village did the whale spew out the prophet Jonah? Naturally, it’s a coastal city,” the “reporter on the street” asked an Arab, who immediately answered, “Ashdod.”

Give that man $100 for the “correct” answer.

Here is another question that won a lucky respondent $100: “Which city did [Palestinian writer] Mustafa Dabbagh call ‘The city that fell from Heaven?’”

The man asked if the city is “in Palestine or outside of Palestine?” When he got the big clue that, of course, it is inside Palestine, he came up with the “right” answer as “Maybe Jaffa?”

The reporter gleefully told him, “Correct answer. Jaffa. You win $100 from [the sponsor] Wataniya Mobile.”

Here is more of the transcript provided by PMW.

PA TV reporter: “A lake in Northern Palestine drained by the Israeli occupation. What is the name of the lake?”

Man: “The Sea of Galilee? Kinneret].”

PA TV reporter: “Think.”

Man: “The Hula [Lake].”

PA TV reporter: “You’ve earned $100 from the [sponsor] Bank of Palestine.”

The reporter also asked, “Name the Palestinian village in Northern Safed whose name means ‘beetle’ in the Syriac language, and whose residents are mostly Druze.”

PA TV reporter: “The correct answer is Hurfeish, the Palestinian village in Northern Safed whose name means ‘beetle’. Congratulations. You win $100.” The answer would be a big surprise to the residents of Hurfeish, who are Druze.

PA TV reporter: “What is the highest mountain in Palestine?”

Man: “Mt. Meron.” (Mt. Meron is in Northern Israel.) The reporter also asked respondents to identify which “country has the longest border with Palestine?”

The answer “Jordan” won a person $100 for identifying the country and eliminating the existence of Israel in one swipe.

The program is not the first time Palestinian Authority television has educated its viewers that Israel does not exist, but to do so at the same that the Obama administration is pushing Israel into direct talks to establish the Palestinian Authority as an independent country raises the validity of Abbas’ position that the talks should be based on the 1967 borders.

The program shows that he favors that the borders remain as they are, from the Golan Heights and the Lebanese border to the Egyptian border and from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

One small change he wants is to change the word “Israel” to “Palestine.”

The Jewish Mystical City of Safed

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Safed, the mystical city located in the mountains of Northern Israel, is considered one of the four Holy cities according to Judaism and is filled with Jewish history from the Second Temple period to the present. Safed, a beautiful city in the Galilee, has rich Jewish history dating back to ancient times. Safed is not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, but the Jerusalem Talmud notes Safed as one of the five mountaintop points from where fires were lit to announce the new moon and festivals in Ancient Israel. Historians also identify Safed as Sepph, the city fortified by Josephus in the Galilee at the time of the anticipated Roman attack in 66 CE. Additionally, two ancient poems written by Eleazar Kallir claim that Jewish priestly families’ settled in Safed following the destruction of the Second Temple.

Documents found in the Cairo Genizah confirm that a Jewish community lived within Safed from the 13th century under Mamluk rule. Samuel Ben Samson, who visited there in the 13th century, claimed that the city boasted a Jewish community of at least 50. However, according to the historian Stanford Shaw, Safed’s Jewish community rose to 7,525 souls in 1555-6; due to an influx of Jews emigrating to Safed from Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula, and from North Africa. The Sephardic Jews took refuge in Ottoman lands after given the choice between conversion to Christianity, expulsion or death in 1492. These Jewish immigrants mixed in with the local Jewish population that had been living in the Holy Land since antiquity.

Safed-in-pre-ZionismAccording to Shaw, Safed became “a major industrial and trade center during the early years of Kanuni Suleyman’s (Suleyman the Magnificent) long reign.” He claimed, “The most important source of wealth at Safed and Sidon came from a highly developed wool industry. Raw materials coming mainly from Salonika and Istanbul were woven into cloths which were sold throughout Eretz Yisrael and Syria as well as being exported to Anatolia and throughout the Mediterranean area through the port of Sidon.” The Jews of Ottoman Safed also traded in oil, honey, silk and spices.

Yet, aside from the Safed Jewish communities’ economic contributions to the Ottoman Empire, Shaw also emphasized that Safed was the “Empire’s most important center of Jewish mystic learning and contemplation.” Great rabbis such as the Jewish mystic Rabbi Isaac Luria, known as the Ha-Ari which means ‘the lion’; Joseph Caro, author of the Shulhan Arukh, considered by many to be the ultimate compendium of Jewish law; and Solomon Alkabetz, who wrote the Lecha Dodi prayer recited every Shabbat, lived in Safed.

Yet not all of the Jewish intellectuals of Safed were men. Jewish women under Ottoman rule, living in Eretz Yisrael contributed significantly to Safed’s intellectual history. Floretta of Modena engaged in a weekly course on the Tanakh, Jewish laws, the works of Maimonides, and the Zohar. She was not the only Jewish female intellectual of Safed during the Ottoman period. Channah Rochel Werbemacher, who hosted an open table on Shabbat afternoons, and Francesa Sarah, Ari’s foremost disciple, also played an active role in the Safed Jewish community.

Jewish Safed thrived until the 1929 Arab riots, during which the main Jewish street was looted and burned and 20 Jews were murdered and many injured. After this the Jewish community in Safed experienced a decline. Despite this the Safed Jewish community successfully defended the city in the face of Arab aggression during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, resulting in Safed being absorbed as part of the State of Israel. Today, Safed is a major pilgrimage destination for Jews visiting the Holy Land, since the city is one of the four holiest cities in the Jewish religion.

Popular destinations within Safed include the Sephardic Ari Synagogue, the oldest synagogue within the city which was founded in 1522 and is named after Rabbi Isaac Luria; the Caro Synagogue that is named after Joseph Caro and possesses a Torah scroll over 500 years old; and the Alshekh Synagogue, which is named after the leading 16th century Kabbalist Rabbi Moses Alshekh and has a beautiful blue dome ceiling. In 2008, Safed had a population of 32,000 souls, of whom the majority are Jewish.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/united-with-israel/the-jewish-mystical-city-of-safed/2013/07/10/

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