Safed / Tsfat The Cradle of Kabbalah
The mystical town of Tsfat perches upon the top of a hill in the Galilee. The historian Josephus mentions Jish, a nearby village, in the military struggles between the Jewish residents and the Roman conquerors. Ruins from those times and as early as the Crusader period still grace the sleepy little town today.
The fame of Tsfat came during its Golden age in the mid 1500's (Common Era). An awakening of massive spiritual energy produced giants in many areas of knowledge of the spiritual realms. Among the more famous are counted R' Moshe Cordovera (the Ramack), R' Chaim Vital (Etz Chaim), and his master R' Isaac Luria (the Arizal), and R' Yosef Caro (the Shulchan Aruch).
The Ari is credited by many as being one of the most important interpretations of the mystical work The Zohar, with major innovations in how the book can be understood and applied.
In the Old City one can even today visit the synagogue that the Ari is said to have prayed in and learned in, and taught in. While this is the Ari Sephardi Synagogue, across the way is the Ari Ashkenaz Synagogue which bears a plaque in the Ari's name. His final resting place is in the Tsfat cemetery. Nearby is a fresh water spring which the Ari is said to have used as a mikve (ritual bath) during his lifetime. To this day it is called the Mikve Ari. This is the water drawn and packaged for Arih2o.com.
Life has changed in many ways since the time of the Arizal, however Tsfat remains a mystical city painted in blue hues. The peace and quiet of small town life cradles the sounds of those immersed in learning the secrets of the lower waters and the upper waters.
You can purchase your own small "piece" of mystical Tsfat with Arih2o.com. We gather water from the fresh water spring which feeds the Ari mikve and package it in an attractive blue bottle. Order a "piece" of Tsfat today to be delivered by mail to your home.
The various spellings of the town in English derive from several linguistic challenges. One is that the town's name starts with the Hebrew letter "Tsaddi", for which there is no single English equivalent. Some transliterate it as sounding like "Ts", other as "Tz". During the British Mandate, the town was called by the Arabic pronunciation, Safad. Thus you will see it spelled in a variety of ways: Tsfat, Tzfat, Safad, Safed, and even Cfat!
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