Gordon Tours Israel Blog

Safed – Where Art & Spirituality Collide

Icon October 4, 2018
Icon By Shai Navon
Icon 0 comments

Safed, also known as Tzfat, is teeming in whimsy. It seems as though every nook and cranny of this northern mountain-top city integrates art, culture and spirituality. From the city’s electrifying blue doors and windows, to the ornately designed synagogues, museums and other cultural and spiritual hotspots, it is no wonder Safed is a magnet for artists, performances and festivals of all kinds.

Safed, here we come.

A truly spiritual experience

Safed, Israel

Safed is the home of spiritual Judaism, where ties to Kabbalah, the study of Jewish mysticism dates back to the 16th century, and the highlight of each week is the lofting chants of Friday night services, known as Kabbalat Shabbat, heard throughout the city. Hum along as the Lecha Dodi prayer is sung or watch in awe as worshippers of all ages and backgrounds sway to the spiritual tunes. You will feel uplifted and emotionally touched, even if you don’t know what the songs mean.

Blue everywhere

Safed, Israel

Safed may be far from the sea, but you’ll be seeing ocean blue all over, as you walk through the spiritual city’s winding roads and alleyways. Gaze at the many doors, walls and railings that are painted blue, aptly nicknamed “G-d’s color,” an ode to an ancient Talmudic verse linking the color to the Divine Throne (Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 17). The wonderfully brilliant coloring adds an artsy, yet calming charm to the old, stone-covered buildings that you are unlikely to find anywhere else.

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Old Jewish Quarter

Safed, Israel

In the holy city of Safed, the many synagogues are intricately and ornately designed and serve as a constant reminder of the wealth of tradition and legacy entrusted in contemporary Jews by ancient local rabbis. Visit synagogues named after the city’s great rabbis who made Safed their home after being expelled from Spain in 1492, such as Rabbi Yosef Karo, the Ari HaKadosh, Rabbi Yaakov Beirav and others. Their teachings and writings comforted and strengthened the Jewish people in a time of great need – and you will feel this force resonate with you as you gaze at the delicate woodwork, mosaics and paintings that adorn their houses of worship to this day.

The Safed Artists’ Quarter

Safed, Israel

Looking for a new piece of art to display in your home, jewelry to upgrade your look or souvenirs to bring your loved ones back home? Head over to the Safed Artists’ Quarter. Silversmiths, painters, cartoonists, candle and wax sculpture artists, calligraphers, sculptors and other talented artists are waiting to show you their wares in private studios, communal galleries and even on the streets. Art literally surrounds you in Safed, every step of the way.

A hotbed of Jewish culture

But wait – there’s more! Tour any one of Safed’s exciting and creative museums, from the Hungarian Jewry Museum, and, Kabbalah Art Gallery, to the Safed Candles Gallery, Tzfat Gallery of Mystical Art, Doll Museum and more. And if you time your trip just right, you can enjoy bonus culture immersion at any of the fresh festivals Safed routinely hosts. The Safed Klezmer Festival and Safed Classical Music Festival (Tzfat-Rosh Pinna Music Festival) are just two well-known events you won’t want to miss.

Whether you’re yearning for some spirituality, are looking for artistic inspiration or simply love to lay your eyes on lovely things, pencil in a trip to Safed, where art and spiritually collide, creating divine, everlasting beauty.

Can’t wait to visit Safed?
Contact us or ask your travel agent about the Gordon Tours Israel experience!

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