Infobox Israel municipality

meaning= "Lookout" (from the Hebrew root "tzafa")
altOffSp=Tsfat, Tzefat, Zfat, unicode|Ẕefat|
mayor=Yishai Maimon

Safed ( _he. צְפַת, pronounced "Tsfat"; _ar. صفد, pronounced "Safad") is a city in the Northern District of Israel. Safed is one of Judaism's Four Holy Cities, along with Jerusalem, Tiberias and Hebron, and a center for Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism. At an elevation of 800 meters (2,660 feet) above sea level, Safed is the highest city in the Galilee. ["A Guide to Israel", Zev Vilnay, Hamakor Press, Jerusalem, 1972, "Tsefat," pp.522-532]


According to the Book of Judges, the region was assigned to the tribe of Asher. [] The city of Safed itself first appears in Jewish sources in the late Middle Ages. ["A Guide to Israel", Zev Vilnay, Hamakor Press, Jerusalem, 1972, "Tsefat," pp.522-532] It is mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud as one of five elevated spots where fires were lit to announce the New Moon and festivals during the Second Temple period. [Encyclopedia Judaica, "Safed", vol. 14, p. 626, Keter, Jerusalem, 1972] Legend has it that Safed was founded by a son of Noah after the Great Flood. ["A Guide to Israel", Zev Vilnay, Hamakor Press, Jerusalem, 1972, "Tsefat," pp.522-532] Safed has been identified with "Sepph," a fortified Jewish town in the Upper Galilee mentioned in the writings of the Roman Jewish historian Josephus ("Wars" 2:573). Fact|date=July 2008 In the 12th century, Safed was a fortified Crusader city known as "Saphet". ["A Guide to Israel", Zev Vilnay, Hamakor Press, Jerusalem, 1972, "Tsefat," pp.522-532] In 1265, the Mamluk sultan Baybars wiped out the Christian population and turned it into a Muslim town called "Safad" or "Safat". Safed rose to fame in the 16th century a center of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism. [] A Hebrew printing press was established in Safed in 1577 by Eliezer Ashkenazi and his son, Isaac of Prague. [ Encyclopedia Judaica, "Safed", vol. 14, p. 626, Keter, Jerusalem, 1972] It was the first press in Palestine and the whole of the Ottoman Empire. [ [ Ottomans and Safavids 17th Century ] ] Under the Ottomans, Safed was part of the vilayet of Sidon. After the expulsion of the Islamic rule and with it many jews from spain during the reconquista which ended by 1492, many prominent rabbis found their way to Safed, among them the kabbalists Isaac Luria (Arizal) and Moshe Kordovero; Joseph Caro, the author of the Shulchan Aruch and Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz, composer of the Sabbath hymn Lecha Dodi. The influx of Sephardi Jews made Safed a global center for Jewish learning and a regional center for trade throughout 15th and 16th centuries. [] In 1555, the Jewish population was 8,000-10,000. By the end of the century, it had grown to 20,000 or 30,000. Fact|date=July 2008 An outbreak of plague decimated the population in 1742 and an earthquake in 1759 left the city in ruins. An influx of Russian Jews in 1776 and 1781, and of the Perushim in 1809 and 1810, reinvigorated the community. [ Hastening Redemption: Messianism and the Resettlement of the Land of Israel, Arie Morgenstern, Oxford University Press, 2007 ] In 1812, another plague killed 80% of the Jewish population, and in 1819 the remaining Jews were held for ransom by Abdullah Pasha, the governor of Acre. On January 1, 1837, an earthquake killed 4,000 Jewish inhabitants, mostly by burying them in their homes. In 1847, plague struck Safed again. Throughout the 19th century, the Jewish community suffered from Bedouin and Arab attacks. [ [ Safed ] ] The Jewish population was increased in the last half of the 19th century by immigration from Iran, Morocco, and Algeria. Moses Montefiore visited Safed seven times and financed rebuilding of much of the town. Virtually all the antiquities of Safed were destroyed by earthquakes.

Arab-Israeli conflict

Twenty Jewish residents of Safed were murdered in the 1929 Safed massacre. In 1948, Safed was home to 12,000 Arabs. The city's 1,700 Jews were mostly religious and elderly. ["Guide to Israel", Zeev Vilnay] In the Israeli War of Independence, the Arabs fled en masse, among them the family of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.Myre, Greg. [ 2 More Israelis Are Killed as Rain of Rockets From Lebanon Pushes Thousands South] . "New York Times", July 15, 2006.] [Palestine Media Center - PMC [Official arm of PA] . "Full Israeli Withdrawal Not Enough -'Palestinians Would Never Give up 'Right of Return.'" May 16, 2005] The city was conquered by Israeli forces on May 11, 1948. ["Guide to Israel", Zeev Vilnay] In 1974, 102 Israeli Jewish teenagers from Safed on a school trip were taken hostage by a Palestinian terrorist group Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) while sleeping in a school in Maalot and 21 of them were killed . [ [ Arafat the monster - The Boston Globe ] ] In July 2006, Katyusha rockets fired by Hezbollah from Southern Lebanon hit Safed, killing one man and injuring others. On July 14, rockets killed a five-year-old boy and his grandmother. Many residents fled the town. On July 22, four people were injured in a rocket attack.


In 2008, the population of Safed was 32,000. [] According to CBS figures in 2001, the ethnic makeup of the city was 99.2% Jewish and non-Arab, with no significant Arab population. 43.2% 1of the residents were 19 years of age or younger, 13.5% between 20 and 29, 17.1% between 30 and 44, 12.5% from 45 to 59, 3.1% from 60 to 64, and 10.5% 65 years of age or older.


In December 2001, residents of Safed earned an average of 4,476 shekels per month, compared to the national average of 6,835 shekels. In 2000, there were 6,450 salaried workers and 523 self-employed. Salaried men had a mean monthly wage of NIS 5,631 (a real change of 10.2%) versus NIS 3,330 for women (a real change of 2.3%). The mean income for the self-employed was NIS 4,843. A total of 425 residents received unemployment benefits and 3,085 received income supplements.


According to CBS, the city has 25 schools and 6,292 students. There are 18 elementary schools with a student population of 3,965, and 11 high schools with a student population of 2,327. 40.8% of Safed's 12th graders were eligible for a matriculation (bagrut) certificate in 2001.

Aous Shakra, a 20th century existential philosopher who taught at Harvard University, was born in Safed Fact|date=October 2008.


In the 1950s and 1960s, Safed was known as Israel's art capital. [] The artists colony established in Safed's Old City was a hub of creativity that drew leading artists from around the country, among them Yosl Bergner, Moshe Castel and Menachem Shemi. Some of Israel's leading art galleries were located there. [] In honor of the opening of the Glitzenstein Art Museum in 1953, the artist Mane Katz donated eight of his paintings to the city. [] During this period, Safed was home to the country's top nightclubs, hosting the debut performances of Naomi Shemer, Aris San, and other acclaimed singers. []


ee also

*Balady citron

External links

* [ Experience Tsfat Resource Guide] (English)
* [ Official Site] (English)
* [ Official Site] (English&Hebrew)

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • SAFED — (Heb. צְפָת), principal town of Upper Galilee, situated on a mountain 2,780 ft. (850 m.) high, 30 mi. (48 km.) east of Acre, 25 mi. (40 km.) north of Tiberias. Not mentioned in the Bible, Safed has sometimes been identified with Sepph (Gr. Σεπφ) …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Safed — (he) צפת (ar) صفد Données généra …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Safed — im Nordbezirk Israels Wohnviertel in Safed …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Safed — צְפַת Ciudad de Israel …   Wikipedia Español

  • Safed — (Saffed), Stadt von 10,100 Einw. im Sandschak Akka des Wilajet Beirut, 838 m hoch, seit Anfang des 16. Jahrh. von polnischen Juden, die es als heilige Stadt betrachten, aufgesucht und Sitz einer berühmten Rabbinerschule. Am 1. Jan. 1837 großes… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Safed — (Tzefat)    A city in upper Galilee in which Jews have lived for centuries. Beginning in the 16th century, it became an important center of Jewish learning. It has become a center for artists and tourists. More than 90 percent of the city s… …   Historical Dictionary of Israel

  • Safed — o Safad o Zefat Ciudad (pob. est., 2000: 25.257 hab.) del norte de Israel. Ubicada cerca del lago Tiberíades (mar de Galilea), es una de las cuatro ciudades judías sagradas de Palestina. Fue fortificada en el s. I AD por Flavio Josefo y en la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Safed — Sạfed,   Stadt in Israel, Safad …   Universal-Lexikon

  • SAFED —    (17), a town of Palestine, 12 m. N. of Tiberias, occupied principally by Jews attracted thither in part by the expectation that the Messiah, when He appears, will establish His kingdom there; it spreads in horse shoe fashion round the foot of… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • SAFED — (C.: Esfâd) Esirlerin eline ve ayağına bağlanan bağ. *Atâ, bahşiş, hediye …   Yeni Lügat Türkçe Sözlük

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