from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Safed Coat of Arms
Residential area in Safed
Residential area in Safed
Basic data
hebrew : צפת
arabic : صفد
State : IsraelIsrael Israel
District : North
Coordinates : 32 ° 58 '  N , 35 ° 30'  E Coordinates: 32 ° 57 '57 "  N , 35 ° 29' 54"  E
Height : 900  m
Residents : 35,715 (as of 2018)
Community code : 8000
Time zone : UTC + 2
Community type: city
Website :
Safed (Israel)

Safed ( Hebrew צפת Tzefat ; Arabic صفد Safad , DMG Ṣafad ) is a 840 m high city in the Galilee in the northern district of Israel . It is located on one of the highest mountains of Upper Galil. In 2018 it had 35,715 inhabitants.

Safed is one of the four holy cities in Judaism , along with Jerusalem , Hebron and Tiberias . Safed gained importance as an important place of Jewish learning and was for a long time a spiritual center of Kabbalah .


Smoke after a Katyusha rocket attack by the Hezbollah terrorist group on a residential area in Safed (2006)

The city was first mentioned in a historically tangible way around the year 66 AD. At that time, Flavius ​​Josephus had some Galilean mountain villages fortified and expanded into bulwarks to defend against the impending attack by the Romans in the Jewish War . Seph ( Greek Σεπφ) is also mentioned among these places , which could possibly mean Safed. In the Jerusalem Talmud , Safed is mentioned as one of the mountain peaks from which fire signals were transmitted at the time of the Herodian Temple .

After the First Crusade , the Crusaders built a castle here in 1102 . This was besieged by Saladin and handed over to him on December 6, 1188 against free withdrawal of the garrison to Tire . After the crusade of Theobald of Champagne, French Templars renewed the castle in 1240. From June 1266 the castle was besieged by the Egyptian Mamluks . On July 23, the Knights Templar surrendered against the assurance of free retreat to the coast. However, Sultan Baibars had the 1,500 men in the garrison beheaded . A single Franconian was spared and sent to Acre to report on the execution. The Mamluks made Safed the capital of northern Galilee.

In the 16th century Safed became a "Jewish" city under Ottoman rule . Approximately 10,000 Jews lived here around 1550, many of whom had fled Spain in 1492 . Many famous Jewish scholars, among them the important Rabbis Josef Karo , Moses Cordovero and Isaak Luria , settled here and consolidated Safed's reputation as the center of Kabbalah . In 1563 the first Hebrew printing company in Palestine was founded here.

In the 17th century Safed was one of the strongholds of the messianic movement of Shabbtai Zvi ( Sabbatianism ). One of Sabbatai Zwi's wives comes from here.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the city lost its importance and was also badly damaged by various earthquakes. The number of the Jewish population declined during this period and reached its lowest point during the time of the British Mandate. On August 29, 1929, around 20 Jewish residents were murdered as part of the riot in Safed .

At the time of the Israeli War of Independence in 1948, 12,000 Arabs and 1,700 Jews lived in Safed.

During the war, local Arab militias and units of the Arab Liberation Army tried to conquer the Jewish quarter, mostly inhabited by ultra-Orthodox . This attempt was rejected by troops of the Haganah . In May 1948 the Haganah succeeded in conquering the strategically important points around the city as part of Operation Yiftah . After two neighboring villages were blown up and mortar fire by the Haganah, the Arab population fled. After the city was conquered, the Haganah expelled the remaining Arabs to Lebanon or deported them to Haifa .

After the founding of the state, Safed received the status of a development city . Tourism is an important industry today because of its historical heritage and altitude .

As part of the Israel-Lebanon crisis in 2006 also hit Safed missiles Katyusha , which the Hezbollah - the militia had fired in southern Lebanon. Among other things, a hospital and a chocolate factory were hit.

Panorama of Safed with the Sea of ​​Galilee in the background

The artist colony

Artists such as Yitzhak Frenel and Moshe Castels lived and worked in Safed since the early 1940s. After the war of independence and the expulsion of the Arab population, these artists were joined by many Israeli artists, as well as the many immigrants who took over the empty houses. They opened studios and galleries and founded the Artists Quarter Association . Irene Awret and her husband Azriel were among the founders . Other well-known artists who settled in Safed at that time included Ziona Tagger, Aryeh Merzer, Mordechai Levanon, Yitzhak Amitai, Shimshon Holzman, David Gilboa and Moshe Raviv. Many of these artists were destitute, but they shared their resources to establish the artist colony . Its center was the abandoned mosque , which was now used as an exhibition center by the Artists Quarter Association .

Today there are new artists in Safed. Some of them have set up their galleries in the Old Jewish Quarter, where tourists usually visit the historical synagogues and other sights. Other new artists have moved to the artists 'quarter in order to consciously set up their galleries in the historic Safed artists' colony. In the heart of the artists 'quarter, the old market mosque continues to display works by members of the Safed artists' colony, to which most of the artists living in Safed belong. There is a permanent exhibition and special shows held from time to time by members of the colony.

sons and daughters of the town

Individual evidence

  1. אוכלוסייה ביישובים 2018 (population of the settlements 2018). (XLSX; 0.13 MB) Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , August 25, 2019, accessed May 11, 2020 .
  2. PALESTINE, Holiness OF: . Jewish Encyclopedia . Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  3. Cf. Flavius ​​Josephus: Jüdischer Krieg II, 573
  4. Jerusalem Talmud , RH 2: 1, 58a
  5. Thomas S. Asbridge: The Crusades . 7th edition. Klett-Cotta, 2016, p. 679 .
  6. ^ Benny Morris: 1948. A History of the First Arab-Israeli War. Yale University Press, New Haven 2008, pp. 157-160
  7. About YITZHAK ALEXANDER FRENKEL FRENEL . On the website Yitzhak Frenkel-Frenel (Ukrainian, 1899–1981) some of his works related to Safed can be found.
  8. Biography Moshe Castel ( Memento of the original from July 16, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. & Illustrated Moshe Castel - Biography @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. a b c d The Artist Quarter of Safed
  10. Jonathan Padget: Portrait of a Holocaust Survivor , in: The Washington Post , May 27, 2004
  11. 5 Things You Need to Know About ... Ziona Tagger
  12. Arieh Merzer (1905-1966)
  13. Levanon Mordechai (1901-1968)
  14. ^ Yitzhak Amitai, Israeli, 1907-1984
  15. Shimshon Holzman (1907-1986)
  16. David Gilboa (1910-1976)
  17. ^ Moshe Raviv (1904-1995)
  18. a b The General Exhibition

Web links

Wiktionary: Safed  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Safed  - collection of images, videos and audio files