The Israeli city of Safed is in the Northern part of the region, near the border with Golan Heights. It contains the rich beauty of a holiday resort and the mystique of a religious culture that dates to the time of Noah.
Safed was one of the 48 “cities of refuge” in ancient Israel. These were Levitical cities where a person who had committed an accidental crime of manslaughter finds safety. Someone wanting blood vengeance could not pursue someone into the city, even though seeking retribution was legal at the time. If the perpetrator made it to the designated city, Levitical law protected the individual.
Safed: Historical Significance
The city of Safed has many pseudonyms. Two of the most popular are:
- The City of Kabbalah – This religious branch of mystic Judaism finds its birth within the city of Safed. Kabbalah is a form of Judaism that adds esoteric aspects. These include: understanding the divine realm, achieving a mystical union with God, and having the ability to alter the divine realms of the world.
- City of Sages and Mystics – Many of the Rabbis of the Kabbalah religion were born in, lived in, or died in the city of Safed. Therefore, it was also a central point of teaching. They also gave its elevation a spiritual aspect. The Mystics explained, “There is no place in Israel where the atmosphere is as ripe for delving into the secrets of the Torah.”
Another popular belief of Kabbalah involves the famous city. The doctrine, called the Zohar, predicts that the Jewish Messiah is to first make his appearance in the Northern area of Galilee near Safed.
Safed: Biblical Accounts
While the Bible does not address the city named ‘Safed,’ the name ‘Zephath’ is mentioned. Authoritative documents like the Talmud and the writings of Josephus also speak of the city. Other Biblical locations include:
- Cave of Shem and Ever – Writings speak of Safed being the location of the place where Noah’s son and grand studied and taught the Torah.
- The Land Allotment – After the Israelites conquered the Promised Land, the tribe of Naphtali was allotted the land of Safed, then called: Tzfat.
- A City on a Hill – When Jesus spoke the Sermon on the Mount, some speculate that He was giving a comparison to Safed. He spoke of “a city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” This statement further alluded to the altitude of the city. Safed was one of five elevated cities, used to communicate to surrounding cities. Bonfires were set signaling a new month or the beginning of a religious festival, like Rosh Chodesh.
Arise Zion: The Israel Tour
Coming in March 2020, GOD TV has announced its 25th anniversary Israel Tour. Guest speakers and experts on Biblical history jam pack this exciting 9-day adventure around the Holy Land.
It all begins in Tiberias. Safed is one of the stops between Capernaum and Caesarea Philippi. Safed is the highest point in Galilee. In fact, due to its elevation, it has become a popular tourist attraction with breathtaking views of Lebanon, Tiberias, and the Sea of Galilee. You can see where Shem taught, the land Naphtali received, and how the bonfires far and wide were seen – the city on a hill.
For these reasons, the Bible comes to life, and you will fall in love with God’s Word like never before. Guides say that the hardest part of the visit is getting folks back on the plane to go home; they fall in love with the land and do not want to leave. You can book your reservation today and get ready for the experience that will change your life forever.
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