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Shabbat in Tzfat

Last Shabbat, we stayed in Tzfat. Friday evening we went to the Carlebach Beit Knesset for Maariv. The ruach was very moving, as well as their melody for Lecha Dodi. After Maariv, we returned to the hotel for Shabbat dinner. After we were finished singing Shabbat songs and Birkat Hamazon, we were given a choice of waking up early in the morning to go with Mr. Weiss to be at the beginning of services or to sleep in and come around the Torah service.

In the morning, I woke up and walked with Mr. Weiss to a shul called “HaAri.” On the way, there wasn’t a single car on the streets. The Ari isn’t an enormous shul, but it has a very tall and beautiful Aron Kodesh. Unlike in shuls in the US, the bima is in the middle of the sanctuary and the entire building is one room. After services, Mr. Weiss and I went on a tour of some ancient ruins in Tzfat at Livnot U’Lehibanot.  It was a community center. The first room we visited lead down to the Mikvah, which was fed from a few sources. The second room we were brought to had an oven and was essentially a bakery. It never occurred to me that many people didn’t have an oven in their home around the time Tzfat was built, since all modern homes have one and we tend to take it for granted.

Since it was Shabbat, we couldn’t travel anywhere, but we did go for a nice walk in the city. The highlight of the walk was probably when we went into what looked like a cave, but had a central chamber with some light coming in from the ceiling. There was a group standing in a circle singing songs and dancing. Overall a pretty good Shabbat.

~Ethan