Safed’s beautiful old synagogues have survived earthquakes, riots and mortar fire – by miracles, say the townsfolk. They were built in the years following the Jews’ expulsion from Spain, when surviving communities settled in the peaceful hilltop town. Legends cling to the very stones of the medieval structures in a town where mysticism runs like spring water.

Among Safed’s ancient synagogues is the Yosef Caro, named after the sage who supervised a rabbinical court on the premises in the 15th century. Rabbi Caro was one of a family who fled to Turkey during the Spanish Inquisition.


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