Saturday, September 24, 2011

Regards from Safed

Safed (Tzfat - in hebrew) is a small but special town located in the mountains, in northern Israel. It is a place where the spiritual meets the physical. It takes about four hours from my home to get there by bus , but the trip is very rewarding.

The town is blessed with mountain good air, picturesque landscape, and a highly spiritual and mystical atmosphere. It has historic sites like the Citadel at the top of the city with ruins dating back to the Crusaders and Mamluks, an artists' colony of stone houses in which artists live and work, art exhibitions , a variety of hotels and guest houses to accomodate the domestic and foreign tourists , shopping areas, healthy living centers.

shopping street

The "Artists' Quarter" in the old town is a major attraction of Safed. The cobbled narrow lanes, the stone houses with their artistic doors and windows, and the various art galleries - are very inviting to its visitors.

cobbled alley in the Artists' Quarter

ceramic work of art on the outer wall of a house

artistic door

tourists in the galleries' area

Safed is considered one of the four holy cities of Israel together with Jeruusalem, Hebron and Bnei-Brak. It has lots of synagogues, holy sites, religious institutions , and ,of course, a significant religious population.

The city is famous for the graves of 'tzadikim' (righteous holy people) whose spirits are believed to protect the city (It's Safe in Safed, as one would say).

This time I visited only the cemetery where my favorite tzadik ,rabbi Abraham Fish, and his wife rest in peace.
It is before the High Holidays when we ask for a good New Year. Praying by the tzadik's grave is always a great privilege, especially at this time of the year.

religios pupils heading to the graves

On the way out of Safed down to the main road, I took two pictures that I think are very beautiful and I hope , dear readers, you'll like them too: one includes a distant patch of blue which is the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kineret) seen from above , and the other shows the sun setting behind the mountains.

Sea of Galilee in the background


See you again next year, dear Tzfat!


  1. Oh girl, I'm quite envious of you treadin' where Jesus treaded. What a glorious journey you have taken us on today.

    Thank you ever so much sweet Duta, your a jewel!

    God bless ya sweetie and have a glorious weekend! :o)

  2. very nice trip you made! I like that the place is so spiritual-mixture of relisgion and art! and amazing landscape!

  3. Another wonderful trip around your country, Duta. Felt very moved by the photo with the Sea of Galilee in it. Not sure why, just was.

  4. Nezzy,

    Your enthusiasm is catching!
    I like your use of the word 'glorious'.
    God bless you too!


    It is this mixture of people, beliefs, art, and nature that make Safed such a charming little place.


    Perhaps it is because of the fact that the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias, Lake Kineret) is often mentioned in connection with Jesus and his miracles.

  5. First of all I enjoyed this. All the pictures are good but there is one that it just outstanding.

    The one of the the street because the is a young women standing way in the back on the street. That is a keeper for good and I'm stealing it Duta to look at at it a bit closer.

    If Blogger had not disabled the new viewer "Lightbox" I would have never saw this.

  6. I know I would love that Artist Quarter! Hope to see the Sea of Galilee one time:)

  7. Nice post with a mix of magical scenery and relaxation. I love the blending of the two images on the title photo that is described by the text. The town seems very hospitable with plenty of variety by the looks of it. The cobbled streets & ceramic work seem very appealing to me.
    There is an offer sitting in my e-mails about a visit to your country next year with friends & acquaintances but unfortunately it is at a difficult time of year for me with work.

  8. One Fly,

    Kudos to you for spotting the young woman! You've got a real good eye for photography!


    The Sea of Galilee is near the town of Tiberias. Both Safed and Tiberias are worth a visit (they are not far fom each other).


    Thank you for your kind words. I admit I do like to blend photos.

    Israel has a lot to offer to tourists in terms of historical sites and unique places such as the Dead Sea. If only there was peace with our arab neighbors!

  9. Charming! I love that your pictures are so filled with history and beautiful architecture. I never tire of the historical lessons through your photos.

  10. Thank you for your lovely tour and photos for us to enjoy. Its so fun and of course intriguing to visit other countries through blogging. I was so pleased to have a glimpse of the Seaof Galilee and the awesome sunset. I almost felt as if I wear walking along with you!

  11. I might say that all the photos that I've seen here are very nice.
    Related to this article the most beautiful photo is SeaofGalilee. Good job!

  12. Thank you, Duta, for inviting me along on your visit to Tzfat. I felt an instant connection to it: the small shopping street, the view of the alley (I noticed the woman's figure, too. Very effective!), the ceramic art, and to top it off, the wonderful view of the Sea of Galilee. I took the time to enlarge each photo, and I'm very glad I did. If God is willing that I visit Israel, I would want this place to be on the itinerary.

  13. Beautiful place. That ceramic is stunning.

  14. Angelina,

    The pictures are more in the artistic (Artists' Quarter) and religious (cemetery) direction. However, everything in this town is heavily touched by history.


    Indeed, it's intriguing to learn about other countries through blogging. The two pictures mentioned by you are my favorites too.


    Thank you for the compliment. It's very encouraging and makes me feel real good.


    Enlarging the photos is the very right thing to do if you wish to enjoy the sights.
    I believe this little town is indeed worth a visit.

  15. Beautiful pictures from a charming place!!!

  16. Safed looks like my kind of town. I love historical and artist areas. I like the one in the alley showing off all the angles and cobbled streets and the lights reflect the black sillouette of the lady in the background. Peace be with you.

  17. It's the great picture..Sea of Galilee back...

  18. How lucky you are to live in such a historic and holy part of the world. I loved your narration and your pictures - especially the one with the Sea of Galilee. It really is amazing that you can travel for just a few hours to see the Sea of Galilee. Thanks for sharing, Duta.

  19. The Sea of Galilee! That is just amazing and unbelievable to me; that you live near a place with so much history. The pictures are truly beautiful. Not much ancient history like that here in California DUTA so it's wonderful that you share your history with all of us. Wonderful post!

  20. Phivos Nicolaides,

    Thank you for the 'beautiful' and for the 'charming'.

    Lady Di Tn,

    It seems we have similar taste: places filled with history and art, narrow cobbled alleys, light reflections. Peace be with you too!


    Yes, the Sea of Galilee even when in the distance, makes the picture look beautiful.

  21. Bica,

    It hasn't occurred to me that I'm lucky living here ,because of the constant hostility of our arab neighbors.

    But, yes, it is a great privilege to live in such an historical and holy land.


    The Sea of Galilee means a lot to many people in the world. I hope to write,in the near future, a post with pictures about this fascinating place.

  22. I so appreciate you sharing what I consider Holy Ground...To see the Sea of Galilee. Beautiful photos and artwork also

  23. I was amazed by the architecture, arts.. and I wanna see the Sea of Galilee. Thank you for taking us with you on the trip :-)

  24. Many thanks for the beautiful trip!!!
    Your photos and place are wonderful!!!
    Best regards

  25. Kim & Stuff,

    Thank you for the kind words. The place has indeed something holy in the air, and it is felt by us, mortals.


    'Where there's a will there's a way' as they say. So, if you really want to see the Sea of Galilee, you'll find the right opportunity for that.


    I'm glad you like my photos. I wish I could compete with your photographic skills, but no chance for that, I'm afraid.

  26. Your pictures are wonderful! I haven't been to Israel since the early eighties and am itching to go back. My daughter spent a semester at Haifa University.


  27. Joyce Lansky,

    Welcome to my little blog!
    Glad you like my pictures , and that you and you're daughter have visited Israel.

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  29. Hi Duta,
    Interesting post. I just learned of the Galilee or Jesus boat having been discovered. Have you seen that? Must be a wonderful experience to be able to see all of the ancient treasures in your country. I was able to see some of the Dead Sea scrolls when they were in the U.S. Visiting Israel is on my bucket list!

  30. Hi Duta,
    I have returned because I enjoy your blog and visits. I have awarded you The Versatile Blogger Award.


  31. Hi Duta,
    I saw your blog name as one of Dimple's 15 recipients of The Versatile Blogger Award. The name of your blog "Places with Character" is striking, and after having just read your recent post, I think I'm hooked. Israel is one of my favorite places in the world though I have never been there. But I pray for Israel regularly and believe that my Christian faith has its spiritual roots in this place. We have a group in our country that regularly prays for the peace of Israel, and we are standing with this nation for the fulfillment of God's eternal purposes for her.

    Abundant blessings be yours,

  32. Lisa,

    Yes, it is quite thrilling to see ancient treasures.
    Historically and archeologically Israel has a lot to offer its visitors.


    Thanks for the honour. I'm glad you've thought of me when passing on the award. I enjoy your blog and visits too.

    Crown of Beauty,

    I'm glad you like my blog, my people and my country.
    Thanks for your prayers and for your good wishes regarding Israel.

    Thank you.

  33. Wow! As always your post intrigues me and interests me. I love the pics! This looks like such an interesting city. To be where Jesus had been... wow! Thank you for sharing Duta!
    until next time... nel

  34. Nel,

    I'm glad you find my post interesting and that you like the pictures. Hope you have the time to visit often.

  35. Yes, a religeous time of year. Hope you had a great holiday. A good yom Kippur. I enjoyed the photo's. Thanks for showing us
    this interesting town.


  36. La Petite Gallery,

    You seem to know a thing or two about our holidays. Yom Kippur is the most important day in the year.
    I'm glad you've enjoyed the photos fom Safed.

  37. Blogger from Loni, India,

    Thank you. Hope you visit my blog again.

  38. Glorious, indeed! walk where Jesus "Holy Land" - yes.

  39. Susannah,

    Hi Susannah. Good to hear from you.
    Yes- Glorious, Jesus, and Holy Land go together.