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In Safed’s Fabled Synagogues, Myth And Reality Intertwine

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Beautiful houses of worship star in tales, centuries old, of wondrous miracles befalling devout rabbis and faithful congregations

One fateful day in 1837 the Avritch Rabbi brought all of his parishioners into their Safed synagogue. As they worshipped together he suddenly admonished them to run to the Ark, and just before a terrible earthquake shook the building, he cried out, “Hold onto the scrolls and you shall be saved!” Much of the synagogue collapsed in that quake; only the portion which held the Holy Scriptures remained intact.

Fact or fable? Like so many stories about Safed there may be some element of imagination involved. But no one can deny that the synagogue was destroyed — and the Torah scrolls were unharmed.

Anything written about mystical Safed, with its enchanting lanes and unique houses of worship is bound to be laced with folklore, tales of wondrous miracles, and fascinating historical tidbits. Like the story about how the Avritch Rabbi made it to Israel.

One day in the early 19th century, when the rabbi was still living in Europe, a messenger from Safed came to see him. “There is gold in the city’s alleyways,” said the messenger.

Soon afterwards the rabbi moved to Safed but, once there, he complained to the messenger that he couldn’t find the gold. Just then, two yeshiva students went by. The Avritch Rabbi and the messenger followed them to a synagogue and listened to them study for awhile. “Now you see the gold of Safed,” said the messenger. “It is the study of Torah. ”

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Read the full article over at The Times of Israel.

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Testimonials
Dear Aviva and Shmuel , Just a note to thank you for all of your help on our trip to Israel. Aviva .. your great ideas for the day we were on our own plus your help in booking everything was really helpful and made our first night and day very exciting .Shmuel ..apart from the fact that the kids thought you may actually be one of Supermans cousins .. we really had a fantastic trip. What you managed to show us in Jerusalem considering William is only 8 was amazing. Both the kids loved the water tunnel ( even after a small initial scare !). The day doing Masada ,En Gedi and the Dead Sea was really the most exciting day for us all . Our Israeli friends who came over to join us from Tel Aviv said there was no way they would have been able to fit in so much. Everyone loved it !
Regards, David Glazer .. (and Joel and William)

the Glazer Family