“If you can rebuild Tsfat, it will be a great favor to the world.” ∼R’ Avraham Sternhartz to R’ Gedaliah Aharon Kenig, founder of Nachal Novea Mekor Chochma in Tsfat
The Shechina never returned to Jerusalem after the destruction of the first Temple. She receded in stages and according to the Arizal (R’ Isaac Luria), She continued her retreat until going into refuge entirely…. to the Holy City of Tsfat. Here, She remains until the final redemption. The Zohar writes that the Messiah will be revealed first in Tsfat before proceeding to Jerusalem to rebuild the Jewish Temple. The two holy cities are intimately connected since rebuilding the Holy Temple in Jerusalem is dependent upon the physical and spiritual rebuilding of Tsfat.
What else do we know about Tsfat? It is one of Judaism’s four holy cities and associated with the element of air. Indeed, the pure pristine air of Tsfat is legendary—it is no wonder the area was chosen repeatedly for some of the most spectacular spiritual revelations of all time. It was here that the holy Zohar of R’ Shimon bar Yochai and the Kabbalah of the Arizal descended from heaven to earth. The city’s history is ancient and hidden, spanning from the son and grandson of Noah, Shem and Eber, as well as the patriarch Jacob, and Joshua ben Nun, who first wiped out idolatry in Tsfat upon entering the Land of Israel. R’ Yosef Karo authored the
Shulchan Aruch, the Code of Jewish Law, in Tsfat, and together with many other great Jewish sages, established eternal foundations of Judaism. Their holy aspirations, creativity and scholarship have irreversibly changed the world and will permeate the air of Tsfat forever.