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Tzfat: That mystical City upon the hilltop

A TCS HIS 220 Prezi

Danit Malka Abramson

on 12 August 2013

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Transcript of Tzfat: That mystical City upon the hilltop

How Tzfat began:
1. Practical: Famous People
2. Spiritual: Kabbalah, Sefirot, 1 of 4 Holy Cities
1."Kabbalah," the new mystical doctrine, which describes the Divine anatomy through the "emanations or inner structure of the hidden G-d."

2. "Sefirot": an incredibly deep and powerful understanding of how G-d's potent revelation is filtered down to a perceivable state in this world.

3. One of the four "Holy cities" of Israel: Tzfat represents the element of air (due to the mystical/spiritual aspect of Tzfat.)
1. Practical:
-Place of refuge for Jews after mutiple explusions

2. Spiritual:
-Although never explicitly mentioned in Tanakh, there are whispers of a legend that Shem, the son of Noah, settled in Tzfat after the Great Flood and established the Yeshivah of Shem V'Ever (where our patriarch Jacob studied.)
-Tzfat is one of the 4 "Holy Cities" of Israel (among Jerusalem, Tiberias, and Chevron.)

3. Economical:
-Abramson rule: Money. (Tzfat was a fairly new town so the rent was inexpensive.)
1290 AD Expulsion from England
1306 AD Expulsion from France
1483 AD Expulsion from Warsaw, Sicily, Lithuania, Portugal
1492 AD Expulsion from Spain
1510 AD Expulsion from Brandenburg, Germany
1569 AD All Jews ordered out of the Papal States
1593 AD Expulsion fom Italy and Bavaria
1614 AD Jews were attacked and driven out of Franfurt, Germany

List of Expulsions leading to eventual settlement in Tzfat:
A quick tour of Tzfat
What makes Tzfat Special:
-Rabbi Jacob Berab: "tried to reestablish the Sanhedrin and renew Rabbinical ordination [semikhah]"
-Rabbi Joseph Karo: author of the Shulhan Arukh
-Rabbi Isaac Luria: "leading Kabbalist"
-Rabbi Hayim Vital: important disciple of Rabbi Isaac Luria
-Rabbi Shlomo Alkabitz
-Rabbi Moses Cordovero (The Ramak- author of the famous work "Tomer Devorah")

Famous People from Tzfat
Modern Day Rendition of the song "Lecha Dodi" originally composed by
Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz
(Early to mid 16th Century)
Spirituality in Tzfat
Tzfat= Air
Jerusalem= Fire
Tiberias= Water
Chevron= Earth
Four Holy Cities of Israel
Each of the 10 Sefirot represent different aspects and levels of G-d's revelation descending to earth.
The specific placement and order of the 10 Sefirot is very important. These 10 Sefirot also represent Human Beings at their ultimate state of actualization in this world. Any deviation from this particular order connotes a perversion of attributes in a person (with the understanding that their difference of order connotes a disimilarity with that of G-d's order.)
By: Danit Malka Abramson
Touro College South, 2013
Tzfat: That mystical City upon the hilltop
Full transcript