Since the 16th century, Tsfat (also known as Safed or Tzfat), a town high in the mountains in the north of Israel has been considered one of Judaism’s Four Holy Cities; since that time the city has remained a centre of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism.
The Old City of Tsfat (Old Jewish Quarter, also known as Synagogue Quarter due to its 32 synagogues) is a picturesque neighbourhood of narrow alleys and cobblestone streets where synagogues dating from the 16th century are still used for prayer, Torah study and Shabbat celebrations by the Jews of Tsfat. Connected by stone staircases, these streets cling to the side of the mountain, and are navigable only by foot. The adjoining Artists’ Quarter contains a large number of galleries and workshops run by local artists and art vendors; whose home studios are open to the public. Due to its pleasant climate, spiritual vibe and scenic views, Tsfat has become a popular holiday resort.
“This piece was inspired by a photograph that I took while on a Birthright trip with New York University’s Bronfman Center. I had been looking forward to visiting Tzfat throughout the entire trip, and as our final destination, the city did not disappoint. There was something so special about being in a place that integrates art with spirituality, and the only appropriate response felt like painting one of its winding streets! Of course, it helped that every corner was dotted in my favorite shade of turquoise that I try to include in all of my paintings anyway.”
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