Walking through the lovely stone alleys and the ancient Jewish quarter in Safed grants visitors a unique experience that combines enchanting beauty and a spiritual vibe, alongside stories of the Jewish settlement prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. The ancient Jewish quarter is divided into two neighborhoods – Ashkenazi and Sephardic. The Sephardic neighborhood developed around The Ari mikveh, by Jews born in the country and those who immigrated from northern Africa.
At the end of the fifteenth century Jews who had been expelled from Spain first arrived in Safed, establishing synagogues. The Ashkenazi neighborhood was established after the Sephardic neighborhood, in the direction of the city’s fortress, by 300 Hasids who arrived in Safed in 1777, and by students of the Vilna Gaon, who arrived in the city at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Messiah Alley: This alley with a steep stairway is the narrowest in Safed. The alley is famous mainly due to “Grandmother Jochebed,” who sat at the entrance to the alley every day, waiting for the Messiah. According to legend, each person who passes through alley will witness the coming of the Messiah.
Olei Hagardom Slope: A street on an incline, with stairs, dating back to the British Mandate. The British paved the street as a passageway between the Jewish and Arab quarters. The original streetlamp, which lit up the street, is still intact and visible.