For one of our last days in the North of Israel, we visited a small city on the side of a mountain, Tzfat. It has a wonderful history and quite the interesting story to tell. We walked up the side of the city taking some stairs to ascend to the city center. As we walked though the streets, this calm serene feeling washed over me and in a sense brought me to this sense of simplicity.
We came upon Artist’s Square, an open area where people perform, display art, and just think about life. We learned about the history of Tzfat and its reputation it holds for being the eyes of Israel. This is where Judaism projects and has a force upon all who visit because the faith is so richly ingrained, even into the slightest of street stone cracks.
The city on the side of the mountain, has many elements of blue. Blue doors, blue tiles, blue steps, blue paint, and blue skies. This idea of the color blue was to speak to the thought that if the devil, of any form, were to come to this sacred city, it would be confused and think that it was in the sky, get nervous, feel misplaced, and then turn to leave the people of Tzfat alone. There is a lot of blue in the city, so I definitely believe this story. It is simple and to the point. We visited a local artist, originally from Detroit, Michigan, yet moved to Israel and settled in Tzfat. We saw his work and the way it has motivated him to own his Jewish identity and turn it into a artful portrayal of faith. From the artist’s studio, we went to wander around for lunch.The streets are filled with vendors, jewelry, art, food, candles, clothing, and memorabilia.
And still a lot of cats!
I felt the faith and belief in this city, and this is where I really started to own my Jewish identity as well. I see that my values align with Judaism in a puzzle-meets-picture fashion. I never really explored my Jewish identity up until now, and I am so thankful for taking the intentional time to do so.
We spent the afternoon wandering the streets and then headed back to the bus. We spent our last night at Kibbutz Moran. The next day we travel to Tel Aviv!