|בתי כנסת בצפת|
|Tzfat Shuls, Bati Kneset|
|Old and Ancient Jewish places of worship in Safed, Israel.|
The famous synagogues of Safed encompass Tzfat history alongside Kabbalistic tradition. Some of the most famous synagogues include the Ari Ashkenazi, Ari Sephardi, Avritch, Abuhav, Beirav, Yoseph Caro and the Yossi Banai. These synagogues are all located in the Old Jewish Quarter of Tzfat. They are all functioning synagogues and have regular prayer times.
 Old Synagogues
 ARI Ashkanazi
The ARI Ashkanazi synagogue is located along the Ma’alot Gur Aryeh stairway that descends from the main public square of Tzfat’s Old City, “Kikar HaMeginim -- Defender’s Square.” The synagogue was originally called the “Grigoros Synagogue,” established by Sepharadi Jews who arrived in Tzfat from the Greek island of Grigoros after escaping the Spanish Inquisition. Rabbi Isaac Luria, the great Kabbalist known as The ARI, initiated the tradition of “Kabbalat Shabbat,” in Tzfat. He would welcome the Sabbath by singing and dancing with his students in the field next to the Grigoros shul. After The ARI died the synagogue was renamed “ARI Ashkanazi” in honor of The ARIZ'L.
Read full Zissil article on the Ari Ashkenazi Synagogue
 ARI Sepharadi
The ARI Sepharadi is one of the oldest standing synagogues in Safed. It is perched on the road above the ancient Safed cemetery and overlooks the cemetery and surrounding valley. The synagogue was called the “Eliyahu Hanavi” (Elijah the Prophet) synagogue when the ARI came to live in Tzfat in the 16th century. The ARI prayed and studied in the synagogue, sitting, legend says, with Elijah the Prophet in a small room within the synagogue as he expanded on the existing knowledge of Kabbalah through Divine Inspiration. After the ARI’s passing the residents of Tzfat renamed the synagogue “ARI Sepharadi” in honor of the ARIZL.
Read full Zissil article on the Ari Sephardi Synagogue
 Joseph Caro
Rabbi Joseph Caro came to Tzfat in the early 1500s from Turkey. His family had escaped the Inquisition in Spain. Rabbi Caro worried that, in the face of the dispersion caused by the Inquisition, Jews would not know how to perform the Jewish rituals and traditions according to Jewish Law. He sat in a small room and wrote the “Shulhan Aruch.” The Shulhan Aruch guides Jews in the performance of the commandments of the Jewish religion. The Joseph Caro synagogue, on Alkabetz Street, stands above the room where Rabbi Caro wrote the Shulhan Aruch. It served as the Rabbinical Court over which Rabbi Caro presided and later as a study hall. Today it houses a Sepharadi minyan.
Read full Zissil article on the Yosef Caro Synagogue
Rabbi Yitzchock Abuhav was a Spanish Rabbi who's students immigrated to Tzfat at the end of the 15th century, immediately after the Jews were expelled from Spain. Tsfat legend mentions that Rabbi Abuhav built the synagogue in Spain and his students mystically transported it to Tzfat when they came to Israel. Others adhere to the tradition that Rabbi Abuhav planned the synagogue in Spain and it was built by his followers upon their arrived in Israel. Rabbi Abuhav hand-wrote a Torah scroll which is still used in the synagogue on special holidays. The synagogue was originally built near the ARI Sepharadi synagogue but after it was destroyed in the 1759 earthquake, survivors rebuilt the synagogue higher up on the mountain, in its present location between Abuhav and Alkabetz Streets. Others maintain that had always been its location. In 1837 an earthquake again destroyed the synagogue but the Ark, holding Rabbi Abuhav’s ancient Torah scroll as well as two other old scrolls, did not collapse. The synagogue was rebuilt surrounding this original southern wall. During the Second Lebanon War in 2006 a katyusha rocket landed directly next to the synagogue alongside the southern wall but again, the Ark and its Torah scrolls were untouched.
Read full Zissil article on the Abuhav Synagogue
 Avritch / Bat Ayin
The Avritch synagogue, close to the northern perimeter of the Old Jewish Quarter, is also called the “Bat Ayin” shul. Rabbi Dov who arrived from Avritch, a town in the Ukraine, led his Hassidic followers in this synagogue. In 1837, during morning prayers, Rabbi Dov suddenly called his followers to come and stand next to him at the front wall. As the men rushed to their rabbi, a strong earthquake struck the city. Close to a fourth of the city’s citizens died but all the men at the synagogue survived. Many members of the Avritch community left Tzfat over the years and since the late 1800s the shul has had a Sepharadi minyan.
Read full Zissil article on the Avritch Bat Ayin Synagogue
Rabbi Ya’akov Beirav lived in Tzfat in the 16th century. He was best known for his efforts to re-establish the Sanhedrin, the Jewish court of the Temple era. During Rabbi Beirav’s lifetime many Jews who had converted to Christianity under the Inquisition escaped from Spain and Portugal. They made their way to Jewish communities where they tried to return to the faith of their ancestors. A large number of Jewish leaders refused to accept these returnees, arguing that by converting to Christianity they forfeited their claim to Judaism. Rabbi Beirav believed that a Sanhedrin would provide the authority to convince the Jewish leadership to welcome these Jews back to Judaism. Ultimately, Rabbi Beirav was not successful in his endeavors to establish the Sanhedrin, but together with Rabbi Moshe Alsheich, also of Safed, his view, to accept the returnees back into the Jewish community, prevailed.
The Beirav shul in Tzfat presently houses a Shlomo Carlebach minyan. The Beirav services have a reputation as being a lively and engaging Friday night service. Shlomo Carlebach, the “singing rabbi,” was known, until his death in 1996, for drawing Jews closer to Judaism through heartfelt song and prayer. His unique tunes are sung each Friday night at the Beirav synagogue, creating a standing-room-only crowd that sings, sways, dances and prays together. Many people who otherwise have little or no connection to Judaism find themselves drawn to their heritage at the synagogue named for the Rabbi who, 400 years ago, championed acceptance.
Read full Zissil article on the Beirav Synagogue
 Yossi Banai
The Banai synagogue is located at the base of the Old Jewish Quarter. It contains the grave of the 3rd century sage, Yossi Banai. The synagogue is also called the “Tzadik HaLavan” because of a miracle performed in the name of Rabbi Yosef Banai. During the time of Turkish rule, the local Turkish ruler decreed that if the Jews did not bring a large number of white chickens, they would be forced to pay a large collective fine. The impoverished Jewish community prayed at the grave of R’ Banai and Rabbi Yossi Saragosi. When the community awoke the following morning they found that all their chickens had turned white.
Read full Zissil article on the Yossi Banaah Synagogue
 Alsheich Synagogue
One of the oldest Shuls in Tzfat, it was the only one not destroyed in the earthquakes. Its construction was led by Rabbi Moshe Alshich and it was named after him when he passed away. This Beit Knesset was built without a women's section for higher levels of purity.
Read full Zissil article on the Alsheich Synagogue
 Hassidic Synagogues
Tzfat has traditionally had a Hassidic population but in recent years a number of Hassidic Jews have established large communities in the city. They welcome Jews to their synagogues to join them in prayer.
 Sanz Shul
The Sanz synagogue on Tarpat Street has continuous minyans for all prayer times throughout the day.
Read full Zissil article on the Sanz Shul
 Tzmeach Tzedek
The Chabad community’s Tzmeach Tzedek synagogue near Kikar HaMeginim has mid-morning services for late-risers and learning sessions throughout the day.
Read full Zissil article on the Tzemach Tzedek Shul
 Koenig Breslov Shul
The large Breslev synagogue near the ARI Sepharadi has daily prayer minyans and a song-filled Friday night service.
 Kosov Shul
Origionaly founded by Kosov Chasidim it is now run by followers of the Biala Rebbe.
Read full Zissil article on the Kosov Shul
 Modern Synagogues
 Noam Synagogue
Hosted in the Saraya.
Read full Zissil article on the Noam Synagogue
 Mekarav Synagogue
Originally a chasidic shul, it is now run by some local yeshiva.
Read full Zissil article on the Mekarav Synagogue
 House of Love and Prayer
A break off from the Beirav Minyon, it also runs according to Carlebach tradition.
Read full Zissil article on the House of Love and Prayer