Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Holy Cities of Israel
4 Lectures

Item #: S312

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The four 'Holy Cities' of Israel, in Jewish lore, are Jerusalem, Hebron, Tiberias, and Safed. Trace Jewish life with Rabbi Wein in each of these cities- from their founding until this very day, and how it has influenced Israeli policy and diplomacy. This series will give the listener a broader and deeper perspective regarding the Jewish claim to the land of Israel generally and will explain what has made and still makes these cities 'holy' in the minds and hearts of the Jewish people.

Tiberias - Built along the famed Lake Kinneret, Tiberias achieved the status of "holy city" because of the Jewish population it attracted. From its Biblical origins to its development under the Romans up until its resettlement after the Spanish Expulsion, Rabbi Wein traces the history of the birthplace of the Mishnah and sprinkles in a few tidbits and legends that capture the city's uniqueness.

Safed - The Jewish presence in Safed is new relative to the other holy cities, but once the Spanish exiles began settling there, it became the center of Kabbalah, outshining even Jerusalem in Torah scholarship. Though the city has undergone earthquakes and other calamities since then, its magnetic spiritual aura continues to attract Jews from every walk of life.

Hebron - The ancient city of Hebron, burial place of our forefathers, has seen much religious settlement for centuries, but it has been a hotbed of contention for just as long. Chronicling the battles between Jews, Christians, and Moslems that have seeped the city in blood, Rabbi Wein also illustrates the Torah scholarship that persists despite the bloodshed.

Jerusalem - Jerusalem, holiest of the holy cities, is foremost in our prayers while we await its restoration. Rabbi Wein paints the picture of the glory days of the Holy Temple, its fateful destruction, and its transfer to the hands of conqueror after conqueror until the War of Independence. Our presence there now is an incomplete miracle. It has grown beyond the wildest dreams of generations past, yet the constant security threats remind us of the urgent need for our continued prayers.

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