Contributed by: Laurie Rappeport | Last Date of Travel: December 2012
Stupps, Moshav Amirim
Visitors to Mt. Meron (Har Meron) and the Meron region can enjoy a dairy meal at Stupps in Moshav Amirim, 15 minutes west of Safed next to Mt. Meron. The menu is dairy and includes salads, appetizers, casseroles, soups, pastas, soy burgers, corn bread and unique desserts. Some of the dishes are made with cheese and eggs but others are vegan-friendly. The restaurant can get crowded so it’s a good idea to make reservations.
- Rav Elmishali, Rabbanut Merom Hagalil, L’Mehadrin
Shipudei Ron, Kiryat Shmoneh
Shipudei Ron at 14 Habarzel Street in Kiryat Shmoneh serves grilled meats with salads in a homey, non-touristy atmosphere. The restaurant serves Israeli salads including homemade hummos and all sorts of other salads along with spicy kebabs, pargiot chicken on a skewer and other burgers and turkey meats. The restaurant is kosher l’mehadrin
- Rabbi Drori, Rabbinute Kiryat Shmoneh, Kosher L’Mehadrin
The Flying Fig
The Flying Fig offers kosher l’mehadrin take-out food that is suitable for both vegetarians and for people who are interested in eating healthy food. The menu includes home-baked breads, pastas, grain salads, quiches, fish and many different types of vegetable dishes, both cooked and fresh. The Shabbat menu is especially suitable for people who are staying at a guest house in the area and want a delicious, home-cooked, dairy Shabbat menu.
- Dairy L’Mehadrin
- Rabbi Davidovitz, Rosh Pinna Rabbinute
The moderate temperatures of the Upper Galilee in the summertime and the tepid temperatures in the wintertime draw travelers to the area year-round. There are many religious, cultural and historical sites in the area.
Mt. Meron is a pilgrimage site for Jews who want to pray at the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a 2nd century Talmudic scholar who, according to tradition, wrote the “Zohar” — the foundation of Kabbalah study. Rabbi Bar Yochai’s gravesite is open year-round, 24 hours a day and it’s free to enter, though there are always beggars around who ask for donations. Tradition relates that it is a big “segula” — indication of good fortune — to pray at the gravesite of a great rabbi on the anniversary of his death and for that reason Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s gravesite is especially busy on the Lag B’Omer holiday, the anniversary of his death, when hundreds of thousands pilgrims come to pray at his grave.
Rosh Pinna, 15 minutes east of Safed, was founded by Orthodox Jews from Romania as one of the first agricultural settlements in Northern Israel. It was heavily subsidized by Baron de Rothschild and served as an important center of the Upper Galilee. The old part of Rosh Pinna offers a beautiful walk along the cobbled streets of the 19th century Old Town with art galleries, boutique dairies and wineries. There is a video presentation that depicts life of the Jews during the early years of the town’s existence. Next to the Old Administration Building are the Baron’s Gardens, a well-maintained park which was, according to the stories, modeled on the gardens at Versailles. Just north of Rosh Pinna visitors can enter the Hula Nature Reserve which is a nesting site for a large variety of birds. The site is especially engaging during the seasons when the birds migrate — spring and fall. Walking and bike trails make a visit to the Hula Nature Reserve a relaxing experience.
The Kiryat Shmoneh-Metulla area offers one of the most beautiful scenic regions of Israel. A cable car takes visitors from its base, in Kiryat Shmoneh, up to the border kibbutz of Manara, providing a stunning view of the entire Upper Galilee along the way. To the east of Kiryat Shmoneh two nature reserves, Tel Dan and Banyias provide nature trails amidst streams, waterfalls and archaeological excavations of Jewish settlement during the times of the Prophets, Judges and Kings. Metulla is a small town which is just north of Kiryat Shmoneh. It was established at the same time as Rosh Pinna and has the same early 19th century atmosphere. Metulla draws many visitors who come to enjoy the pool, ice skating rink and bowling center at the Canada Center.
Most Galilee communities, including those which do not have a large religious population, have mikves. In the smaller communities it’s customary to call the person who operates the mikve to let her know that you want to come because the mikves in these small settlements open only when needed.
- Amirim 04-6980071
- Hatzor HaGlilit — one on Tel Chai Street — 04-6930304 and a second one in the Gur community of Kiryat Chassidim (04-6934272)
- Kiryat Shmoneh — one on Yehuda HaLevi Street 04-6959265, one on Herzl Street next to theMatmid school 04-6940663 and one on Sprinzak Street 04-6905838
- Metulla — at 10 HaRishonim Street 04-6951941
- Rosh Pinna — on Ma’aleh Gei Oni Street 04-6860630
Synagogues are located in almost every community. Chabad operates congregations in many localities and each synagogue takes on the character of the congregants. Some synagogues are historically significant.
- Rosh Pinna Synagogue — on HaRishonim Street was the first permanent public building that was built in Rosh Pinna. The Ark and other items date back to its inauguration in the 1880s. According to local legend the ceiling of the synagogue was built from old canoes which the original settlers brought with them from Romania with the hopes of fishing in the nearby streams. When it became clear that this was not an option, the boats were used to construct the synagogue. The ceiling is painted blue with small clouds. There are four other synagogues located throughout Rosh Pinna today, including a Chabad synagogue.
- Meron — There are a number of synagogue options in Meron. The “kever” — gravesite — of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai has continuous services through the day and night. There is a community synagogue in the Meron settlement as well as services at the local B’nai Akiva Yeshiva, located next to the kever. An ancient synagogue which dates to the 3rd century C.E. is located up the hill from the Kever, approximately a 10 minute walk. It is open at all times where individuals or groups can organize services.
- Metulla Synagogue — Metulla is, today, a fairly secular town but the original synagogue is still standing and in use. The synagogue was built on the top of the highest of the local hills and its construction was financed by Baron de Rothschild. The original prayer style was Sephardic, causing the original Ashkanazi settlers to leave the area, but today the style is dictated by the congregation and can change from week to week. Chabad also operates a synagogue in Metulla.
Author of this post: Laurie Rappeport has lived in Safed, Israel for over 25 years and worked at the Tourist Information Center in the Old Jewish Quarter for 13 years. She continues to be involved in a wide range of projects which are aimed at bringing visitors to Safed to enjoy the religious, historical, cultural and artistic sites and experiences that the city has to offer. Laurie blogs at Safed.blogspot.co.il