Meron, Rebbe Shimon
Tomb of Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai, 2nd century C.E. sage and author of the Zohar-the Book of Splendor-the central text of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism.
Avraham Lowenthal, Tsfat
Gallery of Mystical Art
This 21st-century student and teacher of Kabbalah embodies the spirit of the biblical phrase “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Lowenthal’s art has inspired many a seeker of Jewish wisdom. www.kabbalahart.com
From his original 1960s light show designs for Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix to images of the inner world of the Hasidim, this French Hasidic photographer will blow your mind. www.kaszemacher.com
Through his art of simple forms and primary colors, Friedman-a brilliant Jewish thinker and Torah scholar-expresses the most profound Kabbalistic concepts. www.kosmic-kabbalah.com
Ari Ashkanaz Synagogue
An open field in the 16th century where Tsfat kabbalists created the Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony. The holy Arizal (or Ari), 16th century mystical master, sanctified this spot and requested that this synagogue be erected.
Ari Sephardi Synagogue
The Holy Ari chose this synagogue, originally known as the Synagogue of the Prophet Elijah, as his place of worship. According to legend, he often secluded himself inside the structure’s eastern wall, where the Prophet Elijah visited him to discuss issues of the higher spheres.
This magnificent ancient Sephardi synagogue is designed according to Kabbalistic principles. Legend has it that the entire structure flew overnight from Spain, its original home, to its current location in Tsfat.
Livnot u’ Lehibanot
A magnet for 20-something Jewish seekers, this institution offers profound programs that combine hiking, Torah learning and community service. www.livnot.com
This magnificent structure at the base of the Old City, is home to a community that sheds bright light across the Jewish world. Rebbe Nachman says that the dark forces of the world have only one mission: to make a person depressed. Once a person is in such a state, the gate is open to all transgressions. By being happy, one is protected and is on the path to holiness! www.nachalnovea.com
Connect at the tombs of our holy mystics; access the vortex of these spiritual giants. This windy hillside has been an inspiration to those searching for inner strength and answers to their deepest prayers. The tomb of the Arizal rests at the center of this magical graveyard.
The purifying waters of this ritual bath gush forth straight from the mountain source. Immersion in this chilly pool, it is said, opens one to the higher spheres of body and soul.
Thousands of travelers looking for a room have ended up finding their roots at this hostel and learning center. Run by Chabad Hasidim, Ascent is famous for its hospitality and open approach to Jewish revival. www.ascent.org.il
Cave of Shem and Ever
The gravesites of Noah’s son Shem and grandson Ever, are hidden in a mountainside cave high above the Old City. According to Avraham, Shem and Ever were spiritual giants, the greatest of their generation.
Path to Wadi
Olive groves and gushing streams, rocky outcrops and waterfalls, forests and flowered meadows, this is the hill and dale of the legendary Galilee. Breslover Hasidim are often found engaging in hitbododut, or Jewish meditation, as taught by their Rebbe Nachman, and you may hear cries of “Abba!”-“Father!” an inspirational way to connect with the Holy One.
Concentrated joy is the only way to describe the experience of Shabbat at this unique synagogue of the legendary Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Transcend your own boundaries, dance around the bima, pray as you’ve never prayed. www.beirav.org
Baal Shem Tov Inn
In the heart of the Old Jewish Quarter, this charming hostel is run by a couple of Breslov Hasidim, disciples of the Baal Shem Tov, father of the Hasidic movement.