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Friday, November 16, 2012

What's Unique about Safed?

I've been contacting travel site and blog owners to ask them to put up articles that I write about Tzfat. they get free content and I get a backlink to a site for which I get paid. Win/win, huh?

Well, actually, I enjoy writing the articles and I get a kick out of thinking that maybe I'm drumming up a little tourist business for our city.

One of the sites asked me to write my article in the form of "a perfect day in Safed" (I guess that they have some kind of series going) which got me to thinking -- what is it, exactly, that I like about my city? I do like living here and consider myself lucky, but why exactly?

Well, here are a few ideas.

  • If I want to take the dogs for a nice, interesting walk, we can stroll up to the Crusader fortress and walk around the ruins. Can't do that in many places, hmmmmmmmm?
  • Recently posted by a Facebook friend: "I was on a bus and didn't have enough money, so the passengers each pitched in a shekel to make up the difference." That probably doesn't happen everywhere.
  • When guests come to my guest room and want to find a "Shabbat experience," I have a list of people to call who will happily host them for a Shabbat meal. 
  • My daughter's friends, who don't look particularly "typically religious" always kiss the mezuzza when they walk into or out of the house.
  • Another daughter went to visit a friend and came back with a box of homemade cookies because her friend's mother was worried that, as a vegan, no one in her own house would make sure that she had (eggless) Shabbat cookies.  
  • And speaking of food....my daughter-in-law's parents often send a challah or some of their homemade wine when the couple comes for Shabbat. (And when I tried to send a nice homemade challah back -- a Rosh Hashana, specially braided, apples baked into the braids challah -- my son forgot it in the car. Sigh.)
  • When trying to help a new immigrant customer find the office that she needed, the post office clerk left his chair and came around the counter to walk outside with the woman and point her in the right direction.
  • Along the same line.....I've seen, more than once, a supermarket clerk elaborately mime preparation instructions for some product that new Ethiopian immigrant customers needed because they were unfamiliar with the food that they were buying. 
  • There's a Jewish tradition that if you pray at the gravesite of a righteous person for 40 consecutive days, your request will be granted. So 10 minutes from my house is the gravesite of the ARI, one of the greatest Kabbalists who ever lived. I did the 40-day thing twice. And it works.

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