A Famed Scholar’s House of Study Discovered under a Galilean Luxury Hotel https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/history-ideas/2023/09/a-famed-scholars-house-of-study-discovered-under-a-galilean-luxury-hotel/

September 20, 2023 | Yair Kraus
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In modern times, Jews have considered the ancient city of Safed one of the four holy cities in the Land of Israel, primarily because it became a center of mystical scholarship in the 16th and 17th centuries, attracting such figures as Joseph Caro, author of the seminal legal code known as the Shulḥan Arukh. The kabbalist Isaac Luria was another. Recently, the owner of a luxury hotel in Safed came across some features of the building during renovations that led him to call upon the archaeologist Yossi Stefansky to investigate. Yair Kraus writes:

According to tradition, the [hotel] building was part of Rabbi Luria’s living complex 450 ago, within the city’s Jewish community. “This place was likely the Torah study hall of one of the greatest Kabbalah scholars ever, in which several of Rabbi Luria’s top students and their friends studied,” Stefansky said. . . . Another ruin was found next to the ancient building, believed to be the rabbi’s mikveh, which he used daily.

Rabbi Isaac Luria Ashkenazi, or the Ari, was born in Jerusalem in 1534 to his father Rabbi Solomon Luria, who was of Ashkenazi descent, tracing his lineage to King David, and to his mother, who came from a Sephardi family. . . . After his father’s death, Luria and his family moved to Egypt, where he delved deeply into Kabbalah. In 1570, at the age of thirty-six, Luria, along with his wife, two sons, and daughter, immigrated to Israel and chose to settle in Safed. Two years after settling in the city, Luria died on July 25, 1572, during a plague that struck the entire Galilee region.

“The Jews never abandoned Safed; there was a continuous Jewish presence here that allows us to see how Jewish traditions survived here,” [Stefansky] explained.

Read more on Ynet: https://www.ynetnews.com/travel/article/sjonfjykp