This synagogue was apparently built in the nineteenth century, after the great earthquake in Safed. The building was constructed originally as a religious academy and was named after Ya'acov Beirav, one of the great rabbis of sixteenth-century Safed. For many years, the Hungarian community of Safed used the synagogue, but when their numbers diminished, the synagogue ceased functioning.
Several years ago, members of the English-speaking community in Safed renewed services in the synagogue. Today, visitors can take part in Sabbath and holiday prayer services conducted in the musical tradition of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.
It's All About Music
The synagogue can accommodate about 100 people, but on Sabbaths and holidays the crowd often overflows onto the cobblestoned street outside. The synagogue is not affiliated with one stream of Judaism and you will find ultra orthodox, Hassidim, secular Israelis and foreign tourists dancing and singing together on Friday evenings in order to welcome the arrival of Shabbat in a festive manner.
The Beirav was once the only Carlebach minyan in town. Today, you can hear heartfelt song and high-energy dancing to the tunes of Shlomo Carlebach at the newer House of Love and Prayer.
Simtat Meginei Tzfat, Old City. Tel. 04-6921849, 04-6972376