“I sat out on my balcony this evening, and tears moistened my cheeks; I weep for the holy city of Tzfat!” Reb Moshe of Tzfat.
I was once a holy city that thrived with life and the voice of Torah. This was during the time of the holy Arizal and Rabbi Yosef Karo. However, after they passed away, I became alone and destitute. Every one hundred years or so, people somehow think of me again and seek to rebuild this place in its original splendor. History proves an earthquake or hostile takeover will normally take place. My people abandon me, only to rebuild later. Now I sit here, alone once again, with few comforting me.
I understand why everyone left. Life simply became too abnormal; with large metal objects exploding all around me. What hurts most is that people were really starting to care about me again. Torah study could be heard everywhere. Oh, those joyous sounds were intoxicating. How much joy I began to feel! Builders were building, children were playing, and the tourists came to visit once again. When it was Bein Hazmanim (summer and winter vacation), the streets were full of souls admiring my forgotten beauty and holiness. I almost felt as if the holy Ari and his students were back again, pearls of wisdom dropping from their lips. Oh, but having come so far; I am now like a widow without her children.
My dearest children from all over the world: Those of you that live here, or who have visited me, understand my pain. You know the pain of my children who have been forced to leave my protection. Do not abandon them, or me, in our time of need. My greatest fear is that many will not return. Those who once lived here may abandon me because they are just so afraid. If only you knew of all that I, this most holy and sacred place, have to give to you. All you need do is walk along my streets and place your faith in the notion that Hashem will protect us. The air in this place, if only we were pure enough of heart to breathe it in with true fear of Hashem, would prevent anyone from fleeing. If every step were truly dangerous, if every move one of destruction, all would still remain. Their attention would be completely focused on the spirituality that can only be found in these mountains.
Sweet children of the world, if you want a city which will care about you and hold you close, counting your every move, I will be that city for you. In your hour of need, in your sadness, I will hold you close. I will comfort you in my air of tranquility. To those who dream of being here in my presence, basking in my kedusha, I want you to know that I think of you as well. When you think of me, you are here too. To you, I am your precious city. To me, you are my life.
The City of Kabbalah,
The root of the Wind and Air,
The holy city of Tzfat, Eretz Yisrael
Reb Moshe of Tzfat, www.ilovetorah.com
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