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Capital of Upper Galilee. Kabbalists led by Rabbi Isaac Luria and Rabbi Joseph Karo settled there in the 15th century. Since then there has been a settled Jewish community in Safed. A substantial part of the city was destroyed by earthquakes and ensuing epidemics in mid-19th century. After heavy fighting in the 1948 War of Independence, the Arabs fled. With its beautiful mountain location Safed is today an art center and a popular resort city. Its population in 1998 was about 20,000.

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