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City on the Sea of Galilee (Kineret), famous for its healing hot springs. It was built by Herod Antipas in 18 B.C.E. in honor of the reigning Roman emperor, Tiberius Caesar. Notwithstanding its pagan origin and alien style of architecture, it soon became Judaized. In the 2nd century C.E., after the failure of Bar Kokhba‘s revolt, the Sanhedrin moved to Tiberias, where the Mishnah and Masorah were edited. During the following centuries, Tiberias attracted many pilgrims and scholars as one of the four Holy Cities and as the burial place of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes and Maimonides. In 1560, Don Joseph Nasi, a Marrano from Spain, received permission from the Turkish sultan to rebuild Tiberias as a Jewish agricultural and industrial center. His project failed, however, and Tiberias lay in ruins until 1740, when the Bedouin sheikh Daher el Omer restored the city with the help of Rabbi Aboulafia of Izmir. Today, as in ancient times, it is the economic center and metropolis of Lower Galilee and Israel’s principal health resort and spa.

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