Israel: Tzfat

Tzfat is northwest of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), and we were told it is the historical home of Jewish mysticism. It is considered one of the most holy cities in Israel, and is the highest city in elevation. 

We were only in the city for a short period of time, but it felt to me like a relatively normal, somewhat commercialized, small village on a hill. I didn't personally pick up on any differences in the religiosity of people compared to other Israeli cities, though it was certainly overwhelmingly Orthodox. We walked the streets, met some schoolchildren working on a project, learned about Kabbalah, and visited the city's famous candle store before climbing back on our bus and heading south.