Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Untold Stories of Tzfas

Shira Yehudit Djilimand

The holy city of Tzfas holds many secrets, and it takes a determined enthusiast to ferret them all out. Rabbi Yisroel Rottenberg — tour guide, storyteller and well-known Tzfas rav and former rebbi — has made it his business to discover the secrets hidden within his city’s ancient stones.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

After living in Tzfas for fourteen years, I thought I knew pretty much all the stories about the city. Therefore, when Rabbi Yisroel Rottenberg, a well-known and respected Tzfas rabbi, suggested a tour for Mishpacha, I was skeptical whether he could tell me anything new. But I hadn’t reckoned on Rabbi Rottenberg.

Originally from London, after making aliyah he became a much-loved rebbi in the Old City. Later he was responsible for a number of Tzfas’s educational and chessd institutions. How did he make the leap from chinuch and chesed to being a font of fascinating information about Tzfas and a popular tour guide?

“I was having a hard time making a living from chinuch, so I started giving tours,” he explains. “I met all these people visiting Tzfas, and they had so many questions about its history. I therefore began to ask around and talk to people.”

The result is that Rabbi Rottenberg has discovered stories that neither I nor our Tzfas-born-and-bred photographer Eliyahu Cobin had ever heard. And perhaps there will be a few stories that are new to you, too.


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"