Definitions

Hindu holy cities

Four Holy Cities

The Four Holy Cities is the collective term in Jewish tradition applied to the cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, Tiberias, and Safed: "Since the sixteenth century the holiness of Palestine, especially for burial, has been almost wholly transferred to four cities—Jerusalem, Hebron, Tiberias, and Safed.

  • Jerusalem has been the holiest city in Judaism and the spiritual homeland of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE.
  • Hebron is the burial place of the Jewish patriarchs.
  • Safed came to be regarded as a holy city after the influx of Jews following the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 and became known as a center of kabbalistic scholarship.
  • Tiberias was significant in Jewish history as the place where the Jerusalem Talmud was composed and home of the Masoretes, but its status as a holy city is due to the influx of rabbis who established the city as a center for Jewish learning in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Of the Four Holy Cities for Judaism, two are holy cities to other Abrahamic religions as well. Islam and Christianity both regard Jerusalem as holy and Islam also reveres Hebron as well as the burial site of Abraham.

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