Decorated with Middle Eastern arches, hanging lamps and bookshelves heavy with holy texts, this synagogue – like the street it’s on – is named in honour of Toledo-born Rabbi Yosef Caro (1488–1575), author of the Shulchan Aruch (the most authoritative codification of Jewish law). It was founded as a house of study in the 1500s but was rebuilt after the earthquakes of 1759 and 1837 – and again in 1903.
In the 16th century, Caro, the head of Tsfat’s rabbinical court, was the most respected rabbinical authority not only in Palestine but in many parts of the Jewish Diaspora as well. According to tradition, an angel revealed the secrets of Kabbalah to Caro in the house below the synagogue. To the right as you face the ark, hanging in one of the windows, you can see the twisted remains of a Katyusha rocket from Lebanon that landed just outside in 2006.