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JAFFA

Jaffa Flee Market

The mitzvah tour stops in Jaffa, one of the most ancient port cities in the world. Archaeological evidence shows that Jaffa was inhabited some 7,500 years BCE. Throughout its existence the land has survived many rulers.

Jaffa is mentioned four times in the bible. First, as a port-of-entry for the cedars of Lebanon from Tyre for Solomon's Temple (2 Chronicles 2:15). Then it is mentioned as the place whence the prophet Jonah embarked for Tarshish (Book of Jonah 1:3). The bible also mentions Jaffa as a port-of-entry for the cedars of Lebanon for the Second Temple of Jerusalem (Book of Ezra 3:7). The last reference to the ancient city is in the Book of Joshua as the territorial border of the Tribe of Dan, hence the nowadays term "Gush Dan," used for the center of the coastal plain.

Our Bar or Bat Mitvzah tour visits the Clock Square, a famous site with a distinctive clock tower built in 1906 in honor of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. We visit the Seraya (governor's palace), built in the 1890s and the Andromeda rock to which beautiful Andromeda was chained in Greek mythology. Jaffa's Zodiac alleys, along which are art galleries, are a maze of restored alleys leading to the harbor. Jaffa Hill is a center for archaeological excavations, including restored Egyptian gates about 3,500 years old. Visitors must soak in the beautiful view of Tel Aviv.

We will see the Libyan Synagogue (Beit Zunana) which was built by a Jewish landlord, Zunana, in the 18th century that was turned into a hotel, then a soap factory and reopened as a synagogue for Libyan Jewish immigrants after 1948. In 1995, it became a museum.