Did you know?
By Rabbi Fabian Werbin
The city of Safed in the north of Israel is a very nice, interesting city, the highest city in the Galilee. The small streets, the nice views and the small houses with their roofs painted blue make it a very attractive city, but Safed is mostly known for its relation with the Kaballah. Many sages, rabbis and kabalists lived there in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
Some of these sages are buried in Safed and their tombs are also painted the color blue. One of the explanations that was given is that people wanted to visit the graves of these sages and pray there and ask for miracles from these sages, but they didn’t know exactly where the graves were located, so the local people who knew the correct locations painted the graves blue so everybody could recognize them.
This is a very nice explanation but… it doesn’t explain why the roofs are painted blue…
There’s a legend that says that the city of Safed was attacked by a plague and many people died. The people were afraid, and they asked the elders to do something. The elders suggested painting the roofs of the houses with blue paint so when the angel of death came to the city he would think that he was in the middle of the sea instead of being in Safed, and so would go to another place. Apparently, it worked very well and the plague stopped, but the inhabitants of Safed keep painting the roofs blue.