Mystical City’s Newest Yeshiva Adds Creative Touch

Every Friday, Chabad-Lubavitch yeshiva students across the globe head out of their study halls and take to the streets for pre-Sabbath interactions with locals: On the lookout for Jewish passersby, tourists and shopkeepers, they help men don the prayer boxes known as tefillin, hand out Sabbath candles to women, and answer questions about Judaism to anyone who asks.

It’s about the same for students at Yeshiva Temimei Darech, with one crucial difference. In keeping with their mystical and artistic surroundings – Safed, one of Judaism’s four holy cities, is known throughout the world as the seat of the esoteric teachings known as the Kabbalah and a lively artists’ colony – the students’ Friday rounds take on an unusually creative tone.

Along with the tefillin and candles come open-air musical performances featuring the yeshiva’s own jazz band. The yeshiva’s administration takes a similar approach to their weekday schedules, building time amidst hours of study of Jewish law and Chasidic thought to allow students to develop their musical and artistic talents.


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