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Safed Candles is such a central site for visitors to Tzfat that it’s hard to realize that its history goes back only 18 years.
But in fact, that’s the period that the Safed Candles has been situated in the Old City, drawing visitors who marvel at the beautiful candles and beeswax sculptures that are on display there.
Safed Candles was begun almost two decades ago by a Tzfat resident, a member of the Breslav Hassidic sect, who was looking to start a small business that would provide employment for some local residents. He set up his shop in a small cubby-hole on the edge of the Old City, next to the Ari Ashkenazi synagogue. There, a small staff of men and women hand-dipped and wove candles from beeswax into candles to be used for Jewish ceremonial purposes – for welcoming the Sabbath, for the Sabbath-close ceremony, Hannukah candles and others.