In the sixteenth century, the Old City of Safed became a world centre of Kabbala and Jewish thought. Rabbis and students from all over the Jewish world flocked to the city, and the old cobblestone streets resounded with prayer and study. In the yeshivas and synagogues, texts and commentaries were written, and were eventually printed In Safed. Many of the Rabbis and Sages were buried in the old cemetery of Safed, and graves of Talmudic sages have been discovered in the mountains and forests around the city. These burial places have become revered pilgrimage sites.
The old streets and lanes of Safed have survived to this day. Dozens of synagogues and yeshivas still operate in the Old City. Safed is undergoing a massive restoration, including the ancient cemetery, which has 100,000 tombs. On the night of the new moon, the beginning of the Jewish month, hundreds of memorial candles are lit throughout the cemetery and pilgrims throng to the graves for a night of prayer, immersion in the ancient ritual bath, and supplication