It is said
that "twice as many Jews as in the Exodus from Egypt" are buried
in Tzfat's old cemetery. Thousands of tombstones dot the
hillside below the old Sephardi Jewish quarter. Most of the
older tombs are eroded or ruined, but those of the Kabbalists
are well-preserved and stand out from the rest in their bright
blue color. Here are buried the Ari, Shlomo Alkabetz, Moshe
Cordovero, Joseph Caro and Moshe Mitrani.
The ancient burial caves found in
the cemetery date from the Talmudic period (1st to 5th
centuries A.D.). The more prominent ones are thought to be the
tombs of Hoshea Ben Be'eri and Pinhas Ben Yair.