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It's almost a colloquialism that there are four holy cities in Israel.

If, indeed, there is some significant message derived from the historical importance of these cities that imparts in them some holiness, why aren't there more? For instance, given the fact that it was home to the Mishkan for such a long time, I'd expect Shiloh to be on the list. In addition, given the fact that the Sanhedrin convened there after the destruction of Yerushalayim, I might also expect Yavneh to be on the list.*

  • *Perhaps one might also expect Ushah on the list for the same reason. To me, Yavneh is more famous, because of the dramatic story of how the sages and Jewish religious life were saved, but especially also because of the fundamental shift away from a focus on 'Avodah in the Beith HaMikdash to a personal service that has since been the norm and was made possible by that historical event. – Seth J Mar 20 '13 at 19:13
  • Why not Tiberias? It is where the Sanhedrin reconstituted around 150 CE. – Bruce James Mar 20 '13 at 19:52
  • @BruceJames, it's one of the Four. – Seth J Mar 20 '13 at 19:54
  • he.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Gershon Gold Mar 21 '13 at 14:01

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