I'm used to seeing the acronym תובב״א ("may it be rebuilt & reestablished speedily in our days, Amen") after Jerusalem, which I presume is a prayer for the building of the Third Temple.

But recently I saw it used referring to Tzfat (Safed).

  • How old/prevalent is such usage?
  • What exactly are we praying for? In what ways do we hope Tzfat will be built more in the future than it is currently?

תובב"א = תִּבּנה ותכונן במהרה בימינו אמן

Per this Wiki link http://he.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D7%AA%D7%95%D7%91%D7%91%22%D7%90 it is used on the 4 holy cities in Eretz Yisroel. Yerushalayim, Teveria, Tzefas, and Chevron.

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    Fascinating, thank you. But what specific rebuilding of Safed and Tiberias are we awaiting? – Shalom Aug 10 '11 at 16:32
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    mechon mamre's text of Rambam Kilayim & Issurei Mizbeach don't contain the words "Tzfat" or "Chevron." Was this something written in an older, handwritten edition perhaps? – Shalom Aug 10 '11 at 18:52
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    @Gershon, your references to the Rambam are actually to the commentary Melech Shaleim (18th century). And the haskamah to Zivchei Shelamim is dated 5643 (1883). So those references don't go back particularly far. – Alex Aug 10 '11 at 23:49
  • I removed the references for now until I do further research. – Gershon Gold Aug 11 '11 at 1:26
  • Related to this answer is judaism.stackexchange.com/q/12911. – msh210 Jan 3 '12 at 7:06

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