Porat Gallery Safed
|גלריה משה פורת|
|Moshe Porat Gallery|
|Metal sculptor with a gallery in Safed.|
Visitors to Tzfat’s Old City may wonder about the unique handiwork of the metal door on the Ari Ashkenazi Synagogue. This door was crafted by Moshe Porat, a local sculptor, physician and synagogue board member who sought to create a piece of art which would combine aesthetics with the spirit of Judaism. Dr. Porat’s unique metalwork is gaining notice in Tzfat and throughout the world.
 Moshe Porat
Moshe Porat is a certified orthopedic surgeon who practiced in Germany for 25 years. After retiring from practice, Dr. Porat returned to his native country, Israel, and bought a house in Tzfat. He decided to develop his metalwork hobby, which he had enjoyed in Germany, and expand it into a gallery.
 Titanium Metal
Dr. Porat’s specialty is working with titanium metal which he is familiar with from his experiences of working with the material as an orthopedic surgeon. Titanium metal is used to replace damaged joints and Dr. Porat’s familiarity with the metal led him to try it as a basis for his art work. “Titanium is a strong metal” Dr. Porat explains, “but it’s also light. Titanium does not conduct heat so it’s possible to weld a titanium rod on one side while you hold the other side safely.” Few artists use titanium, Dr. Porat notes, because of the difficulties in producing it. This makes it an expensive metal and it can be complicated to obtain.
 Porat Gallery
Dr. Porat’s gallery is located on Alkabetz Street, next to the stairs that descend to the Abuhav Synagogue. Dr. Porat works in the workroom which sits below his gallery. He sculpts works of Judaica which combine titanium and silver. He works the metal in such as way as to create one continuous piece rather than weld various pieces together. These works include candelabras, wine cups and other objects used for Jewish rituals.
Dr. Porat likes to sculpt “multi-purpose” works which can serve a number of different functions. Dr. Porat calls these “puzzles.” One such Judaica puzzle is a holder for an “etrog” -- citron -- used on the holiday of Succot. This etrog-holder also includes holders for the other three species -- palms, myrtles and willow branches -- that Jews use on Succot. A second piece is a wine cup which expands to include all of the ritual items used for the “havdallah” -- end of Sabbath -- service including a candle holder, a second cup to be used for putting out the candle’s flame and a spice holder.
 Gallery Hours
The Porat Gallery is open daily from 9:00 till after sunset.