The 1759 Earthquake ripped through North Eretz Yisroel devastating Tzfat amongst other cities. Over 200 homes were destroyed and 140 Jews were killed. Following the earthquake most Jews left Tzfat, leaving only 50 families. Out of all the city's synagogues only the Alsheich synagogue and part of the Abuhav Synagogue remained standing. Already in a steady decline from its Golden Age, the destruction wrought by the 1759 earthquake cemented Tzfat’s fall as a center of Jewish life in Israel. Some Rabbis saw the earthquake as retribution for Tzfat's attempts to override Yerushalaim as the central Israeli settlement.