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August 3, 2015 / 18 Av, 5775
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I Love Hevron

So, in honor of the week’s Torah portion of “Chaya Sarah,” let’s start our love affair with the Land of Israel in Hevron. I love Hevron. It’s so powerfully “Biblical.”
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As part of our effort to attract our beloved, Diaspora readers with honey, rather than to smash them repeatedly over their heads – in the next few blogs, we will travel the length and breadth of Eretz Yisrael, just like our forefather Avraham did in obeying God’s command, “Arise, walk about the Land through its length and breadth! For to you I will give it!”

Based on a Gemara in Baba Batra 100A, the Ramban explains that Hashem commanded Avraham to walk through the Land out of His love for him, that his offspring might more easily conquer the country, since walking the length and breadth of the Land signified Avraham’s taking possession of it.

So, in honor of the week’s Torah portion of “Chaya Sarah,” let’s start our love affair with the Land of Israel in Hevron. I love Hevron. It’s so powerfully “Biblical.” That’s the best word to describe it. Whenever I’m there, I feel like I’ve traveled 5000 years back through time. The transcendental holiness of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs still saturates the air. The kedusha is so thick, you feel that you can actually reach out and grasp it. Not only is Hevron the gateway to Gan Eden, our Sages teach that all of the Land of Israel is mystically folded up, like a roadmap, under the city. That’s one of the reasons why the Tomb of the Patriarchs is called “Maarat HaMachpelah,” meaning “the Cave that is doubled” or “folded up.” That is also why Jewish settlement in Hevron is so strategically important – whoever possesses Hevron, possesses the Land.

Just like Hevron was a city of giants in the past, so it is today. The Jews who live there are giants. What can I say? Boro Park and Monsey belong to a completely different world. A totally different planet. On my second date with my wife, I took her there, to see how she would react. In addition to praying in the Maarat HaMachpeleh, we visited my good friend, Baruch Marzel, and Rabbi Moshe Levinger. She passed the test with flying colors. I wasn’t surprised – her brother was learning in the yeshiva there.

Before, Rosh HaShanah, I took my two youngest boys to Hevron to ask Hashem to inscribe all of the Jewish People into the Book of Life, in the merit of our holy forefathers. One of our boys studies in a high-school yeshiva in Maale Hever, just ten minutes away, so I visit Hevron often. What a blessing to live so close to this Heavenly place, just a 50 minute drive from my house!

Here are some photos I took on recent visits. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Enjoy! And Shabbat Hevron shalom!

PS – There are a few photos of giant banners hanging on the Peace House during the struggle to prevent the government from ousting its Jewish residents. I made the banners and hung them up with my dear friend, Noam Arnon, spokesperson for the Hevron community. Now that the court has sanctioned our ownership, with G-d’s help, the Jews will be moving back soon!

 

 

 

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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6 Responses to “I Love Hevron”

  1. I wish the Jewish community of Hebron well and hope it continues in Hebron for another 3,000 years at least.

    I do not believe that they should turn the other cheek when they are stoned by.
    Muslims. But I also believe that many Hevron Jews have, like you, supported crimes of revenge on the Muslims.

    Besides being wrong in and of itself, it threatens the slim chances of any toleration of this community should political realities dictate changes there.

    I hope this will not happen, but it is always good to have a Plan B.

    Recently, I responded to a column here in which you re-printed one by Meir Kahane.

    I mentioned that it was important to condemn Dr. Baruch Goldstein for his atrocities in the strongest way.

    You replied that you thought Baruch Goldtein was right and is in a favored place in Heaven.

    I want to repeat this again because the subject is the connection between Avraham and the Jewish community of Hebron.

    It amazes me that some Jews who know very well the story of how Avraham ran to do kindness to strangers are celebrating someone who murdered 29 Muslims while they were praying to God in Avraham's tomb.

    97% of Israeli Jews who were polled agree that Dr. Godstein did an enormously evil act.

    But it is not well known that the Jewish community of Hebron agrees with the 97%.

    I hope to hear or read somewhere from Hebron Jews that agree also.

    I understand that some Hebron Muslims have also deeply betrayed there heartfelt connection to Avraham by murdering Jews in Hebron.

    The Jewish community is under siege with tremendous hostility from the Muslim people there.

    Certainly the Jews have a right to defend their lives if attacked physically.

    This is the law of self-defense.

    But the Jews of Hebron do not have the right to initiate war without the approval of the Jewish people and or the greatest Rabbis that they indeed are covered under the laws of war.

    Rabbi Levinger also has crossed the line. He was convicted of assaulting an Israeli.
    soldier. He has admitted attacking a child that he said insulted his child.

    Baruch Goldstein's acts were not acts of self-defense or war, but murder, blasphemy, and desecration of the Holy Name.

  2. Yehuda Cohen says:

    Who was that furry white masked man anyway? Tonto said: he is the Loan Ranger on loan to us from HaShem to help us get closer to G-d in Eretz Yisrael. Ke-mo sah-bee (trusted friend) :-)

Comments are closed.

Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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