web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Jewish History in a Nutshell: Hebron

Upon the conquest of Canaan, Joshua assigned Hebron to the tribe of Judah.
Hebron

Hebron
Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90

Visit United with Israel.

Hebron hosts the oldest Jewish community in the world and is the second holiest city in the Jewish religion after Jerusalem.

Tomb-of-the-PatriarchsHebron is the second holiest city in the Jewish religion. In Hebrew, the name Hebron comes from the Hebrew word Haver meaning friend, while in Arabic the city is referred to as Beit al Chalil, which translates into House of the Beloved. This name is fitting for the city, for Hebron is the resting place of all of Israel’s beloved patriarchs, as well as most of Israel’s matriarchs, and Avraham, the first Jewish patriarch, is considered a friend of G-d, the creator of the universe.

Hebron in Antiquity

Hebron is mentioned 87 times in the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible. Genesis 23 speaks about how Avraham purchased a burial tomb within Hebron for his wife Sarah. Known as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzhak, Rivka, Ya’akov and Leah are all buried there. Rachel the wife of Ya’akov is buried in Bethlehem. Jewish tradition also maintains that Adam and Eve are buried in the same location. Hebron was also one of the first places that Israel’s patriarchs resided upon arrival in Canaan. This implies that Hebron hosts the oldest Jewish community on the planet.

Upon the conquest of Canaan, Joshua assigned Hebron to the tribe of Judah. After the death of King Saul, King David ascended to Hebron, from where he was anointed king and ruled Israel for seven years, until he succeeded to conquer Jerusalem and proclaim the holy city to be the eternal capital of the Jewish people. During Second Temple times (around 20 BCE), King Herod built a structure over the Tomb of the Patriarchs which is partially still standing to date. During the Jewish revolt against Rome (around 130 BCE), Hebron was the scene of extensive fighting between the Jewish people and the Roman authorities. However, Jews continued to live in Hebron continuously during the Byzantine and Arab periods. There is even archaeological evidence for the existence of Byzantine-era synagogues in Hebron and travelers’ reports testify to the existence of a Hebron Jewish community under Arab rule.

Hebron in the Medieval Period

Old-City-of-HebronHowever, when the Crusaders invaded the Holy Land, the ancient Jewish community of Hebron was expelled from their homes. According to Benjamin of Tuleda, who traveled to Israel in 1170, Hebron was completely destroyed due to the fighting that occurred between the Crusaders and the forces of Saladin. He describes in his book The Travels of Benjamin, “Here is a large church, called St. Abraham; and it was, when the country was still in possession of the Ishmaelites, a Jewish Synagogue.” However, by the time of Nachmanides, 1267, some Jews were reported to have returned to Hebron. Yet in 1517, Hebron’s Jews would suffer significantly from a violent pogrom which included mass murder, rape, and the plundering of Jewish homes.

Nevertheless, by 1540, when Rabbi Jechiel Ashkenazi visited Hebron, there was a sizable community of Karaite Jews, who had their own synagogue. That same year, Sephardic Jewish exiles from Spain would immigrate to Hebron and establish the famous Avraham Avinu Synagogue, which still exists in Hebron to date. The synagogue was given this name because a legend reports that once when a minyan was lacking within the synagogue, the patriarch Avraham appeared inside the synagogue in person in order to make up for it.

Hebron in the Modern Era

Avraham-Avinu-SynagogueIn 1775, the Hebron Jewish community would suffer from a blood libel accusation, where local Jews were falsely accused of murdering a local sheikh and were forced to pay significant blood money as a result, which adversely affected the economic situation of the Hebron Jewish community. Nevertheless, throughout the Ottoman Turkish period, Jews from throughout the Diaspora and other parts of the Land of Israel would relocate to Hebron, which was one of the main centers of Jewish scholarship in Israel prior to the rise of Zionism. This ancient Jewish community would continue to exist in Hebron up until the 1929 massacre, during which sixty-seven people were murdered and the rest were forcefully expelled from the city. Jews would not be able to return to Hebron until after the 1967 war.

Presently Hebron is home to a strong Jewish community centered around the Tomb of the Patriarchs and during the time of the weekly Torah portion of Hayai Sarah, thousands of Jews make the yearly pilgrimage to Hebron in order to the be close to the resting place of Sarah the great Jewish matriarch .

About the Author: Rachel Avraham is a news editor and political analyst for Jerusalem Online News, the English language internet edition of Israel's Channel 2 News. She completed her masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies at Ben-Gurion University. The subject of her MA thesis was: "Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab media."


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Jewish History in a Nutshell: Hebron”

  1. The history of the Jewish people is one filled with turmoil, betrayal, and antipathy. Unless a Jew can be used to benefit others either financially or academically, they have been of little use in their host countries. This is why the state of Israel is so vitally important. The Jew really has nowhere else that he can call home. Bruce at http://www.oldtestamentwellness.com.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

UWI blog logo
Current Top Story
A would-be preacher delivers his message of hate from the Muslim"holy site" on the Temple Mount.
Al Aqsa Mosque ‘Stand-Up’ Preacher Calls for Annihilation of the United States
Latest Blogs Stories
Worshipers were cut down as they prayed

It’s clear that Obama equates Israelis and Arabs as equal sufferers of “violence.”

Ferguson, Missouri: rioting against racism, encouraging murder

The malicious manipulation of frustrated fury is surely as egregious as merely perceived racism.

About 7 in 10 Americans view Israel favorably – making Israel the only positively viewed Middle East country. But the younger Americans get, the more they like some Arab countries.

Undoubtedly, once he’s “former president Obama” he’ll join anti-Israel Jimmy Carter against Israel.

train track grafitti

The silly people on the left have created a new campaign to try and force the rest of the country to capitulate to their suicidal fantasies, this time by riding trains and imposing themselves onto other people’s conferences.

Find out how to set goals and take better care of your finances.

As events over the last couple of weeks amply demonstrate, the status quo isn’t working out either

Australian Ambassador to Israel ran to the hospital in J’m to visit the wounded and to donate blood

Those celebrating violence with “No Justice No Peace” signs are opposed to both justice and peace.

Pop quiz: The shortest book ever written? “Palestinian History and Positive Contributions” text book

We are the continuing generations from our Father Avraham who was given this Land by our L-rd.

When a country supports ($) the PA or Gaza or “recognizes,” “Palestine,” they promoting terrorism.

There is no question whatsoever that Odeh was behind the fatal bombing of a SuperSol market in 1969

As we Jews returned to the Holy Land and prayed at our holy sites, forces fighting holiness came too

Channel 10 TV published on Sunday a poll they commissioned asking Israeli Arabs a rather straightforward but important question:

Today”s discussion: “The effects of current geopolitical situation around the world on investing.”

According to PM Netanyahu, the bill would enshrine full equality under law to all Israeli citizens.

More Articles from Rachel Avraham
Flag of Israel

Living is Israel is costlier than in other countries but how will your kids grow up in the diaspora?

aliyah

Given these statistics, I feel that it is not worth it to live in the United States.

Pro-Israel groups must broaden their coalitions and feature more pro-Israel minority speakers.

Mahmoud Abbas tortured prisoners in PA custody and oppressed critical bloggers and journalists.

None of us support violence and we found out about the story in the media, just like every one else.

Why testify against ones boss or co-worker who engage in sexual harassment, if the case will most likely be dismissed anyway?

The Fatah-Hamas divide in itself should have killed the idea of a two-state for two peoples’ paradigm.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/united-with-israel/jewish-history-in-a-nutshell-hebron/2013/06/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: