web analytics
July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



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.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

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

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
UWI blog logo
Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Blogs Stories
The 32

These are the photos of our soldiers (and a citizen) killed in action during the current IDF ground operation in Gaza.

Happy soldiers with pizza

Jameel went on a pizza run down south, and translated a letter from a soldier on the border, along with some of his own personal observations…

Rabbi Meir Kahane at the National Press Club ~ 1985

Rabbi Kahane spoke of transfer, because it was what the Torah spoke of.

.Into Gaza!

Her message to her soldier son on the battlefield: “Complete the Mission! Sayyem et HaMissimah!”

JoeSettler contemplated some new El Al slogans like: “El Al – Our pilots are trained in evasive maneuvers”…. Let’s hear your new El Al Slogans…

IDF volunteers come to Israel just to serve are the true idealists; Sean Carmeli was one of them.

And he whispers one last time, I love you mother.

It’s absurd, in this war places like Ariel and Shiloh are among the safest in the State of Israel.

Why aren’t American Jews coming s to Israel for the summer; Are they scared because of the war?

Ruthie Blum reveals just how hard it is for a Jewish mother to be a patriot at the time of war. Maternal cognitive dissonance On Thursday night, after 10 days of aerial warfare between Hamas terrorists and Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a ground incursion into Gaza. It was a move that much of […]

JoeSettler takes on the IDF Spokesperson’s tweets that he believes are morally wrong and negatively affect the war we are fighting…

The 7 Decisions that changed author Andy Andrews’ life and how they can guide you towards success.

Not asking the world for the right to defend ourselves; such a right is obvious to anyone with a spine.

Where has all the billions of Euros and dollars that have been poured into Gaza over the years gone?

One wishes the PA would distance itself completely from Hamas now for the sake of peace and development in the region.

More Articles from Rachel Avraham
Diversity in Israel

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

mahmoud abbas

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.

It is absolutely critical that religious Jewish girls have a support network throughout their IDF service.

Women of the Wall Vice Chair Batya Kallus serves as an adviser to Sikkuy, a signatory to the Haifa Declaration calling for the abolishing of the State of Israel.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: