web analytics
March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


WE OWN IT

Thousands to Celebrate Shabbat Chayei Sarah in Hebron

Tomorrow, together with literally tens of thousands here in Hebron and Kiryat Arba, we will read in the Torah how Abraham, almost 4,000 years ago, purchased the Caves of Machpela for us, his children.
Jews from across Israel are gathering outside the Cave of the Patriarchs this Shabbat.

Jews from across Israel are gathering outside the Cave of the Patriarchs this Shabbat.
Photo Credit: 2010 illustration image, Hebron.com

A few days ago, speaking to a group of young adults, one of the people asked me what’s my motivation to live in Hebron. My answer contained a few elements.

Usually my first stop on tours is Tel Rumeida, a great place to start. Because this neighborhood is actually ancient Tel Hebron. If Ma’arat HaMachpela is where the Patriarchs and Matriarchs are buried, this is where they lived. Two walls, one 4,500 years old, dated to the era of Noah, and another, 3,700 years old, from the times of Abraham and Sarah, ensconce a stairwell, over 4,000 years old. We are almost 100% sure that our Forefathers walked these stairs.

Today, the stairs reach the only road accessing this neighborhood. Archeologists have explained to us that under that road, at the end of the stone stairs, are probably the Gates to the ancient city of Hebron.

This site is, for me, probably one of the most important places, not only in Hebron, but in all of Israel, and in the world. Why? Tomorrow, together with literally tens of thousands here in Hebron and Kiryat Arba, we will read in the Torah how Abraham, almost 4,000 years ago, purchased the Caves of Machpela for us, his children. TheTorah states twice, specifically, exactly where this transaction occurred, when he paid 400 silver shekels (today valued at $700,000) to Efron the Hittite. That place is, the gates to the city.

Standing with groups, looking at this spot, I tell them that it is very possible, even likely, that this is where Abraham purchased Machpela. And what I always find amazing isn’t so much that Abraham was there then, but that we are still here today. How many people can say, after 4,000 years, this is where they began, and where they continue to live today?

A tent city is erected for the overflow of visitors who couldn't find indoor lodging.

A tent city is erected for the overflow of visitors who couldn’t find indoor lodging.

This is our roots, the roots of Judaism, the roots of Monotheism. Any person, any group of people, any religion that professes a belief in one G-d, this is where it all began. Quite literally, this is the beginning of humanity as we know it today, the beginning of the end of human sacrifice, of a belief in the one and only Creator of the Universe, our G-d. It is difficult to get closer to our roots than at this very place.

Later we visit the actual site of those caves, known as Ma’art HaMachpela. Here groups hear the stories, legends, Biblical and Rabbinic accounts of this place’s sanctity. It is difficult perhaps, to comprehend this is the tomb, not only of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah, but also of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman. Abraham, it is written, upon discovering these tombs, was able to inhale and smell the unique fragrances of the Garden of Eden.

Here, so it is written, our souls ascend to the world above, after they depart our physical body.

Not the seventh wonder of the world, rather the first wonder of the world.

But perhaps, the most incredible part of the story, again, isn’t then, but today. For this singular place was inaccessible to Jews and Christians for hundreds of years, seven centuries. For seven hundred years no one, not of Moslem faith, was allowed inside the 2,000 year old Herodian monument built on top of the caves.

Only in 1967, following the six-day war and our return home, home to Hebron, were we once again able to visit, pray, identify with our holy relatives, at this very exceptional site.

How many peoples of the world remember what they lost, centuries ago? How many peoples strive, pray, and even die, to return to their roots, their holy sites, the core of their essence? And how many succeed?

But it doesn’t end there. Not too many years ago, January, 1997, most of Hebron was taken from us, abandoned to our enemy. During negotiations, leading to the signing and implementation of the Hebron accords, the Arabs demanded control of Machpela. They have stated, time and again, that should they retain power here, it will again be off-limits to anyone not of the Islamic faith.

About the Author: David Wilder is the spokesperson for the Hebron Community.


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.

4 Responses to “Thousands to Celebrate Shabbat Chayei Sarah in Hebron”

  1. Listening to Brooks Violin Concerto as I read this article, curiously appropriate, my thoughts are with Israel.

  2. Michelle Dan El Carr says:

    I was in Hebron many years ago for this Shabbat and it was wonderful to see the place where our patriarchs Sleep. How sad it is that this is now part of the PA.

  3. Yechiel Baum says:

    It is NOT part of the PA.
    Israel has a rule that no Jew to be abandoned to the Arabs and we have the deed that Hebron is ours. No one has the right to give it away at any price!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu to Release Frozen Palestinian Authority Tax Revenue
Latest News Stories
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The PA hasn’t changed anything on their end, so why did Netanyahu suddenly change his policy?

Netanyahu and Saudi King Salman.

Obama’s “two-state” phobia shows how much he and his experts do not understand the Middle East.

Rice

Kosher for Passover? Depends who you ask.

The main suspect confessed to passing on information to Syria through the Internet.

Has anyone asked Obama why Netanyahu should even think about agreeing to a Palestinian Authority country?

A U.S. Air Force F-15 warplane dropped approximately 60,000 leaflets over the Syrian city of Raqaa to discourage people from joining the Islamic State (ISIS), the Pentagon revealed Thursday. The “Military Information Support Operations,” propaganda campaign was carried out last week and was the first time the United States has used the tactic in Syria. […]

Israel reportedly wants to change the names to Hebrew, which would affront Muslim sensitivities.

The non-binding vote approves funds for imposing sanctions if Iran violates a deal.

Congress is ‘fed up’ with being left in the dark on the Iran negotiations

While there’s not much snow left, there are bike trails, hiking trails and extreme mountain sleds.

The White House says another foreign policy failure proves Obama is doing something right, but it not clear exactly what.

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he supports Saudi Arabia’s attack on Iranian-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen Saudi Arabia has been joined by other oil-rich states, including Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the Gulf States, all of whom said that “they “have decided to answer the call of President Hadi to protect Yemen and his […]

The former US envoy to the United Nations writes in the NY Times that bombing Iran is the only way to stop a nuclear arms race.

More Articles from David Wilder
He was my friend. He was also a doctor. A very good one. He treated both Arabs and Jews. His trauma treatment was legendary in Israeli medical circles. His on-the-spot diagnoses were, after weeks of hospital tests, found to be 100% on the mark.

The agenda of articles appearing 20 years after the Goldstein episode has nothing to do with human rights or suffering.

Netanyahu shaking hands with Arafat in Hebron.

Seventeen years ago today, the ‘Hebron Accords were implemented.

A few days ago Hebron joyfully greeted back the archaeologists.

Ariel Sharon. He had many positions, and many titles. I will remember him as a monster.

Tomorrow, together with literally tens of thousands here in Hebron and Kiryat Arba, we will read in the Torah how Abraham, almost 4,000 years ago, purchased the Caves of Machpela for us, his children.

A few hours after the murder, the Prime Minister issued a directive to allow Jews back into Beit HaMachpela immediately.

People here develop “antennas” which pick up vibrations in the air, and the vibes were definitely there.

The first time was many years ago. I had just concluded explanations about Yeshivat Knesset Yisrael” which arrived in Hebron from Slobodka, in Lithuania in 1924. The Hebron Heritage Museum at Beit Hadassah features an exhibit about this illustrious Torah-learning academy, nicknamed the ‘Hebron Yeshiva,’ which includes a ‘class picture’ from 1928. As I finished […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/thousands-to-celebrate-shabbat-chayei-sarah-in-hebron/2013/10/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: