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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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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

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True, we had then, and still do, have many disagreements with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. But when it came to Machpela, he said no. The holy place remained under Israeli control. That is why some 800,000 people of all religions, from around the world, can visit here annually.

Again, such talks are underway. But again, a few days, ago, Netanyahu issued a special ‘blessing,’ leading up to ‘A night to honor Hebron’ in the Knesset and this Shabbat.

“It is no coincidence that the government of Israel included the Cave of Machpela in its list of National Heritage Sites. Hebron, like Jerusalem, has the power to unite Israel…My wish for you is that ‘Shabbat Hebron,’ with its thousands of participants, will deepen our affinity to the City of our Forefathers, to our Land and to our heritage.”

Those Jews, who worship three times a day, recite a special blessing, speaking of the resurrection of the dead. Today’s Jewish community, living at Tel Rumeida-Tel Hebron, Beit Hadassah, Beit Romano, the Avraham Avinu neighborhood, worshiping at Ma’arat HaMachpela, the close to one million people who visit Hebron every year, are all living examples of rebirth, resuscitation of the dead.

Who was here? What was here? Who could have possibly imagined that we would ever really come back, and LIVE here again? Who could have dreamt of a night to honor Hebron, in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset? A dream, a dream come true.

We are here: for all of those who lived here and died here, for all those who dreamed but could only dream, and for our grandchildren’s grandchildren, so that they too will be able to be here.

We are but links in a chain, the beginning of which started 4,000 years ago, and the end of which is eternity. This is what will be going through my head tomorrow, celebrating Shabbat Chayei Sarah in Hebron, with tens of thousands from Israel and around the world.

We are here. To stay. Forever.

If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.

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


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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!

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