Photo Credit: Jewish Press

For the last seven years, I have had the amazing privilege of working for the oldest Jewish community in the world – Hebron. Hebron has a lot of “rishons” that is, firsts. It is the place of the first purchase of the Jewish people in the land of Israel – the Maarat HaMachpela bought by Abraham. It is also where the first family of Israel is buried: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah. Jacob is also known as Israel – which has the letter of Li Rosh – “For Me [G-d] you [Israel] are first.” According to the Kabbala, the ancient tomb also holds the first human couple – Adam and Eve. The first Jewish boy, Isaac, was born in Hebron, and later the first Jewish wedding of Isaac and Rebecca was in Hebron. For young King David, Hebron became his first capital and it here that a miracle happened – all the Jewish agreed on ONE thing – the heads of the tribes came to Hebron and crowned David as king of all of Israel. Later, when the Temple was built, we are told by the sages that the morning’s work would not begin until the first light of dawn had shown upon Hebron – a commemoration of the merit of the forefathers and mothers. In 2002, Malkah and I got married in Hebron in the first wedding in some years – the intifada had scared people off. Since then, Jewish weddings have continued to take place in Hebron, at the foot of the first founders of our peoplehood – just like that first wedding thousands of years ago.


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Rabbi Yishai Fleisher is the international spokesperson for the Jewish community of Hebron. He is an advocate of Jewish rights in Judea. Yishai is an Israeli broadcaster on the Land of Israel Network and a frequent columnist whose work has been featured on CNN, Al Jazeera, Fox, Vice, BBC, and more. He holds a JD from Cardozo Law.