| July 26, 2012 | 0 Comments
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Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron

A ntv  CC BY-SA 3.0
Tombs of Isaac and Rebecca

Hebron, Home of the Jewish Forefathers

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the fathers of monotheism, are the forefathers and ancestors of the Jewish People. They and their wives – Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah – are all buried in the Tomb of the Partriarchs (Machpelah Cave)  in Hebron, south of Jerusalem. (The matriarch Rachel is buried in Bethlehem, outside of Jerusalem). Hebron is considered Israel’s second holiest city. Jews have prayed at this site for 4,000 years.

The magnificent tomb is truly one of the wonders of the world; it has been in use as a Jewish place of prayer and homage for millennium, except for fifty years during the twelfth century when invaders banished the Jews from Hebron and Jerusalem.

Tomb of the Patriarchs

It is no surprise that half a million visitors come to Hebron each year. They pray at the Tomb of the Patriarchs and take walking tours of Biblical Hebron [Tel Hebron] where the Patriarchs lived out their lives, where King David ruled as Governor of Judah for seven years, and where David’s father Yishai and great-grandmother Ruth are buried. They stand precisely where Abraham stood when he purchased the Machpelah Cave for 400 silver shekels. (Genesis 23).

Ooman  CC BY-SA 3.0Cave of the Patriarchs
Ooman  CC BY-SA 3.0
Cave of the Patriarchs


Hebron Heritage Museum

Visitors can also visit the Hebron Heritage Museum, situated in the Beit Hadassah edifice. There, amidst the oil paintings and photography of Curator Shmuel Mushnik, they learn many colorful facts about the vibrant lives led by Hebron’s Jewish scholars over the past 500 years.

Modern Hebron

Modern Hebron is where 1,000 Jews live and study in four Jewish neighborhoods, all a pleasant, tranquil walk from the Tomb of the Patriarchs. Visitors can enjoy a light meal at the local Jewish cafeteria or purchase the work of talented local artists at the Hebron Gift Shop, both located in the Gutnick Center.

Hebron Activities

Ian Sewell  CC BY-SA 3.0Hevron

Ian Sewell  CC BY-SA 3.0

An unforgettable Hebron experiences include “Shabbat Chayei Sarah” (held in November), when over 10,000 Jews spend Shabbat in Hebron and the adjacent Kiryat Arba, a short ten-minute walk away. All participants want to be in Hebron on the Sabbath when the Torah portion about Abraham’s purchase of the Machpelah cave is read.

During the Intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot, tens of thousands of locals and visitors  travel in chartered buses to Hebron to pray and to enjoy free tours of the city, street theater, children’s recreational activities, and other attractions. Twice yearly during these holidays there are free music festivals in the square outside the Machpelah Cave, attended by 50,000 guests and featuring performances by some of the top names in contemporary Chassidic music.

Hebron is likewise thronged with visitors throughout Elul, the Hebrew calendar month before Rosh Hashanah, and especially on the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah.

Other days of special celebrations include Lag B’Omer, the final night of Sukkot, and Israel’s Independence Day.

ורד עבוד  CC BY 2.5Hevron at Night

ורד עבוד  CC BY 2.5
Hevron at Night

More Hebron Information

English information on all topics relating to tourism, field-school accommodations, and special events can readily be attained by calling 02-996-5333, the general number of the Jewish Community of Hebron, and pressing “2” for English.

Hebron: Did You Know?

Hundreds of Jewish families come to Hebron each year to celebrate the circumcision of their sons in the place where Abraham performed the first circumcision.

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Category: Hebron, Historical, Holy Sites

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