The city of Hebron, where King David had established his first kingdom, is at the epicenter of the current wave of terror raging across the country. Yet the violence will not destroy the spirit of the residents. This weekend they will host the annual festivities in commemoration of the passing of the matriarch Sarah, for whom the patriarch Abraham purchased the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron, where they are buried.
Following is a message from Yishai Fleisher, International Spokesman for the City of Hebron.
Despite the threat of terror, tens of thousands of pilgrims are gearing up to take part in the annual Shabbat Chayei Sarah festivities in Hebron, a yearly commemoration of the purchase of the Cave of Machpelah, which is remembered in this week’s Torah portion.
This Shabbat, November 6-7, the Jewish community of Hebron and neighboring Kiryat Arba will open their homes to guests from throughout Israel and around the world who will come to Hebron to read the Torah portion recalling the passing of the Biblical matriarch Sarah and her husband Abraham’s purchase of the Cave of Machpelah as a burial plot. The cave – also known as the Tomb of the Patriarchs – subsequently became the final resting place of the patriarch Abraham himself – father of monotheistic civilization – as well as his son Isaac and wife Rebecca, and their son Jacob and wife Leah – the heroes and heroines of the Bible.
“The city of Hebron is proud and eager to host the myriad guests who will be joining us in celebration this Shabbat,” said Yishai Fleisher, International Spokesman for the City of Hebron. “Israel has been hit by a plague of jihad, yet it continues to operate every day with optimism and resilience. We look forward to a fun and festive experience for all the good people, government ministers, rabbis and educators, Jews and non-Jews who will come to pay tribute and join us in solidarity.”
Since Hebron’s liberation in 1967 and the subsequent effort to revitalize the community that flourished for hundreds of years before the pograms of 1929, the Machpelah Cave has been a site of pilgrimage to millions of Jews and gentiles who come to give honor to the principal heroes of the Bible and the founders of monotheistic civilization.
While international bodies such as UNESCO try to minimize the Biblical and Jewish significance of this world heritage site, and terrorists try keep pilgrims from coming by sowing fear and oppression, Israelis and lovers of the Bible worldwide defy the those efforts by coming to Hebron on Shabbat Chayei Sarah and proclaiming the eternal connection between Hebron, the Bible and the Jewish people.