MembersAncestral City

by Dov Chaikin

August 1929. I was three-and-a-half years old, and I remember holding the hand of my paternal grandfather at a street corner, as he and other elders of the Romema neighborhood of Jerusalem (where I grew up) held animated discussion.

THE CAVE OF MAKHPELAH
THE CAVE OF MAKHPELAH was ‘deeded over to Abraham for a burial site by the sons of Heth’ (Genesis 23:20)

Much later only did I become fully aware of what it had all been about: Hebron, where 69 Jews—men, women and children—had been brutally massacred by Arab rioters! Hebron, where my paternal grandmother had been born.

 

Hebron, built seven years before Zoan [Tanis, an ancient capital] in Egypt (Num. 13:22), is first mentioned in the Bible in Gen. 13:22. There, Abraham built an altar (his third) to God, and it was in Hebron that the first purchase of land—the Cave of the Makhpelah and the plot surrounding it (Gen. 23)—is biblically recorded.

 

The massive stone structure over the Cave was built by King Herod, and it is the only Herodian structure to remain intact and still serve its original purpose: that of a gathering place for prayer at the Tomb of the Patriarchs. The Byzantines and the Crusaders transformed it into a church.

Israel Today Membership

Become a Member

  • Read all member content

    Get exclusive in-depth reports from Israel.

  • Get exclusive in-depth reports from Israel

    Connect with Israel, right from your home.

  • Lift up the voice of truth and hope

    Support Jerusalem-based Zionist journalism.

Already a member? .

Members

Israel Today Membership

Read all member content. Access exclusive, in-depth reports from Israel! Free Zoom events. Connect with Israel right from your home! Raise a voice of truth and hope. Support Faith-based journalism in Jerusalem!

Monthly
Membership

$5
/ month
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Become a Member

Yearly
Membership

$46
/ year
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 18% Per Month.
Become a Member

Six Months
Membership

$28
every 6 months
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 9% Per Month.
Become a Member

Leave a Reply