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 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...

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