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This week we read about Abraham’s purchase of the Machpela cave in Hebron and the subsequent burial there of our matriarch Sarah (Parshat Chayei Sara). These actions began the unbreakable bond between the Jewish people and the land of Israel in that the burial of our ancestors in these places puts a geographic anchoring on our story. These “facts on the ground” can never be changed. Hundreds of years after the founders of Judaism were interred in Hebron, King David began his reign there, and stayed in Hebron for 7 years until moving to Jerusalem.

Today, about 3,000 years later, a Jewish presence returns to Hebron, and hangs on there tenaciously despite global efforts to the contrary. I love Hebron because I love Jewish identity. My wife and I had the great privilege to be married in Hebron in the height of the second Intifada (see video), and we produced a film about the Sin of Spies and the hero, Calev Ben Yefune, who garnered strength in Hebron to stand against the evil report that rejected the land of Israel.

This Shabbat 30,000 of Abraham’s children are slated to come to Hebron. Let us stand back and marvel at the fulfillment of the ancient promise to return. Then let’s jump in and take part in the passion of our times.

Blessings, Yishai