Culture

Shabbat Karlin in Hebron

Thousands of Hasidic Jews visit Hebron to connect to Jewish ancestry.

22.10.18, 12:32
The modern Jewish community of Hebron has often been associated with the Dati Leumi (national religious) community. The Gush Emunim movement that sprung up in the aftermath of the dramatic Six Day War victory was made up of mainly those who wore a knit kippah and were affiliated with the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Yitzchak Kook
 
However the black-hat wearing hareidi community has always felt a special bond with the City of the Matriarchs and Patriarchs. Hassidic rabbis often visit the Tomb of Machpela. This connection comes not only from the "old 
yishuv" of pre-1929 Hebron, where the Chabad hasidim and the Lithuanian Slabodka yeshiva thrived and the Sephardic community was well-established. Since the liberation of 1967, the orthodox population has always sought to connect to the burial site of the Biblical founding fathers and mothers. 
 
The Karlin Hasidic sect is no different, and every year the Karliner Rebbe, referred to in Hebrew as the Admor of Karlin, holds a special service. During the Ten Days of Repentance which takes place between Rosh Hashannah and Yom 
Kippur. Thousands of Karliner hasidic Jews pack the Cave of Machpela to capacity for a special service of prayer and song. The Hall of Isaac and Rebecca, usually reserved for Muslim prayers is open for this special event.
 
 
A new tradition which has been established in recent years is a follow-up Shabbat called Karlin Shabbat. The Karliner hasidim return a month later for Parshat Lech Lecha, the weekly Torah portion which contains the first mention of the city of Hebron.  The Karlin hasidic movement is known for their distinctive prayer style which is faster and louder than other sects. Like other hasidic groups, they trace their origins to the Baal Shem Tov, the 18th century mystic who inspired the Jews communities of Eurooe.  The now-annual event is one of the the many hassidic gatherings in the city of the Patriarchs. 
 
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