History

Abraham's Spring - Healing Waters of Hebron

These waters, which purified Adam & Eve, Abraham & Sarah, and most likely King David also, are a direct link from the beginning of time, through this very day.

7.8.16, 23:42
At the top of a steep incline, off the paved path, among a grove of olive trees lays the Spring of Abraham. This ancient natural water source is thought to date back to the times of Abraham and Sarah, as are the trees that surround it. 
 
Abraham's Spring measures about 3.7 meters (12 feet) deep and is situated downhill from the Tomb of Jesse and Ruth in the Tel Hevron / Admot Yishai neighborhood of Hebron. It is one of the many historic sites in the city.
 
Water still flows in this underground resevoir, and in recent years, since renewal of the Jewish community in Hebron, this spring is frequently visited. On hot, summer days Hebron’s children play and swim in its cold waters. Other visitors, from around Israel, bathe and purify themselves in the spring, utilizing it as a “mikva,” a ritual purifying bath. 
 

In Hebrew the site of referred to as either Ein Avraham, or Maayan Avraham.
 
Hebron resident and researcher Aryeh Klein postulates that this is the spring referred to in the Bible in II Samuel 4:12. Here the scripture tells how King David, then ruling in Hebron, hanged two men "at the pool in Hebron." The text also mentions the burial of Abner Ben Ner in Hebron, whose grave can be visited today.
 
Dr. Avi Ofer of Tel Aviv University, who also investigated the site between the years 1984-1986 reported that a massive thick wall, inside the spring, may have closed off an underground aqueducts, leading from the pit to the upper level of Tel Hevron.
 
A different site often referred to as the Well of Abraham is located in the H1 section of the city in an archaeological site known as Elonei Mamre. It is here that giant stone walls built by King Herod the Great still stand. A hole in the ground is referred to as the Well of Abraham by many. Nearby is the Eshel Avraham or Oak of Mamre and an historic Russian Church. These sites receive few visitors and are outside Israeli jurisdiction, in contrast to the Spring of Abraham which is visited frequently. In total, about 700,000 tourists visit Hebron every year, mostly to view the Tomb of Machpela located in the H2 section of the city, under Israeli juristiction.
 
 
Mujir al-Din, (1456–1522) author of The Glorious History of Jerusalem and Hebron wrote that the structure known as the Tomb of Jesse and Ruth was built on top of the hill above the 'Ain Khibra, known later as the 'Ain al-Judida. This was translated by the French writer Augustin-Sébastien Marmardji.
 
The new name, (also spelled Ayn Jadida) means the ‘new spring' and resulted from renovations done at that time. 
The Italian researcher Francisco Quaresmi (1583 - 1650) who lived in Jerusalem wrote:
 
"Descending from the place of the terebinth not far from it in the direction of Hebron, there is shown in a caravan a certain spring, whose water many of the indigenous people drink out of devotion and because they believe that drinking it can lead to improvements in health. (162a:II., 376)"
 
The book The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem by Denys Pringle‏ which translated Quaresmi's works elaborates stating:
 
"If 'Ain al-Judia was the spring or well of Abraham seen by Daniel, the church might perhaps have been in the area now covered by the Muslim cemetery surrounding it. (Madar 1957: 340 - 2)."
 
Indeed a Muslim cemetery exists today next to the spring, with the Jewish neighborhood of Admot Yishai and the Tel Hevron archaeological park above it.
 
The Daniel referred to is "Daniel the Traveler" who also mentions visiting a "Well or Abraham" in Hebron. His writings are translated in "The Pilgrimage of the Russian Abbot Daniel in the Holy Land, 1106-1107 A.D."
 
 
A Jewish traveler from the Middle Ages named Jacob the son of Rabbi Nathaniel ha Cohen (also know as Rabbi Ya’akov ben Netanel HaCohen) mentions a pool in his travel writings. 

Researchers believe based on his reference to the Crusades, that he made his journey to Israel in the year 1187. His journals were translated into English and printed in Jewish Travellers in the Middle Ages: 19 Firsthand Accounts by Elkan Nathan Adler. Rabbi Jacob writes as follows:
 
"I, Jacob the son of R. Nathaniel ha Cohen, journeyed with much difficultly, but God helped me to enter the Holy land, and I saw the graves of our righteous Patriarchs in Hebron and the grave of Abner the son of Ner (near the well of our father Abraham)..." page 92.
 
He later writes "There is the place out of which Adam, the first man, as created. They take earth from it and build houses with it, but it never grows less and is always full..." page 98. 
 
One of Israel’s greatest historical researchers, Prof. Ze’ev Vilnai (1900–1988), added to this account that this earth was near the spring of Abraham and was called ‘the Field of Adam HaRishon,’ the first man."
 
 
David Wilder, veteran spokesperson for the Jewish Community of Hebron comments on the Adam and Eve connection stating:
 
This beautiful legend is quite fitting, as according to very holy Jewish literature, Adam and Eve when trying to discover the way back to the Garden of Eden, dug a cave within a cave, until a voice from the heavens commanded them to stop, saying that they’d dug far enough. Known as the entrance to paradise, or the entrance to the Garden of Eden, this is where the first man and woman were later buried. That site remained hidden until the days of Abraham, who discovered this sacred cave-tomb. That site is today known as Ma’arat HaMachpela – the ‘double cave of Machpela, where later, the Patriarchs and Matriarchs were buried.
 
Therefore, it seems that not only was the first man buried in Hebron. Here too, he was created, not more than two kilometers from Machpela. I’m sure, if the first man really was created at this spot, he undoubtedly bathed in the waters of the nearby spring.
 
That being the case, these waters, which purified Adam, and maybe too Eve, as well as Abraham and Sarah, and most likely King David also, are a direct link from the beginning of time, through this very day. Water symbolizes life, for without water there is no life. This spring represents our life, as a people, as a nation, continuing to flow, without stopping, for thousands of years. That is our essence: life, purity and an uninterrupted flow of holiness. This is Hebron, from the Hebrew root ‘lechaber’ – to join together, to unify – bonding us from conception of our world, to the present.
 
 
To visit the Spring of Abraham contact us:
 
United States contact info:

http://www.hebronfund.org
1760 Ocean Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11230
718-677-6886
info@hebronfund.org

In Israel contact the offices of the Jewish Community of Hebron at:
http://en.hebron.org.il/
02-996-5333
office@hebron.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hebronofficial
 
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