Nahmanides in Hebron

The Ramban, one of Jewish history's most important scholars, had an important connection to Hebron.

15.9.16, 16:52
(Photo: Painting of Rabbi Moses ben Nachman on the wall of the auditorium in Akko, where he lived. Credit: Wiki Commons / Yuval Y.)
Nahmanides, known in the Hebrew speaking word by his acronym Ramban, was one of the most respected and frequently quoted rabbis of all time. Born in Spain in 1194– as Rabbi Moses ben Nachman Girondi, the Ramban gained fame as a prolific author of Jewish religious books and for his famous disputation with the King of Spain. He moved to Israel in his later years where he visited several cities including Hebron.
The Ramban mentions visiting Hebron in a letter to his son from the year 1267. In it he states:
"May Hashem bless you, my son Nachman, and may you see the goodness of Jerusalem. May you live to see your grandchildren. And may your table be like that of the Patriarch Abraham.
I am writing you this letter from Jerusalem, the Holy City. With praise and thanksgiving to the Creator I managed to arrive there in peace on the ninth of Elul, [1267 (5067)], and remained there until the day after Yom Kippur. Then I went to Hebron for the Holiday [of Sukkot]. I went to the  city of the graves of our forefathers to prostate myself before them and to dig [purchase] a grave for me there."
It was printed in his work, Torat Ha-Adam which explains the laws of death and mourning in Judaism.
(Photo: Memorial / location of grave of the Ramban in Hebron. Credit: Wiki Commons /Dr. Avishai Teicher Pikiwiki Israel.)
Nahmanides died in the Land of Israel at the age of seventy-six. There is a disagreement as to his actual burial place. Some say that his remains were interred in Haifa, or in Akko, the northern city where he lived. There also exists a Cave of Ramban in Jerusalem.
In Hebron, there exists a spot considered by many to the Ramban's final resting place. It is located by the Seventh Step, meters away from the walls of the Tomb of Machpela. Starting with the Mameluke period, Jews were banned from entering the sacred site, a relegated to ascending only as far as the Seventh Step. After the Six Day War in 1967, the staircase and gate were removed and access for people of all faiths was restored. 

(Photo: Memorial to the Ramban, and la possible location of his underground tomb.)
Many still pray at this location, and prayer services are held there during days when the Machpela complex is closed for Muslim holidays. 
The Seventh Step pergola and gardens have beautified the area. Unlike the massive Herodian structure facing Ramban's grave, authenticity has not been verified. However many writers throughout the generation have attested to visitors being brought to this spot.
Posted next to the grave is the more famous letter Ramban wrote to his beloved son, referred to as Igeret HaRamban. In it, he inspires his son to act with humility and advises practical life lessons.

(Photo: Iggeret HaRamban, the Letter of Ramban, posted next to the grave site in Hebron. Credit: Wiki Commons /Dr. Avishai Teicher Pikiwiki Israel.)
While historians may disagree, one thing can be certain: this holy site is another part of the rich Jewish tapestry of Hebron that stretches back generations. 
(Photo: The walls of the Tomb of Machpela [left] and the memorial / grave site of the Ramban [right].)
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