Hebron Enjoys Shabbat Chayei Sarah Post-COVID

The Shabbat of a lifetime returned following last year's series of corona lockdowns.

5.10.21, 17:52
(PHOTO: Shabbat Parshat Chayei Sarah 2019.)
The Jewish community of Hebron and Hebron Fund enjoyed the annual Parshat Chayei Sarah weekend in which thousands visited the Cave of Machpela and read the Torah portion which describes its purchase.
The annual event occurred on the Sabbath of October 29 - October 30, 2021 and is one of the highlights for the city in which visitors from around the world gather to celebrate the City of the Founding Fathers and Mothers.
Last year due to the coronavirus pandemic the event was cancelled. A live-streamed concert with popular Israeli performer Ishai Ribo was held days before as community leaders and elected officials posted video greetings in lieu of actually attending the event.
This year, albeit with Ministry of Health restrictions, the festivities have returned and the Jewish community has rolled out their traditional hospitality. In 2019, a new record was set with 45,000 people attending. A massive tent for Shabbat dinner guests was recorded as one of the largest Shabbat meals of all time. 
The Hebron Fund held special programming and tours for foreign tourists as part of an organized trip. It included visiting community members, IDF soldiers and seeing the projects in the city the Hebron Fund is associated with, as well as Shabbat services and meals with Chazzan Sruli Hersh and Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum.
In Genesis chapter 23, it describes Abraham buying the Cave of Machpela to bury his beloved wife Sarah. Today, the cave is still there under the walls built by King Herod the Great almost 2,000 years ago.
The Hall of Isaac and Rebecca was open to the public on Saturday October 30th. Usually reserved for Muslim prayers, this hall inside the Machpela complex includes the memorial markers for the Biblical Isaac and Rebecca as well as a small opening that leads into the actual underground burial chambers. Many visitors place their hand or face above the opening to feel the backdraft from the caverns. According to Jewish lore, the Cave of Machpela is the burial place of Adam and Eve and leads to the Garden of Eden.
As infection rates from COVID-19 subside, the State of Israel has opened up large-scale events again, under the green-pass system. The Jewish community of Hebron would like to thank all the supporters, organizations, medical and security personnel, elected officials, and well-wishers from across the globe who made this year’s Shabbat Parshat Chayei Sarah weekend a success.
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Shabbat Chayei Sarah 2021 | 70 Images
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