Over 12,000 celebrate Rosh Hodesh Elul in Hebron

Worshipers from far and wide pay respects to Biblical founding fathers & mothers.

21.8.23, 16:20
Over 12,000 people from around the country and abroad visited Hebron for Rosh Hodesh Elul which took place on August 16, 2023. The annual celebration marks the first of the Hebrew month of Elul and is called Hillulat HaAvot (commemoration of the ancestors). Special prayers were said in anticipation of the coming month of Tishai which bring Rosh Hashannah and the High Holiday season. These include the recitation of slichot and prayers for Yom Kippur Katan (small Yom Kippur).

In the Tomb of the Patriarchs & Matriarchs, the Hall of Isaac & Rebecca was open, one of the ten days throughout the year in which it is reserved for Jewish prayers. This section, usually used for Muslim services, contains, the memorial markers for the undergrown tombs of Isaac and Rebecca and well as the opening into the cave, referred to as the entrance to the Garden of Eden. If one places their hand or face over the opening, the breeze created by the underground burial chambers can be felt.  

Revered scholars who arrived in Hebron with their students included: The Lelover Rebbe, Rabbi Mordechai Gross, Rabbi Elimelech Biderman, Rabbi Benayahu Shmueli and many others.

Many of the visitors attended tours through the Touching Eternity visitor center at Beit Hadassah and toured other historic and archeological sites in the city.

The Hall of Isaac and Rebecca will open on the following days:

* Saturday 1st of Tishrei 5784 / September 16, 2023 - Rosh Hashanah
* Wednesday 5th of Tishrei 5784 / September 20, 2023 - Ten Days of Repentance
* Monday 10th of Tishrei 5784 / September 25, 2023 - Yom Kippur starting Sunday 3:00pm
* Monday 17th of Tishrei 5784 / October 2, 2023 – Succot
* Tuesday 18th of Tishrei 5784 / October 3, 2023 – Succot
* Saturday night 22nd of Tishrei 5784 / October 7, 2023 – post Simchat Torah, Isaac Hall open for Second Hakafot
Hebron was a place of Elul pilgrimage for generations. David Avisar a writer and educator from the famous Avisar family of Hebron wrote in the early 1900's:
"The month of Elul in Hebron brought with it hundreds of visitors from afar. The first to arrive, by foot, would be the young men from Tsor, Sidon and Damascus. When the visitors would reach the out-skirts of Hebron, the youngsters and community leaders, singing joyously, would go out to welcome them and accompany them to the community inn. The visit of the young men would bring great joy to the Hebron community. During the day the visitors would pray at the Cave of Machpela and other holy places in the city. At night they would dance and sing, and the entire community would come to the inn to participate in the festivities.”
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