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Hebron Supporters Unite During Crisis

Donors support Israel. Parshat Chayei Sarah solidarity prayer cards to be distributed.

31.10.23, 14:02
The Jewish community of Hebron and the Hebron Fund are helping support the efforts in Israel during the current crisis. Volunteers have been assisting families and soldiers in a variety of ways including assisting those displaced, emergency rescue and more.

Since the beginning of the conflict in October, donors to the Hebron Fund have helped supply first responder kits, food supplies, cardiac defibrillators, communication radios, cameras, special flashlights, dry-fit clothing and more.
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In addition, there have been prayer gatherings and vigils at the Tomb of the Patriarchs & Matriarchs (Cave of Machpela) led by influential leaders such as Rabbi Yaakov Ades, Rabbi Benayahu Shmueli and others. Silver trumpets and shofars were blown as traditionally done in times of distress.  

Rabbanit Ronit Barash hosted a special program for female soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces in Hebron. The program included a special prayer for those captured and missing and the recovery of the wounded.

The annual Parshat Chayei Sarah weekend has been changed from a mass festive gathering to modest in-synagogue programing in which participants can partake in their local community or at home.

Parshat Chayei Sarah will take place this year on the Shabbat of November 10 – 11, 2023. The weekly Torah portion describes Abraham’s purchase of the Cave of Machpela for his beloved wife Sarah. Normally tens of thousands visit Hebron during this time with large group meals. This year, the focus will be on strengthening ties within the community and expressing support and appreciation to the soldiers called up to protect Israel.

A special website is being designed with games, videos, trivia, prayers and other material that can be downloaded, printed and used in synagogues and schools. The free material will be available at https://hebronfund.org/parsha-chayei-sarah/. Solidarity wristbands are being distributed to Hebron Fund donors.

“Synagogues in Israel and around the world will stand with Hebron as we read about Abraham’s historic land purchase and our eternal right to Eretz Yisrael,” stated Rabbi Dan Rosenstein, executive director of the Hebron Fund. “We call upon you to say a special prayer for the safety of our soldiers, the strengthening of the affected families, the return of our hostages, and for Israel’s victory, by and invoking the merit of our Forefathers and Mothers buried in holy Hebron,” he said.
 
Historically, Hebron and Gaza have been close major Jewish population centers in the southern region. Rabbi Israel Najara, the famous poet and kabbalist lived in Hebron until the 1619 epidemic drove most of the Jewish townspeople to Gaza for safety. Rabbi Najara then became the Chief Rabbi of Gaza. In 1799 Napoleon's invasion forced the Jewish community of Gaza to relocate to Hebron.
 
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