Yom Kippur in Hebron

Tents were set up to accommodate visitors wishing to pray on the Day of Atonement in the city of the founding fathers and mothers.

13.10.16, 12:27
In the tradition of Hebron hospitality, the Jewish community provided meals and accommodations for the many visitors that came to spend Yom Kippur services in the city.
Like the open tent of the Biblical Abraham and Sarah, the local community provided tents and beds for the crowd. Beds were also set up in the Gutnick Center, the nearby restaurant and catering hall. Services for the Day of Atonement were held in the historic Tomb of Machpela complex, ancient burial site of the Biblical founding fathers and mothers.
Meals for before and after the fast were prepared by the community. 

באוהלים, בקרוואנים מדוגמים, במתחמי האירוח הציבורי וגם ביחידת האירוח שלנו. יום הכיפורים במערת המכפלה, אצל האבות והאימהות. בכל תנאי. גמר חתימה טובה!!

Posted by ‎אלימלך קרזן‎ on Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Now Hebron is focusing on Sukkot and the annual music festival in which thousands are expected.
For more information on the Sukkot festival click here.
Hebron is the setting for a classic Yom Kippur story attributed as the source for the name of the Avraham Avinu synagogue.
The following is a translation of the original as it appeared in Emek HaMelekh by Rabbi Naftali ben Jacob Elhanan Bacharach, printed in Amsterdam in 1648.
Let me tell you, O children of the living God, about the wonderful thing that happened in Hebron on Yom Kippur. Now you must know that there are not always ten men in Hebron to worship publicly; it is only on Sabbaths and holidays that people from the villages assemble there so that they can pray with a quorum of ten and more; but all the inhabitants of Hebron are very pious.
Now it came to pass one Yom Kippur eve that there were only nine men in Hebron, and the inhabitants of Hebron waited for the villagers to come, but no one of them came. For they had all gone to Jerusalem the holy city, may it be rebuilt and reestablished speedily in our days, since it is nearby, being only a distance of a quarter of a day's travel away. So they were in great sorrow, lest they each be forced to pray alone on Yom Kippur, and they wept bitterly.
Now the sun had already sunk, and it was very late. And it came to pass that they lifted their eyes, and, lo and behold, an old man coming from the distance; and they rejoiced exceedingly when they saw him. Now when he had come up to them they set the Concluding Meal before him that he might eat; but he blessed and thanked them and said that he had already eaten on the way. So they prayed on the holy day, and honored the man highly. At the close of Yom Kippur they feel into a dispute, for every one wanted to take the guest to his home. Finally they decided to cast lots, and the guest fell to the lot of the cantor, who was a pious man and related wonderful dreams and visions of night. 
So the cantor went homeward, the guest following after him. When the cantor came near his home, he turned around to honor the guest and allow him to enter the house first - and he looked, and lo and behold, he was gone. They sought him but could not find him anywhere about. Then they were all greatly saddened, for they thought that he had gone on his way in the night, because he had not wished to partake of their hospitality.
But on that night, the old man visited the cantor in a dream, and told him that he was our father Abraham, peace be upon him, who had come to complete their quorum, for he saw they were in great sorrow, lest they should each have to pray alone. And they rejoiced greatly and blessed the great God for having done wondrous deeds. Amen, and so be His will. 
[Emek ha-Melekh] (kabbalistic compendium) by Naftali ben Jacob Elhanan Bacharach (16th century) Amsterdam, 1648, introduction page 14a - 14b.
This translation appeared in the English edition of Days of Awe by Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Schoken Books, 1948 .
Additional sources:
The Heart is a Mirror: The Sephardic Folktale by Tamar Alexander-Frizer‏, chapter 5 page 122
* Ethical Tales from the Kabbalah: Stories from the Kabbalistic Ethical Writings by Aryeh Wineman‏ - Father Abraham Completes a Prayer Quorum, page 80
* Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore and Traditions by Raphael Patai‏, page 235-236
* Folktales of the Jews, V. 3 (Tales from Arab Lands) by Dan Ben Amos‏ - The Tenth Man in Hebron, chapter 1 page 2

Hebron is also mentioned in the Mishna in Tractate Yoma, which describes the ancient Yom Kippur service in detail. The Jewish community wished to begin the Yom Kippur service on time with a watchman stationed to observe the sunrise. When the first rays of morning light arrived, the watchman would call out "barkai!" to which another officer would ask, "as far a Hebron?" The watchman would reply, " yes, as far as Hebron." (Mishna Yoma, 3:1).
Commentators add that the mention of Hebron was a geographical landmark as well as a historical tribute to the burial site of the founders of their faith at the Tomb of Machpela.

To arrange a guided tour of Hebron contact us:
United States contact info:
1760 Ocean Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11230

In Israel contact the offices of the Jewish Community of Hebron at:
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