Hebron Medallion Celebrates 50 Years of Liberation

Can't make the once-in-a-lifetime event? Become an honorary citizen.

22.5.17, 21:40
The Jewish Community of Hebron and the Hebron Fund have produced a unique coin to celebrate the jubilee anniversary of the city's liberation.
The 50th anniversary Hebron Citizen Medallion has been minted in bronze silver and gold and is available to donors worldwide.

Hebron is the oldest Jewish community in the world starting with Abraham and Sarah, the patriarch and matriarch of the Jewish people who came to live in the city over 3,500 years ago. It is in Hebron's monumental Tomb of Machpela complex that they are buried along with the other Biblical Matriarchs and Patriarchs Isaac and Rebecca and Jacob and Leah.
Jewish life in Hebron continued throughout the period of the Bible with King David making it his first capitol city. The Maccabees fought in the Southern Hebron Hills region, and the revolt of Shimon Bar Kochba against the Romans took place in the city. 

In modern times, Hebron's Jewish community both flourished and fluctuated. It became a haven for the Jewish exiles of the Spanish Inquisition, and a center of Kabbalah where famous rabbis such as the Reishit Chocha and Rabbi Shlomo Adani lived and taught. The community flourished during the Ottoman time, up until the massacre of 1929. During this brutal mob riot, 67 Jewish civilians were murdered by their neighbors chided on by Haj Amin el-Husseini, who later became an ardent supporter of the Nazis. The community attempted a return several years later, but was expelled by the British who then controlled the Land of Israel. 

It was not until the miraculous victory of the Six Day War in 1967, 50 years ago, that Jewish people once again had access to this holy city. Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the chief rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces and later Chief Rabbi of Israel almost single-handedy liberated the city. He writes in his autobiography that one day after the dramatic liberation of Jerusalem, he ventured on to Hebron. Thinking he was going to catch up with the IDF, he and an army driver arrived alone in a jeep to discover the city streets empty. White flags hung from balconies as the population anticipated a fierce conquest and revenge for the atrocities of 1929. 

Rabbi Goren became the first Jewish person in modern times to freely enter the ancient Tomb of Machpela building in 700 years and arrange for prayer services there. Unable to obtain the keys to the massive doors, he shot at the locks with a machine gun. The bullet holes are still visible. Today, although there is still political tension, people of all faiths can access Hebron and visit the hometown of the founders of Monotheism.

The 50th anniversary Hebron Citizen Medallion depicts Rabbi Goren backed with an Israeli flag and an image of the Tomb of Machpela. The reverse side features the number 50 with the logo of the Jewish Community of Hebron. Only 1,000 of each of the three coins have been minted and are being offered to donors.

The release of the coin coincides with the celebrations for the jubilee of Hebron Liberation Day. On Thursday May 25th, thousands of people are expected in the City of the founding fathers and mothers. Members of Knesset, leading rabbis and other public figures will be in attendance for this once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Of special note will be veterans who fought in the Six Day War and the pioneers who braved the return to Hebron to reestablish the neighborhoods despite all odds.

A mega concert will take place in the evening featuring two superstars of Israeli music, Rami Kleinstein and Amir Benayoun. Kleinstein, a singer-songwriter with many pop and rock hits is a Singer of the Year award recipient and was a judge on Israeli TV's The Voice. The Peace Now organization last week blasted the singer stating that his performance in the "Israeli occupation of Hebron, the symbol of occupation and oppression, is a climax of moral corruption by an artist who has in the past performed concerts for peace." 

Hebron spokespeople countered by stating that they have invited artists based on talent to sing and inspire the audience regardless of political opinion. Kleinstein previously performed in Kiryat Arba, Hebron's sister city in 2014. Benayoun last brought his Sephardic style and Mediterranean vibes to Hebron in 2013. He is an AKUM award winning composer with a dozen albums. Both will sing in front of the Tomb of Machpela complex in an special outdoor performance. 

The Honorary Citizen Medallion is being offered by the Hebron Fund and can be obtained by clicking here: 
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