Welcome to this most auspicious Shabbat of Chayei Sarah! We thank you for traveling to one of Israel’s four Holy cities, Hebron. Whether you came from near or from very far, every person here this Shabbat is special. And what about those souls who could not make it to Hebron? Fear not! Hashem hears all of us no matter where we pray! Given the above, we all have the incredible merit to be a part of the eternal connection of our matriarch Sarah, who is buried in Ma’arat HaMachpela. This piece of property was the first real estate transaction ever listed. In the Torah, in this week’s Parsha, we learn that Avraham paid Ephron 400 silver shekels, the currency of the day, and purchased Maaras Hampachpela. Imagine, our first real-estate deal with no chance of foreclosure! Absorb every moment of this Shabbat wherever you are in the world! And, at the same time, in your mind, connect yourself to Hebron. Picture yourself here, inside Maaras Hamachpela, perhaps even plan to come in the not-so-distant-future. And finally, say a prayer for all Jews, wherever they may be and especially for the young soldiers who protect us, day and night, night and day…
OVERVIEW OF THE HIGH HOLIDAYS IN HEBRON
Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur
There was a Chabad minyan in Ma’arat HaMachpela on both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. With such a minyan comes soul-filling tunes sung to many of the heartfelt prayers. Between the warmth of the people – physically and spiritually – it was avery inspiring and uplifting time. The shofar was blown not only in our synagogues, but also in the most far-flung outposts around Hebron. We tried to make sure that every soldier posted in our four cubits heard the familiar cry of the shofar. It represents our soul calling Hashem to be our King, and who, more than the soldiers protecting us, should hear this precious sound. At the end of Yom Kippur, for the break-fast, we held a beautiful Kiddush for the soldiers. We all broke bread together in an atmosphere of unity and achdus.
Sukkot and Simchat Torah
On Sukkot, the porch of our house expanded, much like the walls of the Beit Hamikdash. It fits however many people come to spend time with us. Our guests mingled with over 150 chassidim who came to help give those treasured days and nights a Chabad flavor. The culmination of the month was Simchat Torah, specifically the second Hakafa, a special hakafa initiated by the Rebbe in 1976. The joy was unbounded! Along with the residents of Hebron and Kiryat Arba, over 1000 people traveled from all over Israel to be with us for those last few waning hours of Yom Tov. To help service the soldiers in our area, we had help from two tireless and devoted bocherim, Levi Hertzel and Sadia Hershkop. They spent two months in Hebron, working day and night (literally till the wee hours of the morning) to connect, befriend, talk to, don tefillin, shake the lulav and etrog and just shmooze with our young soldiers.
One of the highlights of their time here was the shofar factory for the soldiers. Building bridges between soldiers and us here in Hebron can only be done with the love and caring of such young men. As we said at the beginning of this email, everyone is connected to Hebron. As such, whether you are here or not, spiritually, everyone has a part of these days and the rest of the year. To continue our work here, we also need you to connect in a material way. This is an opportune time to give a special Chayei Sarah donation. On the left bar of the website is our eCharity box. Or, you can click on donations in the main menu.