The Cave of Machpelah… One of the most mysterious places in the world. The very architecture of the building that rests upon the Cave (under the ground) gives the picture a completely esoteric – perhaps magical – majestic look. Built by King Herod some 2000 years ago, the building adds to the awe of what really lies beneath it…
This is the place that Abraham purchased as a burial ground for his wife Sarah over 3500 years ago… and it would be the same place he would be buried. Isaac was buried there too – with his wife Rebecca. Here, Jacob is buried too with his wife Leah… but his other wife Rachel is buried on the way to Beit Lechem. The head of Esau can be found in this cave as well… Most mysteriously of all, it is here that the very first two people of Creation are buried – Adam and Chava (Eve). It is a place filled with holiness and the deepest of mysteries. It is said that it is the entrance to the Garden of Eden…
When one enters the Ulam Yitzchak (the Hall of Isaac), a section open only at certain times to the Jewish world – one will also see a structure built over a small sealed hole. Here is the entrance to the caves themselves… They say that the winds of the Garden of Eden can be felt here – and it is especially auspicious to recite one’s petitions by whispering them at the entrance of the hole…
Let us always remember – we are not praying to the Garden of Eden. We are not praying to the stones in the building. We are certainly not praying to Adam or Eve – or any of the Forefathers. We are praying in a place of holiness – because the souls of the people buried in this place lived especially holy lives – their lives being dedicated to God. The place in physical terms has a spiritual counterpart. We are a part of this physical/spiritual holiness that exists in this place – and we direct our prayers from this point – much like an arrow shot directly through a perfectly straight tube would more likely hit the target to which the tube was actually touching – more so than an arrow shot without being directed through the tube – and at a great distance away from the target.
Here in Hebron – a place of holiness, we pray. Here, in the location closest to these souls – we pray. Our prayers directed to God – the Creator – who can supply all our needs. We are joined – much like the arrow shot through a narrow tube with its very end touching the target point!
A famous story speaks about Rabbi Avraham Azulai retrieving the sword of the Sultan which had fallen into this hole – lying closest to the actual graves of the holy souls (or bodies at least!) buried there.. More of the story can be found at The Fallen Sword of the Sultan. The Sultan’s soldiers who had been sent down to retrieve the sword had died in their attempts to obtain it… When Hebron was liberated (Hebron Day – 50th Anniversary of Liberation) 50 years ago, Moshe Dayan – Minister of Defense, sent a young girl named Michal down the hole to find out what lay beneath it – inside the actual caves. More of this story can be found out here.
Hebron is one of the 4 holy cities of the Land of Israel, the other three being Jerusalem, Tiberies and Safed.
I have personally been to Hebron (the Cave of Machpelah) numerous times. It is most special to be able to stand in such proximity to these holy souls who had once walked in the very places I have stood. Here, one’s prayers are especially powerful being so close to the gates of the spiritual worlds open to the words being spoken.
You can find out more about this holy place by seeing Cave of Machpelah on the Wikipedia.
I keep this very picture on my fridge in the form of a fridge magnet – so that whenever I need something to eat – I always remind myself of this beautiful and special place!
You can become a member of the I Care Club and purchase this photo from us directly. You will receive it as an 8×12 inch picture printed on canvas, and you can place it in your dining room or in your business, to show that you love Torah, you love Israel, you love the Jewish people and you care about assisting those who live a Torah life in the Land of Israel.
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