Ensuring a Jewish Presence in Hebron

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Lech Lecha

Lech Lecha by Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron                                                           בס"ד

לשכנו תדרשו

Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land

And He settled in Elonei Mamreh in Hebron

According to the Arizal, each of the twelve months corresponds to one of the twelve tribes. The month of Heshvan corresponds to the tribe of Menashe. According to the Midrash, the tribe of Menasheh was unique in its devotion to the Land of Israel, as can be seen, for example, in Tzlofhad’s daughter’s request to receive a portion in the Land of Israel. Indeed, the month of Heshvan is also unique in its association with the Land of Israel in regard to the parshiot read during this month. First, parshat Noah is read, which mentions the Land of Israel for the first time in the Torah, when Avraham makes his first attempt to come to this Land. Our Sages say that “even though one does not see, his spirit does see.” Similarly, we may say that Avraham, even though he did not reach Hebron in Parshat Noah, his spirit did “see” aspire towards Avraham’s ultimate home in the Holy Land, Hebron, moving him to make this initial attempt. Then, the next three parshiot gradually talk more and more about the Land of Israel and specifically Hebron, Beacon of this Holy Land. We should also notice that all these four parshiot of the month of Heshvan mention the Land of Israel and Hebron in the context of Avraham. Afterward, Hebron is mentioned in the context of each Patriarch, both Yitzhak and Yakov. After the three Patriarchs, Hebron is mentioned a fourth time in the book of Bamidbar when Kaleb visits Hebron. In this way, we can see a double-four in the way the story of Hebron is developed in the Torah. Initially, in regard to Avraham, the original Patriarch, the development of Hebron takes four stages/parshiot. Then, the theme of four is doubled by having Hebron repeated for all three Patriarchs and also a fourth time in regard to Kaleb.

This double-four theme fits perfectly with the identification of Hebron as Kiryat Arba, the City of Four, explained by our Sages to depict the double-four or four couples of Maarat Hamachpela, the Double Cave. According to the Kabbalists, the double-four theme in the context of Maarat Hamachpela corresponds to the Tetragrammaton when spelled out in a “double” way, [yod vav dalet, heh heh, vav vav, and then heh heh] so that its numerical value is 26 [the numerical value of the Tetragrammaton not spelled out] “doubled,” equaling 52. We may say that the four parshiot of Heshvan go through the Tetragrammaton in backward order, going gradually from the least pronounced connection to Hebron to the most pronounced connection. In Parshat Noah, Hebron is not even explicitly mentioned, but there is a development made towards Hebron in Avraham’s first attempt to reach his home in the Land of Israel. This may correspond to the last Heh, related to the World of Action, as here Avraham takes human initiative and action towards his home in the Land, even when higher Divine intervention was absent. In Parshat Lech Lecha, higher Divine intervention is seen when Hashem commands Avraham to go to the Land. In Parshat Lech Lecha, Avraham also moves throughout the Land, ultimately reaching and settling in his home, Hebron. This settling represents that actual connection to the Land and may be hinted to by the letter “vav,” the connecting letter, in the Tetragrammaton. Also, in this parsha a covenant is made with Avraham both in regard to his circumcision in Hebron and also in regard to a covenant in regard to the Land. Covenant means a contract or an agreement, yet again showing the theme of “connection”/”vav” in this Parsha. These ideas will be further developed in the coming weeks b”h…


Real Miracles:

“Knowing that trees grow more easily where trees have flourished before,” explained Professor Zohary of Hebrew University, “we rely on the Good Book.” “The first tree Abraham put in the soil of Beersheba was a tamarisk,” said Israel’s outstanding authority on reforestation, Dr. Joseph Weitz. “Following his lead, we put out two million in the same area. Abraham was right. The tamarisk is one of the few trees we have found that thrives in the south where yearly rainfall is less than six inches.” The Bible made Israel the agricultural giant it is today, exporting its products worldwide. It took another miracle to make this possible. In Bible times, there were two copious rainy seasons in Palestine—the “early and the latter rain.” But for the past many centuries, the “early rain” has been minimal while the “latter rain” and dew have disappeared completely. Since 1878, [and the return of Jews to this Land], the “latter rain” is falling again. The precipitation of both has spiraled over the decades, just as predicted in Joel 2:23,24.

Source: Nation of Miracles