Watch: Hevron celebrates 50 years since liberation

Thousands join Rami Kleinstein and Amir Benayoun for concert and light show celebrating 50 years since liberation of Hevron.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Machpelah Cave
Machpelah Cave
Jewish Community Hevron

The Jewish community of Hevron on Thursday celebrated 50 years since the city’s liberation of Hevron with a star-studded gala event at the Tomb of the Biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs.

Thousands of Israelis joined celebrity performers Rami Kleinstein and Amir Benayoun for a ceremony, concert, and state-of-the-art light show on the walls of Cave of Machpelah (Cave of the Patriarchs) in the holy city.

Guests joining Thursday’s event include Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), and other ministers and Knesset members.

Hevron was liberated the day after Jerusalem, and joins Jerusalem and the communities of Judea, Samaria, and the Golan in celebrating 50 years since their liberation in the 1967 Six Day War.

Rabbi Shlomo Goren, then-Chief Rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces and later Chief Rabbi of Israel, wrote in his autobiography that one day after the dramatic liberation of Jerusalem, he decided to venture to Hevron.

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 Hevron massacre of 1929.

In honor of the event, The Hebron Fund has also issued special commemorative coins for the event.

The 50th anniversary Hebron Citizen Medallion depicts Rabbi Shlomo Goren superimposed over an Israeli flag, above an image of the Cave of Machpelah. The back of the coin features the number 50 with the logo of the Jewish Community of Hevron.

The bronze, silver and gold medallions are a project of the Hevron Fund and the Jewish Community of Hevron with only 1,000 of each of each one being minted.

Thousands flocked to Hevron for the commemoration ceremony and concert honoring veterans of the Six Day War and the pioneers who braved the return to Hevron to reestablish the ancient Jewish presence there.

"50 years ago this week the Cave of Machpelah was in territory ruled by Jordan," Hebron Fund Executive Director Rabbi Dan Rosenstein said. "Before that Jews were officially barred from entering the Machpelah for 700 years starting in 1267 with the Mamelukes."

"It's awe inspiring to see Jewish life flourish again in Hevron, to return to Jewish children to the fathers and mothers, and to be a part of Hevron Day celebrations today."

Click here to see more on Hevron and the 50th anniversary celebration.