Parshas "Chayei Sarah" Continues!

Ben Packer,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Ben Packer
Originally from Petersburg, Virginia, Ben Packer moved to Israel in 1999, where he served in the IDF's Givati Brigade in the Gaza Strip. Ben served as a Rabbi on campus at Univ. of North Carolina and at Duke Univ. Ben now serves as Director of the Jerusalem Heritage House ( and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives ( He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....
This Shabbos in synagogues around the world the Torah Portion of "Chayei Sarah" will be read. As most reading this are already aware, this passage details a momentous event in Jewish history - the purchase of the Maaras HaMachpela (The Tomb of the Patriarchs) in Hevron by Avraham for the purpose of burying his beloved wife. For the first time in history, the Jewish People owned land in the Land of Israel! 

There are three places in Tanach where land is purchased by the Jewish People: Maaras HaMachpela by Avraham, Shechem by Yaakov and Har HaBayis (the Temple Mount) by Dovid HaMelech (King David). We are taught in the Medrash that these purchases are publicized in order to refute the claims of our enemies who will constantly attempt to ethnically-cleanse us from these areas specifically, and the Land of Israel in general. 

Today we see an amazing thing: these are precisely the places that our enemies are trying to rip away from us, as well as the exact places where individual Jews can make a serious difference. The recent purchase of approximately 35 apartments (with assistance from Elad and Ateret Cohanim) in Ir Dovid (Silwan) and Kfar Temanim (the Yemenite Village) by Jewish individuals is a shining example of righteous Jews following in the footsteps of Avraham, Yaakov, Dovid HaMelech, the Ramban, R' Ovadia Bartenura, and all the other Jews throughout the centuries that made the acquisition of land in Israel a priority. 

There are many more opportunities available RIGHT NOW in Jerusalem, as well as Hevron and the Shechem area - ready to be acquired and developed for the Jewish People! At this moment there are serious residential projects waiting for private investment in that exact area - Itamar, Kfar Tapuach and others near Shechem. There are buildings for legal sale in Jerusalem and Hevron, just waiting for modern-day "Avrahams" to step up to the challenge and claim this incredible mitzvah opportunity! We've seen the successes mentioned earlier in Ir Dovid and throughout Jerusalem (with huge thanks to the Moskowitz Family) and in Hevron with "Beit HaShalom" and "Beit HaMachpelah". There could be so many more!!! 

Avraham started the process of the acquisition of the Land of Israel in Hevron, it is up to us, his descendants, to continue in his way to the best of our abilities. 

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem