Rabbi Kook and the call to resume construction in Hevron

As Jewish owners seek to move into house they bought in Hevron, letter from archives of Rav Kook show demand to rebuild Hevron after masacre

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Miriam Alster/Flash 90

As the Jewish owners of the Machpelah House in Hevron struggle for the right to live on their own property, a letter from prominent religious Zionist leaders demanding the government facilitate reconstruction for Jewish residents in the biblical city was discovered in the archives of former Chief Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook.

The leaders of the religious Zionist movement, including Abrahan Ussiskin, former President Yitzhak Ben Tzvi and former Chief Rabbis Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim, formed a committee to discuss the resettlement of Hevron after the 1929 Hevron massacre destroyed the thousands of years old Jewish community of the city.

The leaders wrote the letter calling for the resettlement of the Jewish population of Hevron nine months after the massacre in which 69 innocent Jews were butchered. They demanded that the Jewish settlement be rebuilt immediately so that the Arabs of the area would not settle there and the ancient Jewish community would be forgotten in the Land of Israel.

The letter was sent after a meeting held on the subject and detailed the decisions made therein. In these decisions, the signatories called for increasing the budget invested in the rehabilitation of the Jewish community in Hevron so that it would be able to establish strong foundations for communal life. The amount which had been raised for the survivors of the massacre had been insufficient, according to the signatories.

In Resolution 7, the signatories call upon all the people of Israel to support their demand to rebuild Hevron: "The assembly calls upon all the people of Israel to support our demand and build greater Hevron, from which our hope of settling the Negev comes."

The letter demonstrates that Hevron was once part of the Zionist consensus, including both religious and secular Zionists, just as undivided Jerusalem is part of the Zionist consensus today.