Redeeming homes in Hebron, the City of our Forefathers

Learn about the spiritually significant & highly discreet work of an organization that is redeeming Hebron for the Jewish People.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Cave of the Patriarchs, Hebron
Cave of the Patriarchs, Hebron
Arutz Sheva

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In the city of Hebron, Jews are not just making history – they are living history.

Hebron, one of the four holy cities of the Land of Israel, has had an almost continuous Jewish presence over the last four thousand years, ever since the patriarch Abraham purchased the Machpeilah Cave, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in which to bury his wife Sarah.

Today, defying the dangers and living their faith, Jews are again purchasing plots of land and homes in Hebron, building up the city and bringing young families to revitalize its streets and courtyards.

Arutz Sheva spoke with Yifat Alkobi, a resident of Hebron, who described the spiritually significant work being done by the Harchivi Makom Ohalech organization.

“What we do is purchase homes from Arabs – exactly as Avraham Avinu did, almost four thousand years ago,” she says. “And it’s not simple, far from it.

“An Arab who sells his home or his land to a Jew is subject to the death penalty according to the Palestinian authorities,” she explains. “They want to stop the Jewish community in Hebron from expanding.”

This means that everything the organization does, from the first inquiries to the final exchange of contracts, has to be with the utmost secrecy and discretion. It’s an arduous process, time-consuming and fraught with complexities – and it’s also extremely expensive.

“The first step, once a property has been identified, is to determine who exactly owns it,” Alkobi relates. “We need to obtain the original documents and make sure that the person claiming ownership is actually the owner, and also the sole owner – perhaps the house belongs to his extended family too,” which is not uncommon.

It can take years before money changes hands and the new Jewish owners move in – and even then, the story doesn’t end.

“I remember when we moved into Beit Leah, two and a half years ago,” Alkobi relates. “The Arabs had known for the past few years that this was now a Jewish house, even though we weren’t living there yet, and they had been throwing their garbage in there until it was half a meter deep.

“We moved in four days before Pesach, and I just couldn’t imagine how we would celebrate the festival there. But everyone – including the children – got to work with such enthusiasm, and we made it truly beautiful.”

Around 500 Jews live in the ancient city of Hebron today (with another 6,000 in the adjacent community of Kiryat Arba). “Our homes here really belong to all of the Jewish People,” Alkobi says. “Every shekel, every dollar counts. With your help, we will be able to redeem more Jewish homes in the city, truly following in the footsteps of our forefather Abraham.”

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