Cave of the Patriarchs Hevron
Cave of the Patriarchs Hevron David Wilder

Monday night is Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul, the eve of the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul. According to Jewish tradition, the day before the beginning of a new month is a day with special merit for atonement and prayer, and throughout the year, Erev Rosh Chodesh is known as "Yom Kippur Katan" (a "small," or minor, day of atonement).

On Monday, in honor of the day, the entire vicinity of the Cave of the Patriarchs (Ma'arat HaMachpela) in Hevron was opened for Jews. During most of the year a large portion of the site is open only to Muslims, and many Jews from throughout the country took the opportunity to visit the heritage site and pray.

Rivkah Rybak ( and David Wilder (Hevron) bring you the pictures and sounds from Hevron.

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