Me'arat Hamachpela on Shabbat
Me'arat Hamachpela on Shabbat IDF spokesperson

35,000 Jews spent Shabbat (Sabbath) in Hevron, commemorating the Torah reading this Sabbath which relates how the Patriarch Avraham bought Me'arat Hamachpela (the Cave of the Patriarchs) from Ephron the Hittite for 400 coins.

The streets of Kiryat Arba and Hevron filled with tents and portable caravans, and over 3,000 Jews enjoyed Shabbat meals at a tent erected for the purpose by Chabad.

Among the visitors were Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home), Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud), Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin (Likud), Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan (Jewish Home), MKs, rabbis, public figures, and guests from Israel and abroad.

Border Police, Shabak (Israel Security Agency), Israel Police, and the IDF's Judea Brigade secured the event, ensuring order and protecting the safety of participants.

Shabbat in Hevron
Shabbat in Hevron Mendy Hechtman, Committee of the Jewish Community of Hevron

Committee of the Jewish Community of Hevron Director Uri Karzan said the number of participants was at an "all-time high."

"This is a special day for Hevron and Jews around the world," he said. "In the near future, G-d willing, we will host people in the new buildings which are being planned for the Hezekiyah Quarter."

Chabad of Hevron's Rabbi Danny Cohen said, "Chabad has always seen great importance in standing with the Jewish Community of Hevron. We are very happy to be holding the largest Shabbat meal in the world beside Me'arat Hamachpela, together with the thousands of Jews visiting Hevron for Shabbat."

Hevron Photo by Wisam hashlamoun/FLASH90

In recent days, the Jewish Community of Hevron began "Operation Machpela," to advance the rebuilding of Hevron's Jewish neighborhoods.

The plans include thirty new apartments near the Shavei Hevron Yeshiva. These apartments will be built on land which was bought by Chabad approximately 100 years ago, for the purpose of rebuilding Jewish Hevron.