The ancient city of Chevron is also known as Kiryat Arba (although today, the name Kiryat Arba is used for a modern suburb next to the ancient holy city). There, Avraham bought the Cave of Machpelah to serve as the burial site of his wife, Sara (Genesis 23). This cave then became the burial site of all of the Patriarchs and three of the Matriarchs (Rachel is buried in Beit Lechem). Yehoshua gave this city, located within the territory of the tribe of Yehuda, as a special inheritance to Kalev, son of Jephunneh. Rashi (Numbers 13:22) explains that when Kalev was sent by Moshe to scout out the land, he prayed at the Cave Machpelah, asking God to help him avoid being influenced by the evil spies. Indeed, he remained loyal to Hashem and to His promise to give the Land of Israel to the Children of Israel. It is therefore fitting that he is rewarded with Chevron as his inheritance, and he bravely fights to claim it. Today, the Jewish residents of Chevron follow in Kalev’s footsteps. Despite many violent threats to their existence in the city – such as a brutal massacre in 1929 and many more recent terrorist attacks – they bravely preserve both their own community and the rights of the entire Jewish People to pray in the holy Cave of Machpelah.
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