Hebron 1983-2002

  • 1983 – A particular (unnamed) Chabad chasid began to ask questions about the ownership of Chabad properties in Hebron, and demanded explanations from R’ Levinger, who explained that the Rebbe had given him full permission to deal with all aspects of the properties.  In the course of his explanations, the idea arose to establish a Chabad kolel within the walls of Beit Romano.  One wealthy Englishman was prepared to support the kolel and he wrote to the Rebbe about it.*
  • 1984 – The Rebbe’s answer was fascinating (paraphrase) – “Since the liberation of Hebron in 1967 until the present, and especially the last few years until the current period, my policy has been to give the same answer to all those who requested to clarify my opinion and my advice regarding settling in the city of our fathers.  My answer is, that in consideration of the steps that have been taken until now to establish the security of the Jewish settlers there, I am sorry to say that I am not able to accept on myself responsibility to advise any Jew to settle there.  This matter is truly distressing, and we have to say that the situation has sunken even further over the last few years.  As I said, I gave my advice even when the question was addresssed to me from an individual or an individual family.  And certainly it applies even more if a group were to concentrate their efforts, or similar, since this would arose an even greater enmity.”*
  • 1998 – In the framework of the “Wye” agreement negotiated between the Netanyahu Government and the “Palestinians,” an official Jewish neighborhood was established in the heart of Hebron, that included the Cave of Machpela (joint worship with the Muslims, each in its own place and time within the cave), and all of the Chabad properties, the Avraham Avinu complex, and several Jewish residences, up to Tel Romedia and including the ancient Jewish cemetery in which was buried the tzadeket Menucha Rachel and many other great Jewish sages.  The area is heavily secured by the IDF, but surrounding areas are under the jurisdiction of the PA.
  • 2002 – Rabbi Danny Cohen and his wife Bat Sheva take up residence in the Avraham Avinu Complex as the official shluchim (emissaries of Chabad) in Hebron.  R’ Cohen later established a kolel at the ancient cemetery of Hebron.  For more on the history of Hebron, click here.

* From the sefer Torat Emet

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