The Importance of Chevron by Shimon Berman


After the death of Sarah Imeinu, the Torah goes into great detail concerning Avraham’s mission to buy a burial place for his dear wife.  In trying to find a place to bury Sarah, Avraham resolved to bury his wife specifically in Chevron, a place that clearly was very important to him.  Why was Avraham so adamant that his wife be buried in Chevron?

In addressing a shul in Yerushalayim one year after the Chevron Massacre of 1929, Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook explained the importance of Chevron using the well-known Jewish concept of “Maaseh Avot Siman LaBanim,” “the actions of our forefathers are a symbol for [what will happen to] their descendants.”  When Avraham was first instructed to walk through the land and settle within its bounds (Bereishit 13:17), one of the first places he traveled to and settled in was Chevron.  Avraham knew that future generations of Jews would find their respective places in Klal Yisrael through spiritual inspiration derived from visiting the graves of their forefathers.  By buying land in Chevron, Avraham designated it as a precedent to influence future acquisitions of land in Israel and as a symbol of the potential Kedushah of the land.  When Kaleiv entered the land with the other spies in Parashat Shelach, the only place he ventured to by himself was Chevron in order to pray at Me’arat HaMachpeilah, as he was well aware of the sanctity and potential holiness that could be found there.

While Chevron never became the actual capital of Eretz Yisrael, the dynasty of King David, which symbolized the complete Jewish control of Eretz Yisrael, began there.  By making that first purchase of Chevron thousands of years ago, Avraham knew that he would be establishing a place of Kedushah and Tefillah for all of Am Yisrael for hundreds of generations to come.

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