Hebron painting from Baruch Nachshon
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The Bible is very clear about the ownership of Ma’arat HaMachpela (Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron:“Sara died in Kiryat Arba which is Hebron… Avraham rose up from the presence of his dead, and spoke to the children of Heth… And Avraham weighed out to Ephron the money that he had mentioned in the hearing of the children of Heth, four hundred silver shekalim in negotiable currency. And Ephron’s field that was in Machpela… the field and the cave within it… as Avraham’s as a purchase in the view of the children of Heth, with all who came to the gate of the city.” Genesis/Bereishit 23: 2, 3,16-18
The Lubavitcher Rebbe – Chabad’s 7th Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn – sites Avraham’s purchase of Ma’arat HaMachpela as the unquestionable proof that Hebron is a Jewish city.“Regarding Ma’arat HaMachpela they have no basis for any claims whatsoever because everyone admits that Ma’arat HaMachpela was purchased and paid for with 400 units of currency. With regard to the rest of Eretz Yisrael, it is possible that an objection could be raised, so it is proper to answer that the world belongs to Hashem and He took the land from its inhabitants to give to the Jews. But regarding Ma’arat HaMachpela, there is no claim whatsoever, because Avraham Avinu bought it according to the custom of the world, and this is the case of the whole area of Hebron, which belongs to Shevet Levi (the tribe of Levi.)” From a Public Discourse in Cheshvan 5335 – October 1975