Hevron makes final preparations for festivity and prayer
Jewish community excited and looking forward to thousands expected to flood city during Selichot and Sukkot events.
by Yoni Kempinski, Arutz Sheva
September 25, 2017
Hevron, the City of the Patriarchs, is busy preparing for upcoming major events, especially the Selichot events this week and the mammoth yearly event on the upcoming Sukkot holiday.
Yishai Fleisher, International Spokesman for the Jewish Community of Hevron said that "you come here, you see the sights, you see the history, you see the courage, you see the bravery; you see 3,800 years of Jewish history, 4,500 years of human history; you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah; you see King David; you see Caleb, you see Otniel ben Kenaz; you see Herod, you see the Rambam visiting here. It just doesn't stop; the last 500 years, the Spanish Aliya; there's so much to talk about and see."
"We are at the height of preparations," says Asi Horowitz, Coordinator of Tourism and Events for the Jewish community in Hevron, with the installation of special equipment on the stage outside the Cave of the Patriarchs, "Every evening we see thousands of Jews visiting the Cave of the Patriarchs. We bring all the people of Israel to connect with Hevron. Of course, during the intermediate Chol HaMoed days of the festival there will be great performances for the entire family and tours to all the sites in Hevron."
Do residents of the Jewish community in Hevron become inured to these events that have already become a tradition? Noam Arnon, the Spokesman for the community, makes it clear that this is not the case: "I can testify about myself; after almost 30 years of such events you can not get used to it; the excitement before the event and during the event, coping with pressures and difficulties of course, and especially seeing the tens of thousands here; the power, the joy, and the connection..."
"This is the fulfillment of a dream," says Arnon, and clarifies: "It is not just my dream, but the thousand year dream of Jews who paid for this place and did not believe such things could happen here once again. So powerful and so joyous is the connection of so many thousands of Jews; it's exciting each time anew, every moment spent here."
Asi Horowitz says there are many who return every year, although it was not originally part of their plans: "What is interesting to see here is that the regulars (who come every year) are those who came once and were mesmerized - many Jews who decided to come once and feared the first time.
"We see ourselves here as emissaries of the people of Israel, the historic people of Israel," concludes Noam Arnon. "Our role here is to be in this place, to preserve it, to open it, to connect to it, to bring people closer to it ... and that's what we try to do."