Archive for January, 2011

Hebron Cave Roof Caves In

January 30, 2011

As reported today (Shevat 25, 5771, 1/30/2011) by David Wilder:

“I know it may seem difficult to fathom, but there are certain elements of life in Hebron that have nothing to do with politics. At least, they shouldn’t. …

“During the latest dig [at Tel Hebron], in the late 1990s, archeologist Emmanuel Eisenberg uncovered 2,700 year old ‘lemelech’ (‘to the King’) seals, with the word Hebron, in ancient Hebrew, inscribed on them. …

“Such a site, anywhere else in the world, would be classified as a national treasure, and related to appropriately. In other words, the government would invest funds to beautify the area and insure its well-being, while encouraging tens and hundreds of thousands of people to visit each year. …

“But what do people see when they arrive at Machpela? Climbing the stairs and entering this massive 2,000 year old structure, visitors find themselves standing under a canvas awning in the building’s mains courtyard. Not a roof, rather a tarpaulin. This covering, a poor attempt to protect visitors and worshipers from the elements, hasn’t been cleaned in years. A filthy, water-creased tent-like structure adorns the second holiest place to the Jewish people in all the world.

“In one word, this can be described as disgusting. An additional word is disgraceful. Is this the [way] to commemorate our nation’s founders: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah? …

“A few weeks ago, when finally on Shabbat, thank G-d, rain began to fall, water dripped down from the canvas covering onto a Torah scroll. The Torah reading was stopped and the scroll immediately moved. Last night, as a result of heavy winds and rain, the roof finally caved in, falling to the ground, leaving a gaping hole, and a great view of the sky above. And rain falling on worshipers’ heads.

“Isn’t it time to stop playing politics with our national treasures and bring an end to such humiliation?! This solution is not to replace the old canvas with a new one. The time has finally come to take the giant step and authorize a real roof atop Ma’arat HaMachpela.”

G.M. Grena