Israelis expand presence in Hebron, name buildings after biblical matriarchs

Israeli families moved into two newly acquired buildings in the biblical city of Hebron. 

By: JNS and World Israel News Staff

A group of 15 Jewish families in Hebron took up residence in two buildings situated near the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs on Monday night, which they have named Beit Rachel (the House of Rachel) and Beit Leah (the House of Leah).

The names were bestowed in honor of the biblical sisters Rachel and Leah, who together with their husband Jacob, and Bilhah and Zilpah, were the forebears of the 12 tribes of Israel.

The residents affixed a mezuzah – a piece of parchment inscribed with passages from the Torah that is rolled up and enclosed in an often decorative case – to each doorpost and hung Israeli flags from the windows.

This event comes 50 years after a group of Israelis came to Hebron and began the process that subsequently led to the permanent establishment of a Jewish neighborhood in the historic city where King David was anointed and reigned for seven years before the Jewish capital was moved to Jerusalem. Hebron is in fact the site of the oldest Jewish community in the world. The biblical patriarch Abraham purchased the Tomb when his wife Sarah had died.