by Jerold S. Auerbach, October 25, 2021

As Jerold Auerbach writes, “Long before Jerusalem was mentioned in the biblical text, Hebron was embedded as a site of pilgrimage for sacred memory. According to the biblical narrative (Genesis 23), Jewish history in the Land of Israel began in Hebron when Abraham, needing a burial site for Sarah, purchased the Machpelah cave from Ephron the Hittite. […] Once title to Machpelah passed to Abraham, Jewish history in the Land of Israel had begun.”

AUTHOR: Jerold S. Auerbach is Professor Emeritus of History at Wellesley College, where he taught courses on the United States in the twentieth century, the history of freedom of speech, and the history of Israel. Over the years, he authored books on History, Jewish History, Pueblo Indian history, and Justice. His articles and reviews have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Commentary, Harper’s, The New Republic, The Jerusalem Post, and the Harvard Law Review.

This article was published October 25, 2021 by the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) and is archived at

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