Hevron celebrates 50 years with star-studded gala event

Watch a clip with footage from the Six Day War, and join performers and MKs at a gala event on Thursday - at the Cave of the Patriarchs.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Cave of Machpeleh
Cave of Machpeleh
Flash 90

The Jewish community of Hevron is celebrating 50 years since the liberation of Hevron with a star-studded gala event at the Tomb of the Biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs.

On Thursday, May 25, 8pm Israel time, thousands of Israelis will join celebrity performers Rami Kleinstein and Amir Benayoun for a ceremony, concert, and state-of-the-art light show on the walls of Cave of Machpelah (Cave of the Patriarchs).

Also attending the event will be Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), and other ministers and Knesset members.

Arutz Sheva will be broadcasting the event live, complete with English narration by Yishai Fleisher, the international spokesman of the Hevron Jewish community.

Hevron was liberated the day after Jerusalem, and joins Jerusalem and the communities of Judea, Samaria, and the Golan in celebrating 50 years since their liberation in the Six Day War.

Rabbi Shlomo Goren, then-Chief Rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces and later Chief Rabbi of Israel, wrote in his autobiography that one day after the dramatic liberation of Jerusalem, he decided to venture to Hevron.

Thinking he was going to catch up with the IDF, he and an army driver arrived alone in a jeep to discover the city streets empty. White flags hung from balconies as the population anticipated a fierce conquest and revenge for the Hevron massacre of 1929.

In honor of the event, the The Hebron Fund has also issued special commemorative coins for the event.

The 50th anniversary Hebron Citizen Medallion depicts Rabbi Shlomo Goren superimposed over an Israeli flag, above an image of the Cave of Machpelah. The back of the coin features the number 50 with the logo of the Jewish Community of Hevron.

The bronze, silver and gold medallions are a project of the Hevron Fund and the Jewish Community of Hevron with only 1,000 of each of each one being minted.

Thousands are expected to attend a commemoration ceremony and concert honoring veterans of the Six Day War and the pioneers who braved the return to Hevron to reestablish the ancient neighborhoods.

Tours of the city will take place throughout the day.

"50 years ago this week the Cave of Machpelah was in territory ruled by Jordan," Hebron Fund Executive Director Rabbi Dan Rosenstein said. "Before that Jews were officially barred from entering the Machpelah for 700 years starting in 1267 with the Mamelukes."

"It's awe inspiring to see Jewish life flourish again in Hevron, to return to Jewish children to the fathers and mothers, and to be a part of Hevron Day celebrations today."

The Honorary Citizen Medallion is being offered by the Hebron Fund, and can be obtained here.