This is the story of soldiers and residents who fought, shoulder to shoulder, bravely risking their lives to combat our enemies.
This is also the story of one man who, with infinite persistence and a huge monetary investment, redeemed an Arab building in the heart of Hevron.
This is the story of Beit Hashalom – a new Jewish community on the route to the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
This is the story of Hevron.
The Battle of Bravery
In the winter of 5763 , on the eve of Parashat Vayetze, a group of terrorists attempted to infiltrate Kiryat Arba in order to murder Jewish residents. On their way, they were met by IDF soldiers and members of the Kiryat Arba civilian emergency response team. At the site, a bloody battle ensued, lasting several long hours. Throughout those terrible hours, our soldiers fought with immense dedication, exhibiting great bravery. During the long battle in this alleyway adjacent to Kiryat Arba, 12 of our fighters were killed, including Colonel Dror Weinberg, Commander of the IDF’s Judea Division, and two members of Kiryat Arba’s emergency team, and Kiryat Arba’s security chief, Yitzchak Boanish.
The news of the battle and its difficult outcome reached the ears of Mr. Morris Avraham, a member of the Syrian Jewish community in New York. He felt determined to fulfill the literal meaning of the verse, “With your blood, you shall live!” and decided that nothing was more appropriate at such a time than the purchase of a home at the spot where the ‘Battle of Bravery’ had taken place.
Purchase of Beit Hashalom
The purchase of a property from an Arab in Hevron takes a lot of faith. The process of redeeming a home in Hevron is complicated and multi-staged, spanning a lengthy period of time and conducted with strict confidentiality. At any stage, the entire transaction could collapse. It must be determined whether the Arab presenting himself as the seller is indeed the legal owner of the property, and whether he has all of the legal documents enabling the execution of the purchase in a legal manner that will withstand any possible legal proceedings that may arise in the future. Political, security and other legal issues may also thwart the execution of the transaction. In the face of all of these challenges, Mr. Morris Avraham persisted and believed – thereby making history by renewing the purchase and establishment of a new Jewish neighborhood in the city of the patriarchs, Hevron. In a long and complex process, the large building on the main route leading to the Tomb of the Patriarchs was discovered. Mr. Avraham took a great risk and invested a large sum (like the original “four hundred silver coins” paid by our forefather Abraham…he paid close to one million dollars) out of his own pocket, and purchased the building.
A New Jewish Building in Hevron
When the purchase process was finalized, Jewish families inhabited the building. The joy and excitement know no bounds, as fitting on the occasion of redeeming a home in the city of the patriarchs, Hevron.
However, the government and judicial authorities weren’t as excited…and this quickly became palpable because of the living conditions.
Since the building was purchased when it was still just a skeleton frame, without doors or windows, flooring, electrical and plumbing systems, the window openings were covered with plastic sheets covered the window openings and preliminary, insufficient electrical and plumbing systems were installed for the new residents. Yet, not only did these difficult conditions not damper their joy, but they actually contributed to the pioneering spirit of those idealistic residents inhabiting the house. The large building, in all of its towering glory, became filled with vibrant Jewish life. As a direct consequence, the entire area surrounding the building, suddenly became an area bustling with Jewish life.
Challenges and Difficulties
The Arab seller’s claim that he did not in fact sell the house constantly loomed and threatened the Jewish presence at the site. Over a year and a half after they entered, Israel’s Defense Minister at the time decided to expel the Jewish families from the building, despite the fact that the seller kept changing his version of the story and the Jewish buyer’s claims were never properly addressed.
The Children Return to their Borders!
Following lengthy and expensive legal proceedings, which stretched on for over five years in various courts, the Supreme Court finally accepted the Jewish buyer’s claim and confirmed that the house was legally purchased.
This ruling led to the receipt of the long-awaited ‘permit’ from the Defense Minister, and immediately afterward, right before Passover 5774 , three families moved in to Beit Hashalom.
Today, the families in the building live in temporary apartments, awaiting the renovation of the building and construction of new apartments. When the permanent residents finally move into Beit Hashalom, the building will be a beautiful, vibrant Jewish neighborhood.
You can be a part of the story of Hevron.
Come purchase an apartment in Beit Hashalom.
Harchivi Makom Ohalech is dedicated to redeeming homes throughout the city of Hevron, following in the footsteps of our forefather Abraham, with the goal of expanding the Jewish presence in Hevron and creating a Jewish continuum connecting the Tomb of the Patriarchs with the various Jewish neighborhoods in Kiryat Arba-Hevron.