|Cave of the Patriarchs, Hebron (circa 1900)|
Genesis 23: And these were the days of Sarah, 127 years. Sarah died in Kiryat-Arba which is Hebron....Abraham spoke to the Sons of Heth: grant me legal possession of land for a burial site... for its price in full ... 400 shekels of silver.... Thus it was established, the field and the cave that was in it, for Abraham as legally possessed for a burial site from the Sons of Heth."
|"Inner entrance to |
Machpelah showing mammoth
stones in Herodian wall"
The massive building surrounding the gravesite was built by King Herod two thousand years ago. The actual graves are located in subterranean caverns beneath. Their locations are marked above ground by cenotaphs -- empty tombs that serve as monuments.
|Cenotaph above the Tomb of Sarah|
|Tomb of Abraham|
|"Cenotaph of Isaac |
|Hebron today, where school boys recently celebrated|
completion of the book of Genesis
Many Jewish families in Israel celebrate weddings, bar mitzvas and circumcisions at the shrine.