When the outrageous suggestion was made by a Jew to officially divide the Cave of the
Patriarchs in half, a Muslim stood up and made a commotion: “The structure around the cave
was converted into a mosque over 1,300 years ago, and they’ve prayed there ever since, so
how dare anyone suggest it be divided with Jews!”
One would have expected the Jews to respond: “You admit that up until 1,300 years ago —
going back over 2,000 years before that to the time of the Patriarchs — it was exclusively
in Jewish hands. So what makes it yours?!”
Were we deserving, Jews would have publicized Torah’s claim on their own, not waiting for
a Mufti to publish it for them – and yet they still fail to realize the implications of his words...
Rashi explains on the first verse of the Torah: “G-d chose to take the Land from the
Canaanite nations and give it to us.” This is true of the entire Land of Israel, but even more
so when it comes to Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs. There, even the Canaanite
nations themselves had no claim, because Abraham purchased the cave “In the presence of
all the Hittites,” and he paid “400 silver shekels,” and the sale was finalized even according
to the local law of the time.