For the first time in years, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron will be open 24 hours a day for prayer. Following a special request from the Kiryat Arba – Hebron Religious Council, the IDF decided to allow prayer at the site around the clock during the 10 Days of Awe, the period of repentance between the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
For the past 16 years, the site has closed to the public at 10 pm every day.
Religious Council Chairman Yossi Dayan explained, "During the (Hebrew) month of Elul, thousands of visitors arrive in Hebron, and the influx of visitors only increases during the Days of Awe during which organized groups, individuals, families, and groups from abroad arrive. In order to provide additional possibilities for prayer times and reciting Selichot (a set of penitential prayers and poems), we asked that the cave be opened during the night, and the request was granted. We praise this decision and are already planning central gatherings for reciting Selichot on these nights."
Kiryat Arba – Hebron Local Council Head Malachi Levinger said, "The decision to open the Cave of the Patriarchs for all hours of the day after many years of being closed is more evidence of the close and fruitful cooperation between the settlement in Kiryat Arba – Hebron and the IDF commanders.
"The decision will allow thousands of worshippers from around the country to connect to their roots during the holidays. We invite the broad public to visit the Cave of the Patriarchs and enjoy the spiritual and cultural treasures of Hebron."
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