חברון

The importance of the city of Chevron is wmphasized in פרשת חיי שרה. It is the second holiest city in Israel and the first area that was purchased by a Jew, Avraham Avinu. Avraham understood that there was something special about this city as it was the gateway to the Garden of Eden. He was offered it as a gift but insisted on paying an exorbitant amount so that it was known that it belonged to the Jews. The Midrash says that Adam and Eve felt they were unworthy to be buried together with such special people as Avraham and Sarah. The latter appeased Adam and Eve and assured them they would be good neighbors in eternity. Every morning in the Beit Hamikdash, the Kohanim looked to the south to Chevron, to see the first signs of morning. When they did, they shouted the word, "Barkai" to announce the morning. Chevron was and is a very special place, indeed.