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Why Were the Avos Buried in the Wrong Order? The Strange Position of the Tombstones

The Revolution of the Rogatchover Gaon

1 hr 27 min

The Monument of Yitzchak in the Machpalah Cave in Hebron

Class Summary:

Visitors to the Mearat Hamachpalah in Hebron might have observed the strange order of the tombstones on the graves of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs: Isaac on the right, Abraham in the center, and Jacob on the left. Why are they interred in that order? Is there any historical accuracy to this order?

A fascinating observation in the Jerusalem Talmud about the position of our forefathers in the cave has raised many an eyebrow. It was the Rogatchover Gaon, Rabbi Yosef Rozen (1858-1936), who analyzing the biblical text, presents an astounding novel account of the burial of our Avos, solving this ancient dilemma.

Please leave your comment below!

  • MK

    Mitchell Krasnerman -10 months ago

    Like a Rubix cube

    This lecture is like figuring out a Rubix cube 

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  • S

    Shmuel -9 years ago

    How did it all work out with the mothers? Does it make any sense to say that Yitzchok was buried near Leah until the day they buried Yaakov?

    Or did Yaakov also rebury his mother Rivkah when Leah passed away? But then Rivka would have been buried alone on top of Avraham and Sarah alone while her husband was below Avraham! Doesn't either sit well... I'm confused.

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    • Y

      Yitzi -9 years ago

      That's a good question.... Anybody for an answer?

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    • A

      aron -9 years ago

      בהשקפה ראשונה חשבתי שמי אומר שהאמהות נקברו ממש ע"י בעליהן

      אבל אינו - מפורש בגמ' בב"ב שראשה של אאע"ה מונח על ברכי אברהם!

      לאידך – אי"ז ראי' לרבקה ולאה.

      ועדיין צ"ע.

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    • Y

      Yechiel -9 years ago

      I think Rivkah and Leah were both reburied at the time of Yaakov's funeral:
      Initially Sarah was buried in the middle left slot. Then Avrohom in the middle right slot. Then Rivkah in the bottom left slot, then Leah in the top left slot (or the other way around, not sure who died first), then Yitzchok in the bottom right slot.

      When Yaakov passed away, Rivkah and Yitchak were reburied in the top right and top left slots, Leah was reburied in the bottom left slot and Yaakov in the bottom left slot. Like this:

      Initial:

      Leah
      Sarah-Avraham
      Rivkah-Yitchok

      After Yaakov passed away:
      Rivkah-Yitchok
      Sarah-Avraham
      Leah-Yaakov

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    • Y

      Yechiel -9 years ago

      I don't think the dinim of Heseibo apply to women..

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      • S

        Shmuel -9 years ago

        If the dinim of Heseibo apply to woman or not, Or to say that Hasibah was only regards to the fathers and not to the mothers, is irrelevant in this particular circumstance. As ultimately you find that they were all buried near their spouses and they followed the same protocol as their respective husbands.

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  • I

    Isaac -9 years ago

    Thanks for the incredible source sheets.

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

Class Vayechi

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • December 16, 2014
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  • 24 Kislev 5775
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  • 4609 views

This class is dedicated with much love by the Niasoff Family -- in memory of Reb Eliyahu Tzion Niasoff, in honor of his 76th birthday on 10 Teves.

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