The Cave of the Patriarchs has been standing and in use for over 2,000 years! The massive tomb structure was built by Herod, who also built, Massada, Herodian, Caesaria Port, and parts of the Temple in Jerusalem, including the Western Wall.
The Cave of the Patriarchs stands over the tomb which Abraham purchased, as recorded in the Book of Genesis. These caves are the burial plots of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Bible; Abraham & Sarah, Isaac & Rebekah, and Jacob & Leah.
On two famous occasions in recent history, Jews entered the double cave that is concealed by Herod’s building- once by a young girl named Michal in 1967, and once by a group of students in 1981. There they discovered remnants of ancient clay vessels as well as human bones.
For 700 years, from 1267 to 1967, Jews were barred from entering the Cave of the Patriarchs. In 1967 Rabbi Shlomo Goren reclaimed Jewish control over the Cave of the Patriarchs in the name of the Jewish people, and people of all faiths can now freely enter and worship at the holy site.