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Saturday, April 18, 2015

One of the Most Heartening Things About The Recent Bible Marathon to Shiloh

This sign was on one of the buses, Tel Aviv! Yes, there were runners from all over the country, even from Tel Aviv.
On the sixth day of Passover, there was the first of what I hope will be an annual event, the "Bible Marathon." It was a a full and challenging marathon from Rosh Ha'ayin to Shiloh, more specifically "Shiloh Hakeduma," the archaeological tourist site in my hometown of Shiloh, the same location as the Biblical one.

Running is a popular sport in Israel, and there are all sorts of marathons all over the country. There is a biblical connection between running and the ancient city of Shiloh. So having a marathon, also a fifteen kilometer run from Ariel and a five kilometer run in the Shiloh area was something that makes sense historically and biblically.

Many times when I bring people to Tel Shiloh, and we stand where experts say the Mishkan, the Tabernacle stood for close to four hundred years before Jerusalem became the Jewish Capital and location of the Holy Temple, I ask them to listen to the sounds of the traffic from the main road, which follows the Biblical road our ancestors trekked thousands of years ago. Then I tell the story of Eli, the High Priest, who had been sitting near where we are waiting to hear news of the battles. He was old and blind at the time. Suddenly he heard the sound of a runner. That runner was coming from the area of Rosh Ha'ayin and probably took a route similar to those who ran the marathon:
Samuel 4
יב  וַיָּרָץ אִישׁ-בִּנְיָמִן מֵהַמַּעֲרָכָה, וַיָּבֹא שִׁלֹה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא; וּמַדָּיו קְרֻעִים, וַאֲדָמָה עַל-רֹאשׁוֹ.12 And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head.
יג  וַיָּבוֹא, וְהִנֵּה עֵלִי יֹשֵׁב עַל-הַכִּסֵּא יך (יַד) דֶּרֶךְ מְצַפֶּה--כִּי-הָיָה לִבּוֹ חָרֵד, עַל אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים; וְהָאִישׁ, בָּא לְהַגִּיד בָּעִיר, וַתִּזְעַק, כָּל-הָעִיר.13 And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon his seat by the wayside watching; for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out.
יז  וַיַּעַן הַמְבַשֵּׂר וַיֹּאמֶר, נָס יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים, וְגַם מַגֵּפָה גְדוֹלָה, הָיְתָה בָעָם; וְגַם-שְׁנֵי בָנֶיךָ מֵתוּ, חָפְנִי וּפִינְחָס, וַאֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים, נִלְקָחָה.  {פ}17 And he that brought the tidings answered and said: 'Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken.' {P}
יח  וַיְהִי כְּהַזְכִּירוֹ אֶת-אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים, וַיִּפֹּל מֵעַל-הַכִּסֵּא אֲחֹרַנִּית בְּעַד יַד הַשַּׁעַר וַתִּשָּׁבֵר מַפְרַקְתּוֹ וַיָּמֹת--כִּי-זָקֵן הָאִישׁ, וְכָבֵד; וְהוּא שָׁפַט אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל, אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה.18 And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off his seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck broke, and he died; for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.
Last week's runners brought good news. Shiloh is now on the modern runner's map! And I was very happy to see that bus from Tel Aviv. Here are some more photos I took that day of runners and those cheering them to the finish line.

Next year, I'd like to walk the five kilometer race, G-d willing. A number of people did that, and if I had known, I would have.


YMedad said...

Next to last photo is Moshe Merchavia. There's also Rav Ronetsky in there a bit further back (beard to the right)

Batya Medad said...

Lots of people from sll walks of life.