On Monday the Eve of Rosh Chodesh Adar, I traveled to Kever Rachel, which I do quite often. Though recently, I've lamented the fact that Shiloh, Holy Shiloh where one can still scent the fragrant Ketoret, hasn't attracted anything near the visitors who loyally visit Rachel's Tomb.
Last week I got a call from Evelyn Haies the tireless worker for Kever Rachel, Rachel's Children Reclamation Foundation and the Bnei Rachel Simcha Center at Rachel's Tomb.
So this time I was able to see what she has accomplished. And how she managed to get two young women to help her out.
Then I went in and saw the beautiful place.
There's even a synagogue, so there can be prayers for Kohanim who are forbidden to enter tombs. The building is also used for celebrations.
Even a drought year like this one is green. When you're at Tel Shiloh, the spirit is so different from Kever Rachel. Here's we're part of nature, part of G-d.
One of my neighbors told us a short Dvar Torah, that the Ketoret, the fragrant incense used in the Mishkan, Tabernacle prayers was the last thing man had to produce for G-d. It's made up of many herbs, some sweet and some sharp. Just like the Jewish people ציבור Tzibbur congregation-community, צ- Tzaddikim righteous, ב beinoniim ordinary people, in between, ר rashaiim evil people.
I then pointed out that the Ketoret is not restricted. Like G-d it's every place. We feel its presence in Shiloh. We're not walled in.
G-d willing, we'll be back for Rosh Chodesh Nissan, Thursday March 26, 9:30am.