Monday, June 21, 2010

Shiloh, the Greatest Neighbors

I consider myself very blessed to be living here in Shiloh.  After I had decided that I must blog about the community here in the yishuv, I first thought that I should blog on me-ander, my more personal and "mundane" blog.  But then I thought a little more, when I was walking, doing circuits around the neighborhood.

There's nothing ordinary, mundane about good neighbors.  Having good, caring neighbors means that your neighbors strictly observe the mitzvot (Torah commandments) of how to behave bein adam l'charero, between man and his fellow man.  Jewish Law is divided between those mitzvot and the ones between man and G-d.

Many people find it easier to be good to their neighbors during dramatic times, like after death when helping mourners,  helping the ill or the poor and other special cases.

But it's the everyday good neighbor stuff which makes the real difference.  Today's a case in point.  My Jerusalem daughter got some things for my father and transferred them to my other daughter in Ofra.  Ofra is close to Shiloh.  Many neighbors work there or pass by.  The question still remained. 
How could we transfer the stuff to us in Shiloh?
I decided to send a simple bilingual email to the yishuv (community) email list.  I gave my son-in-law's phone number, since he would be in Ofra all day, and it would be more efficient if he was to be contacted directly.  The replies to the email began even before I left the house for various errands.  My son-in-law told me that someone he didn't know had called saying she'd call when she got close to Ofra.

By the time I got home, the package hadn't yet arrived.  I called my daughter who was afraid that her husband had missed the call.  I began working on alternative plans using the emails which had piled into our inbox.  Then the phone rang.  A neighbor was on her way home, would be passing Ofra soon and hadn't been able to touch base with our  son-in-law.  I spoke to my daughter giving her the neighbor's number.

Then I quickly wrote a card for the neighbor's son's wedding present, which I had finally bought but hadn't delivered.  Yes, so when she showed up with the bag, she got one in exchange.

Of course, we're not all perfect, and there are numerous things I'd like to change and fix about Shiloh, but when you need something, the neighbors are great.


mordechai said...

I haven't seen shilo on the nefesh b nefesh website. Is it a community that an anglo should checkout on a pilot trip? We are coming in Nov and are trying to decide what communities to look at

Batya said...

It sure is. We have enough anglos so that new immigrants feel comfortable, but it's an Israeli community. Shiloh is very central and has a large elementary school for the entire area. Housing is reasonable, private homes. We have medical clinics, too.

Hadassa said...

Not to diminish the generosity of the Shiloh community, but thank G-d, their e-mail network is not unique. Elon Moreh has one and I'm sure many other communities in YoSh have one too. And the system isn't limited to YoSh. Beit Shemesh has an English language e-mail network and the Jerusalem based Janglo is, in fact, international. Someone said once that the Internet is the biggest gemach (free-loan and other assistance) in the world.
Mordechai, I live in Elon Moreh, but I'll second Batya's encouragement for considering Shiloh. (Elon Moreh is rather far from everything to be a good absorption community. We do have a small group of Anglos, schools for boys and girls up to eight grade and a health clinic, but we're not central like Shiloh.)

Batya said...

Yes, Hadassa, I know that lots of other communities have email lists like ours. It's so helpful.

Shiloh is amazingly central, especially by car. We have bus service to Jerusalem and Ariel. From Ariel you can easily get to Petach Tikvah, Tel Aviv etc.