ד וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלָיו, זֹאת הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב לֵאמֹר, לְזַרְעֲךָ, אֶתְּנֶנָּה; הֶרְאִיתִיךָ בְעֵינֶיךָ, וְשָׁמָּה לֹא תַעֲבֹר. 4 And the LORD said unto him: 'This is the land which I swore unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying: I will give it unto thy seed; I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.'
ה וַיָּמָת שָׁם מֹשֶׁה עֶבֶד-יְהוָה, בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹאָב--עַל-פִּי יְהוָה. 5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
ו וַיִּקְבֹּר אֹתוֹ בַגַּי בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹאָב, מוּל בֵּית פְּעוֹר; וְלֹא-יָדַע אִישׁ אֶת-קְבֻרָתוֹ, עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה. 6 And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab over against Beth-peor; and no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.
The more I think about it, the more I believe that we're not supposed to pray at graves and tombs, no matter how righteous the dead person was.
That's what makes Shiloh such a holy place. It was the religious and administrative Capital of the Jewish Nation for 369 years, from the time of Joshua until Shmuel HaNavi, Samuel The Prophet. I've lived in Shiloh for the past thirty years, but only in the past few have I established the custom of going to the Ancient Tel and praying every Rosh Chodesh.
During Biblical times, Shiloh was a place of pilgrimage and prayer. Shoftim, the book of Judges, begins with the story of how Elkana and his family brought other Jews to pray at The Mishkan, the Taberncle at Shiloh. During one of those pilgrimages, his wife Chana beseeached G-d for a child. She vowed that the child would be given to G-d to lead the Jewish People. G-d remembered her and Shmuel HaNavi, Samuel The Prophet was born.
For thousands of years, Shiloh has been a place for prayers, not only for Jews. Actually, until quite recently, I think more Christians had been making of point of coming to Shiloh to pray than Jews did. That bothered me and was one of the reasons I started inviting women to come to Tel Shiloh to pray on Rosh Chodesh, the first of the Jewish Month. The other reason is that I couldn't understand why thousands of people fight to pray in places like Rachel's Tomb while the holy and spacious Tel Shiloh is so ignored.
Last night as I was walking to the site where the Mishkan, Tabernacle had stood I saw the young woman who administers the Tel's Tourist site.
"Batya, it's your dream come true. You must go quickly to see all of the women praying at the site of the Mishkan."
Yes, it was thrilling to see women of all ages praying at Tel Shiloh. As Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi said last night,
"There's no doubt that the Biblical Chana was with us, watching from Olam Habba, overjoyed at the turnout and prayers."
Tourists come from all over the world to Tel Shiloh. For more information about visiting Tel Shiloh email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02-994-4019.