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Monday, February 27, 2012

Shiloh, Connected to the Past, Looking to the Future

When I decided early in 1981 that we should move our growing brood from Jerusalem to Shiloh, I had no idea how much living in such a holy and historic place would affect me.  I credit many of the changes inside of me to the location where I live.  Shiloh was the first capital of the Jewish Nation.  This "temporary" position lasted 369 years, not something that historians of all stripes can or should ignore.  To give it some modern perspective, it's longer than the time between the discovery of the American Continents and the establishment of the United States.  It's much longer than the existence of the USA, also, and longer than the existence of most countries.

After the Cohanim, Priests, ruled from Shiloh assisted by various Judges, Samuel the Prophet transitioned the Jewish People into a Kingdom, first under King Saul and then anointed King David.  King David established the Capital in Jerusalem where his son, King Solomon, built the Holy Temple to G-d.  That's a very abridged version of the very complex Jewish History.

For the past few years I've been inviting women to join me to celebrate Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of each Jewish Month by praying together at Tel Shiloh, where Biblical Chana prayed for a son.  Each month I discover something new.

Shiloh was the place of pilgrimage, and as I stood admiring the late winter wild flowers and the beautiful view, I suddenly saw the ground differently.  I realized that I was standing on what was probably once a pilgrim's hostel.  I could see the walls underneath the greenery.

The Ancient Shiloh walls, weren't just outer walls.  In those days, the walls were complex buildings, with rooms, apartments, storage rooms and more.  A place like Shiloh would have dormitories for the student priests, apartments for the permanent residents and "hotel" rooms for the visitors who had come for Holidays and prayers.

Today hundreds of Jewish families live in Shiloh and the surrounding hillside in all directions.  We have schools, stores and some light industry.  And yes, there's building going on, because it's considered a desirable, pleasant and convenient place to live.

Next month's women's Rosh Chodesh Nissan Prayers will be:

The Rosh Chodesh Nissan Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Friday, March 23, 2012 8:30am
Shiur Torah, Short Tour & Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors
תפילת נשים ראש חודש ניסן בתל שילה
יום ו' 23-3 8:30
יהיו סיור ודבר תורה קצרים
נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

You're welcome to join our facebook page. Tel Shiloh is open to visitors daily. Tours can be arranged through the office. Email telshilo@gmail.com or phone 02-994-4019.
PS I was recently interviewed.  If you'd like to watch/listen, here it is:

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