Actually, the original plan of those who ended up establishing the first Jewish community in the Shomron after the 1967 Six Days War had planned on coming to Shiloh for the obvious historical significance. But they ended up complying with the government's condition/demand that they choose a location that had structures in which they could live. The government hoped that it would be no more than a temporary "demonstration" and didn't want there to be the need to build at all. That's why Ofra was chosen; there were Jordanian police/army barracks to move into. Shiloh stayed on the list and the Ofra community hosted the Shiloh garrin, settlement group until the time was ripe and logistical problems could be solved.
Seven young families and a few singles moved to Shiloh on Rosh Chodesh Shvat, 5738, January, 1978, yes, this time of the year, thirty-four years ago. Considering how much ordinary, everyday technology has advanced in those few decades, it's hard to imagine how those young families managed in what was then a very isolated location, accessed via an Arab village, no phones, electricity or reliable water supply. The lived mostly in trailers and tents. A simple generator was set up, and water was trucked in periodically. An old, mostly destroyed building was given a new roof, and it served as the synagogue and yeshiva which had also been established.
When I visited Shiloh with our then young daughters, exactly 34 years ago on TU B'Shvat, there were just over thirty families living in trailers and cement prefabricated homes near Tel Shiloh. I can't exactly say why, but I just felt that Shiloh was the place for us to live and raise our children. Over the next few months we visited as a family a few times for Shabbat, met more people and decided to make it our home.
We moved to Shiloh on September 1, 1981, the day the Shiloh elementary school, Ohel Shiloh, first began. There were exactly eighteen students that day, divided into three grades, First, Second and Third. Our second daughter was the oldest girl in the school. Our eldest daughter had been driven to Ofra to study in their school with a few other children too old for the new Shiloh school. By the end of September, the population of Shiloh had more than doubled from our first visit. There were over sixty families and many more children.
Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers every month at Tel Shiloh.
The Rosh Chodesh Adar Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
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