Monday, April 15, 2013

Celebrate Israeli Independence Where We Had Our First Capital City, Shiloh!

The State of Israel isn't a new nation, not at all.  We are probably the oldest, because we became a nation over three thousand, yes, 3,000, years ago.  We keep the same religion, the same language and learn our same ancient through modern history and even have an ancient library of books and literature we have been reading and studying over all those millennium. We celebrate not the birth, but the rebirth of our state and country.

Dry Bones

Yes, the modern State of Israel is only sixty-five 65 years old, but there wouldn't be a State of Israel if there hadn't been such a long, continuous connected and well documented Jewish History.

The Bible, Tanach, is both a history and theology book. It explains the very foundation of the Jewish People starting with G-d's creation of the world, separating light from darkness, Genesis Chapter 1 בְּרֵאשִׁית.
א  בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ. 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
ב  וְהָאָרֶץ, הָיְתָה תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ, וְחֹשֶׁךְ, עַל-פְּנֵי תְהוֹם; וְרוּחַ אֱלֹהִים, מְרַחֶפֶת עַל-פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם. 2 Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.
ג  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי אוֹר; וַיְהִי-אוֹר. 3 And God said: 'Let there be light.' And there was light.
ד  וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאוֹר, כִּי-טוֹב; וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים, בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחֹשֶׁךְ. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
ה  וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם, וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה; וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם אֶחָד.  {פ} 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
 The first Jew was Abraham, who heard and acted on G-d's message, Genesis Chapter 12 בְּרֵאשִׁית:
א  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-אַבְרָם, לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ. 1 Now the LORD said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee.
ב  וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ, לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל, וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ, וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ; וֶהְיֵה, בְּרָכָה. 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.
ג  וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה. 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'
ד  וַיֵּלֶךְ אַבְרָם, כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֵלָיו יְהוָה, וַיֵּלֶךְ אִתּוֹ, לוֹט; וְאַבְרָם, בֶּן-חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים וְשִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה, בְּצֵאתוֹ, מֵחָרָן. 4 So Abram went, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him; and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
And the Bible continues by chronicling the ups and downs of the Jewish People, their difficulties, victories, disasters and triumphs.

One of the greatest events in Jewish History is when Joshua established Shiloh as the Jewish spiritual and administrative capital of the Jewish Nation.  The Mishkan, Tabernacle, mobile house of worship, was rebuilt in Shiloh to withstand hundreds of years of use.  Shiloh remained the capital for three hundred and sixty-nine 369 years.  That's  a very long time.  How many modern countries can document a national history so long?  As my neighbor, the well-known tour guide Era Rapaport has been heard to point out, "the United States has a much shorter history."

Shiloh's Central Mishkan Synagogue, designed according to the Biblical description of the Mishkan, tabernacle.

As you most probably know, I live in Shiloh.  Shiloh was liberated in the 1967 Six Days War.  Just over ten years after that great, miraculous victory, the first Jewish families returned to Shiloh, and since then it has been growing and thriving.  We have hundreds of families, schools, shops, health clinics, public transportation, agriculture, industry and all that one needs to live good Jewish lives.

Shiloh, at the time of Joshua, who led the Jewish People once they entered the Promised Land, did not need to be conquered.  Either the locals had fled before Joshua entered or they welcomed him.  We don't know. But what  we do know about today's Shiloh is that it was totally empty, deserted long before the Six Days War.  It had only attracted the occasional pilgrim, tourist and archeologist.

remains of ruins of a synagogue built on the ruins of a Second Temple time synagogue

There's now a very well kept up tourist center in Shiloh, Shiloh HaKeduma, at Tel Shiloh.  You can arrange tours and events there by emailing or call 02-994-4019.  They have been running a very popular festival for people of all ages every Passover and Succot, plus a massive women's event every summer. Contact Shiloh HaKeduma for more information.

For the past few years, I've been organizing women's prayer at Tel Shiloh on Rosh Chodesh.  Next month is Sivan, Friday, May 10, 2013.  If you'd like more information or would like to be added to my mailing list, please email shilohmuse at gmail dot com with "women's prayers Tel Shiloh" as the subject, thanks.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Sivan
Friday, May 10, 2013
1 Sivan 5773, 8:30am
Tour of Tel & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים
ראש חודש סיון בתל שילה

יום ו' 10-5 א' סיון תשע"ג 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

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