Thousands of females, ok, the percentage of those past their teens was lower than usual, braved the raging sandstorm on Wednesday to attend the annual Tefillat Chana at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh. For many it was their first visit to the popular holy site. I found myself answering a lot of questions, as if I was wearing a sign on my backing saying:
I live here; I'm your unofficial expert re: Tel Shiloh. Just Ask!Honestly, I wasn't. But of course I answered as well as I could. I used to give tours of the Tel on rare occasions. And as you probably know, I go to doven at the Tel on Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish Month with some friends. I started that as a reaction to the mobs fighting to get space in Kever Rachel, Rachel's Tomb. Shiloh was the location of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle which was the forerunner of the Holy Temple. The Jewish People carried it throughout the wandering in the desert/wilderness after the exodus from Egypt, and then when they entered the Land of Israel, it was brought to Shiloh and set up here for worship. That period, when Shiloh was the religious and administrative Capital of the Jewish Nation lasted for 369 years.
The holiness never left Shiloh, even when the Tabernacle was no longer.
It was wonderful seeing all those women, young and old, walking, praying, learning, exploring and experiencing the event. Here are some of my pictures:
|Yes, there were men around who had jobs to do. Here some are dovening mincha, praying the afternoon prayer.|
|Shani Taragin at Shiloh Hakeduma,|
Tel Shiloh, at the Tefilat Chana
Afterwards there was a musical performance, but I didn't stay.
As you can see from the pictures, everyone had a wonderful time.