Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Shiloh, The Perfect Place for Jewish Prayer!

Baba Sali, photo by Batya Medad
I know that many won't agree with me, but I do not go for praying to Gd at tombs and graves. No matter how righteous the dead may have been, it really turns my stomach to hear how people actually pray to the dead person, rather than to Gd Almighty. We all know that at Kever Rachel, Rachel's Tomb, many address their prayers to "Mama Rochel," rather than Gd. You'll hear the same sort of thing at the Baba Sali's Tomb and Uman and more graves and tombs so popular in the religious and traditional Jewish public.

Kotel, photo by Batya Medad
I've also lost my feelings for the Kotel, the Western Wall, once I understood what the place really is. It is very far from the actual Holy of Holies. It's the outer wall of the compound, not a remaining Temple wall.

There is one holy place that does attract my prayers, Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, just over a mile from my house. There are no walls and no graves and no tombs.
Kever Rachel
photo by Batya Medad

When Joshua led the Jewish People into the Land of Israel after the Exodus From Egypt, there were many battles to liberate towns, villages and cities that had been taken over, but Shiloh required no fighting. Shiloh stood empty of invaders awaiting the Jewish People to return. It became the religious and national capital of the Jewish Nation until David became King and planned the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. In 1967, Shiloh was also empty of residents, so it was easy to establish a Jewish community here.

The Mishkan, Tabernacle, which was the forerunner of the Holy Temple, rested in Shiloh for 369 years. It was the holy place that pilgrims came to for Holiday and special prayers. The Bible tells the story of how Chana, Hannah, prayed in Shiloh for a son. That son, Shmuel Hanavi, Samuel The Prophet, led the Jewish People until he anointed the first two kings, Saul and David.

Women praying on the site of the Biblical Tabernacle, Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, photo by Batya Medad

The laws of how to pray are derived from how Chana prayed, silently and directly to Gd.

For many years now, I've been inviting women to join me for Rosh Chodesh (the beginning of the Jewish Month) prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh. Without the distraction of dead bodies we can easily pray directly to Gd, just the way we should.

Women's Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh Rosh Chodesh Kislev
Friday November 13, 2015
1st of Kislev, 5776, 8:30am
Hallel and Musaf for Rosh Chodesh
Tour of Tel Shiloh
Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors
תפילת נשים ראש חודש כסלו בשילה הקדומה, תל שילה
יום ו' 13-11  א' כסלוי, תשע"ו 8:30
הלל ומוסף לראש חודש
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
כדאי לבוא ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

Please save the date and let others know. Join our facebook group for more updates. And remember that there are many other things to do at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh. It's open to visitors six days a week. For more information call  02-994-4019.

Join us!


John S. said...

Batya, as Christian living in Australia and only recently discovering your blog site, I am really enjoying learning of your faith and the very real issues that you face each day as a Jew in Israel.

It seems to me that two very significant lies that have been foisted upon an ignorant world over the past two millennia. Firstly gentile leaders of the early Christian church declared that their church had replaced the Jewish people in G-d's
program and that the only thing the Jewish nation could look forward to was condemnation. How ironic that anti-Semitism should be held up before G-d as a virtue. Fortunately Sir Isaac Newton studied the Hebrew prophets and changed the outlook of the church to some degree.

Now we have a second lie in that Israel is accused of occupying territory that is not its own. From your historical vantage point in Shiloh I pray that you will see G-d shatter this fallacy just as he has done to every obstacle of man's invention since the days of Joshuah.

Netivotgirl said...

One is NOT ALLOWED to pray to the Tzadik, dear Batya! I was at the Baba Sali only yesterday and the day before with all my lists as a dear friend had a biopsy on her lungs yesterday. I say, "Kavod HaBaba Sali, please be a melitz yosher for....X, Y, Z." or "Hashem, by the merit of the saintly Baba Sali, please accept my prayers for X, Y, Z." I am grateful to have the Baba Sali's shrine nearby. Believe me I missed the Kotel so deeply it HURT when I first married. Now with the Baba Sali nearby, I feel I have a place where to open my heart. My prayers are purer and more focused. May He hear all our prayers no matter where they are prayed from -- our living rooms; on the bus; at the Kotel; etc. Thank you for another beautiful post!!

Batya said...

John thanks for yout comment. Since man created that lie man must destroy it. Repentance/free will.
NG not everyone is as careful as you. I sm spoiled living in Shiloh.

Keli Ata said...

You're blessed to be living in Shiloh:) I also agree with you on praying at the tombs of the dead no matter how righteous they were when they were alive. Pray to the East and to Hashem always.

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