|Baba Sali, photo by Batya Medad|
|Kotel, photo by Batya Medad|
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.
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.