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October 9, 2015 / 26 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Shiloh’

Housing Minister Ariel: Words Versus Facts on the Ground

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Whom are we to believe? Housing Minister Uri Ariel or the regional heads of Judea and Samaria?

Poster  I photographed at Tzomet (Junction) Shiloh signed by Judea-Samaria regional heads claiming a second Netanyahu building freeze is in effect at present.

Housing (Construction) Minister Uri Ariel of the NRP aka Jewish Home Party, who campaigned that in the cabinet/coalition he and his party head Naftali Bennett could best guarantee the growth and building of yishuvim, is quoted saying:

“There will be no more freezes, we will not accept delays and restrictions in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and we will continue to build in all parts of our country,” said Ariel. “Jerusalem will not be divided again. Between the Jordan and the sea there will be only one state, and that is the State of Israel.”

But facts on the ground are the opposite according to the signers of this poster.

Hahakpa’ah ha shniya shel Netanyahu zeh chonek otanu.The second building freeze of Netanyahu, it’s choking us.

That’s what is written on black on the poster bottom. It is signed by those who head the various regions, counties, Jewish cities in Judea and Samaria.

As I have written before, there is still a waiting list to get into many yishuvim, such as Shiloh, because of the severe housing shortage. In recent years there has been a demand for multifamily homes for various reasons. One is that they can be less expensive than single-family homes and the other is that people are now building rental apartments or granny apartments on their houses which quite often use the basement, making the house three, rather than two stories, which necessitates a change in zoning which isn’t granted. Another reason is that some of the yishuvim are now extremely limited in available land for building new homes. When yishuvim were first built, the norm was to only build single family homes, and the standard building limit was two stories in many locations, such as Shiloh. Changing this basic regulation has proven very complicated for many people and communities.

As I’ve written many times before, cabinet/coalition members of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government do not have much power. He doesn’t poll them before making policy decisions. They are more like window-dressing and have to pledge to support his government to be accepted in the coalition. Building in Judea and Samaria to meet its needs won’t happen with Bibi’s government still trying to give the Arabs our Land to make an Arab terror state, aka Palestine.

Today is Jerusalem Day, so expect to hear all sorts of great speeches, but the truth is that we (the State of Israel) are still not sovereign in the Land of Israel and even in Jerusalem.

Visit Shiloh Musings.  / Batya Medad

Yom Ha’atzma’ut Explosion of Joy 66

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Many Israeli communities celebrate Yom Ha’Atzma’ut with fireworks, and Shiloh is no exception. Decades ago, when we were living in Bayit V’Gan Jerusalem, only the big national and municipal ceremonies had such impressive displays. We could see the fireworks at Mount Herzl from our apartment and later on, when the trees got taller, from the roof of the building.

As is our custom here in Shiloh, we greet the festive day, making the transition from Memorial Day to celebrating Independence Day in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) Shiloh Synagogue when everyone comes to pray together, no matter which of the many Shiloh synagogues we normally pray in. First we pray Mincha, the afternoon prayer and then while waiting for nightfall, Rav Elchanan Bin-Nun gives an inspiring sermon. After that begins the Evening Prayer, Aravit which includes dancing and singing plus a long shofar blowing to remind us that the siren is modeled on the Jewish Biblical shofar.


I’m optimistic that things here in Israel will get better and better. It’s really up to us. That’s the “hope,” “Hatikvah,” which is based on faith in G-d. HaTikvah.jpg

Shiloh’s Children Hard at Work Baking Matzohs

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Even as their parents are scrubbing and fixing and rearranging their homes in time for Passover, children in the Jewish community of Shiloh are working as well – making matzohs.

The community, located in the Binyamin region near Samaria, has a 20-year tradition of allowing its children the privilege of baking matzohs just before the Passover holiday.

During the process the children learn the special laws of the holiday while enjoying the practical aspects of preparing matzohs.

The original ancient city of Shiloh, mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, is situated at the modern Khirbet Seilun, south of Tirzah, 10 miles north of the Jewish community of Beit El in Samaria (Shomron).

Shiloh was the official capital of the ancient nation of Israel before the First Holy Temple was built in Jerusalem. It was located north of Beit El and is mentioned in the Book of Joshua and in Judges.

Air Force Airlifts Generators for Blacked-out Towns in Samaria

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

The Israeli Air Force has airlifted generators to end an electricity blackout in the Jewish communities of Itamar and Shiloh in Samaria (Shomron.)

The two towns, along with several other smaller communities, have been without electricity since last Thursday because of the savage storm that crippled Israel with more than three feet of snow and torrential rains in low-level areas. Teams of repairmen have been working around the clock to restore the electrical supply to all the hundreds of disconnected homes.

Aharon Katsof, a resident of Aish Kodesh in the Binyamin region of Samaria, told Tazpit News Agency, “We have been without power for five days.  We have been using wood for heat, and gas for cooking. We also lost our water supply, so we melted snow for water. During the first days we had a problem with food supplies, and we were completely cut off.

“At some point the army began to provide us with food. Those who had wood-heating hosted those families who had none. We had communal meals. Today, most cars were dug out of the snow, and so we can get in and out; the siege has been broken.”

Archaeologists Find Shiloh Altar Used During Temple Era

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

A dramatic discovery at the ancient site of Shiloh, located in Samaria, provides the first–ever evidence that it continued to be a religious center after it was destroyed by the Philistines and Jews returned to the city, home of the Tabernacle.

The altar is thought to have been used to offer sacrifices even after the First Temple was built in Jerusalem.

The stone from the Iron Age, coinciding with the period of the first kings of Israel, was found in a wall built later in the Byzantine period.

Archaeologists think that Byzantines took the stone altar from its original site, which might have been in the same location as the Tabernacle. There are two conflicting theories on its location, one stating it is on the northern side of ancient Shiloh and the other placing it on the southern side.

Avital Faleh, administrator of the Tel Shiloh site, told The Jewish Press Wednesday that the wall was on the southern side and that it is more reasonable that the Byzantines carried the altar from nearby rather than several hundred yards, which would be the case if the Tabernacle were located on the northern side.

The stone was measured at two feet by two feet and almost 16 inches high.

Other altars used for sacrificial worship during the First Temple era have been discovered in Be’er Sheva and near Arad in the south and in Tel Dan and near Shiloh in the north. Faleh explained that the stone altar is almost identical with others that have been discovered.

The revelation on Tuesday of the discovery at Shiloh is the first evidence of post-Tabernacle sacrificial worship at the same site where the Bible states the first Tabernacle was erected after the Jews entered Israel following the Exodus from Egypt and the 40 years of living in the Sinai.

Joshua 18:1 states, “The whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh and erected there the Tent of Assembly, and the land was conquered before them.” The Tabernacle remained at Shiloh for 369 years, according to the Talmud.

The Philistines went to war against the Jews, destroyed the city, and captured the Holy Ark. The Tabernacle probably had been removed before the end of the war but was not used when sacrificial offerings were later offered at two other places, Nov and Gideon, until King Solomon built the First Temple.

However, it took years before Jewish communities, especially Shiloh that was the home of the first sacrifices Israel, adjusted to the cultural and religious change.

In July, archaeologists  said they believed they discovered the remains of the Biblical tabernacle site, after finding holes carved into the rock and which may have been used to hold beams for the Tabernacle.

The Jewish Press reported here in January, that the discovery of  an uncovered broken clay pitcher, embedded in a layer of reddish ashes, is from the time of the devastation of Shiloh, offering detailed evidence of the destruction.

Shiloh was the most significant religious center for Israel before the Philistines destroyed it. The Jewish people offered mandatory sacrifices, and it was there that lots were cast for tribal areas and the cities of the Levites.

Deuteronomy 12:4-7, states,  “You should not do any [act of sacrificial worship] to God, your God, other than at the site which God, your God will choose, to place His Name there, from amongst all your tribes. You should seek out His dwelling [place in the Tabernacle at Shiloh] and come there. You should bring there your burnt offerings, and your [obligatory peace] offerings, your tithes, [first fruits] lifted from your hand [by the priests]—your vows, your pledges, and the firstborn of your cattle and of your sheep [which are to be given to the priests]. [It is] there that you should eat [your sacrifices] before God your God. Then you and your households will rejoice in all the work of your hands. [You should bring offerings according to the means with] which God, your God, blesses you.”

The Advantages of Being in the ‘Israeli Bubble’

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

The Forward has an article claiming that our “Israeli Bubble” is dangerous and shields us from reality.

Ironic, but also predictable. The effectiveness of the barrier is twofold: It has stopped terrorist attacks, and it also has made it possible to live in (West) Jerusalem or in Tel Aviv and pretend that the Occupation doesn’t exist.

Unfortunately, this is a delusion — a bubble — with severe consequences. South Jerusalem, after all, is home not just to the German Colony’s liberals, but also to the neocons at the Shalem Center, now Shalem College, who for decades have peddled the idea that there is no hope for peace with the Palestinians, and (in the words of Daniel Gordis, one of Shalem’s most articulate spokesmen) we should settle in for 100 years of occupation. Regrettable, Rabbi Gordis says, but inevitable.

This is a self-fulfilling prophecy, of course. Claim that there’s no Palestinian partner, undermine those Palestinians who are, and lo and behold, soon there will be no Palestinian partner. If you will it, the 100-year war will be no dream.

But the real delusion is deeper still: that somehow, the rest of the world will sit idly by and allow this situation to worsen, year after year, decade after decade, without finally turning on Israel. In the bubble of southern Jerusalem, Israel is a complex but miraculous place where kids can play in the street, the Jews have a home and bus drivers read Shakespeare. The matzav, the “situation” with the Palestinians, is an unfortunate side-note to an otherwise complicated, fascinating, problematic, multi-faceted, beautiful, tragic enterprise in Jewish self-determination.

Outside the bubble, however, the Palestinian “situation” is not a side-note but the primary tune. It’s everything else about Israel that is merely secondary. To most of the world, Israel is defining itself by the Occupation, and all the rest is commentary.

I disagree.  I think we see things much more clearly from here.  There are no distortions.  When you look into a “bubble” from the outside you won’t get an accurate view.

Over twenty years ago, when one of my daughters was looking for a place to do Sherut Le’umi, National Service, she and a few friends went to a city they considered far from the then intifada and politics of the yishuvim (Jewish communities in YESHA, Judea, Samaria and Gaza) they lived in.  They just wanted what they imagined to be a “normal” place.  Imagine their surprise when the greatest topic of conversation at the Shabbat table was  happening in YESHA.  At home they didn’t hear as much.

Here in Shiloh we go on with our lives.  The parents of young children are worrying about who will be teaching their kids next year and rushing around to buy books, clothes and school supplies, just like everyone else.

In Yafiz, (and Rami Levy,) Sha’ar Binyamin, where I work, Jews and Arabs are jostling around together shopping.  We’re living proof that people like Jay Michaelson who wrote the Forward article haven’t a clue.  They’re letting their ideology distort their vision.

The calm here isn’t a lie.  The Left and all those who claim that the Arabs will explode in violence aren’t objectively predicting.  They are instigating and encouraging Arab violence by making excuses and rationales for the Arabs.

I’m on the inside.  I work with Arabs.  And if the world, including Israeli Leftists, media, politicians, academics and community workers would just leave things alone we would eventually achieve a true peace.  It will take a long, long time, but it can happen.

True peace can’t be negotiated.  True peace comes from the inside and works its way out.  Faux peace, implemented by “treaties” is external and wears off, like the “democracy” of the “Arab Spring,” which has been proven a deadly farce.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

Search for Kidnapped Soldier Cancelled

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

The IDF Spokesperson said that the search for a possibly kidnapped soldier has been called off this evening, after all soldiers in the Binyamin and Shomron region had been accounted for.

Two separate soldiers reported seeing an IDF soldier being driven off in the back of a Palestinian car in the early evening. The IDF took the reports seriously and began searching for the car and the possibly kidnapped soldier. Simultaneously they did a head count of all soldiers that might have been in the area.

After a few hours the search was called off.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/search-for-kidnapped-soldier-cancelled/2013/06/19/

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