The ruins of the ancient city of Shilo, are now open to the public. How can
we tell it's really Shilo ? Well, there are some biblical quotations, which
assure the assumption, and some good geographical reasons, among them the
names of the hills around.
The bible tells us:
"And they said: There is a feast for God in Shilo, like ever since, which
is north to Beit-El, east to the path going up from Beit-El to Shchem, and
south to Levona." (Judges 21, 19)
So the geographical spot is described as north to Beit-El, which is today
Beitin, and it's east to Shchem path, and it is south of Levona, which is
today - Luben A-Sharkiya. The most interesting thing is it's name in Arabic:
Sailun. And guess how do they call the valley just under Sailun hill: Marg
El-I'd, which is the valey of the feast !! And the valley across is called
- Baka'at El-Banat (valley of the girls), do you know why ?
"And he ordered the people of Benjamin: Go and hide in the vineyard. And
look: if the girls of Shilo will go out dancing in the dance, get out of
the vineyard and kidnap each one his girl from the girsl of Shilo, and return
to the land of Benjamin..." (Judges 21, 20)
According to the archeological evidence, Shilo was destroyed during the fierce
war against the Plishtim, in the times of E'li the Cohen. Remember ? Eli
is waiting near the house of God, on the road, and after the fighter returns
from the war field he says to E'li, in a very careful incremental mode:
"I am the one who came from the war field, and I from the battle escaled
today. So he (E'li) asked: What is the matter, son ? And the messanger said:
Israel escaped under Plishtim, and there was a big epidemic, and your two
sons died, Hafni and Pinhas, and the Coffin of Covenant (Aron ha-Elohim)
When he reminded the Coffin of Covenant, E'li fell down the chair backwards,
through the gate, and his neck broke, and he died..." (Samuel A, 4, 15)
In the picture you can see the place where according to the excavations,
stood this same house of God. It is really an exciting experience.
And I didn't even talk about the beautiful Basilica in the entrance to ancient
Shilo, with the amazing mosaic...
How to get there:
Drive through Hotze Shomron to Tzomet Tapua'h, turn south to Shilo. About
3km after the town of E'li, stands the town Shilo. Immediately after the
junction, turn left again to the gate. You will see the signs. It the gate
is closed, and it's closed in Shabbat, you'll have to enter to the town Shilo
(Ichs - Mitnahalim...): From the square turn left, and the road will lead
you to the other gate.
Without any political argument, I think it would be a pity to know there
is such a special and unique place, and not to visit it, just because it's
in the "territories".
Have a nice weekend.