Monday, December 09, 2013

One of Those Shiloh Miracles...

Last Wednesday was Rosh Chodesh Tevet and also Chanukah.  As I try to do every Rosh Chodesh, I had plans to doven at Tel Shiloh, the probable site of the Mishkan, Tabernacle, which preceded Jerusalem and the Beit Hamikdash, Holy Temple. Since it was Chanukah and there wouldn't be classes at Matan my Al Haperek study partners decided to travel to Shiloh, pray and then we'd study together at the Tabernacle Coffee Shop.  That way we'd be up-to-date and have spend the morning together in Shiloh.

Although there was a bit of pre-rain chill and clouds in the air, the weather was perfect for hiking around Shiloh Hakeduma before and after praying.  Miriam Blum acted as tour guide.

As we were finishing our rather noisy studies in the coffee shop, a woman came up to our table and asked if there were many English speakers in Shiloh.  We explained that only I was from Shiloh, and we were studying the Tanach, Bible in the Matan Al Haperek program.

She then said something I didn't hear clearly, and suddenly everyone was pointing to me.  She asked me if I was "Batya," and when I replied "yes" she told me her name, and she didn't really need to tell me whose mother she is.  I guessed it as she said it!

Her son had been in the Yeshivat Hesder Shiloh twenty-eight years earlier, when I worked as the English Public Relations staff.  That year there were three American boys who didn't know enough Hebrew to fit into the regular yeshiva studies, and there wasn't a real program for them.  They ended up spending a lot of time with me and became regular Shabbat guests in my home.

Of the three, one has been in real contact with us over the close to three decades.  He paid a shiva call after my mother's funeral, and his daughter even recently spent Shabbat with us.  There's another one I've been in much less contact, but I know where he lives.  The woman's son is the one I've been least in contact with, so I was really overjoyed that she found me.  The night before when she had spoken to her son he gave her orders:
"You must find Batya."

I'm just amazed that she did.  I "never" go to the coffee shop after praying at Tel Shiloh.  This was definitely siyate d'Shmaya, the Hand of G-d controlling things.  She made it clear why she had to meet me.  She wanted to thank me for offering a safe haven for her son when he was so far away.  In those days there were no cell phones, internet etc. Being in contact was very difficult.  It was especially important for visiting students to have a "second home."

BTY, since we're mentioning Rosh Chodesh at Tel Shiloh, here's the news for next month.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Shvat

Thursday, January 2, 2014
First of Shvat 5774, 8:30am
Tour of Tel Shiloh & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים
ראש חודש שבט בתל שילה

יום ה' 2-1 א' שבט תשע"ד 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
 כדאי לבוא ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

Mark your calendar, and join us.  You never know what other miracle we'll experience.

You're welcome to join our facebook page. Tel Shiloh is open to visitors daily. Tours can be arranged through the Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh office. Email  or phone 02-994-4019.

Will Rosh Chodesh Shvat 5774 be as wet as Rosh Chodesh Shvat 5773 was?

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