Yes, I Live in Shiloh

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Hillel Levin,

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Arutz 7
I made Aliyah last fall, shortly before my 50th birthday. With my wife and 10.5-year-old son, we landed in Jerusalem. We lived in the religious neighborhood of Har Nof for 10 and half months.

A little over three months ago, on Erev Yom Kippur, we continued our Aliyah experience
What do I propose that we as Jews, both here in Eretz Yisroel and outside of Eretz Yisroel, need to do?
by moving to the beautiful Samaria village of Shiloh, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Jerusalem. Shiloh, near the place that G-d rested his home, the Mishkan for 369 years, long before the birth of either Christianity or Mohammedanism.

As we travel through Eretz Yisroel, I am continually the recipient of words of praise when I tell people that I live in Shiloh. We have been to weddings in Jerusalem and received this praise. We have been to Sderot, the town that has borne the brunt of Hamas missiles for the past seven years, over 6,400 at last count. This past Shabbos, we were doing our daled amot in Migdal HaEmek, a town of about 30,000, overlooking G-d's beautiful Jezre'el Valley.

I went to the next-door neighbor of my Shabbos host's for a Shalom Zachor, the Friday-night get-together on the Shabbos before a Brit Milah. Meir M., an oleh of 30-some-odd years from Bombay is the grandfather of a new grandson who, G-d willing, will be entered into the Covenant with G-d on Tuesday morning.

Meir's son-in-law is an oleh from Russia. While at their table, my host introduced me as living in Shiloh. I received praise and was asked to speak. It is an interesting experience talking to a group in Hebrew when I do not have full command of the language. It seems that having to pick most of the words slowly is a great device for holding an audience's attention.

My talk was in reaction to the observation by Meir M. that it was a tragedy that the mezuzah was removed from the doorway of the casbah in Hevron. I asked how many people at the table had ever been to the casbah in Hevron. Besides my raised hand, the only other was my son's. I asked how many had been to Shiloh? I received only one positive response from a table of about 12 men.

This was a pivotal moment in my understanding of these words of praise when I say that I live in Shiloh.

More than half of the world's Jews must agree with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Just like he fails to see the connection of Klal Yisroel to Eretz Yisroel, the nation of Israel with the Land of Israel, so it seems that my Jewish brothers and sisters who choose to live outside of Eretz Yisroel also seem to miss this connection. To this group of Sabbath-observing brothers, I explained that the road from Shechem, Shiloh, Jerusalem, Hevron to Beersheva was called The Patriarchs' Highway; that it was by their walking this road that they acquired (conquered) this land. As new olim, we have made a conscious decision to
Every Jew is under siege.
do our daled amot in Eretz Yisroel. We have been to places in Eretz Yisroel that people living here 10, 20, 30 years, all their lives, have yet to set foot in.

It seems to me that one of the reasons why the Olmert government can so easily throw away the lives and homes of families living in Eretz Yisroel is that we have already been abandoned by our brothers and sisters living both here and abroad.

Prior to going to Sderot on Chanukah with the educational non-profit organization that I have been working for since June, Connections Israel, I talked with a cousin of mine who grew up in Seattle and has been living in Ashkelon for roughly 30 years. We had talked about the possibility of getting together following the activities in Sderot.

She said to me, "So, you live in Shiloh. That's in the West Bank, correct?"

I said, "No, it is in the Shomron."

She said, "It is over the Green Line, correct? Where I won't go?"

I asked, "Why won't you go there?"

She responded, "It's dangerous."

When I stopped laughing, I said, "Dangerous? You live in Ashkelon, just a few minutes from Sderot, which has taken over 6,000 missiles in the past seven years. Ashkelon has taken missiles, too - and Shiloh is too dangerous?" I told her, "The world wants all the Jews west of the Green Line. They define the Green Line where the Mediterranean Sea meets the sand. They will not be happy until all of the Jews in the entire world are in the sea."

So, having said this, what do I propose that we as Jews, both here in Eretz Yisroel and outside of Eretz Yisroel, need to do?

First, I think that it is important to recognize that whether you live in Sderot, Jerusalem, Shiloh, Hevron, Tel Aviv or Haifa in Eretz Yisroel, or in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Paris, Buenos Aires or Moscow outside of Eretz Yisroel, every Jew is under siege.

In Sderot, they have Hamas missiles. In Jerusalem, they have security guards at all the bus stops to deter bus bombings. In Shiloh, my 235 neighbor families have suffered more terror, more murdered family members, then the 10,000 families in Sderot. In Hevron, they have the courts and the Arabs. In Tel Aviv, they have the shmutz from the Western world. In Haifa, they have Hizbullah missiles.

In New York they have a subway attack on Jews. In Los Angeles, a plot to bomb Jewish institutions. Seattle experienced a gunman loose in the JCC, shooting seven women employees, including a 17-weeks pregnant mother and one fatality. Paris has the beating of youths wearing kipot. Buenos Aires - embassy bombings. Moscow - anti-Semitic acts.

Second, we need to recognize that everything comes from HaShem. Ever wonder why there is this increase in anti-Semitism? Could be that the enemy nations are just fulfilling their G-d-given role: reminding Jews that they need to act like Jews and not try to assimilate into foreign cultures. Interesting to think about when we read the increasing
We need to act as Jews.
number of anti-Semitic acts reported in the Israeli news.

Third, we need to act as Jews. We need to work on ourselves, and focus on the learning of Torah and the fulfilling of mitzvot.

Fourth, the Jews in Chutz L'Aretz (outside Israel) need to move back home. Come to the land that G-d has given to the sons of Abraham as a gift.

Fifth, the Jews of Eretz Yisroel need to walk daled amot in the land that G-d has given us.

I am sure that there are more steps, but these first five will get Klal Yisroel living in the right direction.





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