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Batya Medad made aliya from New York to Israel in 1970 and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Recently she began organizing women's visits to Tel Shiloh for Psalms and prayers. (For more information, please email her.) Batya is a newspaper and magazine columnist, a veteran jblogger and recently stopped EFL teaching. She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, photographer and HolyLand hitchhiker, always seeing things from her own very unique perspective. For more of Batya's writings and photos, check out:
Shevat 2, 5771, 1/7/2011
Thank G-d we've had some rain recently, maybe not enough but probably more than we deserve.
Today Rosh Chodesh Shvat, as has been my custom the past few years, I went to pray Tel Shiloh, where the Mishkan Tabernacle rested for for three-hundred-sixty-nine years, from the time of Joshua until the time of Samuel the Prophet. I went with a few other women. There probably were others there at the same time or a bit earlier or later, but Tel Shiloh is very large and hilly. You can have a few dozen people wandering around and never even see each other.
Just under three months ago, there had been a fire on the western side of the Tel, and we could still see signs of it. There was even a pocket that still smelled awful, as if the fire had just been a few days ago. Thank G-d there was a nice covering of greenery.
Granted that in a better, wetter year it would have looked like this two and a half months ago, but at lease we've had some rain. Also, this year winter will be longer, at least on the calendar. There will be two months of Adar, and G-d willing G-d will give us lots of rain. Here's a picture from Rosh Chodesh Tevet.
Next Rosh Chodesh, Adar Alef, the First Adar will be Friday, February 4. G-d willing the grass and weeds will be much higher and we'll see lots of wild flowers. The Jewish "leap year" is our chance to get exra rain, G-d willing.