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Village emblem

Shilo (Hebrew: שִׁלֹה, שילה‎, Šîlô) is an Israeli settlement in the northern West Bank, located 28 miles (45 km) north of Jerusalem on Route 60, next to the Arab town Turmus Ayya. At the end of 2008, Shilo, organized as a communal settlement, had a population of 2,300 people.[2]



Shilo as seen from Tel Shilo

In January 1978, a modern community was established adjacent to the ancient biblical site, now called Tel Shilo, when a group affiliated with the Gush Emunim movement returned to the location to assert revenant rights. In 1979 the Israeli government officially authorized Shiloh's status as a recognized village. The village is administrated by the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council.

The population (2008) of the village is approximately 2300 and the community contains educational institutions, a Hesder Yeshiva (see below), medical and dental clinics, grocers, sports fields, a pool and several synagogues, one scale-modeled to the ancient Tabernacle.

Shilo is built on territory claimed by the Palestinian Authority as part of a potential independent state. In 2006, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert noted that Shilo might be one of the settlements which would be pulled out of the West Bank.[3] He claimed that its residents would have to choose whether to remain citizens of Israel, or live under foreign rule. He was subsequently forced to resign from office.[4]

Tel Shilo

The city of Shilo held a central place in the Biblical history of the Jewish people. During the period between capturing the Land and building the Temple, thousands of years ago in the days when Joshua divided the land among the 12 tribes, the Tabernacle resided in Shilo. Until the death of Eli the High Priest, Shilo was the place of pilgrimage for the Children of Israel. Three times a year the faithful traveled to Shilo to bring their festival offerings.

Tel Shilo is now an archaeological site, where once the spiritual life of the Jewish people was centered for 369 years in the 11th and 12th centuries B.C.E. In addition, there are artifacts from other periods, notably the end of the Second Temple (130 B.C.E. - 70 B.C.E.), the Byzantine period (350 - 618), and the early Muslim period (638-900).

The first archaeological excavations began in the years 1922-1932 by a Danish expedition. The finds were placed in the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen. In 1980, Yisrael Finkelstein, an archeologist from Bar-Ilan University, initiated four seasons of digs and many finds were revealed including coins, storage jars, and other artifacts. Many are preserved at Bar-Ilan University. In 1981-1982, Zeev Yeivin and Rabbi Yoel Bin-Nun dug out from the bedrock area of the presumed site of the Tabernacle. Ceramics and Egyptian figurines were found. [5]

Yeshivat Hesder Shilo

Yeshiva building under construction

Yeshivat Hesder Shilo was founded in 1979 and has over 150 students including 25 Kollel members. Rabbi Aharon Harel and Rabbi Michael Brom serve as Rosh Yeshiva. As a hesder yeshiva, the students of Shilo combine intensive studies with service in the IDF.

The Yeshiva emphasizes not just study, but additionally, seeks application and internalization - in accord with the advice of Ramban in his Igerret: "When you arise from your learning, reflect carefully on what you have studied, in order to see what in it may be put into practice". Thus, atypically, there are three daily study sessions focusing on Mussar and Chassidut. [6]

After completing the five-year program, some students opt to further their rabbinic studies in the kollel and pursue semicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Other students certify as teachers with an academic degree (B.Ed.) in the Lifshiz Teachers Seminary, with which the yeshiva is affiliated.

The yeshiva contributes in many ways to Shilo, including offering private and public Torah study opportunities. Many students and teaching staff choose to stay and build their families in the village [7].

Midreshet Binat in Shvut Rachel, a midrasha headed by Rabbi Ronen Tamir, was established in 2000 as a branch of the yeshiva.

Tabernacle Synagogue

Mishkan Shilo synagogue is a replica of the Biblical Tabernacle

The town's main synagogue is designed as a replica of the Biblical Tabernacle. [1]


  1. ^ Settlements Rise on Shiloh's Hills as Israel Peace Talks Falter ,Jonathan Ferziger, Bloomberg, Sept. 10, 2008, [1]

External links

Coordinates: 32°3′14.36″N 35°17′55.42″E / 32.0539889°N 35.2987278°E / 32.0539889; 35.2987278



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