Shilo

Shilo was the first capital of Eretz Yisroel. It was in Shilo that Yehoshua set up the “mishkan” and it was here that Eretz Yisroel was divided up among the “sh’fatim” (Josh. 18:1,8)

Many halachos of davening are derived by our Chazal from the tefilos (prayers) of Channa, as she prayed for a child. Those prayers, expressing the longing of a mother-to-be, were uttered in the city of Shilo. Her prayers were answered and the child became the famous “navi,” Shmuel (Sam I 1:3)

Shilo remained the capital of Eretz Yisroel for 369 years, until the death of the great Cohain Godol, Eli. (Zevachim 118b) Our Chazal tell us that the city was destroyed by the Philistines because the people were immoral and did not show the proper respect for Hekdesh (holiness) (Yoma 9a, Jer. 26:6,9).

>From archaeological evidence and the fact that the name of the city rarely appears in the Medresh, we are given the impression that the city was not rebuilt and inhabited after its destruction. The modern name of the area is Khirbet Seilun. There is a hill in Khirbet Seilun with a stone platform on its summit. Many people believe that this is where the Mishkan had been built in ancient Shilo.

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