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Apr 23, 2008

Touring Eretz Yisrael: Chol Hamoed: Day 2

The day started out, once again, at 4:15am with an early departure for the Vasikin minyan at Hebron in the Me'arat Ha'Machpela.

The Me'ara upon arrival at 5:20am

During Pesach, Ulam Yizchak - the cavernous room containing the memorial stones for Yitzchak and Rivka, is open to jews. The minyan davened in Ulam Yitzchak. It has been many years since I was last in Ulam Yitzchak, so this was a special treat.

A few moments after we arrived, I realized I was likely being followed. Rav Yitzchak Levi, again the Rosh Yeshiva not the MK, walked in for davening. I had just spent the morning before with him at Har Habayit.

The Me'Ara upo departure at 7:45am

Later in the day we went to Shiloh. I wanted to see the Tel Shiloh - the place where the Mishkan has sat for about 400 years when the Jews arrived into Israel after having left Egypt.

After we got there, we first went up to meet Batya/muse. That was very nice and she was very hospitable and friendly. Batya gave us an overview of Shiloh, and some bananas, and it was great to be able to meet her. Unfortunately, her husband was not there at the time...

So then we went down to the Tel, where the Mishkan sat. It was a nice little hike and the guide described the various aspects of the area.

The section there walled off with stones is the area where the Mishkan was likely located.

This is a funny pic. It looks like my daughter is very tall and sticking high up out of the baby carrier. In truth, the baby is in the carrier and my other daughter is on my shoulders.
On our way out Shiloh, we stopped to see the main shul of Shiloh. It was constructed as a model of the Mishkan.

The shul is beautiful inside. Some aspects of it are designed to fashion items from the Mishkan. The bima is in the shape of the mizbeiach. They have an outer mizbeiach as well with a ramp. The ceiling is covered to look like the curtains of the mishkan. They have a washing basin for kohanim like the basin of the mishkan. Below you can see the Aron Kodesh styled similarly to the Aron Kodesh of the Mishkan (and Batei Mikdash)

hmmm... which way should we go?
and we decided....
At the entrance to Bet El is an army base. They were doing some target practice in a range right off the side of the main road.

So in 2 days, I got to visit the Kotel, Temple Mount, the site of the Mishkan, Me'arat Ha'Machpela, and Bet El (Bet el is where the ladder was in Yaakovs dream, but we were only there to visit some relatives).


  1. Wow! You've been doing a lot of holy-historic-Biblical traveling.

    Chag sameach!

  2. I enjoyed your trip. Chag Sameach.

  3. I wish I could've gone on a trip like that!! Sounds like a blast!

    But was it more fun than our trips last year? :)

  4. did you put on t'fillin in MH?

  5. tns - each trip is fun and unique in its own right.

    Shaya - I do nto put on tefillin on chol hamoed. I stopped a long time ago. It is somethign I regret, and if I was doing it again I would probably not stop. But once I stopped I am not going to restart. When I switched over to keeping one day yomtov, about 15 years ago, a rav told me minhag eretz yisrael is to not put on tefillin and he said I should stop. So I did. I know other rabbonim now who say people should continue putting it on, in private after davening, but I already stopped so I am not restarting.


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