This Passover vacation, my family drove northward from Jerusalem to Shiloh, nestled in the famous hill-country of Ephraim. After hiking our way through the recently excavated ruins of the Biblical city, the first capital of Israel, we emerged onto a crest that overlooks the site where the ancient Tabernacle stood, a locus for pilgrimage from all over Israel for 369 years.

Gazing at this small mountain plateau, my mind’s eye filled with the vision of my ancestors, making their way gently through the town to the holy precinct, where the large tent that housed the Ark of the Covenant was pitched.

The Cohanim-priests tended the altar, and on festivals, the mountain ridge behind the simple structure of stone, metal and cloth echoed with the sounds of singing. As families gathered to join in the cookouts, the festive meal held after bringing the voluntary offerings at the shrine, the peace and beauty of the place filled their souls with the joy of being one people together in its land and one with its God.

Cut.

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Shiloh: The location of the Tabernacle

More than three thousand years later, we have returned to our patrimony, to the land that was promised to us and our offspring as an eternal inheritance. Though we were at one point exiled for our sins, we were promised that we would be returned to our native surroundings, all in due time. And so we have.

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A cold-water spring in the Mountain country of Benjamin

Yet there is a problem. A make-believe people, filled with violence and hatred towards us, is telling the world that THEY are the natives. Their claim to peoplehood in the Land of Israel is one of the greatest heists of modern times.

They say they lived here – yet this earth was barren, empty, infertile and unyielding for the 2,000 years that my nation – the rightful inhabitants of this little land – was away, waiting for the moment to be called back.

So when did the vast bulk of these impostors come to our land? When 200 years ago, visionary Jews saw that with money and effort, the land could be repopulated. It was then, in the wake of the need for cheap labor, that Arabs from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, poured in to the Holy Land in search of work. They found it, they stayed – and they created a myth that the land was theirs all along.

Nonsense. Fiction. Dissembling lies. Don’t believe their bogus claims to nationhood. Every success they have had is due to the diligence and self-sacrifice exhibited by the native Israelite nation as we returned to our ancient heritage.

‘President’ Abbas offers to dismember the ridiculous storefront of a government called the ‘Palestinian Authority’? I applaud the move. Do it today. And then, the Government of Israel will step in and annex the most value-packed Land of Israel of all — the ancient heartland of Judea and Samaria. The real core of the Land of Israel.

Enough with pretending. Enough dancing the great lie. It is time for us to claim what is rightfully ours, what has been ours without interruption for 3,000 years. Living in Israel is both a treasure and a responsibility. Shiloh will once again ring with the joy of her native sons and daughters singing God’s praises in His precious, holy Land.

Afternoon Prayer at the site of the Tabernacle

Afternoon Prayer at the site of the Tabernacle

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