As Joel promised, Friday morning was a beautiful, sunny day after several dusty, gloomy days, and Mosaic set out in the Mateh Binyamin bus. Many new faces were welcomed on the bus, friends of friends of friends joining the hikers and welcoming our ideologically committed young guide, Frannie, filled with enthusiasm to show us the historical, biblical Shomron. We drove up to Shiloh but have to save Tel Shiloh for another trip, and heard about the controversy where Rachel is buried – near Shiloh or near Bethlehem?
We began walking near the vineyard named in memory of Harel Bin-Nun and then continued on to the walk through Nachal Shilo towards Eli. Along the way, Frannie read to us the dramatic biblical passages describing the loss of the Covenant of the Ark and the deaths of the sons of the High Priest Ely, in a battle with the Philistines - passages which also told of a messenger having run along the exact route we were walking. The hike ended just after we lunched at Ein Oz.