KEFAR SHIḤLAYIM (Heb. כְּפַר שִׁיחְלַיִים), village in Idumea, probably identical with the Sallis in which the Jewish general Niger took refuge after an unsuccessful assault on Ashkelon (Jos., Wars, 3:20). According to talmudic sources, Kefar Shiḥlayim was a large village, which was destroyed either in the First Jewish War against Rome or in the war of Bar Kokhba (Lam. R. 2:2, no. 4). The inhabitants of the village grew cress (shiḥlah). A man from the village appeared before R. Tarfon in the early second century (TJ, Jer. 16:5, 15d). The location of the village of Saleim, mentioned by Eusebius (Onom. 160:9–10) as lying seven Roman miles west of Eleutheropolis (Bet Guvrin), seems to correspond to that of Kefar Shiḥlayim. This would place the ancient site of Khirbat Shaḥla, 2 mi. (3.2 km.) east of ʿ Irāq al-Manshiyya. The suggested identification with the biblical Shilhim (Josh. 15:32) is doubtful.


Loew, Flora, 1 (1924), 50ff.; P. Romanoff, Onomasticon of Palestine (1937), 215ff.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.