Sunday, May 1, 2011

Samaritan Passover on Mt. Gerizim

I'll skip the appolgies for not updating... 

Judy's knee started giving her problems the middle of April.  We were walking through the Old City when, for no apparent reason, her right knee began to give her excruciating pain.  X-Ray was non conclusive.  Our Dr. friend at Idlewild advised her to go home for further testing and we will be doing so.  We leave Israel a week early (May 5th) for Tampa and have a Dr.'s appointmen scheduled for her as soon as we get home.  Sure looks like she is going to have to have surgery - not a pleasant thought.

Her injury has pretty much kept her confined to the Garden.  Unfortunately, she was unable to go with us to Mt. Gerizim in Samaria to witness the Samaritan Sacrifice on Passover, Palm Sunday - April 17th.

The Samaritans are descendents from a group brought from Babylon to Samaria during the Jewish exile to Babylon who inter-married with the remnant of the Jewish population that was left there by the Babylonians.  The Samaritans inhabited Samaria from the beginning of the Babylonian Exile up to this very day.

The Samaritans accepted the God of Israel as their God and their religion is based on the Torah only.  Samaritans claim that their worship (as opposed to the mainstream Judaism) is the true religion of the ancient Israelites, predating the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

The Samaritans were hated by the Jews in Jesus day.  Jesus went through Samaria and talked to "The Woman at the Well" who believed and brought many Samaritans to hear Jesus.  Jesus loved all - even the "enemies" of the Jews and came for all.  He set an incredible example for us to follow!

Today there are about 750 Samaritans left.  They still observe the Passover and sacrifice sheep on Mt. Gerizim.  Their Temples were destroyed in the first century BC and 6th century AD.

When Jesus gave the "Great commision" He mentioned that the gospel should be preached in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the uttermost ends of the world.

 From the top of Mt. Gerizim looking down to Shechem (modern day Nablus) in the valley below.
 Ruins of the First and Second Temples
of the Samaritans and a Byzantine Church
 View from the ruins on top of Mt Gerizim.
Notice the building on the slope to the left with the dome on top.
Next picture please...
 That building is not a church...
it is the home of the wealthiest man in Palestine!
Looks like a Roman Villa...
 Looking down into Shechem aka Nablus
and the home of Jacob's Well.
We visited Shechem 33 years ago and drank water from Jacob's well!
This Greek Othodox Church stands over that well today.
The High Priest in the White
Preparing to bless the sacrifice