Jerusalem & Tel Aviv: Shekels NIS 295
Ra'anana: Shekels NIS 240
14.30 (2.30pm) Jerusalem - Notre Dame Hotel, see map
15.30 (3.30pm) Tel Aviv - Alrozorov (Merkaz) rail station
- Sixt Car Rental
16.00 (4pm) Ra'anana Junction (Tsomet Ra'anana)
Bus stop on north side of bus station
Arrival at the Samaritan village - 17.00 (5pm)
Departure at 21.00 (9pm).
This special tour celebrates the ancient Passover tradition of the Samaritan community on Mount Grizim. You are invited to observe the event as our special guests. The men in the community rise at 3am on Passover to observe their prayer obligations and continue with family events in the morning.
Come and join us for a memorable evening, witnessing ceremonies little changed since the time of the First Temple in Jerusalem
Mount Grizim just south of Nablus in the north-central West Bank, about one hour's drive from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. En-route you will see many Israeli settlements, Palestinian villages, sections of the separation Barrier, and some stunning scenery.
The Samaritan Community dates back to King Solomon's time when a dispute among the ancient Hebrew tribes resulted in competing temples being built in Jerusalem and Mount Grizim. This began the split between the northern tribes in Samaria who became known as Samaritans, and the southern tribes in Judea who became known as the Jews.
However many of the holidays have remained the same through the millennia. Despite differences in religious practice, the Torah and the laws of Moses remain at the core of both faiths.
The fortunes of the Samaritans have waxed and waned over the millennia depending on who conquered the country and the degree of suppression. However they were never expelled like the Jews and reputedly were over 3 million strong after the Jews were expelled and the second temple destroyed. However by the beginning of the 20th century the number of Samaritans had dwindled to less than 200, as a result of assimilation and forced conversion in the aftermath of the Byzantine, Crusader, and Islamic conquests.
After the British discovered their now tiny community after World War 1, they received assistance and have thrived ever since. The subsequent Jordanian and Israeli authorities were also helpful. In recognition of their ancient ties with Judaism, the Samaritans were the only West Bank residents to receive Israeli citizenship since the conquest of the West bank in 1967. Today there is a Samaritan community on Mount Grizim, and in Holon, just south of Tel Aviv. However the total number of Samaritans is still less than 800.