Samaritan Customs and Ceremonies
at Mt. Gerizim
Nablus, ca. 1930
Nothing epitomizes the difference between the Samaritan religion and
that of the Jews better than the rivalry between the shrines at Mt.
Moriah and Mt. Gerizim, itself the continuation of a more ancient
economic rivalry between Jerusalem and Shechem. Just as the Jews face
the Temple Mount of Jerusalem in prayer, so the Samaritans face the
site of their now destroyed Temple at Mt. Gerizim. Even without their
temple standing, the Samaritans have continued to make pilgrimages to
Mt. Gerizim during the three pilgrimage festivals of the liturgical
year (Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot), and to hold most of their public
ceremonies there during the rest of the year. Their ceremonies now
take place slightly downslope from the site of the original sanctuary.