Samaria: Grizim and Gewurztraminer Part 2
I took a short day trip to Samaria again. It's under an hour's drive away from the center, but historically it has so much to offer and the mountain air is just lovely, not only for the grapes. To read about the vineyard and winery tour at Tura Winery you are welcome to read Part 1. Below, I'm writing about the additional activities.
Mt. Gerizim National Park
Mt. Gerizim appears in the bible on several occasions in the context of a religious ceremony of blessing and cursing upon Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal respectively. The ceremony was conducted by Joshua upon his entrance into Israel (Joshua 8:30-31) and later in Deuteronomy 11:29 and 27:11-26 when the Israelites returned from Egypt.
The archeological excavations uncovered an area of 400 dunams (~100 acres) containing remains of a temple are from two periods. The older remains date back to the 5th century BCE and may have been modelled according to the structure of the first temple according to an account by Josephus Flavius. The later remains both within the temple area as well as in the surrounding city are from the Roman period at which time they were destroyed by John Hyrcanus I at the end of the 2nd century BCE. In addition, there are later remains of a Byzantine church built in 484 CE by the Byzantine ruler Zenon in honor of Mary and the tomb of Sheikh Ghanem, one of the commanders of Salah Ad-Din.
Mt. Gerizim remained the religious center of the few Samaritans who stayed in Israel during the Assyrian exile of the Kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE. To this day, the Samaritans continue to ascend Mt. Gerizim during the three pilgrimage holidays where they conduct a sacrificial ceremony.
The visit includes a short film at the visitor's center with subtitles available in English or Arabic and a visit to the archeological sites.
Additional Sites You are welcome to read about additional sites in the region from my previous post "Samaria, Samaritans, Sights and Scriptures" and about Ancient Shilo in "The Greater Area of Modi’in: Hannukah Lemonade!". This is what it looks like on the map:
Happy Passover! Talma
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