20 April 2017

It is Passover for, Jews and Samaritans

This land has never been so holy. In 2017, Easter was celebrated by different denominations in the same period, each with their own rituals.

Archaeology, Culture, and other Religions

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This land has never been so holy.
In 2017, the Easter holiday has taken on different connotations on the same days. Over the course of the week there have been overlapping celebrations of different denominations, each with their own rites.

Jews celebrated Pesach, the 'passage', the memory of the escape of the people from Israel. In Jerusalem, one of the culminating moments was the Birkat Ha Kohanim, the blessing of priests. Thousands and thousands of believers gathered from around the world in the square opposite the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) for a special prayer, consisting of the singing of three consecutive verses of the Torah.

It is called the Torah, although, in some places , it differs from the Hebrew text, the sacred book that has been and is at the center of another Easter: that of the Samaritans.

Head of the AB Samaritan Institute
"This is the best day of the year for the Samaritans because today we relive the exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt. We do it every year, repeating the same words and the same gestures as the people of Israel did. We are excited because we are respecting the commandments of the Torah, verse by verse.”

They are defined as the oldest and smallest population in the world. From a million and a half in the 4th century, their number reduced to 800 at the present time. Yet, while at risk of extinction, every year, they honor the tradition of Easter in the village of Kiriat Luza, at the foot of Mount Gerizim, considered the true sacred place, as having been the location chosen by Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac to God.

Following the Exodus's book, the ceremony began with the ancient Jewish recitation of a prayer led by the oldest priest in the community which culminated with the sacrifice of about 50 lambs, which were later cooked for hours in deep holes and served for dinner at midnight during family night, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

Thus began the week of celebrations which ended at dawn with a pilgrimage to the top of the mountain.