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Mount Gerzim and The Samaritans

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Phone Number: Priest Husni Wasef: +970 597404940
Email: samaritans-mu@hotmail.com
Fax Number: +970 9 2370249
P.O. Box 172, Mount Jarzim, Nablus

Mount Gerzim is one of the two mountains in the immediate vicinity of Nablus and forms the southern side of the valley in which Nablus is situated, the northern side being formed by Mount Ebal. The mountain is one of the highest peaks in the West Bank and rises to 2849 feet (881 m) above sea level.

The mountain is sacred to the Samaritans, who regard it as having been the location chosen by Yahweh for a holy temple. The mountain continues to be the center of Samaritan religion to this day, and over 90% of the worldwide population of Samaritans lives in very close proximity to Gerzim, mostly in Kiryat Luza, the main village. The passover is celebrated by the Samaritans on Mount Gerzim.

The mountaintop is also considered by the Samaritan community as the location of the near-sacrifice of Isaac by his father Abraham in the book of Genesis (the masoretic, Septuagint, and Dead Sea Scroll versions of Genesis state that this happened on Mount Moriah which Jews traditionally identify as the Temple Mount). According to classical rabbinical sources, in order to convert to Judaism, a Samaritan must first and foremost renounce any belief in the sanctity of Mount Gerzim.

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