- Title: WEST BANKS: Samaritans sacrifice sheep to mark their passover
- Date: 30th April 2010
- Summary: MOUNT GERIZIM, NEAR NABLUS, WEST BANK (APRIL 28, 2010) (REUTERS) WIDE OF STREET IN NABLUS WITH ISRAELI ARMY IN BACKGROUND SAMARITAN LEADING SHEEP DOWN PATH SAMARITAN THROWING WOOD INTO UNDERGROUND OVEN CLOSEUP OF OVEN SHEEP GATHERED WITH FLAMES FROM OVEN IN FOREGROUND SAMARITANS HOLDING SHEEP MAN CARRYING SHEEP ON SHOULDERS PEOPLE SAT ON WALL WATCHING FESTIVAL SAMARITAN ELDERS WITH DIGNITARIES FROM THE AREA ARRIVING AT FESTIVAL ELDERS AND DIGNITARIES WALKING DOWN STAIRS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WATCHING FROM ROOF OF HOUSE SAMARITANS CHANTING PRAYERS VARIOUS OF SHEEP BEING SLAUGHTERED WITH PEOPLE CHEERING AND CHANTING IN BACKGROUND WIDE OF FESTIVAL DEAD SHEEP BEING BUTCHERED SAMARITAN ELDERS SAT WATCHING FESTIVAL (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) KHADDER ADEL, SAMARITAN CLERGYMAN SAYING: "Today is our Passover, our independence, our freedom, when the Israelites left slavery under the Pharaoh in Egypt. They (Samaritans that left Egypt) sacrificed for the Lord. The day comes on the 14th month of the Jewish calendar, so every year our congregation celebrates this great day." WIDE OF FESTIVAL
- Embargoed: 15th May 2010 13:00
- Topics: Religion
- Reuters ID: LVADXVZOV6TNCPXWW7QQWD2O3JV1
- Story Text: Members of the Samaritan community celebrated their Passover holiday with the sacrifice of sheep on Wednesday (April 28) near the West Bank city of Nablus.
Several hundred Samaritans, from the ancient sect dating back to Biblical times, gathered for the ceremony while onlookers watched from the roofs of nearby houses.
The Samaritan community, which numbers just 700, took part in the sacrifice on its holy Mount Gerizim in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Consisting of only five extended families, the group descends from a once populous but often persecuted community with Jewish roots dating hundreds of years before Christ.
Arabic speaking, the Samaritans claim they are the true descendants of the Israelite nation. They revere Mount Gerizim as the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
"Today is our Passover, our independence, our freedom, when the Israelites left slavery under the Pharaoh in Egypt. They (Samaritans that left Egypt) sacrificed for the Lord. The day comes on the 14th month of the Jewish calendar, so every year our congregation celebrates this great day," Khadder Adel, a Samaritan clergyman told Reuters.
Samaritan men, wearing white blood-stained robes slaughtered, skinned and butchered the sheep while chanting prayers from the Tora (Holy Book) in Samaritan, their ancient Samaritan Hebrew dialect.
The sheep were then speared on four-metre wooded skewers and roasted over four flaming ovens dug for the annual festival.
According to tradition, in biblical times, Samaritans were dispersed across the Middle East.
Most of the survivors now live in Nablus at the foot of the mountain and in a small community in the Tel aviv suburb of Holon.
Once the sheep were roasted around a fire, each family took home portions of the sacrifice to be eaten with unleavened bread and herbs.
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