|View at the excavations and into the valley of Nablus, the old Shechem|
|Benyamim Tsedaka (and me)|
Anyway - the excavations on
Gerizim, started by a high-profile Israeli archaeological team around 1980 have
unearthed a large number of buildings in an immaculate way. And a visit is even
then rewarding if it only was for the spectacular view from the summit of the
881 m high Mount Gerizim. If Benyamim Tsedaka is right, then the sanctuaries of
the Samaritans were at all times not within the building system but directly
next to it: the rock where Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac (Genesis
22), the twelve stones that Joshua brought up from the Jordan and into to the
promised land (Joshua 4), and a large smooth rock plate that is considered to
belong to the eternal hills (Giv'ot
olam, Deuteronomy 33:15) mentioned by Moses in his blessing for the tribe of Joseph.
|Abraham's stone of sacrifice|
The beauty of Benyamim's theory is that it opens the way to an understanding of a continuous liturgical use of these sites, a chain that stretches back to the earliest times.
|The stones of Joshua|
|The "eternal hills" from the blessing of Mose|
|The priest Japhet|
It seems to me that the place up on the mighty Mount Gerizim is a special site where, as almost nowhere else in the world an ancient hope is visibly alive to this day: that the dwelling of God with men, the Shekinah is possible time and again.