22 November 2017

Samaritan Museum: a trip back in time

It is the first museum dedicated to the Samaritans. It stands on Mount Gerizim, which is considered to be the sacred place where the temple stood: a place that reveals history and traditions of the ancient biblical people.

Archaeology, Culture, and other Religions

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The oldest people in the world came directly from Adam to the 163th generation. To date, they have less than 800 people who live in Holon, a village near Tel Aviv and Nablus.

20 years ago, the Samaritans built right here a museum that documents the millennial bond with the Holy Land: this is the first museum in the world that was dedicated to its people.
Mount Gerizim is a sacred place, considered to be the true seat of the temple and also the site of Isaac's attempted sacrifice, as well as a meeting place for Adam and Eve

Father HUSNI WASEF
Founder and Director - Samaritans Museum
"The Samaritans are not famous in the world, so this museum has become a media center to spread information about us. In the beginning, I used my home as a museum, but after 22 years, I have a real place that is becoming a destination for tourists from all over the world "

The room exhibits a fairly good variety of works, including ancient sarcophagi dating to the Roman age, jars from the Middle Ages, several tools and coins, books that document the traditions and abilities of the Samaritan people, like astronomy, which was one of their stronger skills, in addition to writing and genealogy.

Fr. HUSNI WASEF
Founder and Director - Samaritans Museum
"The Museum reveals a unique and ancient community as there are no others in the world. It displays ancient traditions and it exhibits the oldest Torah and the oldest language. In 3656 years, the Samaritans have never left the Holy Land!”

They are considered to be the true descendants of the Tribe of Israel, who survived even during the escape of the Jewish people from Egypt and who lived on Mount Gerizim since then.

What is considered to be the oldest torah ever written is dated just a few years later. The original copy is preserved in the synagogue, following two attempts of theft, but the museum exhibits a faithful reproduction.

From the negative historic peak of 147 people, at the beginning of the 10th century, the Samaritan people are constantly, albeit slow, rising. The Museum has also followed this pace and aims to continue to expand.

Fr. HUSNI WASEF
Founder and Director - Samaritans Museum
"Initially, the Museum took up only one room; later I expanded it in an area of more than 250 square meters and now it reaches 450 square meters. As the museum gained fame locally and internationally, I decided to build a new one on a land of 4 hectares (10 acres) that I bought in its vicinity. This project has received support from the government of Kuwait for $ 5 million dollars: we look forward to the approval of the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism.”