Photo by Reinhard Pummer

A Continuing Tradition. Glimpses of a recent pilgrimage service on top of Mt. Gerizim (shown here) and of the same service recorded early in this century by photographer G. Eric Matson (see next photo) show how little has changed over the years. The Samaritans make this pilgrimage up Mt. Gerizim three times a year, during their celebrations of Sukkoth, Pesach (Passover) and Shavuot. The pilgrims stop at eight stations of religious significance and hold a prayer ceremony at each stop. Beginning before sunrise, the pilgrims greet dawn at the fourth station (shown here), where they spread some mats to rest, eat, drink and pray. In the ceremony at each station, the high priest raises and waves the Torah scroll in blessing and gives the scroll a kiss.