Sunday, August 3, 2014


Both Jews and Samaritans have lived in Awarta, south of Shechem, for centuries and the communities centered around the sacred tombs of Eleazar, Ittamar, and Pinhas, to where diaspora Jews have made pilgrimages since ancient times.
The Tombs of Eleazar and Pinhas at the turn of the last century
Both communities were expelled by the local Arabs actually in 1912 and the ancient pilgrimages almost ceased because of extreme Arab hostility. After the War of Independence, the town became part of Jordan which banned entrance to Jews, but it became reunified with Israel in 1967. Today, the Israeli authorities and the Arabs forbid Jews and Samaritans from living in the town and, like at Shechem, the ancient pilgrimages to the sacred local tombs can only be done late at night and in the wee hours of the morning.

The ancient pilgrimages to the Tomb of Ittamar as well as those of Eleazar and Pinhas continue to this day (in spite of all the obstacles). The Tombs are often vandalized by Arabs.

No comments:

Post a Comment