Samaritan Sukkot


The Chinese news agency Xinhua reports on the Samaritans, a group that practices a religion similar to Judaism, including a particular take on the Sukkot holiday. 

In the village of Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim near the West Bank city of Nablus, the Samaritan priest and Director of Samaritan’s Museum Husney W. Kohen and his family have built their in-door Sukkah (Tabernacles) with fruits of the holy land. Kohen said the sukkah was built to recall the same Tabernacle build by ancient Israelites after they left Sinai Desert in Egypt 3,500 years ago.

Priest Kohen considers himself as one of the best among his people in building up the sukkah. According to Kohen and his family, the sukkah was made up of 300-400 kg of fruits, and it took them eight hours to put the sukkah together.

The Samaritan sect celebrate Sukkot every year, just as the world’s Jews do. Although, the basic principles of the two sects are the same, however, each celebrates their own feast differently.

According to Kohen, during Sukkot, the Jews build their sukkah outside the home, while Samaritans build in-door ones.

"Both people build tents to commemorate the years ancient Israelites spent in Sinai before reaching Canaan, but according to Samaritan Torah, we have settled down in this land, so we should build sukkah inside the house, which will enable us to do everything in it," said Kohen.

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