01.06.2012 - 01.06.2012
Today (Friday) we drove north from Jerusalem to Samaria and Mount Gerizim. We had a fascinating visit with a Samaritan priest in his synagog (shown in photo with the scroll of the Torah). There are only 750 Samaritans left, still holding to the very conservative faith and interpretations, primarily teaching (as they did in Bible times) that true worship is not to be done in Jerusalem but on Mount Gerizim (2 Kings 17:27-31). From there we went to what is strongly believed to be the actual site of Jacob's well (John 4), which is now under a beautiful new (completed in 2005) Greek Orthdox church (photo). We actually were able to get water from the deep well under the church (photo). Then, after a visit to a hospital of the Epicopalian Church and lunch, we stopped in Bethany (al-Eizariya today), where we saw what is quite likely the tomb of Lazarus (and the Roman Catholic Church of St. Lazarus, built again, above the spot of the tomb). The church was designed by the amazing Italian Antonio Barluzzi (1884-1960), who is responsible for many of the Holy Land churches we have seen, including The Church of All Nations at Gethsemene, The Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, restoration of the Church of the Flqgellatin in Old Jerusalem, the beatiful Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem, The Dominus Flevit (Jesus wept) on the Mount of Olives, and the Church of the Beatitudes in Galilee.