Mount Gerizim ( /ˈɡɛrɨˌzɪm/; Samaritan Hebrew Ar-garízim, Arabic جبل جرزيم Jabal Jarizīm, Tiberian Hebrew הַר גְּרִזִּים Har Gərizzîm, Standard Hebrew הַר גְּרִיזִּים Har Gərizzim) is one of the two mountains in the immediate vicinity of the West Bank city of Nablus (biblical Shechem), and forms the southern side of the valley in which Nablus is situated, the northern side being formed by Mount Ebal. The mountain is one of the highest peaks in the West Bank and rises to 2849 feet (881 m) above sea level, 228 feet (69.5 m) shorter than Mount Ebal. The mountain is particularly steep on the northern side, is sparsely covered at the top with shrubbery, and lower down there is a spring with a high yield of fresh water.
A Samaritan village (Kiryat Luza) and an Israeli settlement (Har Bracha) are situated on the mountain ridge.
The mountain is sacred to the Samaritans who regard it, rather than Jerusalem's Temple Mount, as having been the location chosen by Yahweh for a holy temple. The mountain continues to be the centre of Samaritan religion to this day, and over 90% of the worldwide population of Samaritans live in very close proximity to Gerizim, mostly in Kiryat Luza, the main village. The passover is celebrated by the Samaritans on Mount Gerizim, and it is additionally considered by them as the location of the near-sacrifice of Isaac (the masoretic, Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scroll versions of Genesis state that this happened on Mount Moriah which Jews traditionally identify as the Temple Mount). According to classical rabbinical sources, in order to convert to Judaism, a Samaritan must first and foremost renounce any belief in the sanctity of Mount Gerizim.
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