As the festive season of Sukkot approaches, there’s something special brewing in the heart of Samaria. For the very first time, the Samaria Regional Council is offering the general public an unparalleled opportunity to be part of a historical journey — a traditional march to the iconic biblical altar of Joshua.
Scheduled for the second day of Sukkot, this march isn’t just symbolic. Attendees can immerse themselves in the archaeology of the region, as they participate in the significant task of sifting through the sacred dirt from Joshua’s altar. This initiative is a hands-on opportunity to search for archaeological treasures that might further illuminate Israel’s illustrious past.
Beginning roughly a year ago, this excavation venture is the collaboration between the Council, the Association for Biblical Research, and respected figures like Dr. Scott Stripling from the U.S. and renowned archaeologist Dr. Avi Solomon. Based in the town of Shavei Shomron, the project has been a beacon for educational institutions and families, eager to connect with Israel’s rich history.
And what a journey it has been! The sifting has unveiled remarkable findings, such as a speculated ancient ring dating back to the times of the Biblical ceremony described in Deuteronomy, ornate beads, a distinctive jug from Joshua’s era, and intriguing plaster pieces that might have adorned the “great stones” where scriptures were inscribed.
However, it’s not just about artifacts. This endeavor signifies the relentless spirit of Israel in preserving its heritage. In a challenging backdrop, where there have been attempts to disrupt the integrity of this sacred site, the people of Israel continue to rally, safeguarding their history and heritage.
Yossi Dagan, the passionate head of the Samaria Council, remarks on the significance of this endeavor: “The evidence we unearth from Joshua’s altar reaffirms the bond between Israel and its land. Especially now, amidst external challenges, we stand firm, with the Israeli flag fluttering high, echoing our commitment to our roots and values.”
Joining the chorus, Dr. Avi Solomon emphasizes the site’s unparalleled importance, “Working at Mount Ebal, believed to be Joshua’s Altar, is a profound experience. This is where Israel transitioned from tribes to a unified nation 3,200 years ago. Today, we not only touch ancient artifacts but our shared past and identity.”
In Conclusion: Embrace Israel’s Legacy
Israel is not just a nation; it’s a testament to resilience, unity, and faith. As we prepare to walk to Joshua’s Altar this Sukkot, we’re not just retracing steps but reconnecting with a legacy. So, come, delve deep into Israel’s history, and experience the abundance that Samaria offers – from heritage sites to the beauty of nature, and the promise of tomorrow. Here, in the heart of Israel, we don’t just remember our past; we cherish it, celebrate it, and ensure it lights the way for our future.