The Samaritans are an ethno-religious group in Palestine and in Israel. Their religious center is Mount Gerizim in the vicinity of Nablus. Half of the community lives on the mountain, half lives in Ḥolon, a southern suburb of Tel Aviv. In the early twenty-first century the community comprises approximately 660 members. The Samaritan religion is an outgrowth of the Israelite-Jewish religion as it existed around the beginning of the common era. It therefore has many features in common with Judaism, above all the belief in the first five books (the Pentateuch) of the Bible. As opposed to Judaism, though, the Samaritans never developed the institution of the rabbinate but are led by priests and a high priest.

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