KIRYAT LUZA, West Bank -- At 33, Rafi Danfi was ready to marry.He had a house, a car, and a good job at an Israeli telecoms giant -- but he couldn’t find a bride.He told his uncle, the late High Priest Shalom Ben-Amram Cohen, that marrying Krasuk would end his solitude and widen the gene pool -- and got his blessing.
From a high point of more than 1 million souls, by the 1920s the sect had dwindled to 117 people, said Benny Sedaka, an unofficial spokesman for the group.
But few are willing to move to Mount Gerizim in the northern West Bank, which Samaritans believe is sacred and where they maintain the only exclusively Samaritan community in the Holy Land.
The solution Danfi chose has become more common, too: He looked for a Ukrainian bride.
He met 17 women over the course of a month before his translator introduced him to her friend Alla Evdokimova, a 23-year-old bartender.
They hit it off, and Altif showed her a note that Krasuk had written for his potential wife, vouching for the life she chose and explaining the religion.