[St. Pachomius Library]

Mount Sinai


See also St. Catherine's Monastery and Sinai Peninsula.

Mount Horeb (Jebel Musa) is a ridge of red granite running about two miles from northwest to southeast. At the northwest corner is a small peak overlooking a plain: this peak is Ras Sufsafa ("Willow Headland", after an isolated, centuries-old tree which grows there), and the plain, now called al-Raha ("The Resting-Place"), is where the Israelites camped. At the opposite end of the ridge is an high peak of black volcanic rock: Mt. Sinai proper, where Moses received the tablets of the Law. St. Catherine's Monastery is on the northeast side of Horeb, below the middle of the ridge. (Mt. St. Catherine, where the saint's relics were discovered, is on the opposite side of Mt. Sinai from the monastery.)

The monastery and the peak of Sinai are connected by the Stairway of Repentance, a Byzantine staircase with thousands of steps. Before reaching the summit, the Stairway passes through the Basin of Elijah, where the prophet was fed by ravens.

Under construction --- far from complete! Read with caution.


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