April 22nd, 2004  

Vol.  III - No.18

In This Issue

  • Passover

  • Duty

  • 1913 Newspaper

  • The Asatir


  • Asia Magazine

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Editor: Shomron

Co-Editor: Osher    


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Staff Photographer:    

               Eyal Cohen

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            Guy Tsabary

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Sunset Times for Central Israel calculated by Abraham Cohen from Holon


begins Friday April 23rd, 6:15pm to Saturday 24th, 6:15 p.m.

Weekly Parshiyot-



with Genesis 1-3

30th 6:20pm- May 1st 6:21 pm

Weekly Parshiyot-



with Genesis 4:1-24

Samaritan Calendar

of Festivals

Samaritan Calendar

of Festivals


Passover Sacrifice: May 3rd, 2004

Passover: May 4th

Days of Unleavened Bread: May 4-10th

Pilgrimage: May 10th



Studies and Related Conferences:


In Planning Stage

SES:In Haifa, July 5-8, 2004 organised by Menahem Mor, and a session at the EABS in Grooningen, July 25-28, 2004 organized by Ingrid Hjelm



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יפה   לנו כל  יומינו;  לא יסור מלבבינו;
טוב מי אשר הצילנו; ואבד לכל שנאינו;

April 20 -Rosh Hashanna- The new moon, the beginning of the first month

May 3- "Yom Taba"-Passover Sacrifice takes place in the evening at the setting of the sun

May 4 The Feast  of  Matsot- first day

May 10 The Feast of Mattsot- first pilgrimage.


WWW.the-samritans.com  wish all the people of the world a peaceful Passover. There is hope this year, that there will be a good number of visitors despite the situation in the West Bank. Most likely the BBC will be there again as usual along with other photo journalists to bring this event to the world.

We have had many articles of the Samaritan-Israelite Passover Sacrifice in the past in our Issues of the Samaritan Update and at the-samaritans.com you will find the articles listed below. (Photo by Shomron, 2000 Passover preparations)

The Days of Passover with the Samaritans on Mount Gerizim/Larry Rynearson-S.C 2000

The Celebration of Passover by the Samaritans/ Ya’aqov Ben Uzzi Ha-Cohen, The Samaritan In Nablus. -Printed by the R. H. Cohen’s Press, Jerusalem

.THE LAST ISRAELITISH BLOOD SACRIFICE/The National Geographic Magazine January 1920

"I was at the Samaritan Passover" - I told my friends proudly-Hagit-(A student from Tel Aviv University)

Samaritans Keep the Passover/By Cecil Roth



By Samaritan Israelite Nagla Tawfeeg

Duty embraces man's existence. It begins in the home, where there is duty which the children owe to their parents on one hand. And the duty which parents owe to their children on the other hand. There are in like manner, the respective duties of husbands and wives, of masters and servants. While outside the home there are the duties which men and women owe to each other as friends and neighbors, as employed, as governors and governed. The duty rounds the whole life, from our entrance into it until our exist-duty to superiors, duty to inferiors and duty to equals- duty to man and duty to God. Wherever there is power to use or direct there is duty for We are but as stewards appointed to employ the means entrusted to us for our own and others good.


1913 Newspaper: Samaritan Passover Article

The following is the third and final section of the article called "Passover with the Samaritans, 'A Medieval and Picturesque Easter Ceremony' that was in The Garden Grove Express, Garden Grove, Iowa, USA, March 20th, 1913. The first two sections are in the March 25th and April 8th 2004 issues of the Samaritan Update.

The men and boys of the community are dressed in white and join in a loudly shouted prayer. The high priest in black, standing on a fallen pillar (an unintended suggestion of their fallen condition), reads the Mosaic account of the first Passover. Before him are the 6 white sheep, "males of the first year and without blemish" which are to be slaughtered and eaten. Exactly at sunset, as the sun touches the Mediterranean sea line, amid loud shouts, the sheep are killed, care being taken that not a bone should be broken and the blood is poured forth. The carcasses are plunged into scalding water so that the skins can be easily removed. After being dressed they are put into a pit which serves as an oven the bottom being covered with hot coals each carcass being supported on staves. The right forequarter of each sheep is put in separately as the portion of the priests. the pit is then closed with grass mats and earth to exclude the air and left for the roasting process to go on. During all this time, loud prayers and shouts of rejoicing fill the air. After saluting one another they retire to their tents to rest until midnight when the roast lambs are to be eaten according to the ritual. A few keep watch at the oven.

   At midnight, a herald proclaims that the hour has come, and all put on their sandals, gird their lions and take their staves in hand. They gather close round the roast lambs which have been drawn from the hot pit and placed on white cloths spread on the ground. They eat standing, with sandals on and staves in hand, with every indication of haste, as though about to start on a journey. They guard the feast from the many Moslems spectators who try to torment them by snatching some of the roast lamb as it is being eaten. The bones are thrown into an open furnace, for nothing of it is to remain until the morning.

   The entire scene, being enacted at midnight, in the light of the full moon of this, the first of the Jewish months (April) on the summit of this historic mount, just according to the ritual handed down from the hoary past, is most impressive- the white robed participants, the dignified high priest, the interested tourist guests, the curious alien crowd, of spectators and tormentors, the picturesque tents, the heaps of eloquent ruins, the moon bathed sea to the west, the plain below with its sites telling of sacred scenes from the old testament and from the new- all these conspire to leave an indelible impression on one's mind.

   The Passover having now been eaten, after again saluting each other, the people disperse.

Section from The Asatir,

the Samaritan Book of the Secrets of Moses

Together with the Pitron or Samaritan Commentary

Written and translated by Moses Gaster, 1927. The Pitron-Page 251, 253, 255, 257

Chapter IX [Moses]

Blessed be He. who does what He wills and grants salvation! And by the power of the Righteous Judge. there was born the mighty prophet- may he be remembered for good for ever- our Master Moses, upon whom be peace. And his birth was in the month of Nisan, on the fifteenth day thereof, on the Sabbath. And his mother hid him for three months, 71 days, for it is said in the Asatir, that on the fifteenth day of Sivan, he was thrown into the river. And when they threw the Prince of Creatures, Moses, into the river, the water stopped still by the power of God- may He be exalted- and its flow abated beyond measure, and the waters began to diminish. And the women of Egypt came out to see the diminution of the river used to swell. And among the women who went down to see the river, was the daughter of Pharaoh. And with every day that passed the waters grew less, according to the statement in the Asatir, "And every day that passed, the waters grew less." And the child was in that ark which was daubed over with slime and pitch, floating by the border of the river; and when the waters of the river stopped from flowing below the normal, then all the wizards and magicians gathered themselves together and took counsel together; and disputed, and sought with their sorcery for the reason of the stopping of the waters of the river. And among them was a magician whose name was Plti, and he looked into and searched and he consulted the Book of Signs, for he was the chief of them. And he became dumbfounded and lifted up his head and said, "The child of which we said before, that his death would be through water, his ark is now in the Sea of Reeds." he did not day in the Sea of the river, he only said, "the child is there, and the ark is now among the reeds." And that was through a vision from God- may He be exalted- for the sea is greater than the river, and when Plti said, "he is among the reeds." they said, "No doubt the child has died." And for this reason, they did not search for it. They neither went nor looked for the ark in which he was. And that was a great miracle- may the Lord be praised, the All-Powerful, the High One, who does what He wills and brings deliverance! And when the daughter of Pharaoh saw the ark in the midst of the sea, she sent her maid who brought her the ark. And the daughter of Pharaoh took pity on it, and she said, This is one of the children of the Hebrews." And she commanded her servants that no one was to speak to anyone about the child, and all her maids and servants who stood about and saw the child with her, swore it unto her.

And the Mistress Miriam, the sister of our Master Moses stood afar off to see what would happen to it at the hand of the stranger. And when she saw that the daughter of Pharaoh had taken it and loved it and had pity on it, she went quickly and stood before her and said, "Shall I go and call for thee a Jewish woman to suckle the child?" And the daughter of Pharaoh said unto her, "Go!" And the young woman went and called the mother of the child. And the daughter of Pharaoh said unto her, "Take this child and suckle it for me and I will give thee thy wages." And the woman took the child and suckled it. And the child grew up and was weaned, and she brought it to the daughter of Pharaoh, who paid here her wages, as it is seen in the Holy Law in the second book (Exod. II. v.9). And after he was brought to the daughter of Pharaoh, she called his name Moses, and she said, "He has been saved and drawn out of the water and the fire."

As we have mentioned before, he was born on the fifteenth day of Nisan, on the Sabbath. And on the Sabbath, the fifteenth day of Sivan, he was thrown into the water, and he was taken out of the water also on the same Sabbath in the fifth hour.

And Moses grew up in the house of the enemy, in strentgh and might, until he grew to manhood. And he was with the governors who were appointed overseers over the children of Israel, and he went out in those days and looked on their burden. And he  saw an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew of his kinsmen. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he smote the Egyptian and his him in the sand. And behold, on the second day, two men of the Hebrews strove together, and he said to him that did the wrong, "Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?" And the wicked man said, "Who made thee a prince and judge over us? Thinkest thou to kill me as thou killedst the Egyptian yesterday?" And Moses feared and said, "Surely the thing is known," for the deed had evidently become known. And when Pharaoh heard of this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian. And And he remained there sixty full years. And he was a shepherd to Jethro, his father-in-law. And then there was great oppression against the children of Israel and great tribulation during the absence of the messenger in the land of Midain. And Guts the king of Egypt died, and he was the one who was called Pharaoh. And before another king was appointed in Egypt, the children of Israel despaired of the time [of deliverance] and they gathered themselves together. And the children of Israel sighed by reason of their bondage and they cried and the cry came to God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham with Isaac and with Jacob. And God saw the children of Israel, and God took knowledge of them. "And God saw" means, "I will requite the Egyptians for all that they have done." For the Lord knew the secret meaning of the revelation which He had made to our master Abraham, for its fulfilment had now drawn nigh. and that is what is said in Gen. XV. 13, "and they will cause them to serve them and they will afflict them."

And it came to pass after these things that a new king arose in Egypt and his name was Pharaoh from the Kittim, and he was 'Atirt. And this is the third king who ruled over Egypt from the Pharaoh who had ruled in the time of Joseph. And it came to pass on the fifteenth day of the third lunar month, on the on the fourth day, that there came our Master Moses the Messenger- upon whom be peace- with the sheep of his father-in-law, Jethro quite unexpectedly to the mountain of God, Horeb. And on the fifteenth, on the selfsame day the Lord fulfilled his covenant with the Meritorious Ones, and the staff of Adam and his clothes, namely the clothes of light, that were upon Adam when he was in the Garden, were given to Moses on that day. And proof of it is the word which he spake before anything else where he said, "and this shall be a token unto thee; this has been given as a sign that I have sent thee." And the Lord appeared unto Moses on the third day of the month which was a Wednesday, and on the first day (Sunday), Moses went down to Egypt. And the Lord said unto Aaron, "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses." And he went and met him at the mountain of God, and kissed him. And both went up to Egypt and performed the wonders in the sight of the children of Israel. And the people believed. On the third day, they went up and stood before Pharaoh and told him all the words of God; on the fifth day was the miracles were enacted in Egypt. In the sixth hour of the night of the fifth day the children of Israel went out of Egypt with uplifted arm. On the night of the first day they passed the dry land through the midst of the sea; according to the words of the Asatir, the Feast of the Pesach was the night of the fifth, for God has said in the Holy Law, "on the marrow after the Passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians." And the sacrifice of the Pesach was from the evening until the break of the first dawn. And the festival is from the break of the first dawn to the setting of the sun, although our master Markah, in his exalted poem, said that the feast in Egypt was on the second day, (Monday) for he said, "Thus have they made the Passover; then journeyed to Rameses, and they traveled three days until they came to the Sea of Reeds; and in the night of the second day of the festival, when it was on the night of the first day, (Sunday). For we have the remembrance of it unto this very day, as we call it. "The night of the first day (Sunday),' but according to the statement of our master Markah, the first day of the festival would be on the Monday and the last day on the Sunday. But God knows. But I believe that the statement of our master Markah is a true one, and may the Lord forgive every sin and trespass!



by L. A. MAYER, edited by DONALD BROADRIBB, E.J. BRILL, LEIDEN, 1964. Paper. 49 pp; There are 646 entries plus several dozen entries in Hebrew or Arabic. The Samaritans are a religious sect recognizing only the Pentateuch of the bible and adhere rigidly to its laws. The book contains an extensive bibliography of just about everything written about the Samarians: their life, their religion, their laws, their traditions to 1964. Included are books and other major references (theses, etc) in German, English, Spanish, Latin, French, Arabic and Hebrew.

Since this book, Professor Alan Crown of Sydney University published a more up to date collection in his first edition A Bibliography of the Samaritans in 1984. In 1993 the second Edition appeared which is in current use today among scholars. It contains 3653 references. The third addition will hopefully appear in the near future.


Asia Magazine was among the most informative and visually interesting publications of the 20th century. It contained articles on aspects of culture, life, and politics in all of Asia, accompanied by many rare photos and illustrations. Many had cover art that is now of interest to collectors. Each issue also contained large numbers of advertisements, many of which are of historical and graphic importance.

Feb.1927:  The Doomed Samaritans.

Asia and the Americas, Bound Volume, Volume 44, Jan-Dec 1944

This is a bound volume of Asia and the Americas Magazine (formerly Asia Magazine).  These are hard to find loose and even harder to find bound. This volume includes many articles on the turbulent World War II period.  Contains many articles on India, China, Japan, and other areas of the Far and Near East.  Included: Samaritan Passover.

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