July 15th, 2004
Vol. III - No.24
In This Issue
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Sunset Times for Central Israelcalculated by Abraham Cohen from Holon
begins Friday July 16th, 6:48pm to Saturday 17th, 6:48 p.m.
23rd, 6:44pm- 24th 6:44pm
Festival of the Seventh Month- Oct. 14th, 2004
Day of Atonement Oct 23rd, 2004
Succoth- Oct. 28th
Rejoicing of the Torah- Nov. 4, 2004
Studies and Related Conferences:
Session at the EABS in Grooningen, July 25-28, 2004 organized by Ingrid Hjelm
In Planning Stage
SES: In University of Papa/ Hungary in 2008.
organised by Dr. Joseph Zsengelle'
Markah Memar iv.5
God does not like the evildoer and will not have pity for such, but he loves the good who hear his voice and keep his commandments, for he is merciful and pitiful, forgiving all who seek him sincerely.
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The Sixth International Congress of Samaritan Studies
A.B. The Samaritan News
(Photo 1- The new dean of the University of Haifa which hosted the Sixth International Congress of Samaritan Studies, the Samaritonologist Prof. Menachem Mor is forwarding the congress [Left to right: The Guest of Honor - The Samaritan-Israelite High Priest Elazar b. Tsedaka, Prof. Mor, Prof. Gideon Fux, The head of the school of History of Israel in the university and Prof. Yosi Ben-Artzi, The new vice president of the University of Haifa.)
Earthquakes in Nablus
Recently, I read the Israel Exploration Journal,(IPJ) volume 44, numbers 3-4, Jerusalem, Israel, 1994. I was wanting to read the article by Ronny Reich; 'The Plan of the Samaritan Synagogue at Sha'alvim'. Nice article Ronny! But I must admit what really caught my attention was the article by D.H.K. Amiran, E. Arieh and T. Turcotte; 'Earthquakes in Israel and Adjacent Areas: Macroseismic Observations since 100 B.C.E.'.
I recalled reading in the Samaritan Chronicles of earthquakes in Nablus. So I went back to the Chronicles to compare dates. The first date that appealed to me in the (IEJ) was May 19th, 363, when a strong quake hit the land (page 265). According note 17 the 'assume that three cisterns in the Zeus temple at Balatah (Nablus) were destroyed by this earthquake; the dating is based on numerismatic finds." According to A Samaritan Chronicle, of Jeffrey M. Cohen, the Samaritan made war with the Romans and 'they demolished the Roman meeting-house which was at the summit of the Holy Mountain,' (page 103). According to Reinhard Pummer, reference in , 'Samaritan Material Remains and Archaeology,' page 169, in Alan Crown's, The Samaritans, there are coins of Julian the Apostate (360-363 A.D.) from 362 depicting the Zeus temple on the mount. The fact that the earthquake accorded a year later is only relevant in the words of prayer from Baba Rabba, "We give thanks unto you, O Lord.......In our anguish we called to the Lord, and cried out to out God; and the Lord heard our voice and the sound of our cries. The earth shook and the foundations of the mountains quaked and shook by reason of His anger.' This was the prayer that was said just after the Samaritan battled the Romans in revolt. The date has been agued but a reflection on the quake and the prayer may shed light in some eyes.
One must also remember that of Amorah Nachman bar Isaac (d. 356 A.D.) was the person responsible for the Talmudic charge of the Samaritan worshipped a bird on the mount, which was the roman brass bird. This was wrong of course but a Roman bird was there years till the revolt.
The date of Baba' appearance around 328 A.D. could place him in 363 if it were not for the assumed idea that he lived to be only 40 years of age. This of course is a guess, he may just have well lived to see it. If he appeared a mentioned, what was his age or was he born at that year, 328? If he were it would have made him 35 years old in 363. Or even if he were twenty making him 55 years old. The question also remains that if he were 40 years old as scholars assume, how old was his nephew Levi, 13, maybe 20. It would be hard to believe that Levi would have had so much power at a young age.
'On Saturday, on the first day of the feast of Tabernacles, in the second hour, there was a great earthquake; but Almighty God's mercy sheltered (us) and no one was harmed.' The date given is 853-4 which is shown as 853+ in the IEJ.
'In the days of Marwin a tremendous earthquake struck everywhere. The houses came down upon their inhabitants and innumerable people perished; it was an immense earthquake, such as had never before been seen. (The Continuatio of the Samaritan Chronicle of Abu l'Fath Al-Samiri Al-Danafi,(SCAF) by Milka Levy-Rubin, page 56) this was in 749. Page 11 describes another quake, 'Then in Tishrin there came a great earthquake; it was a terrible thing, but Almighty God watched over His servants, and no harm came to any Samaritan.' According to the writings in the SCAF the time of accordance was somewhere early in the 900-935 C.E. The IEJ gives a date of 1033/4 and then shows that half of Nablus was destroyed. Noticing that there is no record of any quakes shown in the IEJ article for the 900 period may reflect an err in source and the dating.
EARTHQUAKES IN THE HOLY LAND
BY BAILEY WILLIS
On invitation of the British representative at Nablus I accompanied him on a tour of inspection of the ruined portion of that city a few days after the recent shock. In the heart of the stone beehive was the quarter occupied by many generations of Samaritans, a small tribe isolated in the very city of their birth by the intense religious prejudice that has always pursued them. When they increased in numbers they neither would nor could expand among their neighbors. They could only build higher, could only pile another stone cubicle on the roof. The passage and the stair must come off the narrow, crowded room below. The planning was haphazard occasional, suited to the immediate need, but it endured for centuries. And so did the dirt in the dark, foul-smelling corners. I sympathized with the health officer, who was of our party. "Tear it down, let in light and air." "But it is their property, it is all they have, we can't pay for the whole place," was the answer. And so only that which was absolutely dangerous because it might fall and crush them could be torn down.
Earthquake of 1927
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