June 17th, 2004
Vol. III - No.22
In This Issue
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Sunset Times for Central Israelcalculated by Abraham Cohen from Holon
begins Friday June 18th, 6:49pm to Saturday 19th, 6:50 p.m. Weekly Parshiyot-
June 25th 6:51pm- 26th 6:51pm
Memorial of the Sinai Day June 23rd
Pentecost & Pilgrimage- June 27th 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:
In Planning Stage
SES: In Haifa, July 5-8, 2004 organised byMenahem Mor,
A session at the EABS in Grooningen, July 25-28, 2004 organized by Ingrid Hjelm
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Memorial of the Sinai Day June 23rd
Pentecost & Pilgrimage- June 27th
A Damascus Curtain
(The Samaritan photos were given to us by Benyamim Tsedaka. from issue 855 of the A.B. Samaritan News, June 11th, 2004) This is the oldest curtain in the Israel Jewish holy artifacts- Damascus 1519 A.D. sent to be preserved.
Samaritan Ladies Honored
From the A.B Samaritan News Service
There is much news. We, the Samaritan-Israelites are preparing
ourselves to move to our houses on
the Mountain for Pentecost [June 27]. Last
Saturday night we had a city party where my
mother Batia Tsedaka received the title "Most
worthy citizen" with her sister Pnina, with seven
other citizens, all
successful and gave
vast contribution to the life quality and gave
good service to the citizens
of Holon. Both sisters were school headmasters
for tens of years till
retiring from work and
both still contribute as volunteers to the local
society in many fields. It
was a glorious and fantastic evening for both of
them and the other seven
with a attending presence of one thousand guests. The Samaritan Ensemble had a
tremendous performance at the ceremony.
Note from the Editor: We still do not know who the publisher is!!!!!!!
A Biblical and Archaeological Perspective in Relation to the Israelite Location in the Land of Egypt Part 3 By Shomron will appear in the next issue of the update.
Samaritans in Damascus
The above curtain photo on the first page is a remembrance of the Samaritan-Israelites that once lived in Damascus. The traveler Benjamin of Tuldela (12th century) recounts that there were four hundred Samaritans living in Damascus. In 1137 C.E., Bazwadj with his Muslim army entered Nablus slaughtered many and taking captives back to Damascus. Again in 1184, Saladin's army assaulted Nablus taking detainees of the Samaritan-Israelites to Damascus. This was the period of the Franks. Also in 1260, Samaritans were also taken to Damascus by the Mongol invaders. High Priest son Uzzi b. Amram b. Itamar was taken to Damascus in 1260. It had to be a difficult life in Damascus as well as Nablus in those days. Priest Ithamar b. Aaron of the priestly family (1343-1362 was also in Damaricus with other families by the names of Pigma, Ikkara, Segiuma. The last two names have also been recorded in Egypt around or after this time period.
In Damascus the Samaritan-Israelites adapted to their surroundings building their own synagogue known as 'Knesset Haaben.' Some of the priests began to write manuscripts, producing a very large number by the first half of the 14th century. The High Priest Pinhas of Nablus was exiled (1523-1538) for fifteen years in Damascus.
Henry de Beauveau recorded five families were in Damascus in 1604. The surviving records of the ottoman Tahrir tax records of the 16th century in Damascus may include Samaritans (not yet published). In 1625/26 five families moved to Nablus which included the Danfi family that still resides on mount Gerizim today.
Somewhere shortly after 1616, the Samaritan-Israelite presence ceased to exist in Damascus. Pietro Della Valle purchased two manuscripts from a Samaritan Chacham (a priest) and a woman. They are known today and were the earliest manuscripts to hit Europe at that time. The Samaritan synagogue was converted into a Jewish house of worship after the Samaritan vacated Damascus.
The social contacts with other religious sects inspired a cultural center for scriptural publications of manuscripts. During the periods Jews, Kariates and Samaritans may have compared the studies and doctrines. Concerning this were the 613 Precepts (laws) in which both Samaritan-Israelites and Jews agree on the number. During the thirteenth century, Samaritan Aaron b. Manir composed a liturgical hymn for the Day of Atonement, "the song of the Precepts' which is still used to this day.
During the 16th century, Damascus became an intellectual center for scholars. Spanish Jews immigrated, who were most likely students of the Jewish scholar Moses Maimonides (Rambam) accredited with the 613 Precepts. Many poems and considerable writings of Samaritans was written in Damascus by various Samaritan-Israelites during their stay.
One piece of information that appears odd shortly during or after 1365, the authorities required Jewish ladies to were one black and one red shoe. Interesting since we would have expected them to be wereing sandals at that time and since many in the area still were sandals. In the mid fourteenth century, red was the designated color of Samaritans while the Jews were required to wear yellow turbans. But it appears that this was a Moslem requirement begun by Caliph Omar II (717-20) who ordered the vestimentary distinctions of non-Moslems.
Some of the recognized Moslem families of Damascus of Samaritan origin is the Dar Gofari, Dar nahas, Dar Rumah and dar Mneid.
Further evidence of the Samaritan community in Damascus may some day come to light. There is one note that must be made concerning the 1897 discovery of the 'Damascus Document,' a book that was written in Biblical Hebrew. A complete assessment in relation to the document and the Samaritan-Israelites should be of great interest. As the Encyclopaedia Judacia (v5, 1248) 'Several of these regulations correspond to the accepted law, but others are in opposition to it and correspond rather to the laws of the Samaritans and Karaites, and all of them are inclined to be severe.'
For the Readers Circle
Hebrew Illuminated Bibles of the IXth and Xth Centuries (Codices Or. Gaster, Nos. 150 & 151); and Samaritan Scroll of the Law of the XIth Century (Codex Or. Gaster, No.350)... Gaster, Moses 1856-1939 London1901: Printed By Harrison and Sons. 52p. Together with eight plates of facsimiles of these manuscripts and of fragments from the Geniza in Egypt. Published for the first time. Reprinted from the "Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology", June 1900. The colored plates added here are only published in a separate edition.
Bet Eked Sepharim
British Library Journal (volume 21 Number 1, Spring 1995) Miscellanea
MATERIALS FOR A NON-MASORETIC HEBREW GRAMMAR III: A GRAMMAR OF THE
SAMARITAN DIALECT OF HEBREW
CONJECTURAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF ALPHABETIC
Exercitationes de Lingua Primaeva. Ejusque Appendicibus. In quibus
multa S. Scripturae loca, diversae in linguis mutationes, multiplices
mummorum Israelitarum, & Samaritanorum species, atque variae Veterum
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