Vol. V - No.1
In This Issue
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The Festival of the 7th Month
October 3, 2005
The Day of Atonement
October 12, 2005
October 17, 2005
7 days of Succoth
October 17-23, 2005
Festival of the Eighth Day
(Rejoicing of the Torah)
October 24, 2005
Studies and Related Conferences:
Research in Judah and Samaria
University of Ariel on June 2, 2005
We have not heard on this from any scholars
In Planning Stage
SES: In University of Papa/ Hungary in 2008.
organised by Dr. Joseph Zsengelle'
Do you have a question that you would like to ask:
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Feasts & Fasts, A Festschrift in Honor of Alan David Crown
Available from www.mandelbaum.
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A Samaritan 16th Century Curtain
By Osher Sassoni
A Samaritan curtain, interlaced with gold twines, from the 16 century has been recovered. This ancient curtain, which was kept stored recently, in the archives of the old Samaritan synagogue of Nablus, is in advanced progress of being recovering. The ancient curtain includes a detailed gilded sketch of the holy tabernacle, with a text of a dedication in its upper corner was sewn on silk, and of course was hand-made. According to the dedication which is written on it, in it was contributed by someone from the family of Matchuya, in the year 915 since the Hijra (The Islamic count) meaning 1509 in the Common Era. The family of Matchuya is mentioned in the Samaritan Historic Chronicle -Tulida, as one of the families, well known of the tribe of Menashe (son of Yosef son of Yaacov), who has returned from the coastal town- Ashkelon to Nablus, in the days of the Islamic Khalif -Harun Al - Rashid (786-800 CE), after escaping from an epidemic which occurred in Nablus some years before. The story of this family as many other Samaritan families wasn't with a happy ending, and it was obligated and totally converted to Islam in later times. One of the most honored and richest families in Nablus nowadays, (D'ar=family Shirri- Ya'aish) is considered to be remnants of this family. As the Samaritan's elders, know to tell, the curtain used to be in use, especially in the atonement day, in the synagogue of Nablus till the sixties. In the first years of the seventies, after it was too worn out to be in use, it was taken by Zevulun Altif, a member of the Samaritan community, who built for it a special wood border which was covered by special glass, and hanged it on one of the walls of the synagogue in Nablus, which was in use, till the days which the Samaritans left their homes in the city and moved to their location today on mount of Gerizim. The curtain was taken then, and was saved in one of coffers at the Synagogue on the mount. Dror and Yisaschar Marchiv, two young Samaritans, who had their experience four years ago, in recovering another ancient curtain, from the 18 century, made by the wife of the late High Priest Tabya son of Yitshak (18 CE), were called by the current High Priest- Elzazar son of Tsedaka, for their next mission of restoring this ancient curtain. The two brothers have consented to the challenge and delivered the curtain to Mrs. Olga Nagiveski- a restorer at the Italian Museum in Jerusalem. Mrs. Nagiveski has been working on the curtain for the last year, and hopefully should finish her work, before the next upcoming Feasts. During the work on the curtain, Mrs. Nagiveski has found that the needlework in the curtain was all made with gold coated sewing threads of 14 carat gold, something which apparently wasn't known to the Samaritan over the years. According to the brothers, the whole cost of the restoration project, will be about 22,000 NIS and shall be funded by the Samaritan committees of Holon and Kiryat Luza, and by other donations from members of the community.
( In the picture- The High Priest Elazar son of Tsedaka, with the ancient curtain last year)
Samaritan Website Attacked
The website, www.the-samaritans.com was attacked Wednesday, August 31, by an unknown hacker resulting in an empty file. The server was notified of the hackers replacement page that only lasted a few hours. All of the Samaritan files had been erased from the server. As of last Friday the server informed us that they will try to use their backup files to bring back the entire site this coming week. The only question is whether we shall use if any the old discussion section, and if not, a new more secure forum will be in place. It is not known by us if we were the only ones affected by the hacker.
In Defense of the Samaritan Peace Center
By Samaritan Benny Tsedaka
All I can tell you
right now as it always been, the convoy is going on. Last week I got the
hard copy of the reply of the new British Minister for Foreign and
Commonwealth Dr. Kim Howells To Lord Avebury, supporting my proposal for
Mount Gerizim as an international peace center and suggesting to
renew our application to the European Union whose current president is
From The Editor
There are still questions to the Peace center that have to be answered before any further process is to be made on behalf of the Samaritan Communities. All pros and cons need to be weighed! We all know the situation concerning the Peace Talks in the area, but since no one has been able to solve this situation so far after all these years, can the Samaritans really help find the solution to this problem? PA members and Israelis have discussed the Peace Process for many years with little effects on peace so far. But one must also realize that a third party is involved in the negotiations and that is the Christian Church, according to the Oslo Accord. What is their plan for the area? Can the three parties really come to an agreement? Answers need to be addressed concerning the Samaritan-Israelite communities.
What incentives will affect the Samaritan Communities? How will this help the situation in the area or will it make it worse especially for the small number of Samaritans? Will there be people (Jews, Christians or Muslims) that will threaten the Samaritans? Who will protect them? Who will pay for the protection? Will this disturb the lifestyle of the communities? Arabs refuse to sell their land to a Samaritan, where will the land for this venture come from? Does the current High Priest offer his full support? Do all the Samaritans agree on the plan for the Peace center? Where will the Center be built? Has there been a meeting of all Samaritans to discuss this plan or was the issue brought forth just to a few members? These are just a few of the unanswered questions.
We understand the situation of the small community on Mount Gerizim, but is the Development Plans for a Peace Center or for improvements to the community that is badly needed or is there another reason? Is this one man's quest as shown in Benny's words, "supporting my proposal for Mount Gerizim as an international peace center"? It defiantly would be a great feat to solve the problems of peace all over the world!
Improvements to the community do in fact need to be made along with a hostel/library where people can come, visit and learn from not just one Samaritan but all of them. We are all for Peace everywhere!!!!!!!
A Bibliography of the Samaritans: Revised, Expanded And Annotated (Atla Bibliography Series)
Amazon Price- $100.00
Order online from Scrarecrow Press @ $85.00
Dating of Inscription
by Matthew Hamilton
According to Samaritan Update,
there appears to have been
originally a photograph of an early Samaritan inscription on marble.
I have obtained a copy of the Fishburn Books catalogue of March 2003, with the photograph of the inscription
owned by Clive Farahar and Sophie Dupre. All information there regarding the date appears accurate.
In the couple of hours I've been able to work
from the photograph, I've come to the tentative conclusion that the
inscription is not ancient. My reasoning is as follows:-
1. In general appearance the inscription looks similar to a number of medieval Samaritan inscriptions that I can recall without comparing the appropriate publications to see precisely which inscriptions appear similar.
2. The only authentic claim for the inscription being ancient was made by Dr Alfred Cooper Fryer, who has no known reputation for expertise in dating Samaritan inscriptions, who does not cite known experts of the time such as Lagrange, and who does not make any comparison with the then known few and published Samaritan inscriptions.
3. Even if Fryer did have expertise, did cite known experts and did make comparisons with then known and published inscriptions, the experts of the time lacked sufficient Samaritan inscriptions to make accurate comparative dating of this inscription. (On the other hand, it is questionable if we are any better off in 2005 in dating Samaritan epigraphs -- see the inscription in The Living Torah Museum, dated 4th century in The Samaritan Update of January 2005, but dated 7th-12th centuries in Biblical Archaeology Review of November 2004).
4. There are a number of features that indicate that both the Samaritan and Arabic were carved at the same time, hence the Samaritan is not ancient, but dates to 1779, and these features became apparent when I tried to reconstruct what the Samaritan inscription would have looked like before it was recarved to add the Arabic script, and how it would have been recarved to add the Arabic script.
4a. How it would have looked before it was recarved? - the incription is somewhat symmetrical with for example the left and right margins of equal size, the first line framed by two triangular shaped decorations, the second line having each end going up towards the triangles of the first line, and the fourth line having the text centre justified. All this suggests that the scribe measured his stone, calculated the space needed for each letter, each mark of word division, and the marks of abbreviation at the ends of the first and second lines, before he began carving. However, in the third line the last word divider of the line looks a little squashed up against the last letter.
- each letter is formed with the flat polished surface of the stone around each letter carved away.
- there are some exceptions to this, these being the bottom of the second and fourth letters letters of the second line (in each case the join is only partial), the bottom of the first (Samaritan) letter of the fourth line, and the top of the third (Samaritan) letter of the fourth line
-each line of text is made more distinct by additional stone carved away between and near the letters so that each line of text has a border of the flat polished surface of the stone.
4b. How it would have been recarved to add
the Arabic script?
- the fourth line (Arabic script), has letters whose tops occur where there should be a recess beneath the fourth line of Samaritan script.
There is much more investigation on this
inscription to date it properly, but as it is almost certainly not
ancient, I will leave that to someone else. The inscription has yet to be
Samaritan Manuscripts in St Petersburg Book
Shimon Iakerson Abraham Firkovich de karaïet en zijn verzameling Hebreeuwse en Samaritaanse manuscripten in Sint-Petersburg
isbn 90 5629 390 7
JUDAICA POSTCARD – E.M .LILIEN – Entitled “SAMARITANISCHER HOHERPIESTER”.
On back it is written
that the painting is from the book “EREZ ISRAEL UND SEIN VOLK”.
Published by B.
E. M. Lilien
is one of the most important modern Jewish artists, who was a teacher
in the famous Bezalel school of art in
You may have read about the bird that was placed on Mount Gerizim during the days of Baba Rabba if not I included a section shown below. Now when I read this section in the Samaritan chronicles I found this hard to believe. I was wondering if the Romans have trained a bird and placed a brazen coat over it, but recently I have discovered some information. It appears that the Romans actually had a mechanical bird that spoke. By changing the number, length or diameter of pipes or inserting something in or around them would make different sounds. By adding two pipes would make two sounds in which this case in the Samaritan Chronicle made it sound like he-bre. How this was done I am not sure, maybe there was a type of pressure plate that was placed on the path but I feel that a standing guard activated the bird when someone was sited. It is amazing to see that such technology existing 1700 years or so ago. Now since we know that mechanical birds did in fact exist at that time, it makes the story more realistic and acceptable to the reader.
Again below is shown the section from the Samaritan chronicle and web links of information for you to investigate on your own. It is interesting!
The Samaritan Chronicle Or The Book of Joshua, the son of Nun by Oliver Turnbull Crane, M.A. John B. Alden, Publisher, New York, 1890
CHAPTER L. THE HISTORY OF BABA RABBA, AND WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM WITH THE ROMANS.
'And also then the Romans prevented the Samaritans from ascending the Mount; for they said: “Whosoever goes up on to this Mount shall be put to death.” And the Romans placed upon the summit of the Mount a talisman, and this was a brazen bird, and it used to turn round with the sun howsoever it revolved, and it was so that if a Samaritan did go up, the bird would screech out: “Hebraeus,” and they would know then that there was a Samaritan on the Mount, and would issue forth against him and kill him.'
The Mechanical Bird Informational Links
Heron of Alexandria was born in 75 AD. He is a Greek mathematician but his interests are in engineering and mechanics. Ramelli's work was not a translation of Heron, but it borrowed heavily from the Alexandrine writings. He described and illustrated for the first time the rotary pump, mechanical details of windmills, and a coffer-dam of interlocking piles, as well as other technological developments. Consistent with other writings of the period, Ramelli did not neglect to include several examples of biological automata in the form of hydraulically operated singing birds.
These ingenious hydraulic and pneumatic machines next had their greatest development in Italy. An account of the best sixteenth century examples was published by Montaigne in 1581.8 At the Villa d'Este at Tivoli, he particularly noted the fine statuary adorning the villa and the gardens, which had been reproduced from the finest sculptures of Rome. Although a fine display of fountains and waterfall has survived at the villa to the present, nothing remains of the mechanical curiosities which were featured in the grottoes and which have fallen victims to moisture and to time. Montaigne was particularly impressed by the organs that played music to the accompaniment of the fall of water and devices which imitated the sound of trumpets. He related how birds began to sing and how, when an owl appeared upon a rock, the bird song ceased abruptly. This sequence, borrowed in its entirety from Heron of Alexandria, was to be borrowed again several decades later by de Caus.
Another development, made possible as a direct result of the Renaissance clockmaker's skill, was the introduction of sound by the replacement of the hydraulic and pneumatic motivation with self-contained delicate mechanisms. The singing birds of Philon and Heron, which had been motivated by compressed air or steam, were the earliest machines to reproduce the sounds of living things, but the first substantial innovation to make the reproduction of sound possible within a self-contained unit was the revolving pinned barrel or cylinder. The action of pins or pegs attached to the circumference of the cylinder or barrel at right angles to the axis could be transmitted some distance by means of simple levers as the cylinder revolved. If these levers were in contact with valves of organ pipes, for instance, the pipes would sound for as long as the pins continued to maintain contact with the levers. This device made possible the completely mechanical performance of automatic sounding instruments. One of the earliest applications of this device of which there is record was made in an organ clock presented as a gift from Queen Elizabeth of England, to the Sultan of Turkey in 1599 (see Figure 10). The clock was the work of a goldsmith named Randolph Bull, clockmaker to the Queen, while the organ mechanism was constructed by Thomas Dallam, who also supervised the installation of the clock in the Sultan's palace.
the mechanical principles were derived in part from a treatise, Automatic Theater, by Heron of Alexandria (ca. 150 A.D.), with its descriptions of moving simulacra, such as replicas of singing birds. This technology, an aspect of Greco-Roman and Alexandrian science, was preserved by Byzantium and thus acquired and expanded by the Arabs, and then transmitted in the 13th century to European builders of automata.
Heron of Alexandria or Hero,mathematician and inventor. The dates of his birth and death are unknown; conjecture places them between the 2d cent. B.C. and the 3d cent. A.D. He is believed to have lived in Alexandria; although he wrote in Greek, his origin is uncertain. Several of his works survive either in Greek or in Latin translation. He wrote on the measurement of geometric figures, and a formula for finding the area of a triangle has been ascribed to him. Known for his study of mechanics and pneumatics, he invented many contrivances operated by water, steam, or compressed air; these include a fountain, a fire engine, siphons, and an engine in which the recoil of steam revolves a ball or a wheel.
You see, Hero invented feedback control devices. His self-filling wine bowl, for example, had a hidden float valve that automatically sensed the level of wine in a bowl. When guests ladled out wine, the bowl mysteriously refilled itself.
That's called a closed feedback loop. Egyptian inventors had been making gadgets like that for 300 years before Hero. They'd made feedback-controlled water-clocks and lamp-fillers.
THE PNEUMATICS OF HERO OF ALEXANDRIA FROM THE ORIGINAL GREEK TRANSLATED FOR AND EDITED BY BENNET WOODCROFT PROFESSOR OF MACHINERY IN UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE, LONDON LONDON TAYLOR WALTON AND MABERLY
. A Bird made to whistle by flowing Water.
Also notice water to wine
Listen to the link http://www.tzafonet.org.il/kehil/music03/music/ivrit/tanac/shiratkria.mp3
Samaritan Article http://www.dangoor.com/TheScribe70.pdf
Samaritan alphabet http://www.omniglot.com/writing/samaritan.htm
Guard's of Mount Grizim by Alex Maist
A JEWISH SECT WHICH HAS SURVIVED THE CRUEL PREJUDICE OF THE JEWS. THEY ARE REFERRED TO IN THE GOSPELS, AND THEY HAD A CENTRAL TEMPLE LIKE THE ONE IN JERUSALEM--jk. http://skeptically.org/oldtestament/id13.html
The Samaritans: Origin and Beliefs:zajel / An-Najah National University
Samaritan Pentateuch Copies Israel Samaritans Temple Testament.
The Samaritans - A Jewish Sect in Israel Strategies for Survival of an Ethno-religious Minority in the Twenty First Century by Sean Ireton University of Kent at Canterbury MA Dissertation for Ethnicity, Nationalism and Identity http://www.anthrobase.com/Txt/I/Ireton_S_01.htm
ENGLISH TRANSLATION of
Israel Kingdom Scriptures with Bible Chronology. Dryburg, Betty Jane. Book Description: Artisan Publishers, 2004. 48 pages. All Scriptures that relate to God's people Israel, their Identity, and God's Covenants to Israel can be found in this highly informative little book. Includes a brief Old Testament Chronology based on the Septuagint System and confirmed by the Samaritan Hebrew Text and archaeology. Brand new paperback. Satisfaction guaranteed by professional seller. All books plastic-wrapped for shipment.
RELIGIOUS PARTIES IN ISRAEL: THEIR HISTORY, METHODS, AND PERILS Burstein, Abraham Book Description: New York: Bloch Publishing Company, 1936. H59 pages. Various groups within Judaism from Biblical days to present, such as Samaritans, Pharisees, Sadducees, Karaites, Hassidism, Haskalah, Reform.
Secret History of Procopius (ISBN:076617039X) Book Description: Published Jul 2003, Kessinger Publishing. Paperback. CONDITION NEW COPY, Pages: 300, The historian Procopius was not a Latin. He was born in Caesarea in Palestine about 500 AD, and apparently was one of those Samaritans whom he mentions in the "Secret History" as adopting Christianity for formal protection and not at all for spiritual reasons. In the following text, the chapter divisions are those of the manuscript. Here is a narrative with the fascination of the elder Dumas; but it is more than a collection of anecdotes of intrigue, it is a history, in which the purple past of Rome lives a.
REWRITTEN BIBLE COMPOSITIONS AND BIBLICAL MANUSCRIPTS, WITH SPECIAL
ATTENTION TO SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH
Sciagraphia philologiae sacrae, difficiliores quaestiones plerasque, &
linguarum Orientalium usum genuinum delineans, editio secunda,
emendata, & usu Arabismi etymologico aucta.
Hebrew-English Paleo Exodus: Scripture At The End Of The Iron II Period (Ancient Near Eastern Texts and Studies) by David Phillips (Editor) Hardcover: 339 pages Publisher: Edwin Mellen Press (September 30, 2004) Language: English ISBN: 0773463151
Israel Kingdom Scriptures with Bible Chronology. (ISBN:0934666474)
ANNUAL OF THE SWEDISH THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE [Vol. VI, 1967-68].
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