June 2005  

Vol.  IV - No.9

In This Issue

  • Peace Center

  • Appreciation

  • Tradition Kept

  • Personal Status

  • Benny Apologizes

  • Apology

  • Web links

The Samaritan Update,  is a Monthly Internet Newsletter, a Division of The-Samaritans.com.


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Editor: Shomron

Co-Editor: Osher    


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Samaritan Calendar

of Festivals

Samaritan Calendar

of Festivals


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'





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Tradition Kept: Introductions And Texts To The Literature Of The Samaritans




















Be Informed!

Have some Information that others should know, please contact  the

The Editor 



Peace Center on  Mount Gerizim  -
Who needs it at all ?

By Osher Sassoni

In the last few months, there have been reports in a A.B. Newspaper handout , which is spread among the members of the Samaritan community, and to others  in Israel and around  the world, concerning a new private initiative by the paper's editors.

         Osher Sassoni           

The initiative talks about an international peace center that will be erected on the mountain  of Gerizim, in Kiryat Luza and will attract tourists from all over the world.

According to the reports of A.B- News, contacts with different authorities, in order to raise funds, are already being conducted by the paper's editors. The center, according to the  reports, is going to be erected in the middle of the Samaritan neighborhood that is located  on the top of the mount. As it appears at the moment, though the campaign for raising  funds,  the initiate doesn't have any actual planning, and the dimness that wreathes it brings  up numerous concerns:

- What exactly will this center include, and what will be its actions  ?
Who will be the organization administrators ?
- Where exactly will this building of the center be placed ?
- Who are the donators and supporters ?
- Who will manage the funds that are received for the center ?
- Where would the funds be directed to, and where do they get directed today?
- And at last, is anyone other then the paper editor's knowledgeable of the details or was   required to experience his details on this  private initiative ?

There are many issues to examine regarding any  type of proposal of this kind, all the more  so, when dealing with an enterprise that is being already promoted among authorities and factors in the country and abroad, and when the fund raising campaign has already begun. And even more, and this is the main point, when dealing with an initiative that will affect the lives of all members of the Samaritan-Israelite community, and especially those who live regularly in the neighborhood on the top of the mountain.
The issue of the local peace is indeed an important matter. Many people long for peace and as a result they are enthusiastic about any initiative related to it. The word "peace" became some kind of  a magic word that easily penetrates into the hearts of many in the world . When that word is mentioned, in any of kind of initiative, sometimes even without any real content, it provides the key to enter the pockets of many benefactors in the world, who are interested in heading towards that old wishful world of peace. The main inquiry asked is: has anyone taken into consideration the steps beyond the raising of funds? And if the answer is indeed positive, well, what are the conclusions?

The establishment of a center or any peace project of any kind on the top of mount Gerizim might have consequences that could affect, particularly, the way of life of those who live on the mountain, and the community members in general, who hope to preserve a normal and peaceful religious and social way of life. (Photo: The main street 2000)

The Samaritan-Israelite neighborhood on the top of mount Gerizim, where half of the community members live, contains only few tens of houses, built densely with a narrow main road which its length ,less then one kilometer passing through the neighborhood enabling the passing of vehicles from one edge of the neighborhood to another. Today, it is already being asked, where will the houses of the next generation be built in the existing neighborhood, and that is, due to the fact that the ground of the mountain is used almost completely and the new houses built today are on the outskirts. The establishment of a peace center in the middle of the neighborhood may attract groups of tourists from around the globe but will interfere the serenity of those who live on the mountain, and will increase the already extreme crowdedness whether because of the area which will be occupied by the structure or structures of this peace center, (and in that matter, it is most important  to indicate that it is rational to assume that buildings of offices, guest houses, and staying houses for the visitors coming to the peace center will be needed), or whether because the increasing traffic in that main road. We all know the commotion that is an integral part of the day of the sacrifice of the Passover in which many tourists and journalists who come from different places in their private vehicles or in organized groups, produce a great denseness over the main road, and to a certain discomfort among the neighborhood's residents. Can anyone imagine this kind of situation on a daily basic or an ability to preserve a peaceful religious life in that kind of situation? (Photo: The main street at the Passover Sacrifice 2000.) 

The existence of a "peace center" in the middle of the neighborhood on mountain Gerizim will attract high ranking visitors, from various countries and cultures. This is indeed apparently, a utopian situation, wished by all, or at least by most of us, and that's exactly the next point. This center may constitute a great target for anti-peace terrorist organizations that as known to have their base and source situated several kilometers from there, at the center of the city of Nablus.  Any sabotage action, that might, God forbid, take place in the center of the neighborhood, in order to harm the visitors of the center would be crucial for a community of about 300 souls. In order to secure this center and in order to conduct a center, a heavy security and a complicated administration is required. Do any of us wish to have a security check during our movements from our homes to the synagogue or any time, in order to visit a brother who lives at the other end of the neighborhood  ? Who indeed needs it at all ? The existing problems, which we experience, are sufficient.
 Indeed, there is some truth in the claim that a center or organization or any peace project that will be established on mountain of Gerizim and will attract tourists leverage, may be beneficial to the community members. Indeed such a center, would bring many resources which can be useful for the community, and also, simultaneously, promote the area peace issue. It is also possible that many of the community members will be able to find their living at this project, but the question asked is: Can anyone insure that this is how the situation will be in the future also?
Such projects which depended on donations (from various organizations in the world) have been established before in the past. The donations and the tourists had stopped whenever the intercourse between Israelis and Palestinians had come to a crises and the safety in the area had been questionable.
What will happen with the peace center and what about those who put their living and destiny of the future of this center ?  What will happen to the funds that where invested, and to the structure itself  ?

These are only a few questions  and they, for sure, don't deal with all the issues that should be taken into consideration before executing any decision to establish this kind of center.
From conversations with a few of the members of the Samaritan community it was clear to me that these questions are not only mine and wasn't asked only by me. Many members of the community reflect about the issue, because, none of them, neither the youngest to the High Priest ,know of the details about the initiative. The responses during these conversations were various and the majority included anger and wondered about the source of the right of an unselected factor to promote almost up to practical level, an initiative that, as we already claimed, will affect crucially on the lives of all the community members, and all that even without requesting their opinions.
The A.B. Newspaper, despite all the criticism against it  among the community, has a lot of  credits in promoting  and distributing the Samaritans issues in the country and the all over world, and in constancy of many years. However, the Samaritan community in Israel has only one representative structure that is chosen once in a couple years by the community members and it is qualified to represent the community. The authority that decides on the other issues of the community that are related to religion and to any leading matters is the High Priest. Beyond those two authorities, every member of the community is a delegate of his own, and can, of course, promote matters relating to the benefit of the community, but that can not be done without some kind of consensus in that matter, and especially if it deals with the lives of the rest of the members in of the community.
Further more, the experience in the past  indicates that not one of the issues that were
problematic among majority of the members in the community managed to exist, and not only, but its damages were greater then its benefits. This question, on its own, brings up thoughts concerning the real intention of the initiative of the peace center, and also concerning the knowledge, or more precise, the lake of knowledge, of those finance sources, about atmosphere inside the  community. It also brings thoughts concerning the kind of information given to those sources, in the matter.
It has already been written about the Israeli people, "it is a people that dwells alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations" (Numbers 23:9). It is not unacceptable, and it is even a duty to the Samaritan community, to manage exterior policy, to be in touch with exterior authorities, and get involved at what occurs outside the borders of the community . All that, as long as particular matters, as the the religious and social interest of the community, which considered to be superior elements of this society, are promoted or at least preserved.

 We all wish for peace, and there is no doubt that the Samaritan community can constitute an example with its ability of living in peace among the nations. There is also not a doubt that the community will be major benefited by peace in our area, but is peace is really the thing been searched by this initiative ?.....


In Appreciation

By Shomron

The following information found below is part of the index to the book, Feasts & Fasts, A Festschrift in Honor of Alan David Crown, edited by Marianne Dacy, Jennifer Dowling and Suzanne Faigan, from Mandelbaum Publishing, Mandelbaum Studies in Judaica No. 11, University of Sydney. The book is dedicated to Professor Alan D. Crown, among whom outside of the Samaritan community has helped raise Samaritan Studies to the level it is today with his books articles teaching, support and his encouragement to his students, fellow professors, scholars and readers around the world. His editing of articles and books has assisted scholars to advance their knowledge, teaching and books to a higher level of integrity. Professor Crown is our modern day Moses Gaster!! We all wish to thank you for your past hard work and we all hope to read more from you in the future, time allowed for your wife and family of course which is most important!

Forthcoming soon will be Professor Crown's latest work, A Critical Edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch from Ten MSS and the Proto-Sam. Texts in the Qumran Scrolls. Also see 'The Status of Women in the Samaritan Sect, in M. Shalvi, ed. Jewish Women; A Comprehensive historical Encyclopedia (Jerusalem, Shalvi Publishing, Ltd. 2005). And should you ever get the chance to read the offprint from Samaritan, Hebrew and Aramaic Studies Presented to Professor Abraham Tal, edited by Moshe Bar-Asher and Moshe Florentin (The Bialik Institute, Jerusalem), you will find an article by Professor Crown entitled 'An alternative View of Qumran.' This article is very captivating and very insightful. It is a brilliant perspective of Qumran and the inhabitants. Thanks again Alan.

Also A Bibliography of the Samaritans: Third Edition: Revised, Expanded, and Annotated (Atla Bibliography) by Alan David Crown (Other Contributor) Scarecrow Press (August, 2005) In English ISBN: 081085659X


Feasts & Fasts, A Festschrift in Honor of Alan David Crown

Table of Contents


Letter from Ferdinand Dexinger to Professor Crown

Samaritan and Jewish Festivals: Comparative Considerations Ferdinand Dexinger

The Rabbis and Samaritan Circumcision Reinhard Pummer

Index to the Kitab al-Tarikh of Abul-Fath Paul Stenhouse

A Note on the Borrowing of scribal Habits in the Dead Sea Scrolls June Ashton

The Number of manuscripts and Compositions Found at Qumran Emanuel Tov

The Biblical Scrolls from Qumran and the Masortic Text: A Statistical Approach Ian Young

Women's Education and Study of Torah in the teaching of the sages of the Mishnah Ilana Beer

Jesus' Cleansing of the Temple and the Relationship to Passover or Festival Cleansing Antoinette Collins

Minim in Rabbinical Literature Marianne Dacy

Exodus Chronology John A. Franks

The historical Nature of the Old testament Sang Soo Jeon

The relationship Between Hayim Vital and Isaac Luria Orna Triguboff

Mayse fun Shloyme hameylekh: The hazards of Listening to Animals Jennifer Dowling

Literary Source and Creative Imagination in Moshe Shamir's Historical Novel Melekh basar vedam David Patterson

The Issue of Exile in Jewish Thought David Patterson

Moratorium on Reality? prime Minister Kallay and Hungarian Jewry, 1942-1944 T.D. Kramer

Alexander Barnard Davis- Colonial Clergyman Rabbi Raymond Apple

Immigrants from Eretz Israel in Perth and Melbourne, 1900-1930 Eliyahu Honig

The Evolution of the Bibliography of Austrralian Judaica Serge Liberman

Creating Intellectual and Cultural challenges: The Bridge Suzanna D. Rutland

Available from www.mandelbaum.usyd.edu.au


Research in Judah and Samaria

University of Ariel on June 2, 2005

We have not heard on this from any scholars


Tradition Kept

Robert Anderson and Terry Giles

Tradition Kept is an introduction to the sacred and religious literature of the Samaritans. This literature is rich, ancient, and allows for an understanding and appreciation of the Samaritan community as well as providing a wonderful compliment to better known Jewish and Christian writings. Tradition Kept presents introductions and excerpts from a wide variety of Samaritan literature, including the various versions of the Pentateuch, biblical commentaries, liturgical texts, theological works and chronicles. The book is divided into two main divisions.  (Photo left: author Terry Giles)

The first section of Tradition Kept is a presentation of the narrative works that tell the Samaritan story: the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Samaritan Joshua, and the Annals or chronicles. The first of these three sets of works, the Samaritan Pentateuch, is the sacred text of the Samaritans. It is the basic source of Samaritanism. The Samaritan Pentateuch gives the Samaritan community its identity and begins the Samaritan story. The Samaritan Joshua continues the story from the time of Joshua up until the roman domination of Palestine. It takes the reader from the “period of divine favor” to the “period of divine disfavor” through the retelling of fantastic acts of heroism, Tradition Kept: Introductions And Texts To The Literature Of The Samaritansdeliverance, and disappointment. The Annals and chronicles pick up the story where the Samaritan Joshua left off and continue the Samaritan story right up to modern times. The cumulative effect of lacing these narrative works back-to-back is a window into the Samaritan self-understanding. 

The second part of the Tradition Kept deals with religious writings that describe Samaritan ritual and theology. The core texts in his section of the book are the Tibat Marqe and the liturgy. Marqe presents the theology of the Samaritan community and the liturgy provides examples of how this theology expressed itself in the collective worship of the Samaritans. (adapted from Tradition Kept, xii-xiii with permission.)



The Personal Status of  the Samaritans in Israel

   Michael Corinaldi
   The Israeli Center for Academic Studies

 A. The Halakhah and the Samaritans

In order to understand the status of the Samaritans in Israel. we must go back to the origins of the relations between the Jews and the Samaritans.

Prof' Michael Corinaldi

Two main stages may be distinguished within talmudic literature in relation to the Samaritans, In the first stage, during the period of the Second Temple and soon after its destruction, the Samaritans were trusted to observe most of the biblical prescriptions, the majority of which concerned matters of prohibition and permission. The halakhah was largely influenced by R. Shimon Ben Gamliel's dictum that "every commandment observed by the Samaritans was kept more             scrupulously by them than by the Jews".(1)read the full article @ www.the-samaritans.com


Benny Apologizes to Mr. Aryeh Herzig

I didn't mean to upset my old friend in New York Mr. Aryeh Herzig by using the word "Fanatics" towards his Rabbis in Boro Park.
I wonder because Rabbi Deutch has visited me in Holon and read the original article from A.B. in my presence and said the article is excellent without notifying me to that wrong use of word "Fanatics" what had upset Mr. Herzig so much.
I am apologizing to him willingly although I only meant to say "The most orthodox". I agree with him that in this context the use of the word "Fanatics" is not in place. Please, forgive me Aryeh. I was wrong knowing how wonderful person you are.
 This apology will also be  in the English section of A.B.
Fondly, Benny


Apology to Mr. Aryeh Herzig from the Editor

By Shomron

The Samaritan Update would also like to apologize for not fully editing the article, 'Samaritan Decalogue Inscription in Brooklyn' in the January issue of our updates. I am so sorry that this happened and I will be more careful in the future. One of the main articles of Samaritan is that one should love his fellow man and regard him as as a friend. One should not offend a friend, it just is not right to do so. Mr. Herzig, we wish to remain a friend, and we are so sorry that this happened. I do not normally change an issue of the updates but in this case I shall!, I am so sorry this happened!!!!!


Web links


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 http://www.jewishmag.co.il/78mag/samaritans/samaritans.htm



The Samaritans: Origin and Beliefs: zajel / An-Najah National University



Population Information



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

Samaritans http://disseminary.org/hoopoe/poly/2005/06/samaritans.html

ENGLISH TRANSLATION of Eusebius, Onomasticon 64:16-17 (ca. 295 A.D.); Jerome 65:16-17 (ca. 390 A.D.)
Gerizim (Deut 11:29), is the mountain on which stood those who recited the blessings [Jerome mistakenly writes: the curses], near Mount Gebal of which we spoke above.

Itinerarium Burdigalense 586-587 (333 A.D.)
City of Neapolis (15 miles). Mount Gerizim is there, where according to the Samaritans, Abraham offered his sacrifice. There are 1300 steps leading to the top of the mountain. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/ofm/mad/sources/sources014.html


Thank you!  

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