Sept-Oct 2007

Vol.  VII - No.1

In This Issue

  • Geneticist

  • Samaritan lands

  • Translation

  • New blood

  • Delos

  • Seminar

  • EAJS

  • Books

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In Planning Stage

SES: In University of Papa/ Hungary in 2008.

 organised by Dr. Joseph Zsengelle'







Plan on buying a Book? Buy through us and support our main website:



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













Have you purchased your book lately?






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


Available from www.mandelbaum.





New Samaritans-

A DOCUMENTARY on Samaritan brides from the Ukraine




TAU Honors Levant Geneticist

Tel_aviv_university_bonneProf. Batsheva Bonne-Tamir, from the Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at the Sackler School of Medicine, was honored at the Annual Meeting of the Genetic Society of Israel. The meeting, “Frontiers in Genetics IV,” took place on April 10, 2007 at Tel Aviv University’s Smolarz Auditorium. Prof. Bonne-Tamir began her scientific career at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, majoring in Social Sciences. From there she obtained her M.Sc. degree in Anthropology at the University of Chicago.

Her thesis focused on the Samaritans, who were concentrated in Mount Gerizim. By this time, this population, which numbered in the thousands in the 5th century, had dwindled down to 345 individuals and were living in Israel and Jordan. Prof. Bonne-Tamir studied a genetic view of the Samaritan isolate, looking at their consanguinity and inbreeding, population dynamics and the inheritance of about 30 different markers, including lipoproteins, blood groups, hemoglobins, haptoglobins and transferrins.

She continued this work during her PhD in Human Genetics at the Boston University School of Medicine. She went on to study the genetics of isolated populations in Israel, including Lybian Jews, Yemenite Jews, Armenians and Bedouins. In 1981, she organized the International Congress of Human Genetics in Jerusalem, with many prominent scientists present from all over the world, including Arno Motulsky, Victor McKusick and James Neel. Prof. Bonn-Tamir has been actively involved in 74 scientific meetings. In 1985, Prof. Bonne-Tamir published the first linkage study for a recessive disease, Wilson’s Disease, published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Overall, she has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts. Prof. Bonne-Tamir has continued to study isolated populations, including cloning of genes responsible for Usher syndrome that includes blindness and deafness.

In the book by Steve Olson, “Mapping Human History,” the author states: “Ask a geneticist how best to learn about the genetic history of the Jews, and you will almost always get the same reply: You should go talk with Batsheva…. for 4 decades, almost every major paper on the genetics of Jewish populations has listed her name among the authors.”

Also present at the meeting was world-renowned geneticist, Prof. Aravinda Chakravarti, Director for the Center for Complex Disease Genomics and Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Molecular Biology & Genetics, and Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. His research is aimed at genomic-scale analysis of the human genome, computational analysis of gene variation and function, and understanding the molecular genetic basis of common genetic disorders.

Prof. Chakravarti’s travel was made possible by funding from the International Academic Friends of Israel (IAFI,, an organization dedicated to promoting academic freedom and the open exchange of ideas by bringing international academic meetings to Israel to offset the effects of the boycott against Israeli academics, and supporting efforts of the international academic community to promote peace in the Middle East.

The meeting was organized by Tel Aviv University’s Prof. Karen Avraham, Chair of the Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at the Sackler School of Medicine, and attended by many TAU students and post-doctoral fellows.

Report prepared by Karen Avraham,


End the Palestinian Occupation of Samaritan Lands!!!

According to this Jerusalem Post article the US Secretary of State believes it is long time for the establishment of a Palestinian state:

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday that US President George W. Bush has decided to make ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "one of the highest priorities of his administration." An international peace conference expected to take place in Annapolis, Maryland, in the fall has to be serious and substantive, Rice said at a press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. "We frankly have better things to do than invite people to Annapolis for a photo op," she said. Israelis and Palestinians, Rice observed, are making their "most serious effort" in years to resolve the conflict. "Frankly, it's time for the establishment of a Palestinian state," she added.

No word if she was ready to lend a hand to end the Palestinian Occupation of Samaritan lands as she posed in her Kodak moment press conference with PA Chairman Abbas. And speaking of Samaritans, the Globe and Mail just happened to carry this rather timely article on the goings on in the ancient Samaritan community outside of Nablus. I am not about to stick a toe into a debate about the relative Jewishness of Samaritans in general but reading this piece I was struck by the notion that the Palestinian Authority will consider them far too Jew to be left in their very ancient homeland.

Read the full article:


 First English Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch

Reader Sharon Dufour Sullivan e-mails the following:

I am writing to you because I have noticed through the years of following your blog that you have on occasion posted information about the Israelite Samaritans. I wanted to let you know about some exciting news. For the past five years I have been working with Israelite Samaritan Elder, Benyamim Tsedaka in the first English translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch. The project was completed one month ago, gracefully accepted by Logos to soon be published electronically. (I would be happy to send you a sample, if you are interested.) Along with the English translation of the Torah, Logos will be recording the oral chanting done by one of the leading Israelite Samaritan vocalists and choir member, Yefet Tsedaka (hopefully ready in one year from now). Mark Shoulson will also play a part in the Logos package, with the Hebrew parallel of the SP and the MT. Friday, May 11, 2007 Not found to this date of publication


"Samaritans bring in new blood to save their sect"

by Mark Mackinnon ("Globe and Mail," October 15, 2007)
Mount Gerizim, West Bank - There are two ways to look at the journey Wada Cohen took to the south of Ukraine a few years ago. Both are told in this remote hilltop village that is one of the last outposts of the biblical sect known as the Samaritans.
In one version, whispered among the women who gather on street corners to gossip the afternoon away, Mr. Cohen was a lonely man who couldn't find a local woman, forced to look for companionship at a faraway marriage agency. In the other, told by his approving father and some of the other village elders, Mr. Cohen's journey to meet and bring back a bride named Alexandra Krasyuk may just save the Samaritans from extinction.

Read the full article:


Samaritan marriage - 05 Oct 07

For centuries the Samaritans, an ancient Jewish community, have observed a strict code of inter-marriage to preserve its traditions. But a shortage of women and genetic diseases have forced them to start marrying outsiders. Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland went to Mount Gerizim in the West Bank, where half the world's Samaritans live.

Channel: News & Politics Uploaded: October 5, 2007 at 4:31 am
Author: AlJazeeraEnglish

Length: 0:02:27 Rating: 5.00 Views: 2,123


The oldest original synagogue building in the Diaspora: the Delos synagogue reconsidered


The original function of the synagogue on Delos has long been contested, and can be determined only through analysis of the architectural history of the building. In this article, the author reconsiders the history of the building's construction on the basis of fieldwork to date. Five phases of construction are distinguished: two predate 88 B.C. and the remaining three date between 88 and the end of the second century A.D. The structure's most characteristic features--a large hall, a water reservoir, orientation toward the east, and an isolated location on the eastern seashore--are not consistent with those of a private house, a meeting place for an association, or a pagan cult building, but rather confirm its function as a synagogue from the earliest phase onward.


Amram ben Yitzhak ben Amram
Samaritan Torah with Opening Chapters of Genesis, 1911 (date of inscription)
Copper: hand-worked; ink on paper


Anonymous writes "The Samaritans in Palestine

The Samaritans live in Nablus, on Jerzime Mountain, the blessing mountain as it is called, form a denomination that has its roots and culture in the history of the Palestinian people for thousands of years.
Our heritage, culture, civilization and our land are closely related to each other and it is really hard to separate any of them from each other. Our Canaan ancestors built our culture we are proud of till mow.
The Samaritans are real Palestinians who have been living in this land for thousands of years and their denomination has its own culture, civilization and its own language. It also has its ancient heritage and ancient religion.

Read the full article:


Enoch Seminar 2007

Jubilees and Samaritan Traditions

Lester Grabbe, University of Hull, UK

The aim of this paper is to find comparable aggadic and interpretative material in Jubilees and in the Samaritan tradition for purposes of comparison. Jubilees is unlikely to be a Samaritan work, but it could well have traditions in common with those preserved in Samaritan writings. Surprisingly, Jubilees often has nothing close enough to Samaritan tradition to make comparison possible. However, a number of different topics were found sufficiently parallel to make comparison possible. For the most part the detail was rather different in the two traditions. Nevertheless, several parallels were found. The question is how significant these are. Does this show common Jubilees/Samaritan traditions or modes of interpretation? An opinion is expressed (a detailed summary is found in the article itself), but more work remains to be done in this little-plowed field.

Jubilees and Samaritan Traditions (abstract | paper)


Re'eh: Har Grizim and Har Aival



An article on a new Finnish Arabic Dictionary.
submitted by H. Shehadeh

click here for article in Arabic


Welcome to the Family Tree DNA Forums

Discussion on Samaritan DNA


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Searched for: Sectarianism in antiquity, including Gnosticism and Samaritan studies. We found the following scholars who have told us that they teach (T) or research (R) in this subject.

Number of scholars: 57


The Link to the updated website of the

Samaritan Museum on Mount Gerizim.



The Samaritan Chronicle: Or The Book Of Joshua, The Son Of Nun (Hardcover) by Oliver Turnbull Crane (Translator)

  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC (July 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0548273774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0548273777
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches

    Descriptive List Of The Hebrew And Samaritan Manuscripts In The British Museum (Paperback) by George Margoliouth (Editor)

  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432649922
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432649920
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches
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    “Istoriya i literatura samarityan: noveyshie issledovaniya” [Samaritan History and Literature in Recent Scholarship]. Volshebnaya Gora: Traditsiya, Religiya, Kul'tura Vol. XII (Moscow: 2006): 139-46. [Russia

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