Nov/Dec. 2011

Vol.  XI - No 2

In This Issue

  • Medal

  • Shehdeh

  • Wineman

  • Call for papers

  • Société

  • Photos

  • Editor

  • Articles

  • Publications

  • Old Obit

  • Biblios

The Samaritan Update, is a Bi-Monthly Internet Newsletter


Editor: Larry Rynearson


Contact information:

The Editor 


The Samaritan Update is trying something new. Please give us your feedback!


Choose a language to translate this page!

Your link to the Update Index


Subscribe To the Newsletter -The Samaritan Update.

Sign Up !

Name & Last Name:

Email Address:

For More Information


 The Samaritans call themselves

Bene-Yisrael “Children of Israel”, or Shamerim “Observant Ones”

Hebrew: שומרונים‎ Shomronim,

Arabic: السامريون‎


The Samaritan Update

supports the


Société d'Études Samaritaines




Studies and Related Conferences:


Call For Papers

"The Other Temples"
25-27 May 2012, Dublin, Ireland
Hekhal: The Irish Society for the Study of the Ancient Near East



The Eighth Congress, Erfurt

July 15, 2012 – July 20, 2012

The Eighth Congress of the Société d'Études Samaritaines will take place in Erfurt, Germany, July 15.-20., 2012.

Eighth Congress






Book mark the

Samaritan Studies (EABS)



Important Links


Samaritan Museum on Mount Gerizim.



























The Samaritan Medal for Peace, Humanitarian and Academic Achievements

( would like to congratulate Haseeb Shehadeh and Vivian Wineman for their valued work and friendship. Great, guys!)


The Medal and Haseeb Shehadeh

(In the photo: left to right: Binyamin Tsedaka Haseeb Shehadeh, Tapani Harviainen and Chancellor Ilkka Niiniluoto. 1 November 2011 University of Helsinki)
   “It will take some good years” was Professor Ze’ev Ben-!ayyim’s reply to my fairly naïve question: “How long does it take to write a PhD dissertation”? This was in 1970 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In fact, at that stage, I was considering doing research on mediaeval Hebrew (ivrit meshurevet in Andalucia, the Arabs’ lost Paradise) under the overwhelming impact of Arabic language and culture. Instead, Prof. Ben-Hayyim (1907—), the nestor of Samaritanology today, persuaded me to write my doctoral dissertation on the Arabic translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch (ATSP). This field of study was then a kind of terra incognita and it demanded profound knowledge of three Semitic languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic. I accepted this challenge because the field of minorities has been and continues to be very close to my heart and mind, in particular, the minorities of the Middle East. I myself, by the way, belong to several minorities: I am an Arab, a Palestinian, an Isra
eli, a new Finnish citizen, and a Christian.
Writing my PhD dissertation took seven years, and it led to conclusions such as the following: The ATSP emerged naturally in the eleventh century when Arabic had totally replaced the Samaritan Aramaic in speech, a western Palestinian dialect. This translation can be divided into five groups and the major ones are the first two:
1) The OTSP is ascribed to the eminent scholar, Ab! al-!asan (Av Hisda) Is""q b. Faraj b. Marhib al-Suri (end of the eleventh-beginning of the twelfth centuries). 2) The ASRT. Abu Said (b. Abu al-Husain b. Abu Said) revised text (thirteenth century). 3) Texts drawing heavily on the Tafsir of Rav Sa’adia Gaon (882-940), such as the manuscript BL Or. 7562. 4) Composite texts made of one, two and three. 5) Texts based on MCAT (Modern Christian Arabic Translations).

It is significant that the fifth group was discovered when I was examining the Samaritan Mss (numbering approximately 90) housed at Yad Y. Ben Zvi library in Jerusalem. The first verse in the Torah—בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ— and in Samaritan Aramaic: בקמאותה טלמס אלהה ית שומיה וית ארעה(,as rendered into Arabic in some of those MSS took me by surprise: it reads: -פי אלבדא’ חלק אללה אלסמואת ואלארצ’.
   It is obvious that Samaritans in their translations did not use the word (בראשית ‘beginning’ in this context at all.
   The whole Samaritan Pentateuch in Arabic, was published for the first time in my edition consisting of two volumes by the Israel Academy for sciences and humanities in 1989 and 2001. Over 100 MSS have been examined for this purpose. The significance of this edition lies in its contribution to a better understanding of the only Samaritan holy book, the Torah, and of the religion, exegesis, concepts and beliefs of the Samaritans and their methods and techniques of translation. It also sheds light on the dialects of Arabic and Aramaic that were prevalent among the Samaritans. Moreover, it contributes to a better understanding of the Samaritan Targum and plays an important role in the preparation of a critical edition of the Samaritan Hebrew Torah.
   One example of its contributions will suffice here: the colloquial Arabic word תעשין meaning ‘inauguration’, ‘dedication’ appears as the translation of חנוכה, Num 7: 10 eenikkåt ammazba in the oldest trilingual Samaritan MS, Synagogue Schechem 6 copied in 1204 in Damascus. It should be noted that this is the oldest attested evidence of this vivid word being used in my dialect, Kufur Yasif in Western Galilee.
   Hopefully, the third and last volume of my research, the Prolegomenon to the ATSP, will be ready in the near future. At the same time a monograph on the Samaritans in Arabic is almost ready. This unique Samaritan sect, the smallest (approximately 750 souls) and most ancient, deserves more than one monograph in Arabic.
   Samaritans are striving to build a bridge of peace between the two major parties involved in the Middle East conflict, the Israelis and the Palestinians. They, as well as the other minorities in the Middle East, will be among the first to rejoice when a real and just peace will inshaallah/ ברצון ה’  be established. It is to be emphasised that any political solution must secure free and safe passage for the Samaritans of Holon and their brothers on Mt. Gerizim in Nablus. As for me, I intend to continue my research on the Samaritans with whom I have enjoyed friendly relations, mutual respect, and a common language for more than four decades. The rich library of my friend, the late High Priest, Elazar  b. Tsedaka, on Mt. Gerizim deserves thorough scrutiny and documentation as soon as possible.
   I am honoured, moved and happy to receive the Samaritan Medal. My sincere thanks and gratitude go to its foundation and to its chairman, my dear friend, Mr. Benyamim ben Ratson Tsedaka Hassafri, to the chancellor of the University of Helsinki, Professor Ilkka Niiniluoto, the organiser of this ceremony, my colleague and old friend Abu Tuma, Tapani Harviainen, and our secretary, Marianna Yilmazkurtdag. I extend my deepest gratitude to all of you, dear guests. Last but not least may I simply say “mamnun” to my family. Shukran חן חן, toda rabba, suuri kiitos, to all of you and let us meet more often for such joyful occasions!

   Is hereby awarded to Professor Hasseb Shehadeh, Scholar of Samaritan Studies, The University of Helsinki/Finland
   Whereas, Professor Haseeb Shehadeh is a leading researcher and internationally renown in the research of the Samaritan literature in Arabic of the middle ages.
   Whereas, Professor Hasseb Shehadh made the most important contribution to the world‘s research by his critical edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch translation into Arabic and open the eyes of many scholars to the uniqueness of this translation and its contribution to the understanding of the Samaritan literature in Arabic.
   Whereas, Professor Haseeb Shehadeh has demonstrated in many articles about the Samaritan Literture and Smaritan manuscripts in Arabic and Samaritan commentators in Arabic
   Whereas, Professor Haseeb Shehadeh always encouraged his students the research of Samaritan Studies and the original sources of the Samaritans.

Benyamim Tsedaka, Chairman of the Samaritan Medal Foundation


Also see:,1,2.html


The Samaritan Medal and Vivian Wineman


(In the photo: left to right: Mrs. Nitza Spiro, Lord Eric AveburyBinyamin Tsedakaand Vivian Wineman. Photographed by Yuval Keren)

  In the reception hall of the Board of Deputies of the British Jewry in Bloomsbury Square, London, the Samaritan Medal Foundation has awarded on President Vivian Wineman the first Samaritan Medal of Peace  and Humanitarian Achievements on Monday, November 14, 2011.

    The Foundation has been established in 2005 in Washington D.C. in order to award with the first Samaritan Medal to the most prominent activists in these regards in the world and specially activists in the Middle East that helping to make peace between Israel and Palestinians.
    Here find below the decision of the Board of the Foundation. The chairman of the Samaritan Medal Foundation Benyamim Tsedaka of the Samaritan Community in Israel has awarded the Medal on behalf of the Samaritan People with the presence of Lord Eric Avebury, formerly the chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the British Parliament and Mrs. Nitza Spiro, the head of the Spiro Ark Center of Jewish Culture in London, both previous recipients of the Medal. (Photo: Vivian Wineman. Photographed by Yuval Keren)
   The Samaritan Medal for Peace, Humanitarian and Academic Achievements, Is hereby awarded to Mr. Vivian Wineman, President of the Board of Deputies, The British Jewry, London/England
   Whereas, President Vivian Wineman promotes and defends the religious and civil liberties of British Jewry.
   Whereas, President Vivian Wineman interact with Government, media and wider society, providing a unique discourse through which all British Jews can be heard and represented.
   Whereas, President Vivian Wineman is always at the forefront of safeguarding Jewish life in the United Kingdom and works at the heart of British Jewish life, successfully representing every part of the Jewish community and fighting for peace and demostrating a united activity before the other sectors of the British Society and at the same time maintaining a steadfast and fruitful connection with Israel within his struggle to achieve peace in the Middle East.
   Whereas, President Vivian Wineman protects and promotes the rights of all constituents of the Jewish community, and also works with others in greater society on matters of mutual interest and concern.
   Whereas, President Vivian Wineman is recognized as a having been a good friend of the Samaritan People over the years.
   Therefore, The Samaritan Medal Foundation and Award Committee are pleased to honor President Vivian Wineman a 2011 recipient of the Samaritan Medal for Peace and Humanitarian Achievement.


Call for Papers: "The Other Temples"
25-27 May 2012, Dublin, Ireland
Hekhal: The Irish Society for the Study of the Ancient Near East

   The role of the temple cult is extremely important for Judaism despite Deuteronomic centralisation never being fully realised. As such, other Jewish temples may offer a fruitful area for discussing the development of Judaism in the Ancient Near East. We are therefore calling for papers dealing with temple ideology and its material culture in the context of temples other than the one in Jerusalem, whether those be real ones such as Elephantine, Leontopolis or Gerizim, or conceptual ones like the Qumran Yahad or the new Jerusalem in Revelation. The committee would hope to receive submissions on topics as diverse as diaspora Judaism, early Christianity, Qumran, early Samaritan studies, and any other historiographic and/or archaeological fields of research referencing these paradigms.
   We invite abstracts of under 500 words to reach us by email no later than 27 January 2012 Late submissions will not be considered. Abstracts for presentation shall be selected by peer review. The committee intends to publish the proceedings within a peer-reviewed and edited volume. Contributors should therefore only submit abstracts for publishable, original work.
The presentation of papers at this symposium will be 40 minutes long within a one-hour slot, allowing time for ample discussion after each paper.
   Cost: Euro 60 on the day. Euro 50 if paid before 1 May 2012.
Abstracts must be submitted to by January 27th 2012
   Hekhal: The Irish Society for the Study of the Ancient Near East First Annual Conference
   Hekhal is an academic association established by four graduates and postgraduates of Trinity College Dublin. The societyâes primary aim is to facilitate rigorous research in Ireland in the fields of Biblical Studies, Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Archaeology and Historiography, towards a more comprehensive understanding of the Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern worlds and their texts.


Société d'Études Samaritaines

The 8th Congress of the Société d’Etudes Samaritaines will take place in Erfurt (Germany), 15th-20th July 2012, jointly organized by the SÉS and the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Faculty of Theology. The Congress of the SÉS meets every four years and is the most important meeting of experts working in the field of Samaritan studies worldwide.


Photos worth seeing


1900-1920 - The Samaritans of Nablus (Shechhem). Baby Samaritan. 1900-20 Baby Samaritan Colorized Wiggle

The Samaritans of Nablus (Shechhem). Old Samaritan high priest. 1900-1920 – Samaritan High Priest, Wiggle


 From the Editor

    A new added article, HISTORY AND LITERATURE OF THE SAMARITANS:—EPISTOL SAMARITANAE. By Elihu Burritt, 1841, in the

The American Eclectic: Or Selections from the Periodical Literature of all Foreign Countries.

    In the article there is a transcribe of a letter from Marchib, the son of Jacob (THE FIRST LETTER ADDRESSED BY THE SAMARITANS OF SICHEM, TO THEIR BRETHREN IN ENGLAND, 1672.) In this letter is one of the best descriptions of the calendar set for the Samaritans that I have seen. It uses the sun and the moon as instructed to set the months and times. The section:


  "We also observe the seventh month; the first of which is the Sabbath of the memorial of blowing the trumpets, a holy convocation. Lev. 23: 24.

   The tenth of this month is the day of propitiation, when we read in the law, and pray, and sing psalms throughout the day and night, from evening to evening. We all fast, both men and women and children, great and small; we only release the infant at the breast. The Jews release their children under seven years.- -We also keep the solemn feast of the booths, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. On that day there is a feast on Mount Gerizim like the former. We also make booths, according as the Lord hath said: "And you shall take you, on the first day, the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm-trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows from the brook," Levit. 23: 40; and we remain in these seven days with joy. Each day of the seven we hold a feast on Mount Gerizim. The eighth day of the convocation is after the feasts of the Lord. We make a strict and just computation. If the conjunction of the sun and moon happen in the night, or on the day before noon, when less than six hours have elapsed, that day is the first of the month. But if there have passed more than six hours, or six full hours of that day, the first of the month will be 10 on the morrow of that day. If the conjunction is of the moon, the month is twenty-nine days; and if of the sun, the month will be thirty days. If the conjunction be during the eleventh, or earlier than this, of the month Adar of the Greeks, the year will be intercalary, and of thirteen months; and the month after this will be the first of the year. But if the beginning of the month happen on the twelfth, or later than that, of the month Adar (of the Greeks), that month will be the first, and the year will be twelve months in length. The Jews do not compute like us.

   We remit debts in the year of remission, from the first of the seventh month; and in like manner on the year of Jubilee."


From:The American Eclectic: Or Selections from the Periodical Literature of all Foreign Countries. Conducted By Absalom Peters, D. D., and Selah B. Treat, Editors of the American Biblical Repository, Aided By a Number of Literary and Professional Gentlemen. New-York: Published by W. R. Peters, Brick-Church Chapel, 36 Park Row, Fronting the City Hall. Boston: Whipple & Damrell, No. 9 Cornhill. London: Wiley & Putnam, 35 Paternoster Row 1841 November, 1841 Vol. II., No. VI ARTICLE V. THE HISTORY AND LITERATURE OF THE SAMARITANS. By Elihu Burritt, A. M. Worcester, Mass. (p. 261)


On Some Articles:

From The Jewish Spy

   From a little more research I have found that the Book, The Jewish Spy, is an unusual piece of work. I have found that the work in fact, written by Jean-Baptiste de Boyer Argens (marquis d') (1704 – 1771) created the characters (Karaite Isaac Onis).

   ‘1609 Three portraits on one sheet, Jacob Brito, Isaac Onis and Aaron Monceca, fictitious characters mentioned in Voltaire's Lettres Juives from a copy of which this engraving is probably taken.’ A Jewish iconography by Alfred Rubens – 1954

   It is doubtful that the people mentioned in the letter were real persons and if they did live, then their names were used for some means.

   M. d’Argens did in fact live for a year in Constantinople at the age of 20, in 1724/5. The French book Lettres juives, ou Correspondance philosophique, historique et ...: Volume 2 - Page 258 The book was published in 1736, eleven years after his stay in Constantinople. M. d’Argens came from a Christian Family. Being in Constantinople, he may have heard about the Samaritans from someone that had been there, most likely a Jew. It is doubtful that he never met any Samaritans. If the author really met a Samaritan, he would have written the questions and answers like all the other writers had. He would have known from the Samaritans about their religion. Further more, there are too many Christian references used (Spirit, Devine, New Testament quotes, etc.) A Karaite or Jew would not have used so many, or would not have used them at all.

See Jean-Baptiste de Boyer, Marquis d'Argens - Wikipedia, the free ...

   After reviewing the article over and over, I have decided to keep it in the archives of The reason being that it demonstrates 1. that at this time there was very little knowledge of the Samaritans of the Samaritans in Europe at the time. 2. The book demonstrates attacks on the Jewish Rabbis using the Samaritans, in which the Rabbis would have had to defend and attack back at the accusations. 3. Most importantly that future Authors and readers may view this article of work in its true perspective. The Jewish Spy by Marquis D’Argens 1766.


From Journey From Aleppo to Jerusalem At Easter, A D. 1697

This work I found interesting, there are questions that were asked of the Samaritan High Priest at that time (see below) that is found rare. The High Priest in 1697 was Abraham b. Yitzhaq (1694-1732).

"I enquir'd of him next what sort of Animal he thought those Selave, might be, which the Children of Israel were so long fed with in the Wilderness, Num. II, He answer'd, they were a sort of Fowls; and by the description, which he gave of them, I perceiv'd he meant the same kind with our Quails. I asked him what he thought of Locusts, and whether the History might not be better accounted for, supposing them to be the winged Creatures that fell so thick about the Camp of Israel? But by his answer, it appear'd, he had never heard of any such Hypothesis. Then I demanded of him, what sort of Plant or Fruit the Dudaim or (as we Translate it) Mandrakes were, which Leah gave to Rachel, for the purchase of her Husband's embraces? He said they were Plants of a large leaf, bearing a certain sort of Fruit, in shape resembling an Apple growing ripe in Harvest, but of an ill savour, and not wholsome. But the virtue of them was to help Conception, being laid under the Genial Bed. That the Women were often wont so to apply it, at this day, out of an opinion of its prolifick virtue. Of these Plants I saw several afterwards in the way to Jerusalem; and if they were so common in Mesopotamia, as we saw them hereabout, one (p.62 ) must either conclude that these could not be the true Mandrakes (Dudaim,) or else it would puzzle a good Critick to give a reason, why Rachel should purchase such vulgar things at so belov'd and contested a price."

  • Journey From Aleppo to Jerusalem By Hen. Maundrell 1732

  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Good Samaritan’s Message of Peace


    Husney W. Kohen, Priest and Director of the Samaritan's Museum on Mount Gerizim in Samarita, Palestine

     Our guest is a Samaritan priest who explains that his genealogy reaches back over 162 generations to the Biblical figure of Adam himself. Here you’ll gain a better understanding of the importance of the man known as Abraham, claimed to be the father of the Israelites and the Arabs. We also consider the question of why there is conflict over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem when the real temple perhaps belongs on Mount Gerazim in Samaria, Palestine. And finally, listen to a very special prayer for peace in the Holy Land.

    LIVE from PALESTINE TravelTalkRADIO January 03, 2010


    Publication Update

    Aramaic and Hebrew Inscriptions from Mt. Gerizim and Samaria ... by Jan Dušek

    Publisher: Brill

    ISBN13: 9789004183858

    Publication Date: February 2012

    I. Scripts of the inscriptions from Mt. Gerizim 1. Temple-city on Mt. Gerizim

    2. Scripts used on Mt. Gerizim 3. Aramaic cursive script 4. Aramaic monumental script ...




    Anantam Śāstram : indological and linguistic studies in honour of Bertil Tikkanen / ed. by Klaus Karttunen. - Helsinki : Finnish Oriental Society, 2010. - XVIII, 333 S. : Ill. - (Studia Orientalia ; 108) ISBN 978-951-9380-74-2 EUR 30,00 DDC: 491.1

    Haseeb Shehadeh:
    "I love you to such an extent that I wish you to be a Samaritan": Salāma b. Sadaqa, the high priest and Husain 'Abdu-l-Hādī, the governor of Nablus. 319


    Samaritan Culture And History, including: Justin Martyr, Simon Magus, Samaria, Tribe Of Ephraim, Tribe Of Manasseh, Sargon Ii, Parable Of The Good ... Samaritan Hebrew Language, Mount Gerizim [Paperback] Hephaestus Books (Author)


  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Hephaestus Books (August 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1242708774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1242708770
  •    Cohen, Boaz. SAADIA ANNIVERSARY VOLUME. New York: [The Press of the Jewish Publication Society], 1943. Cloth, 8vo. 346 pages. Gilt titles; blind-stamped cover. First edition. In English and Hebrew. Series: Its Texts and studies; v. 2; Variation: American Academy for Jewish Research; Texts and studies; v. 2. Contents: Baron, S. W. Saadia's communal activities. --Cohen, Boaz. Quotations from Saadia's Arabic commentary on the Bible from two manuscripts of Abraham ben Solomon. --Gandz, Solomon. Saadia gaon as a mathematician. --Wolfson, H. A. The Kalam arguments for creation in Saadia, Averroes, Maimonides and St. Thomas. --Elbogen, Ismar. Saadia's Siddur. --Higger, Michael. Saadia and the treatise Soferim. --Halkin, A. S. The relation of the Samaritans to Saadia gaon. --Freimann, Aron. Saadia bibliography (pages 327-330). "Essays on Rabbi Saadia ben Joseph, a native of Fayyum, Egypt, and gaon of Sura, the thousandth anniversary of whose death was commemorated by Jews in the year gone by... Edited by Professor Boaz Cohen. "--Editorial statement. Bibliographical footnotes.


    The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah:

    First English Translation Compared with the Masoretic Version [Hardcover] Sharon Sullivan (Editor), Benyamim Tsedaka (Translator), James H. Charlesworth (Introduction), Emanuel Tov (Foreword), Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

    Not yet Coming Soon: 4/30/2012


    The Wonders of the Samaritan Kitchen

    4000 Years of the Israelite-Samaritan Kitchen

    Edited by Benyamim Tsedaka

    Publishing House: A.B.- Institute of Samaritan Studies, Holon, Israel, 2011

    In Hebrew.
    Contact email information:

    For Sale: In Europe - Euro50 In England - GBP40 In USA - $70 In Canada - $80 + mailing



    Obituary from Catholic Herald

    18th June 1943, Page 5

    Mazliach Ben Pinhas Ben Yitshak Shlomo, High Priest of the Samaritans, has died at the age of 74.

    The venerable head of that fast dwindling sect, which for 20 centuries has clung to the site of its destroyed temple on Mount Garizim, near Nablus, is to be succeeded by a younger member of the Samaritan priesthood. Until some 300 years ago, the Samaritan priests claimed direct descent from Aaron, but the priestly line was transferred to families descending from the Levites when the line of the High Priests became extinct in the seventeenth century.

    One of the most treasured possessions of the Samaritans is an Old Testament scroll, written in Phoenician characters used prior to the Babylonian captivity of the sixth century R.C. Modern Biblical scholars, however, while attaching great importance to the document, assign its date to times ranging from the earliest Christian period to the twelfth or thirteenth century A.D.


    Additional New Biblios


    Reinhard Pummer, “Aleksander og samaritanerne hos Josefus og i samaritanske kilder,” Jerusalem, Samaria og jorden ender: Bibeltolkninger tilegnet Magnar Kartveit, 65 år, 7. oktober 2011 (eds. K. Holter and J. Ådna; Trondheim: Tapir Academic Press, 2011) 81–98.


    Ursula Schattner-Rieser, “Den samaritanske Pentateuken i lys av de pre- og protosamaritanske Qumrantekstene: Magna(r) cum Samaritano,” Jerusalem, Samaria og jorden ender: Bibeltolkninger tilegnet Magnar Kartveit, 65 år, 7. oktober 2011 (eds. K. Holter and J. Ådna; Trondheim: Tapir Academic Press, 2011) 63–80.


    They are from the Festschrift for Magnar Kartveit, president of the SES.


    New Articles in our Samaritan Archives Section

     new Ebooks added and some new articles! Check them all out!

    Samaritan Resources

    As recommended by one of our Subscribers, I shall attempt to add a full Bibliography of Articles placed in our Archives section of the Samaritan Update


    Copyright 2012

    All Rights Reserved