The Samaritan Medal for Peace, Humanitarian and Academic Achievements
(TheSamaritanUpdate.com would like to congratulate Haseeb Shehadeh and Vivian Wineman
for their valued work and friendship. Great, guys!)
The Medal and
(In the photo: left to right: Binyamin Tsedaka,
Haseeb Shehadeh, Tapani Harviainen andChancellorIlkka 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’.
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
Benyamim Tsedaka, Chairman of the Samaritan Medal Foundation
(In the photo: left to right: Mrs. Nitza Spiro,
Lord Eric Avebury, Binyamin 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,
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
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.
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,
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
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
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
firstname.lastname@example.org by January 27th 2012
Hekhal: The Irish Society for the Study of the Ancient Near East First Annual
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.
article there is a transcribe of a letter from Marchib, the son of Jacob
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:
also observe the seventh month; the first of which is
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
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
SAMARITANS. By Elihu Burritt, A. M. Worcester, Mass. (p. 261)
On Some Articles:
From The Jewish
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.
reviewing the article over and over, I have decided to keep it in the archives
of theSamaritanUpdate.com. 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
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).
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
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."
Husney W. Kohen,
Priest and Director of the Samaritan's Museum on Mount Gerizim in
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.
January 03, 2010
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
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
Hephaestus Books (Author)
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.
Samaritan Version of the Torah:
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
Coming Soon: 4/30/2012
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
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.
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,
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
added and some new articles! Check them all out!