October 24, 2002
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The Messianic Hope of the Samaritans
By Jacob, Son of Aaron
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This is the Week of Tabernacles for the Samaritan-Israelites
The Samaritan Communities completed the Day of Atonement with prayer and fasting on the 15th of this month. Every Samaritan soul must fast without regard to their age, but babies that still require their mother's milk continue to due so. On the eve following the Sabbath, on the 19th at dusk, the Samaritans began to celebrate the feast of Succoth, also known as the feast of Tabernacles. This feast begins on the 15th of the seventh Biblical month. In the early morning the Samaritans made their third Pilgrimage of the year, to the peak of Mount Gerizim as required by the Torah, 'three times a year you shall appear before me.' After the pilgrimage the Samaritans visit the High Priest at his home. This period beginning at sunset on the evening after the Sabbath is called hol ha-mo'ed, the intermediate days of the festival. The Samaritans begin to build their sukkot (tabernacles) from the fruits of the season. Our current main web page hosts a wonderful article concerning the sukkot with a wonderful galley of many sukkots of the Samaritans. Pictured here are two of the various styles. During this time of hol ha-mo-ed, the Samaritans visit each other rejoicing with songs of their ancestors.
On the 27th of this month will be Shemini Azeret (Simhat Torah), literally meaning the rejoicing of the Torah. No work will is permitted on this day, which is this coming Sunday. Prayers begin in the Synagogue shortly after midnight and will last more than ten hours. Shomron
Another Wonderful Newborn Samaritan Baby
At 3.660 k.g., a beautiful little baby named Inbar, entered this world on October 16th, 2002. The proud Samaritan parents of Nira (our webmaster, Osher Sassoni's sister) and Ronnen Yehosa (Joshua). The couple were blessed with their quiet baby girl, Inbar after being married just a little more than a year. Congratulations!!!!
Radicals and Eccentric Hassids are Waylaying Samaritans
on the Road to Mt. Gerizim
Who would have thought that in these times of great security tension in the region of Nablus, compounded by the incursions of the IDF to Nablus to locate wanted Palestinians and by the destruction and injuries characteristic of this situation, that harm would befall the Samaritans from fellow Israelis?
No, no, we are not referring to the three Samaritans who were accidentally shot in the past half-year by IDF forces due to a mistaken identification. This misfortune has befallen us from radical Israelis residing in the small settlement that is called unofficially Brakha, B'. and from a group of eccentric Jewish Hassids who have taken over by force a well that is situated left to the shoulder of the road climbing to Mount Gerizim from the Jerusalem-Nablus Road. At first it appeared that this too was the outcome of a mistaken identification, but it was discovered that the assailants were acting intentionally against Samaritans who were traveling to their homes in Kiryat Luza.
At first two women of the Community, Nili-Nawal-Cowen, a mother of three and Rim Altif a mother of a girl-child were attached by an odd couple of Hassids who were carrying heavy clubs in their hands. They bashed the Samaritan women leaving them with scratches and bruises all over their bodies. The assailants, a man and a woman, haven't been identified yet.
In another case two Samaritans, Peleg Altif and Itamar Cohen were threatened with guns and requested to halt by residents of Brakha B' who threw heavy stones at their vehicle.
In another incident yet, rocks were thrown at the car of Mazen Altif. The front window was smashed as well as the side windows. A similar treatment was meted to Tamim Cohen. The assailants also hollered offences against them.
Samaritan cars are regularly barraged with stones by residents of Brakhs B'.
When the incidents first began the Samaritans complained to the community leaders of the larger Bakha settlement. Those leaders, however, claimed that they themselves were suffering from the extremists and eccentrics on the rise to Mount Gerizim and had no control over them.
In their distress the representatives of the Samaritans turned to the Israeli Army and the A. B. approached the Regional Commander, Colonel Doron Segal with this matter. Colonel Segal made it clear that this was not a military affair. "This is a police matter," he said. Complaints should be brought to the police in the city of Ariel, which is not far from Mount Gerizim, on the Trans Samaria road.
We asked the victims of the
assaults to present a detailed complaint at the Ariel Police station. The
Samaritans of Kiryat Luza who have endured much from the security tension
in the region shrink from complaining to the Ariel Police station. We will
keep on pressing them to do so. A. B. News Services.
Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire
The Samaritans of
were a motley race, an ambiguous sect, rejected as Jews by the Pagans, by
the Jews as schismatics, and by the Christians as idolaters. The
abomination of the cross had already been planted on their holy mount of
but the persecution of Justinian offered only the alternative of baptism
or rebellion. They chose the latter: under the standard of a desperate
leader, they rose in arms, and retaliated their wrongs on the lives, the
property, and the temples, of a defenceless people. The Samaritans were
finally subdued by the regular forces of the East: twenty thousand were
slain, twenty thousand were sold by the Arabs to the infidels of Persia
and India, and the remains of that unhappy nation atoned for the crime of
treason by the sin of hypocrisy. It has been computed that one hundred
thousand Roman subjects were extirpated in the Samaritan war,
which converted the once fruitful province into a desolate and smoking
wilderness. But in the creed of Justinian, the guilt of murder could not
be applied to the slaughter of unbelievers; and he piously labored to
establish with fire and sword the unity of the Christian faith. http://www.ccel.org/g/gibbon/decline/volume2/chap47.htm
The Report of Pietro Della Valle on His Discovery
on the Samaritan Pentateuch and Targum in Damascus
June 1616. (English Translation)
Of all the inconveniences I suffered through this infirmity, I was consoled afterwards in a single morning, when I was taken by Father Michael and a Jewish friend who acted as my interpreter to see a few houses belonging to Samaritan Jews in the gardens outside the city. Here I had such pleasure in visiting the gardens and the houses, which I found (though of mean appearance externally) very fine inside, being all set out with painting in gold with their Samaritan characters cut in and in many places also painted, as is also their Synagogue. Besides this I had the great joy of finding in the house of one of their Chachams, or sages, four books of the Seferthora written in their Samaritan script, for which I had been searching for so long. These books were very ancient, all written in Samaritan big characters on parchment. Three of them were in Hebrew only, and one with the addition of certain explanations in Arabic, for these Semri or Samaritans in Damascus at present speak Arabic. I also saw others of a different sort in the possession of the same person and of others. In conclusion, with the expenditure of a little money and through the diligence of my Jewish interpreter, I succeeded in procuring two of the Seferthora in that writing. One of them, in parchment, was the best of the three in Hebrew only, belonging to the Chacham. Another, belonging to a women, was written on paper, but similarly of great antiquity and extremely correct, as four or five Chachams who profess to have read it through from beginning to end at different times without having discovered any error, attest to Arabic on the blank pages at the finish. I took two of the books. One, in Hebrew in Samaritan characters, I wanted to give Signor di Sansy, French Ambassador at Constantinople, who so desired it, and to whom I have already dispatched it. The other on paper, which is not written only in Samaritan characters but also in this language, a mixture of Hebrew and Chaldaic, and therefore in my opinion perhaps stranger and more singular, I have kept back and will take with me; for although I do not thus far understand it, it will serve with other books in foreign tongues to adorn my poor collection. And I take great pleasure in it, because a work of this sort is of great importance both for its antiquity and for its novelty, and for the utility which can be derived from it, as the Ambassador observes. For any one who understands Hebrew and has some knowledge of Chaldaic will read it and understand it like ordinary Hebrew once he has mastered the alphabet, which is very simple. I am, moreover, sure that there is no copy in Italy, except perhaps in the Bibliotheca Vaticana. Some have advised me to present it as a thing of great rarity to that library; but, all the more because it is rare, I am resolved that it will be perhaps better to keep it in my possession as long as I live. For while in the Vatican Library, where few have entrance, it will remain almost unknown and as it were buried amongst such vast numbers of books; in possession, on the other hand, it will be continually open to the general benefit to any student who wishes to use it and study it in the same way as I propose with all the other curiosities which I shall have found and acquired through my labours. Moreover, I shall endeavour to have it printed, if only it is possible to find some one to make a good translation of it into Latin to put at its side, without which, in my opinion would be of little use. Now that I have the book, I shall try to acquire also the coin with a Samaritan inscription in order to compare the characters. As I have already said, I found one in Jerusalem and could have had it, but by some negligence I did not take it, not then foreseeing the book. Now I have sent the money to purchase it and have written urgently and expect that it will be sent for me to Constantinople, where it will find me without difficulty, if the Jewess who owned it has not changed her mind about selling it. In any case, I shall leave nothing undone. In the houses of the Samaritans, I saw another curious thing; to wit, a mattress stretched on the ground, and around it on every side except where the wall was, a number of little stones set in a row one by one on the ground, making a sort of fence around the mattress. I asked what the reason was and they told me that among them a women stays in that place without moving when she has her periods. In this time it is forbidden them to touch her or to approach her; what is more they consider unclean anything which she touches. For that reason they make her stay separated in that place, which none approaches beyond the limit of the stones on the ground. The women remains in this manner for eight days; but if in this time the stains have not ceased, she must remain another eight, and so on until they are ended, a ceremony which the ordinary Jews do not, I believe, observe with such rigour.
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