December 7th 2001
A Review of the Dec. 2001 Issue
National Geographic Magazine
Concerning the Samaritans.
There has not been an article on the Samaritans in the National
Geographic magazine since the January 1920. This month’s issue of Tad Szulc’s
article entitled, “Abraham, Journey of Faith,” displays a full two-page (pages
112-113) photo. The photo is the tannurin, a ground oven with its red-hot
ashes. A round the top perimeter stands a few of the Samaritans preparing to
place the meat offering into the oven. None of the Samaritan’s faces are shown,
just the heads of the three sheep. The photo appears to have been taken with a
type of red lens filter enhancing the appearance. This will most likely be
repulsive to the readers of the magazine when they view the photo. I have seen the reaction myself. Of all the
photos taken at the Passover sacrificed by the magazine’s photographer, this
particular photo does no honor to the Samaritans. The author Tad Szulc was
gracious enough to write three full sentences as a caption for the photo. Other
than that, there is no mention of the Samaritans or the Passover on Gerizim in
the entire article.
Our website, The-Samaritans.com, however can be found as a
related link to the article on the National Geographic website. It would have
been wonderful to find an article like the January 1920 issue but this current
issue does give the readers some knowledge of the Samaritans. Only inquiring
minds will venture into researching the Samaritans and we hope they find our
website on the net. We would love to
hear your comments on the article. Shomron.
The Society of Samaritan Studies will be soon
adding three new members to the council.
Council members have the
right to elect new members. The status of the three new members are yet
undetermined. A great number of the applicants are beyond the interest of
Samaritan studies. Fourteen of the founder members are still included in the
council today. The society was
fashioned in 1985 to research Samaritan history, writings and life style. Yet
today there are still no apparent guiding principles concerning the hosts of
the future congresses. Five international congresses have been held previously.
Disagreements continue over the societies finances, which may result in new
financial regulations to appear in the near future for the society and members
benefit. The whole conception of the Society still remains but with its trails.
Samaritan Weekday Morning
When you arise in the morning and see the light has come up and
is illuminating all the world, cry out all of you and say: Praised be the Light
who for the world kindled a lamp which never grows dim. It passes through the
firmament and lightens the entire world at the order of the Lord of all. He
kindled for the world, a lamp that never grows dim. In the beginning a
storehouse was made for the lights, heaven and earth, the structure of which
not being the sons of the great light is like the foundation. Light proclaims
to the children of men; Rise from your sleep, see the light and praise it’s
Maker; Let God be praised. There is no God but One.
The Book of Enlightenment
For the Instruction of the Inquirer
By Jacob, Son of Aaron,
You’ll enjoy reading the Samaritan High Priest’s answers to
questions that have been frequently asked over the years!
And also read the recent addition to the achives:
The Samaritan Chronicle Or
The Book of Joshua, the son
Translated from the
Arabic, with notes by Oliver Turnbull Crane, M.A.
Read the Samaritan History of the Israelites!
Mount Gerizim, The One True Sanctuary
By Jacob, son of Aaron, High Priest of the Samaritans
THE DIVINE REVELATION OF THE TRUE SANCTUARY.
The Samaritan people, in the first place, declare that, as a
matter of fact and viewed from a rational standpoint, the best knowledge is to
know the Creator (who is exalted above all); and the best action is to worship
him (who is exalted); for by both of these every being is ennobled. And, as the
result of the diligent inquiry of thinking people, they have been led to the
conviction that the maker of the world is the Ancient One, whose worship shall
be binding, and whose unity should be made evident. The spiritual angels left
their abode on high and descended earthward upon that sacred spot wherein
appeared his worship (who is exalted), and the belief in his oneness. The spot
became, on that account, highly exalted, and quite distinct from every other on
the whole earth. This distinction and explanation are satisfactory to thinking
of Jacob’s writings found in our archive section at our website:
The Samaritan Hebrew Sources of The Arabic Book of
By Moses Gaster
from the JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIETY, July, 1930, pp. 567-99.]
In 1848 Juynboll published the Arabic text with a Latin
translation and elaborate introduction of a Samaritan work, which he called the
Samaritan Chronicle. He printed it from a MS. in the Leyden library deposited
there by Scaliger; this MS. belonged to the fourteenth century. It was written
by two hands, the second part being of a somewhat later date. Juynboll was
quite justified in calling it a chronicle, although the largest part of the MS.
consists of the book of Joshua. It is a paraphrase of the book of Joshua of the
Jewish Bible, containing chiefly the first chapters to which various legendary
stories had been added. It starts with the appointment of Joshua as successor
to Moses, in the latter’s lifetime, then the history of Baleam, slightly
differing from the record in the Bible, then also two different recensions of
the death of Moses are given, after which, with a special heading, the book of
Joshua begins. At the end of it the history is continued; it is very
fragmentary. Within a very brief space of the Exile, under Bokht Nasar- the
Arabic form for Nebuchadnezzer- is told, and then it is continued in the same
brief form down to the time of Baba Rabba- second or third century- the great
hero of Samaritan history. The Samaritans considered him as the one who had
been able to throw off the yoke of the foreign rulers and to obtain for them a
certain amount of political liberty.
Judging the book by this chapter, Juynboll rightly calls it a
chronicle and this description agrees with that given by the Samaritans
themselves to their history. To the Samaritans the Pentateuch stands by itself.
It is their only Holy Book. With the death of Moses begins, as it were, the
secular history. Whatever happens hereafter and has been confined to writing is
no more treated as sacred scripture. Their own history begins thus with the
entry of Joshua into Canaan, and is continued by their chronicles by adding the
record of contemporary events to those recorded before. It is quite in the
style of all the oriental and medieval chronicles. The old remains intact.
Every subsequent chronicle is thus more or less a continuation, sometimes more
elaborate, sometimes more limited, but the old material remains unchanged, and,
therefore, this Arabic book of Joshua could also be called a chronicle.
Juynboll, who has written a very important introduction
examining the book from every point of view, especially the philological, has
never as much as touched upon the sources of this compilation. It may not have
struck him that the book may have been a translation from an older Samaritan
one. At his time very little was known of the Samaritan literature; with the
exception of a few MSS. in Leyden and in London no sources were then available,
and, therefore, the question was not even raised. Matters have changed very
considerably since. I have been able to obtain a very large number of MSS.-
most of them now in my collection in the British Museum- and also much
information from the Samaritans which was unavailable then. The problem,
therefore, can now be raised with the hope of reaching some satisfactory
solution; it would also throw light on the Samaritan Hebrew book of Joshua, but
of this I will refrain for the time being, and keep strictly to the question of
the sources of the Arabic story.
This article will soon
appear in its complete form in our archives section
at our website:
The Names of Har Gerizim According to
the book of Memar Marguah II.
- Mountain of the East (Gen. 10:30)
- Bethel (Gen. 12:8)
- House of God (Gen. 28:17)
- Gate of Heaven (Gen. 28:17)
- Luzah (Gen. 28:19)
- A Sanctuary (Exod. 15:17)
- Mount Gerizim (Deut. 11:29)
- House of the Lord (Exod. 23:19, 34:26)
- The Goodly Mount (Deut. 3:25)
- The Chosen Place (Deut. 12:11)
- The Everlasting Hill (Deut. 33:15 SP)
- One of the Mountains (Gen. 22:2)
- The Lord will Provide (gen. 22:14)
The Head of the Tenth month begins on of the Fifteenth of December
as prescribed in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible)
Questions concerning the
What is the Samaritan
The Samaritan Calendar has been handed down from the beginning of
time. Samaritan sources reveal that the calendar was given to Adam and passed
on through Shem, Eber, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and finally Moses whom
informed Phinehas, Aaron’s grandson who informed his sons, where as it still
exists today in its proper form. The Calendar is based on a lunisolar system
composing 354 days. Each month is still designated by numbers as the Torah
shows them, “in the first month,” “in the second month,” etc. The Samaritans
still keep also the Jubilee year as prescribed in the Torah. The days of the
week are also described in the same manner, first day, second day, etc. Each
day begins from evening and ends the next evening. For further reading see The
Samaritans, edited by Alan D. Crown, Tubingen: Mohr, 1989, chapter XI. The
Samaritan Calendar and the Roots of Samaritan Chronology by Sylvia Powels. The
ISBN number for this book is 3-16-145237-2.
FOR COPIES OF:
Written material from
1907-1908 by Jacob ben Aaron, the Samaritan High Priest. I cannot locate
“Circumcision Among the Samaritans,” “The Messianic Hope of the Samaritans,”
and “The Samaritan Sabbath.” Any help would be appreciated to finish my
collection of his works. Please contact Shomron at Shomron@Yahoo.com .
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Take care and may you be blessed from the Holy One from above.
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