February 14th 2002
The Samaritan Update will SOON be
Review past issues of our bi-weekly
at our Web Site.
You must see our NEW additions!
We have added a Samaritan Calendar and have designed our new
New at our web site:
The Samaritan Tradition
By Osher Sasony,
The Samaritan Israelites are the remnant of an ancient
people, descended from the ancient Kingdom of Israel (the Jews being the branch
of Israel). In the fourth and fifth centuries CE, they numbers about 1,200,000
persons dwelling in many cities and villages in the Land of Israel, from south
Syria to northern Egypt. Cruel religious decrees, forced conversions to Islam
and Christianity, slaughter and persecution thinned the Samaritan Community to
a bare 146 persons in 1917. In the 1930’s, the community reached a turning
point and began to increase. Since then, it has been gradually developing in
all areas of life; now, in addition to being the smallest and oldest people in
the world, it is also the youngest community from the standpoint of its
members’ average age. On January 1, 2001, the Community numbered 639 persons.
The existence of this small religious sect is important for their survival.
Nonetheless, throughout all history, the Samaritans
never lost their unique status and image as a people. They have their own
writing, the ancient Hebrew dialect spoken by Jews until the beginning of the
first millennium CE; and they brought up in accordance with a unique,
millennia-old historical tradition, dating back to the return of the People of
Israel, under Joshua, son of Nun, to its homeland.
At the head of the Samaritan Israelites is the High
Priest, who is also the head of the “Ha’ Abtai” priestly clan, descendants of
Aaron, brother of Moses, through his son, Itamar. The three other Samaritan
clans date back to the sons of Joseph: the Tsedaka Hatsafari from the tribe of
Manasseh, and the Danfi [Altif + Hassetari (Sassoni)] and the Marchivi [Marchiv
+ Yehoshua] from the tribe of Ephraim. Today, the Samaritan Israelites are
struggling between the frictions in the Middle East.
The meaning of the term Samaritan Israelite
encompasses the following four signs of identification: 1. Settlement within
the Land of Israel without leaving its historical borders or establishing
residence outside it. 2. Participating in the Passover sacrifice on Mount
Gerizim. 3. Keeping the Sabbath as it is written in the Torah. 4. Scrupulous
observance of all the laws of purity and impurity as they are written in the
Torah. Anyone who does not observe any or all of these signs of identification
cannot continue living within the framework of the Community.
We, at our website www.The-Samaritans.com wish to
educate the public concerning the existence of the Samaritan Israelites. In
cooperation with many professors and scholars from all over the world, we make
access of information to the public surfers. We also answer any questions that
the inquired mind has for us. We publish the Bi-Weekly Newsletter (The
Samaritan Update) full of interesting facts that the Christian, Jew or any
religious sect in the world would find interesting.
Coming Soon to Our Items For Sale From The-Samaritans.com:
The Samaritan Talit and Amulets (made
from the Priestly Family).
A great unique gift for friends and
family that is hard to buy for!
The Ear Lobes of the Samaritans are
A few years
ago when I visited Israel, Osher's father, Shoham smiled at me and turned his
head slightly and pulled down on his ear lobe. I was puzzled. He informed me
that only Samaritans had ears like his. Later a day before the Passover a
gentleman started asking me questions concerning the Samaritans. His first
question got by me, answered of course. But during his second question I smiled
at him and laughed. I noticed his ear lobes, he was a Samaritan having fun with
me. This Samaritan was Yitzhaq Tsedaka that has recently married to Efrat,
Benyamim Tsedaka's daughter.
While visiting Nablus with Shoham, I began to leer at
the local populous. The people and Shoham could not have known that I was
looking at the ears lobes as I walked the market streets. I recalled that many
Samaritans had been through the years converted sometimes by force to the
Muslim religion. I recall seeing many similar lobes as the Samaritans on the
locals. If they had known what I was doing, they may have thought I was nuts.
But, as I looked, I felt as if I could tell which ones had Samaritan ancestors.
I still find myself gazing at ear lobes from time to time, even in the States.
I do not recall reading any written information
concerning the unique lobes of the Samaritans. The Samaritan lobe is a little
better than the average person that you may see on the street today. The
Samaritan lobe is strong enough to wear the weight of gold earrings as spoken
of in the Torah. Rebekah’s earring that was given her was the weight of half a
shekel (Genesis 24:22). But as it appears men may have also wore earrings as we
find that boys wore them; (Exodus 32:2) “And Aaron said unto them, Break off
the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of
your daughters, and bring them unto me.” The gold earrings were obviously a
custom in Biblical times as it is the custom of most nations. The National
Geographic magazine of January 1920 can be located in most libraries has photos
that best illustrate the subject of this short article.
Latest Addition to our Archives:
A GRAMMAR OF THE
WITH EXTRACTS AND VOCABULARY.
G.F. NICHOLLS, LONDON, 1858
While at this time I am unable to type the Samaritan
script on my computer to display the full book in our archives. I have typed
the PREFACE and the INTRODUCTION of ‘A Grammar of the Samaritan Language with
Extracts and Vocabulary’. The book that may have been published in 1858 or the
following year is not as extent as the obtainable “A Grammar of the Samaritan
Hebrew” by Ze’ev Ben-Hayyim with assistance from Abraham Tal. But the little
book by Nichols of 138 pages must have been a major source in its time.
Nevertheless, I found the information intriguing. Hopefully soon I will solve
my computer dilemma and display the entire book in our archives in the near
future. Here is a short of its contains:
“The importance of the study of the Biblical languages
has never been questioned, excepting by those men who are ignorant of them, and
are disposed to condemn in toto the utility of that which they have not
the means or opportunity to acquire. On the other hand, those illustrious
scholars, whose definition of the utilitarian cui bono is directly
opposed to the former, have not only inculcated the momentous importance of
linguistic study by precept, but have led the van thereof conspicuously
Recent Additions To Our Web Site:
The Celebration of Passover by the
By Ya’aqov Ben Uzzi Ha-Cohen
And also read
The Problem of the Patrilineal or
Matrilineal Decent and Inter-Marriage
According to the Samaritan and Rabbinic
By Michael Corinaldi
WIN A FREE BUMPER STICKER
Our web site
has the written work of ATEF NAGI and YUSEF ABU-EL-HASAN- Cohen entitled the
“BRIEF THEORITICAL POINTS OF VIEW ABOUT THE SAMARITAN SECT OF NABLUS.” This
work displays a list of books that were for sale during the time when Nablus
was under Jordanian domain. Identify as many of the books as possible and win a
free bumper sticker (www.The-Samaritans.com). Send your answers and your
mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org
Offer expires February 30th.
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www.The-Samaritans.com/ . Just go
to our web site and find “get a free e-mail address” or go to http://samaritan.i-p.com/ and register. Let
people know you are involved with the Samaritans.
For Sale From
Samaritan Interactive CD: -ROM from Nes Multimedia Production Ltd. The CD works
on Windows and Macintosh computers. It exhibits many photos and mini movies. It
addresses the Samaritan religion, chronicles, community, language and
literature. There is even an interactive quiz that can test your knowledge. The
Samaritan Singers reform (Osher sings with them on this cd-rom) their music on
the CD-ROM. It is full of information.
Other items: A Samaritan Cook book in
Hebrew, The CD of the Samaritan Singers, A copy of the Samaritan Torah, post
cards of the Samaritans or if you are looking for something different.
Interested parties can contact Osher at email@example.com
We would like to thank you for visiting the web site, www.The-Samaritans.com in the past and hope
you visit us again real soon. We ask you to forward this Update to your
friends. The purpose at our web site is the education of the existence and
history of the Samaritan-Israelites, descendants of the ancient Kingdom of
Israel. Answering questions from surfers will always be our top priority
of our site. We try to maintain our archives of articles to be the best
location on the net for the advancement of Samaritan-Israelite studies in
English as well as Hebrew. Many gracious scholars have permitted us to exhibit
their related articles. Recently we have been working on expanding our web
site. We do hope you enjoy visiting our site and recommend it to your friends.
Again we thank you for visiting us at www.The-Samaritans.com.
Take care and may you be blessed from the Holy One from above.
Index of back Issues of the Samaritan Update