March 27th, 2003


In This Issue

  • Snow on Mount Gerizim

  • The Samaritans and Their Barbecue

  • Associated Press Helps to Promote Knowledge of the Samaritans

  • The Hexaglot Pentateuch

  • Book Review

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The Samaritan Passover Sacrifice this coming year

will occur on April, 15th, 2003

This will be the evening of the 14th day of the first month of the 3642 year

since the Israelites entered the land of Canaan.

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Mount Gerizim, All the Days of Our Lives

Snow on Mount Gerizim

   When it snowed this mouth, mount Gerizim was covered in white. Below is the center where the Passover sacrifice will be held next month on April 15th.   

The Samaritans and Their Barbecue: The Passover Sacrifice

By Shomron

   There are five major Samaritan-Israelite families, the Cohen (Levites), Danif,  Marhib, Tsedakah and Sassoni. All the families are represented in both of the Samaritan communities in Holon and Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim. Their total number of both communities  as of  January 1, 2003 was 656 souls.

   Each member of the communities will partake in their yearly barbecue, the Passover sacrifice on Mount Gerizim. While many nations around the world celebrate their special days with distinctive foods that include roasted meats, the Samaritans also have their own style of a celebration that dates back to the time of Moses. Their Samaritan barbecue is unique in as much as it was directed by God as a memorial to take place every year.

   Some individuals may find the slaughtering and roasting of lambs repulsive, but this is a limited view that is not shared by the minds of intelligent people. The slaughtering of these lambs is done in the most humane way. In many places around the world the animal is killed in an extreme painfully shocking slow death.

   The idea of a sacrifice also raises the eyebrows of many that do not realize the concept. In their eyes a sacrifice is not needed and is out of date. Yet, these people (excluding a few) still eat meat that comes from butchered animals and they know not what they are eating. A number of grocery stores re-date their outdated meats, restocking them on the shelves to be sold. Between the chemicals that are feed to the animals and the physical condition of the animals at their time of slaughter make for very unhealthy meat. I once seen an animal that went to market with its hind quarter full of gangrene. In Florida, alligators and hog roastings are part of celebrations. These animals also had to be killed and were most likely killed by bulldogs. In Texas, large numbers of cows are killed for their large barbecues, not to mention that most cows are killed by a blow to the head by a slug hammer. Deer hunters may shoot a deer with a arrow or a gun, later to find that it had run a mile and a half before it finally dies. What a way to die!

   So when it comes to the Samaritan's Passover sacrifice, their barbecue if you will, is humane by a very sharp knife to the throat. This is done only once and the meat is fresh, and is inspected before it is placed in the ground oven (tannur). The killing of their animals is not outdated but may I say, has always been respectable to the animal. It is a wonderful thing that the families of the Samaritans have kept their ancient traditions throughout all these years.

   The idea of this short article is not meant to be a kick in the teeth to you, but for you to realize that the Samaritan Passover Sacrifice in it's own style, is a memorial barbecue. The standards of the people of the world seem to prefer the usage of 'barbecue' over 'sacrifice.' And also you must remember that the word 'sacrifice' existed long before the the word 'barbecue.' So if you happen to be discussing the Samaritan Passover Sacrifice with someone that does not like the idea, throw in the word 'barbecue' and see what they think!  

Associated Press Helps to Promote Knowledge of the Samaritans

   An article by Jason Keyser on Thu, Feb. 06, 2003, entitled, 'Biblical Samaritans Caught in the Middle' was released through the Associated Press. The article was picked up by numerous newspapers and news websites. The article which as be seen at the first link, helped to expose the knowledge that the Samaritans exist today. Jason Keyser helped to expose the knowledge to the world that the Samaritans still exist today and that they are caught in the mist to the conflict in the West Bank. This is a big problem for Samaritans today. Thanks to the Associated Press many people now have some knowledge of the problem of the small religious sect of the Samaritans. Below is just a few of these websites that hosted the article by Jason Keyser.,1626,ECP_789_1731914,00.html,,

The Hexaglot Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses

in Original Hebrew, with corresponding

Samaritan, Chaldee, Syriac and Arabic

Edited by Robert Young

The History of Adam

Edinburgh; Robert Young,

Oriental Bookseller, Publishers, and Printer,

Head of the Mound.




   I. The benefits to be derived by Biblical and Philological Students from a comparison of the ORIGINAL HEBREW TEXT with the ANCIENT VERSIONS are too well known to require any lengthened proof. Hence the several POLTGLOT BIBLES which have been published at different times. The INTERLINEAR system, too, has several important advantages, especially in those cases where a similarity exists between the Languages made use of. This is particularly the case in the present Work, as all the six Languages are intimately connected with each other- descended from the same common stock.

   II. The Languages and Versions employed are:-

1. The Original HEBREW Text, from Vanderhooght.

2. The HEBREW-SAMARITAN in its original Character.

3. The CHALDEE-SAMARITAN Version, or Translation of the Pentateuch into the Samaritan Language, a dialect of the Aramaean. It is thought unnecessary in printing this version to use the Samaritan character, as it can be equally well expressed by the usual square Hebrew type, which, moreover, enables the student to perceive the similarity of the dialects at a single glance.

4. The CHALDEE Version of ONKELOS, from Walton, with a collation of landau's edition of Mendelson.

5. The SYRIAC Peshito Version, from the texts of Walton and Lee.\

6. The ARABIC Version of Saadiah Gaon, from the texts of Walton and Carlile.

III. The Work will be completed in FIVE VOLUMES demy octavo, same size of page as specimen annexed. Each Book of the Pentateuch will form a volume by itself.

   It is proposed also to issue Grammars and Vocabularies of the Languages which are employed in this Work, of which full particulars will be given at the completion of the FIRST volume.

 (Click on the image for a larger view)  

Book Review: Organum and the Samaritans

From the Editor

   The sixty-one page booklet, Organum and the Samaritans was written by a Russian born(1899) orthodox Jew named Menashe Ravina. The booklet was translated from Hebrew by Alan Marbe into English in 1963. The word 'organum' in simple terms is parallel singing in much ways as the popular song row, row your boat is song by groups. This organum is a basic presence in Samaritan verse of songs and prayers. One can be reminded of the 'Song of the Sea' (Exodus XV) the very song sung by the Samaritan Assembly found in the section of Sounds, on our home page of . Ravina wrote, "One thing is clear: the sound is very ancient." Imagine Moses singing the melody with the Israelites repeating each word in a similar fashion. Very few books outside of the Samaritan community concerning give information on the activities inside their synagogues. Menashe Ravina gives much respect to the Samaritans in his work. The book is more than an education of a Samaritan style, it is a history book as well.  Highly Recommended.

   Also be sure to read the review written by Dr. Yigal Levin on the book by Robert T. Anderson and Terry Giles, The Keepers.

Dr. Yigal Levin, Department of Philosophy and Religion, University of Tennessee, 615 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598, USA


The Origin and Nature of the Samaritans

and their Relationship to Second Temple Jewish Sects 

By David Steinberg


Bar-Ilan University's Parashat Hashavua Study Center

Parashat Va-Yetze 5763/ November 16, 2002

The Samaritans - Their Origins, Heritage and Holy Days
Dr. Yaakov Geller
The Paul and Helene Schulman Center for Basic Jewish Studies

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