May 23, 2002
In this Issue:
*The Samaritan Tradition
*Holy Sites on Mount Gerizim
*An Early Samaritan Scholar: Kennicott
*A Library of the World's Best Literature,
Ancient and Modern
*Judaic Treasures of the Library of Congress: A Rare Samaritan Ketubah
*Detailed Album on Samaritan Cooking,
Traditions and Customs Published.
to the Update Index
and to our
Web Site: The-Samaritans.com
Counting of the Omer to this day is 27 days.
Read and gain knowledge at our website:
The Messianic Hope of the
Son of Aaron
An Early Samaritan Scholar: Kennicott, Benjamin, 1718-83, English
clergyman and biblical scholar. His long career at Oxford was one of
devotion to learning. He was rector of Culham, Oxfordshire, from 1753 to
1783. With the aim of preparing an improved Hebrew text of the Old
Testament, he secured the assistance of other scholars in the study of
Hebrew manuscripts. Besides the many printed editions, 615 Hebrew
manuscripts and 16 manuscripts of the Samaritan Pentateuch were collated
to produce his edition, the Vetus testamentum Hebraicum cum variis
Store is Open, Come on in!
Samaritan Interactive CD-ROM that works
on a Windows or Macintosh pc. Exhibits many photos, mini-movies. Addresses
the Samaritan religion, chronicles, community, language and literature.
The Samaritan Singers reform (Osher sings with them on this cd-rom) their
music on the CD-ROM. It is full of information.
Samaritan Cookbook in Hebrew,
CD of the Samaritan Singers,
A copy of the Samaritan Torah.
Check it out today!
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The Samaritan Tradition
By Osher Sassoni
What is required for the Passover meal (food) that must be eaten
with the meat? First before eating the Passover sacrifice, everyone needs
to eat a peace of bitter herb, like as it is written in the Torah, "They
shall eat the meat in that night, roasted with fire, and unleavened bread.
They shall eat it with bitter herbs". (Exodus 12:9) It is to remember the
hard life of the people of Israel in Egypt when they were slaves. The meat
must be eaten with unleavened bread, it’s not that every piece you taking
must be with a piece of it, but you shall eat it with unleavened bread.
Before eating the meat you need to eat a peace of the unleavened bread and
a piece of the Matza (unleavened bred) again as a remembrance to the
misery of the people of Israel.
Is there a restriction on what one can drink at the Passover Sacrifice,
water, apple juice, and beer? There are no restrictions on what to drink
at the Passover Sacrifice. It is usually something simple like water,
sometimes (Lemonade), but always something that was made of home
Does the wood used to burn in Tanoors (ground-ovens) have to come from
a certain place and is there any history from this place? No, there is no
obligation of the place where the wood must be taken from; it is usually a
dried wood of olives trees, which is good for the fire.
Are copper water kettles being used at the Passover sacrifice? Till
some years ago, there were two ways to clean the sheep from his skin, one
was to take off the skin with a knife and the other, was to take it
off with hot water. There were two casks filled in water and heated by
fire. Every one who did it that way took a
little cooper kettle, fill it with water, and use it to take off the
skin from the lamb. But it was too slow this way. Nowadays people prefer
the first method that is simple and much faster.
During Passover the lambs are placed on oak skews and placed in the
Tanoors (ground-oven); are the skews marked for each family, or does it
matter if one eats of another's lamb? Everyone has his own duty to mark in
some way his own lamb. Every one takes his own lamb because sometimes
there are families with more souls that require a bigger lamb. But
sometimes mistakes happened.
After the Passover, when and who cleans the ashes of the Tanoors and
are there any prayers or religious services for cleaning out the ashes of
these Tanoors? Two or more days after the sacrifice strange workers are
invited to clean the sacrifice square, but only after it had been
double-checked that all the meat was burnt by fire. The ashes inside the
ovens usually are cleaned very close to the next sacrifice. There is
nothing religious in cleaning the ovens, and that's why there are no religious prayers or anything during the cleaning.
Is the place of the Passover Sacrifice still the same place on the
mount that it has always been? The location of the Passover Sacrifice of
today has been in the same place for the last hundred years. A wealthy
Samaritan purchased the square from the government during those years.
Some years ago, bones of sacrificial lambs where excavated on the top of
Holy Sites on Mount Gerizim
Samaritans visit the holy mount on their pilgrimage they visit their
traditional sacred sites. The Samaritans assemble at seven stations, first
the twelve Stones of Joshua, the Altar of Adam and his son Seth, the
Eternal Hill, God will Provide, the altar of Isaac's sacrifice, Altar of
Noah and then return to the Eternal Hill.
The first stop,
the twelve stones of Joshua are the twelve stones that Moses had
instructed the Israelites to erect on Mount Gerizim (SP. Deut 27:4). The
Stones are located on the west side of the mount.
The Altar of Adam
and Seth resides on Gerizim. Adam was made of the dust of Gerizim and
lived here. And located on the summit is the seven steps of stone used by
Adam in coming out of Paradise. It is also the location where Jacob saw
the ladder in his dream, with the angels descending and ascending on it.
When he awoke from his dream he called it 'the gate of Heaven.'
In the Samaritan
Text of Exodus 23:17 it is written "Aron", i.e. the Ark of the Covenant,
while the Masoretic Text (MT) has written, "before the Lord." The
sacrifice was to be preformed before the Lord (SP.
Deuteronomy xii. 26: “But thy offerings and thy vows, which thou vowest and consecratest
to God, carry and bring over to the place which God chose.”).
The Eternal Hill
is a large flat rock that is approximately 48' x 36'. This is the holiest
of all the sites on the mount and is called the 'Sakhra,' meaning the
'Holy of Holies'. This is the location that of where the Tabernacle once
stood and will again. Blessings are recited at this local. This is the
original rock and has it's revile in Jerusalem! Scripture denoted a revile
stone in the song of Moses, "For
their rock is not as our Rock" (Deut
The Altar called
'El-elohe-Yisra'el (Genesis 33:20) was named and
built by Jacob.
The Altar of Isaac
was established also from a pilgrimage of Isaac and Abraham (Genesis
xxii.). “And Abraham called
the name of that place YHWH-Jireh,” that is, “GOD-IS-SEEN.”
Noah built his first altar here after the flood. It was the one
pure and sacred spot which, having raised above the waters of the flood,
no corpse had defiled.
Shomron (Photo by Shomron, 2000, Eternal Hill
on Mount Gerizim)
insert in "A Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern,"
Edited by Charles Dudley Warner. Vol. XLIV, The
International Society, New York, 1897, between pg. 188-9.
From a copy of
the Pentateuch executed near the end of the XIth century.
Samaritan is considered one of the most ancient of Eastern alphabets, and
as preserving the most evident traces of the formation of an alphabetical
system of writing. This opinion is founded upon the names which are given
to the letters of this alphabet, and which are significative; thus, Aleph
(A) signified an ox, Beth (B) a house, Ghimel (G) a camel, Duleth (D) a
gate, and so forth, the assumption being that the form of the letter had a
direct relation to the object designated by its name; for example, that
the figure of an ox was in some degree given to the letter A, and this
letter was called Aleph from the name of this animal, which commences with
the sound A. As if the figure of a bull were given as the written sign of
the sound B, because its name commences with the letter which expresses
this sound. Since, however, the actual figures of the Samaritan alphabet
have no longer even a distant resemblance to the object indicated by the
names of the letters, it is probable that they represent a second state of
the alphabet, the first probably derived from the Egyptian, being lost. In
any event, it is the most ancient of the Hebrew alphabet. This historical
fact reaches back to the period of the schism or separation of the ten
tribes, carried captive to Babylon in the 7th century B.C. After the
return from the captivity, the ten tribes used a new alphabet of Chaldaic
origin, which now bears the name of the Hebrew or Hebrew-Chaldaic, while
the two tribes remaining in Samaria preserved their ancient alphabet,
which has remained to the present time the name of Samaritan.
fac-simile is taken from a manuscript in the Bibliotheque Royal at Paris,
containing the Samaritan Pentateuch. A note in the manuscript says it was
executed at the end of 11th century."-From Universal Paleography, by
Judaic Treasures of the Library of Congress: A
Rare Samaritan Ketubah
interest and rarity is a decorative Samaritan ketubah, inscribed in the
Samaritan language, for the wedding of the groom, Tamim ben Yisrael ben
Yishmael Danafi, and his bride, Pu'ah bat Abraham ben Marhib Safari, which
was solemnized in Shechem (Nablus) March-April 1901. The Samaritans, an
ancient Jewish sect, go back to biblical days. Their scriptures are the
Five Books of Moses, and their religion centers on the meticulous
observance of Pentateuchal law and worship at Mt. Gerizim, especially the
offering up of the Paschal sacrifice there. They observe kashrut (dietary
laws), laws of purity, circumcision, and seven holidays — among them
Passover, Shavuot, Sukkoth, the Day of Atonement, Sh'mini Atzeret and a
festival of the seventh month celebrated on the same day as the first day
of Rosh Hashanah.
Samaritan ketubah is an oddity and rarity in a display of ketuboth. Unlike
the other ketuboth whose language is Hebrew and Aramaic, this is in the
Samaritan language, the language of an ancient Jewish sect, now all but
extinct. Let us record the name of the bride and groom whose 1901 marriage
was their commitment to Samaritan survival when they numbered but one
hundred and ninety: Tamim ben Yisrael ben Yishmael Danafi and his bride,
Pu'ah bat Abraham ben Marhib Safari, (Samaritan Ketubah, Shechem,
(Nablus), 1901, Hebraic Section, Library of Congress Photo).
NEW, DETAILED ALBUM ON SAMARITAN COOKING,
TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS PUBLISHED
A new book on the
Samaritans, by Danchow Arnon, Batia Tsedaka and Zippora Sassoni, in a fine
detailed edition combining text and photographs, has recently been
published by Israel's Green Head Press. The idea of publishing the book in
this format originated with Batia and Zippora, two veteran educators in
Israel. Prior to their retirement a few years ago, Batia and Zippora
taught two generations of children; Batia has also been the principal of
schools in Tel Aviv, Bet Dagan and Holon. Both women are also known for
their fabled skill in the art of cooking; accordingly, over the years,
they collected hundreds of recipes of Samaritan cuisine, with the intent
of publishing a compilation of Samaritan cooking. In their efforts, they
were assisted by Danchow Arnon, for many years a photographer and graphic
artist, operator of a school for hikers and nature-lovers within and
outside Israel, and first and foremost an excellent author who has already
published a number of successful books. Arnon proposed that the two women
join him in investing their personal funds in a comprehensive first book
on Samaritan customs and traditions, with selected recipes from the
Samaritan kitchen woven into the text. The result is an ornate,
esthetically pleasing book full of breath-taking photographs by Arnon, which
appeal to those who seek the good taste of special traditions, interesting
customs, and especially dishes not often encountered, blended into the
original, ancient taste of the Land of Israel. The editors of "A.B."
contributed several Samaritan folk tales to the book, which have been
skillfully interspersed among the various subjects and recipes. All of the
material was written and edited by Arnon, in a flowing style which appeals
to the heart and soul of the reader. From all these viewpoints, this is an
unprecedented book. For the first time, a detailed book of Samaritan
customs and traditions, including an impressive collection of clear
photographs, has been published. All the advantages described above will
win this book a place of honor on the shelves of those who love the Land
of Israel… and of those who love good food. (A.B. News Services)
The book may be purchased at
our web store but sorry to say that it is only in Hebrew at this time.
We would like to thank you for
visiting our website,
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. 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
Take care and may you be blessed from the Holy One from above.