In this Issue
*The Passover Sacrifice and the First Pilgrimage
*The Cool Young Samaritans
*Stereoview Card of the Passover of 1936
*THE MESSIANIC HOPE
*Samaritan Manuscripts for Sale from Het Oosters Antiquarium
A Question asked to the
‘Will the Passover continue after the Messiah comes?’
“The Passover will continue after the Messiah comes. It is a perpetual feast. It has no reference whatever to the Messiah.”
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The Messianic Hope of the Samaritans
By Jacob, Son of Aaron, High Priest of the Samaritans, 1907
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The Celebrations on Gerizim
The Samaritan Passover Sacrifice took place on Mount Gerizim this year
without any danger or disturbances. The weather was pleasant for most of the
week. There were more Israeli tanks moving about Mount Gerizim than
automobiles. All felt the situation in the area. Usually the Samaritans go to
Nablus to shop for fruit and vegetables but this year not everyone went. The
few that did seen the damage. Some people felt that the television
exaggerated the situation. But this year it was quiet on the mount. Few
ventured outside after dark into the cool nights. During the day the main street
was empty not like the normal past seasons. When the two communities (Holon
and Kiryat Luza) get together on mount Gerizim it is a time of celebrations of
maybe an engagement but not during this week.
With the Israeli Army situated on mount the Samaritans felt safe from danger.
Only a few camera crews including channel two from Israel, were there to film
the sacrifice. Only about twenty to thirty visitors were there this year, giving a
stranger feeling to the Samaritans who are used to hundreds of spectators.
The Passover Sacrifice took place at two o’clock, on Friday, April 26th of this
year, being the first month of the Biblical New Year. Verses from the Torah were
read commanding the sacrifice. The High Priest was Shalom ben Amram. The
kantor (leader of the prayers) this year was the oldest kantor amount the
Samaritans today, Nathan El Ben Abraham. His younger brother is the first priest
that moved from Nablus to Holon and became the Kantor there. The sheep, forty-
five in total, were salted and roasted in the tannurs (ground ovens). The meat
was removed about 7:15, in the middle of prayers for the approaching Sabbath.
The Sabbath prayers resumed and not until after the Sabbath began were the
Samaritans allowed to partake of the ceremonial dinner. The Passover sacrifice
ceremony itself ended before the Sabbath.
The first pilgrimage of the year as commanded in Ex. 23:17, ‘Three times in the
year shall all your males appear before the Ark of Yahweh.’ On last Sunday, the
third, the Samaritans climbed to the sacred places on the last day of the feast of
the unleavened bread fulfilling the cited verse of the commandment. Despite the
old darkness the Samaritans sang a very old prayer. The prayer is so old that the
author’s name has long been miss placed. It was a very good day on mount
Gerizim. That night, prayers were said in the synagogue and then the men
returned home to their families and friends and read some verses from Exodus
to end the feast. With the week long celebrations over the Holon community
Some Cool Young Samaritans
The young Samaritans from the community of Neve Marqeh, Holon get a chance to visit with their friends and cousins from the community of Kiryat Luza, on Mountain Gerizim during the week of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. When not posing for the camera, most of the young men play basketball on the court located behind the location of where the Passover Sacrifice is held.
(Photo by Shomron, April 2000)
Stereoview Card of the Passover of 1936
Keystone View Company by Underwood & Underwood, # 726, v33619 The Passover as celebrated by the Samaritans on Mt. Gerizim, Palestine.
Near the summit of Mount Gerizim, for unknown centuries the Samaritans have celebrated the Feast of the Passover. It is especially noteworthy as it is observed according to the precise ritual given in the Book of Exodus (XII: 1-28), a form no longer followed by the Jews. Since the Jewish Temple was destroyed, the Jews have omitted the slaying of the lamb and the sprinkling of its blood.
But it is to this mountain, a week before the Passover day, the Samaritan families repair and set up their tents. They select seven lambs, which are slain in accordance with a prescribed formula. You can see three of these lambs being carried in the group of people before us. Over one of them, you will note, a priest is bending. The blood of the lamb will be sprinkled over the top and on each side of the entrance of each tent (Exodus XII:7), just as the Israelites sprinkled it in the wilderness, although their descendants, the Jews of today, no more observe the ancient custom. After roasting the lamb, these Samaritans will sit down by families to the sacrificial feast. After having witnessed this ceremony, it is of much more interest to read the history of a similar event in Old Testament times.
The Samaritan Passover service takes place between sunset and midnight. At rare intervals, the day of the Samaritan Passover falls on a Friday. As all work must cease before the Sabbath sunset, that is, the Friday sunset, at such times the Passover service must be completed before the sunset hour. Then the Passover must of necessity be a daylight service. Such a Passover took place in the spring of 1931. We are witnessing a daylight Passover, but it will be a long time before another one will occur on a Friday.
THE MESSIANIC HOPE
BY JACOB, SON OF AARON
HIGH PRIEST OF THE SAMARITANS
TRANSLATED FROM THE ARABIC BY ABDULLAH BEN KORI
EDITED WITH AN INTRODUCTION
A part of the first proof is denoted in the meaning of the sleep that fell upon Abraham in Gen. xv. 17, beginning with “Wa iehi hashemesh,” i.e. “and the sun was.” The second part consists in the fact that when our lord Abraham was assured of God’s promise to him, given in the chapter beginning with Achar haddebarim haelleh,” i.e., “After these things,” as follows: “Look up toward heaven and count the stars, if thou be able to count them;” and He added: “thus shall thy seed be.” I say when this assurance was given him, he wanted to know whether or not their kingdom and the fulfillment of the covenant rested on conditions. He desired to find out the order of events; and hence his question given in the same chapter, verse 8: “Whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” God (who is exalted) knowing Abraham’s purpose and the aim of his question, informed him that the kingdom and the fulfillment of the covenant rested on certain conditions: therefore He said to him (in the same chapter, verse 9): “Take me a heifer of three years old, a she-goat of three years old, a ram of three years old, etc.” He also informed him of the manner of offering them. Concerning the beasts it is said: “He divided through,” just as it has been revealed unto Moses (upon him be peace) in the first chapter and twelfth verse of the book of Leviticus, as follows: “And he shall cut it according to its pieces.” Referring to the birds, Gen. xv. 11 says: “He divided not,” just as one reads in Lev. 1. 17: “And he shall rend it between its wings but clear through.” Herein indications are given as to what is fit for sacrifice offerings. In the word meshulleshet, we understand that peace offerings are to be divided into three parts: (a) God’s part or portion, as it is indicated; (b) The high priest’s portion, consisting of the heave thigh and wave breast; (c) Israel’s portion, consisting of the remainder. Now, allusion is made to the first kingdom in the section beginning with “Haiah hashemesh.” First in verse 12: “And they will enslave them and oppress them for four hundred years,” down to and including verse 14, “And after that they shall go out with much wealth.” Here he was informed that their servitude during these years and what would transpire for and against them will not come about in his days; for we read in the same chapter, verse 15: “But thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace, and thou shalt be buried in a good old age.” When He was through these informations concerning the first kingdom, as to how it would begin and ho He would hide his pleasure and how the truth would be falsified- Compare “And the sun had disappeared,” meaning of course, His pleasure, and “Darkness came,”
That is erring away- he included those concerning the reappearance of his pleasure and the beginning of the second kingdom. God assured that to him with a firm covenant, saying (xv. 18): “In that day God made a covenant with Abraham, saying, To thy seed will I give this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the Euphrates river.” By this he was referring to the second kingdom, for the Jews did not possess that territory during the first kingdom. Concerning the passage, “And behold a smoking furnace and a sheet of fire,” we shall give a later explanation, in its proper place. Now, the scattered mention of “Seven nations” refers to those whom God had destroyed before Israel, and whose lands He caused Israel to possess. But we have here a mention of eleven nations. They are those whose lands Israel shall possess in the second kingdom, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, and as far as the far sea. Here ends the first proof.
Samaritan Manuscripts for Sale at the Het Oosters Antiquarium
We were informed recently by Rijk Smitskamp of Het Oosters Antiquarium, that 4 of the Manuscripts are still for sale. 1. MANUSCRIPT in Arabic & Samaritan by Masâ'il al-Khilâf by Munajjâ ibn Sadaqa (part II). An old copy of Masâ'il al-Khilâf, a treatise on the differences between Jews and Samaritans by Abű l-Faraj Munajjâ ibn Sadaqa ibn Gharűb. Euro 4091 2. MANUSCRIPT, Samaritan. Kitâb al-qawânîn li-irshâd al-muta'allimîn, by Abű Sa'îd b. Abi 'l-Hassan b. Sa'îd. Nablus,dated 1327. 11 leaves in Arabic. This is the Book of laws for the guidance of the students, a text on the correct pronunciation of the reading of the Pentateuch. Euro 4432 3. Tarjamat al-Tawrâh al-Muqaddasa. The Samaritan Pentateuch, in the Arabic translation of Abu 'l-Suryânî. Euro 4091. 4. Kitâb al-tubâkh (?) A fragment of a Samaritan theological work, probably on Samaritan oral law in Arabic. The identification of this manuscript is quite uncertain. Euro 2728. Het Oosters Antiquarium’s web site can be found at www.oriental.demon.nl
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