November 20th, 2003  

Vol.  III - Nu.7

In This Issue

  • Developments

  • The Asatir

  • Notes and Extracts

  • Samaritan Related Books

  • Websites

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Co-Editor: Osher    


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               Eyal Cohen

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            Guy Tsabary

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A. B. - Samaritan News


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begins Friday Nov.21st, 4:39 pm to Saturday 22nd, 4:38 p.m.

Fri. 28th 4:36 pm- Sat. 29th 4:36 pm

Samaritan Calendar

of Festivals

Next Festival in the spring will be  the Passover Sacrifice and feast of Unleavened Bread.


Studies and Related Conferences:

In Planning Stage

SES:In Haifa, July 5-8, 2004 organised by Menahem Mor, and a session at the EABS in Grooningen, July 25-28, 2004 organized by Ingrid Hjelm

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Developments from the Traveling Samaritan

Benyamim Tsedaka has been on his yearly tour outside of Israel. He has sent us an email describing some of his activities in the United States.

"So far I have created fine contacts in Washington D.C. to keep the proposal of making Mount Gerizim as Zone of Peace with the bottom goal of a future for the Israelite-Samaritan people.  Letters of endorsement from very high bodies in the capital are now in process of be sent to the right addresses."

"I am working a lot on a schedule for a tour of the Samaritan Ensemble. It seems that despite the continuous war in Iraq the life here in the USA is normal and there are still various cultural activities. This project will of a common performance of Jewish and Samaritan life and heritage presented by the descendants of the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judea."

"In East Lansing Michigan I presented on Nov. 14 before the board of Michigan State University annual meeting my proposal to utilize their fine collection of the Samaritan Manuscripts as a trigger to establish a special corner in the Administration building or in the Library with constant exhibition to pull the interest of their lecturers and students for research into Samaritan Studies. Prof. McPherson, the chairman of the board and all the trustees welcomed my proposal so nicely. The university will be the pioneer to many universities all over the states to make in deep research into the religious, social, cultural and political life of the Samaritans. It will be based on cooperation with our A. B. Institute of Samaritan Studies in Holon Israel.".

"My Talks in Colorado - Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins went very well and the workshops I run on the Samaritan Music and reading of the Ancient Hebrew was welcomed like in the previous places - Detroit, Washington D.C. and New York City. In Cincinnati after finding more 5 manuscripts I have completed the cataloguing of the Samaritan Collection they had in the Hebrew Union College since the 1920's."

"I will proceed to Phoenix/Arizona, then to Atlanta/Georgia, then to Huntingburg/Indiana then to Orlando/Florida. On Dec. 4th, I will leave Orlando for England and Germany to proceed with political meetings and lecturing in Universities and colleges." Benny

 Benyamim Tsedaka was interviewed and a nice article in many papers by the Religion News Service, by Michelle Gabriel, Washington, Samaritan Remnant Seeks Support for Vision of MidEast Peace. Ralph Benko, a friend and supporter of the Samaritan-Israelites was also interviewed. We have yet to find the article on the web!


Section from The Asatir,

the Samaritan Book of the Secrets of Moses

Together with the Pitron or Samaritan Commentary Written and translated by Moses Gaster, 1927. [The following is the Asatir, Pitron, Moses Gasters notes]:

The Asatir: page 198, verse 7: And when Enoch was thirteen years, he learned the Books of Signs which was given to Adam. And these are the twenty-four precious stones, twelve for the chosen heads of the sons of Jacob and to the descendants of the servants of the high God.

The Pitron: page193, verse 7: And when Enoch grew up and when the days of his life had reached thirteen years, he began to learn in the Book of Signs which had been given to Adam; and this book was copied on the four and twenty precious stones. Of these twelve are for the time of the children of Jacob, and to the generations of the servants of the Most High God. And the Lord knows whether the twelve stones in the breast plate of Aaron the Priest were those for the choice of the families of the sons of Jacob and for the servants (page 194)of the Most High God; for upon them were copied the generations of the servants of the Most High God. And the twelve stones of which he said that they are for the time of Favour, these are hidden away as a secret for the last generation.

Gaster's Note: Page 198, note 7: Meshalma f. 134b. reads "Deyatebo," i.e. which was composed by our Master Adam . Asatir reads "Deyahabo, which means "Which was given to." Asatir is the more correct.-Meshalma ibid. (quoting Asatir): "and he learned to know the twenty-four. These are the breast-plate, the like of which will come back at the time of the return of the Divine Favour. Meshalma omits: "Descendants of the servants of the high God." Samaritan Arabic has here some interpolation: Instead of "Book of Signs," "Book of Wonders."- Eupolemos. Eusebius Prep. Ev. Book 9, Ch. 17, F. 481 cff. Enoch first to discover knowldege of astrology i. e. Calendar. Eupolemos probably Samaritan. 2nd century B.C. See Introduction.- Adam taught by God the calculation of the Calendar; Chs. of Rabbi Eliezer, Ch. 8.- Geiger Mohammed p. 106.- Jubilees IV. 17: the first to write and learn wisdom. Contrary to Apocalupse of Enoch. He is not translated to Heaven, and he dies like everyone else.- 48 precious stones where with the priest was adorned. Evidently twice the 24 mentioned here; Revelations XXI, 19, 20. II Baruch (Syriac Apoc.) Hitherto no one has explained these stones and their number.- Philo Ch. XXV, 11 same as Jerahmeel. - Jerahmeel (Gaster) ch. LVII vision of Kenaz: 24 stones, twelve hidden away for later. Evidently refers to renewal of tabernacle, priesthood and recovery and replacing of the breastplate. This version unquestionably is directed against the Samaritan tradition and gives it a hostile interpretation.


Notes and Extracts From the Semitic manuscripts in the John Rylands Library: V. In the Samaritan Nablus Two Centuries Ago. By Edward Robertson, D.Litt., D. D. Reprint from the "Bulletin of the John Rylands Library," Vol. 22, No. I, April, 1938. (page 17a-18a)


A dream of  similar character befell Sadaqah b. Sarur, which Ibrahim b. Ya'qub, nephew of Muslim records.

Sadaqah was sleeping on the eve of Friday when he dreamed that he was making his way to the village of 'Awartah, and when he arrived at the tomb of Phinhas he found a service in progress. In the company of worshippers he recognised only Sheikh Muslim (Mashlamah b. Murjan) the brother of the writer's father, and two others, the priest Levi and the priest Joseph. Stationed between them was the Saint himself. As the service proceeded those present pressed forward to kiss the hands of the Saint. Sadaqah drew near and asked Muslim's permission to do likewise, but he was told, "That is not for you. He is not of our shpere." Sadaqah noticed that Muslim was wearing a green turban, so he asked him: "O my uncle, whence have you the turban?" He answered: "It is a mark of favour from our Master, 'Abisha', the composer. He put it upon me, and there is none other in this state of existence privileged to wear it." The he added: "O Sadaqah, you will take a message to my nephew Ibrahim and will say to him: 'Thy uncle sends you greeting and enjoins on you [to recite] the "chapters of the place" on the eve of Kippur (the Day of Atonement).'" And as Sadaqah was withdrawing from the place with the service still proceeding, he awoke.

   The Ibrahim who wrote the account we have just given had himself a dream, which took him to the cave of macphelah at hebron, where the Patriarchs are burned. This dream because of its character, he was convinced, presaged his entry hereafter into the blissful Garden through the blessing of those at whose place of sepulture he found himself present. In his dream he saw himself approaching Hebron after a long journey as a weary traveller. On reaching the town he was directed by a stranger to the 'abodes' of the Patriarchs. He describes the majesty of the place, beggaring all description, its vastness, it pillars, its carpets, its embroidered hangings. He entered tomb after tomb all branching off from the main cave. Three beautiful maidens, whom he took to be inhabitants of Paradise, guided his steps, (Page 18) but would not suffer him to approach near to them. They directed him to a chamber of surpassing beauty where they lay the Patriarchs in raiment-like shrouds of dazzling whiteness. There he stood quaking all over. He remarked that there were seven in all, four above and three below. The four were Adam, Seth, Noah and Lamech; the three were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Tears coursed from his eyes. "With my head bowed to the earth I remained silent and downcast, and I prayed my Lord to inspire me to recite what he should choose and be pleased therewith, and that he might enable me to express the feelings of all living. And all the while I was weeping." He then enumerates the passages of Scripture and parts of the liturgy which he recited. During it he remained with senses numbed, bathed in perspiration and swimming in a sea of fear. He uncovered his head and fell at the feet of these saints with an earnest prayer for help. Whilst so engaged, some one spoke to him, saying, "O follow, those outside await you," and lo! and behold it was his cousin, 'Abd al-Fattah, who urged him to hasten. And so he made his way from the tomb, and as he reached the outer world again he awoke. (This entire article will soon appear at


Samaritan Related Books:

The Book of Genesis in the Samaritan Version of the Pentateuch, copied by hand from a 13th century manuscript by Abraham nur Sadaqah, 1959 (Shown at right). The editor of this newsletter recently purchased this book from a person in the UK. That person purchased it at Thornton's Bookshop in Oxford in the late 70's in their Oriental room, where long out of print books used to be found. Now their room is gone and all that remains is a small book case of books. To Bad!


Booklet written in Hebrew (shown at left) by Israel Belkind (1861-1929), Bilu founder and educator. He was the editor of "HaMeir,"

 The booklet contains 3 chapters with one being: “The Samaritans” (with a picture of the great priest of the Samaritans), “72 pages. Printed in Tel-Aviv, Palestine in 1928. (Photo is inside cover and and inside page)


Through the Holy Land. A Fascinating Tour With the Bible in Hand, by  Leonard T. Pearson, B.A., Victory Press - 1939 published by the Elim Pentecostal group started by George Jeffreys. Contains information on the Samaritans.


Jewish Local Patriotism and Self-Identification In The Graeco-Roman Period. Edited by Sian Jones and Sarah Pearce with article by Richard Coggins, Jewish Local Patriotism: The Samaritan Problem.



Western Evangelical Seminary BST 550
The Old Testament and the Ancient Near East ,Shechem
by Rod Johanson

Excavations: The areas first known excavator was Ernst Sellin, a German biblical scholar. Ernst headed two campaigns between 1913 and 1914 and five campaigns between 1926 and 1928. Due to the misfortunes of war and allied bombings his field records and final report manuscripts were lost during World War 2. The next exaction was done as a joint venture between Drew University and McCormick Theological Seminary in 1956. This work was headed up by G. Ernest Wright and Edward G. Campbell. The work consisted of several excavations between 1956 and 1973.{4}


The "Samaritan" Error In The Qur'ân

cAbd ar-Rahmân Robert Squires, Elias Karîm, M S M Saifullah & Muhammad Ghoniem

7. Conclusion:

Until the middle of the 20th century it was commonly believed that the Samaritans originated from a mixed race people living in Samaria at the time of the Assyrian conquest (722 B.C.). In recent years however, new research based on a more careful study of the Chronicles of the Samaritans has led to a re-evaluation of their origins. The Samaritans are the direct descendants of the Joseph tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, and until the 17th century C.E. they possessed a high priesthood descending directly from Aaron through Eleazar and Phinehas.

The Qur'ânic mention of the name Sâmirî sometimes translated as "Samaritan" (Qur'ân 20:85, 87 and 95) is entirely consistent with modern investigations into the origin of the Samaritan sect. 

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