December 2004  

Vol.  IV - No.4

In This Issue

  • Jacob's Well

  • Internet Resource

  • A Passover Night on Gerizim

  • Impact of Early Missionary

  • Downloadable Booklet

  • The Website

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Passover Sacrifice April 22, 2005

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Remains of the Temple on Mount Gerezun in the Distance

Artist: J. D. HARDING ________ Engraver: E. FINDEN

JACOBS WELL Bonfils Palestine 1870s

This is a flat mount stereoview, circa 1870's, by Felix Bonfils, entitled, "636 Jacobs Well." The well is near Shechem and is described as a rain pit of various depths, often dry. This shot shows the rim in the foreground.



For your Internet Resource

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Proposal to add Samaritan Pointing to ISO 10646
Elaine Keown

A Passover Night on Gerizim,

by Rev. James W. Bradsley, M.A. From The Sunday At Home, A family magazine for Sabbath Reading, No. 1196.- March 31, 1877

WHILST sojourning at Jerusalem for a few days in the early part of April, 1868, with my father, an elder brother, and two other friends, we received a pressing invitation from Yakub esh Shellabi, the Sheik of the Samaritans, to visit the encampment on Mount Gerizim, or as he would call it, “Jebel-el-Tor,” and witness the Passover sacrifice. We were to be accompanied by a friend, then resident in Jerusalem, to whose offices we were indebted for Yakub esh Shellabi’s communication. The Samaritan Passover, like that of the Jews, is always celebrated on the full moon of the month, Nisan, fell that year on the night of Monday, April 6. One of our party was unequal to a ride of twelve hours in the day (the distance between Jerusalem and Nablus), and we were all anxious to have the privilege of spending our Sunday at Christ church, Mount Zion; we therefore left the city at ten o'clock at night, the Sabbath being then virtually over, and rode to Ram Allah, a distance of three hours. As we passed the crest of Scopus, we could not but turn round again and again to take another and yet another parting view of el-Kuds. We left the city bathed in the clear silvery light of the Paschal moon. The night was intensely cold. As I dismounted, and tried to get soem warmth into my feet by a run on the hard ground, where the rain-pools were already coated with ice, I could not but be vividly reminded both by time and place, as well as by the object of our journey, of Him who on the slope below had spent the same hours, prostrate on the frozen ground, under the same clear light, and yet who had in the depths of his untold agony sweat drops of blood falling to the ground. It was not till afterwards that I thought of one of those undersigned coincidences with which the Word of Truth so richly abounds. We are told that on the very night before the true Passover sacrifice, "the servants and officers.... made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself" (John xviii. 18).

We were traversing the great northern road, but few traces of Roman engineering remain. At one time our friend F_____ pointed out Nob, to our left (1 Sam. xxi. 1), and then farther on, to our right, Juleil-el-Ful (Gibeah of Saul, 1 Sam. xxii.6); but houses and terraces, rocks and ruins, could hardly be distinguished. The cry of a Jackal ravaging a tomb near at hand, where was no Rizpah to scare off "the beasts of the field by night" (2Sam. xxi. 10), broke the intense stillness. After a time we turned off the Nablus road to enter Ram Allah (probably the Ramathaim Zophim, of Mount Ephraim, 1 Sam. i.1). No sooner did we approach then all the dogs in the village awoke the echoes of the night. I must tell the reader that our tents had been previously sent on to Gerizim, and that we had arranged that one of our muleteers should take a letter to the schoolmaster of Ram Allah, and a good mule's load of bedding, so that we might on our arrival at once proceed to the schoolroom to sleep. (Ram Allah is a station of the Church Missionary Society.) We knocked at the door of the good catechist's house. The first intimation of life within was the cry of a baby- reminding more than one of the party of dear ones far away- and then voices were heard in a language not quite so cosmopolitan as that of the child; a head was put out of the window, and F______ was recognized. Our letter and baggage had not arrived, so we spent our night as best we could on the earthen floor of the schoolroom, whose only furniture was a mat or two, a large jar of water, a stand for the master's book, and a few large Arabic Bibles, one of which, with some qualms of feeling, I used as a pillow. Only a mile or two from this place Jacob had used a stone; but then he doubtless had what we had not- the good thick hood of his abayer as a comfortable pad between his head and his bolster. What a contrast were the hills and valleys of Ephraim to the bare mountains and wadies of Judah! We pass through glens rich with corn and wine, mulberry and pomegranate, early wheat, and olive, and we think of Ephraim's blessing: "Blessed of the Lord be his land ... for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun ... for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof" (Deut. xxxiii. 13-16).We are too pressed for time even to turn aside and see Seilun (Shiloh). We have but one object in view to-day. We have promised Yakub to reach his encampment before evening. Seilun lies some twenty minutes to our right. Lubban (Lebonah), where we are to lunch, is half-an-hour to the north. How accurate is the Bible in its geographical descriptions! My father turns to Judges xxii. 19, and reads, "Shiloh ... which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from bethel to Shechem" (the highway along which we are travelling), "and on the south of Lebonah." F_____ comforts me when I find that Shiloh must be given up by saying that it is absolutely featureless, and we remember the words of God, by Jeremiah, to Jerusalem: "But go ye now unto My place which was in Shiloh, where I set My name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of My people Israel" (vii.12). We rest for a short time under the shadow of some trees by a ruined khan. What a change of temperature between the heat of midday and the cold of midnight! In a half-an-hour we stand on the crest of a hill, and a view opens out before us, which causes each one to "pull up" whilst we drink in the features of the scene.

See the next issue for the continuation of the article.


The Impact of Early Missionary Enterprise

on Identity Formation in Palestine, 1820-1914

Professor Ruth Kark

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel


Most studies on missions and missionaries in Palestine in the modern era, commencing in the first half of the nineteenth century, focused on a longitudinal historical discussion of a single mission, or several missions dispatched from one country (Gidney, Tibawi, Scmidgal). Another research choice was to concentrate on one social and religious sector or denomination (Muslim Arabs, Christian Arabs (Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, etc.), other Christians (Armenians, Assyrians), Druze, Jews and Samaritans (Ariel, Ben-Arieh, Carmel, Cuinet, Hopwood, Goren, Grayevski, Leiber, Morgenstern, Stavrou, Sapir, Thalman). Thomas Stransky (in Davis, 1-19, 1996) in a preliminary attempt, undertook a comprehensive discussion, based mostly on secondary published sources.

Further topics, which I am investigating include: cooperation and competition between missionary societies including territorial division by agreement or otherwise, and exploration, mapping and research by missionaries. Additional subjects include the contents of missionary education of children and adults (both formal and informal), the character of their health services, the impact of missionary activity on identity formation among Arab Muslims, Arab Christian, Christians, Druze, Samaritans and Jews, and the reaction and opposition to missionary activity as a cohesive power.

The target populations - Arabs (Muslim, Christian of different denominations), Druze, Armenians, Assyrians, Samaritans, and Jews - were allocated to the different missions.

Read the Full Draft:


A Downloadable Booklet

by Shomron


In the past I have had requests for information by people via email or in person. I used to loan out a book The Keepers: An Introduction to the History and Culture of the Samaritans by Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles.  My last loan was a few months before the hurricanes in Florida and the book was never returned and was said to be destroyed from water damage to the residence. So we decided to finish a small booklet I started a few years ago. We have a couple some items to edit and Osher Sassoni will add it to the we site The booklet will be in .pdf format and may be downloaded over the internet. Most of the information is on our website but this is grouped into the booklet which can be used as a quick reference or just to give to a friend who might me interested in the Samaritans. I suggest that you download a copy for yourself just to have on hand to give out. This booklet will be the first volume in a series of Samaritan topics.


The Website

Osher has been very busy and has been working on the website of Close to being a reality once more is our discussion forum that is a new and improved format. Thank you Osher for your time and energy! But in the meantime visit and support the website!


Thank you!  

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. .