October 10th, 2004  

Vol.  IV - No.2

In This Issue

  • Upcoming Festivals

  • An Apology

  • Traveling Samaritan

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Editor: Shomron

Co-Editor: Osher    


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               Eyal Cohen

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Samaritan Calendar

of Festivals

Samaritan Calendar

of Festivals

Festival of the Seventh Month- Oct. 14th, 2004

Day of Atonement Oct 23rd, 2004

Succoth- Oct. 28th

Rejoicing of the Torah- Nov. 4, 2004


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SES: In University of Papa/ Hungary in 2008.

 organised by Dr. Joseph Zsengelle'

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 Upcoming Festivals


A reader once commented last year; 'I have seen that the number of the year changes from 3641 to 3642 in the 7th month in the Samaritan calendar. Is it a mistake? As far as I know, only Jews begin the year in Tishrei. Isn't the Samaritan New Year in Nissan, the first month, (about April)?'

The festival of the Seventh month is not consisted to be the beginning of the first month of a new year. Passover is in the first month of the year. This is shown in the Torah that the Passover sacrifice shall take place in the first month of the year. The counting in the Torah is the counting from creation from the first day of the first month of the first year.

The festival of the Seventh month marks the counting of the entrance of the Israelites into the land of Canaan. This will continue the counting of 3643 years from the entrance of the land by Israel. The counting started six months when the children of Israel came to the land of Israel, according to the Samaritan chronicles they passed the Jordan river on the first month. actually the counting started on the sixth month. According to the Samaritan manuscript, Tulida, the Israelites entered on the first month of the year (Nissan).



THE  FESTIVAL OF THE SEVENTH  MONTH - Thursday, Oct. 14, 2004
Our Sages highly praised the seventh month of the year and the four festivals which fall therein. The earliest of the Sages defined the four names of the first festival, The Festival of the Seventh Month, which begins on the first of the month, as stated in the Torah [Leviticus 23:24]: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall you have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of horns, a holy gathering. The latter day Sages endorse the names of each of the four festivals of the seventh month as follows: Sabbath - The Festival of the Seventh Month; memorial - The Day of Atonement; blowing of horns - The Harvest Festival; a holy gathering - Shemini Atzeret (The eighth day of Succoth).

The Festival of the Seventh Month is the start of the Fallow Year. The cycle of the seventh fallow year begins on the first day of the seventh month. Likewise, the Jubilee Year, the fiftieth year, begins and ends on the first day of the seventh month, after which the next cycle of the seventh fallow year is calculated.

On the seventh day of the seventh month, at the seventh hour, Moses, the son of Amram, was born, the master of Prophets, whose equal has not been
seen either before, during or after his lifetime. Therefore, the seventh month is also the crowning month.

However, the feast of the seventh month is primarily the opening festival of the Nine Days of Repentance, which precede the Day of Atonement and the Ten Days of Forgiveness, which climax on the tenth day, i.e., the Day of Atonement. The Festival of the Seventh Month has several significant qualities since it is the heart of the seven annual festivals, being the fourth in the series. It is a time for meditation on repentance without return - repentance from sins without returning to sinning. This is the feast, which announces the coming of the fast day and is, therefore, the entrance to repentance. On the days between the feast of the seventh month and the Day of Atonement, the congregation is sanctified with special prayers, every evening and morning and its members prepare themselves for the atonement of guilt. These are the days of mercy, of forgiveness, of atonement, of grace and favor; it is a chance to be saved and a way out to flee from sin.

THE DAY OF ATONEMENT - Saturday, October 23, 2004
Most of the praises are attached to the Day of Atonement, which is the ultimate Sabbath and festival. It is the crowning festival of grace. He who afflicts his soul with total resolve is considered as one who has been reborn. On this day, the whole congregation will stand from one evening to the next in prayer and will read Gods Torah. This is the day when the shofar [the rams horn] will be sounded for Israel and freedom will be attained in the struggle with sin. This day is the king of festivals and the day on which forgiveness radiates. The fast of this day applies to every individual, from infants, who have been weaned of their mothers milk to the long-lived grandfather. For whatever person shall not be afflicted on that same day, he shall be cut off from his people [Lev. 23:29].

The prayer service is conducted without interruption from one evening to the next. The women of the congregation and their daughters must remember in the evening and throughout the course of the day to help their younger children to endure the fast until the arrival of the reward at the end of the day, i.e., the great and sumptuous feast. Immediately afterwards, preparations are begun for the Harvest Festival [Succoth].

THE HARVEST FESTIVAL [SUCCOTH] AND THE FEAST OF SHEMINI ATZERET [The Eighth Day of Succoth] Thursday to Thursday - October 28 - Nov. 4, 2004
There are no better days for the Samaritans of Israel than the days of the Harvest Festival. Following the fast of the Day of Atonement, the tradition of their sages dictates the sense of having been born again. Therefore, each member of the congregation reveals renewed strength and vigor for the building of the succah [booth]. These remind us in their contents and complexity of the exquisite appearance of the Garden of Eden and the facade of the Tabernacle of Moses Our Rabbi, both of which are hidden from the eye. Therefore, freedom is given to every designer in the congregation to set up his succah as he sees fit. Everyone tries to build the most beautiful succah possible.

Before the members of the congregation make the pilgrimage to Mt. Gerizim, as they are commanded to do on each of the three annual pilgrimage festivals, they must complete the construction of their succahs, which they began in the evening, at the end of the Day of Atonement. At times, the interval is very short, when the Jewish holidays fall in the same week following the Samaritan holidays. At other times, there is a longer preparation period within the four days, which separate the Day of Atonement from the Feast of Booths. However, the wonder of it is that whatever time is allotted, the Samaritans manage to set up their magnificent succahs. The combination of the four species, which it is commanded to use in setting up the succah, creates an splendid spectacle. Sometimes the four species are attached to the ceiling of the large room in each home, while some place it on four strong poles. The average weight of the fruit used is about 350 kg. Each elegant, wonderful, seasonal citrus fruit is hung in the succah;  dozens of kilograms of each species. Above them are open palm branches, alternately spread out right side up and upside down; and above them, dense boughs of thick-leafed trees are placed close together to form a thatched roof and alongside are placed willows of the brook, brought from the banks of Israeli streams and rivers. All the species are joined together.

The different colored lights suspended among the assorted paper decorations are dimmed and the congregation sets off on its pilgrimage. This is the third pilgrimage of the year to the holy sites on Mt. Gerizim. See the description of the pilgrimage in the section, the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The prayers are devoted to the Harvest Festival.

Following the pilgrimage, the congregation descends to their succahs. Joy reaches its peak. The clear ale, produced only yesterday at home, are diluted in the waters of the mountain springs until they turn white as milk and are decanted into throats filled with the cheerful songs of Succoth. Indeed, the Harvest Festival is a day of gladness and rejoicing. A large variety of salads, peeled almonds, which have been soaked in water, oven-baked broad beans, assorted baked goods, cakes and cookies only add to the joy.

Among the festival days, there is also a festive Sabbath of the Harvest Festival, called the Garden of Eden Sabbath. This Sabbath comes to teach us that he whose sins have been forgiven on the Day of Atonement is worthy of entering the gates of the Garden of Eden. The Succah expresses this beautifully. On Succoth, we host thousands of guests, who come to visit from all over the country.

The day of Shemini Atzeret [the eighth day of Succoth] comprises for us a convening of all the festivals of the year. It is the last but not the least of the annual festivals. At the end of the festival prayer service, we rejoice with the joy of Simchat Torah [the Rejoicing of the Torah] and then depart for the very sumptuous festive meal. At the end of the holiday, the succahs are dismantled. Their poles and nets will be stored until the next Harvest Festival. The fruits will be squeezed into sweetened juice and some will be eaten by the children.


Festival of the Eight day: Thursday, Nov. 4, 2004

Shemini Azeret (Simhat Torah)- Rejoicing of the Torah is always 22 days from the beginning of the seventh month. It is the number of the words in the ancient Torah that describes the month, "sbton zkron truah mkra kds." This is the last day of Sukkot. Shortly after midnight, prayers are made in the synagogue for more than ten hours. No work is permitted on this day.


An Apology

From the Editor

I would like to apologize for not presenting the issues of the Samaritan Update lately. As some of you may know I personally live in the United states in the state of Florida. We currently had the unfortunate pleasure here what is called the Treasure Coast of witnessing direct two hurricanes, Frances and Jeanne. Both hurricanes however did not directly take place on the Sabbath day but during the night after. Frances however, amazed me since it was intended to hit directly on the Sabbath and somehow managed to slow up as if to wait till the Sabbath was over. A close friend of mine suggested that it was because no one was working on the Sabbath. Hurricane Frances winds also diminished from its original strength. Both times I was invited by a close friend, Martha Waggaman, to join her at a Special Needs Shelter, a local High School designed for such storms. Both times were very memorial.. Between the mess that the winds caused and the stress, I was unable to sit and edit the issues of the Updates that were missed. Since this occurred I will be making a change to presenting the Updates as a monthly issue with special issues in between as needed to present the information as best I can. This will also give me time for my personal studies.

 I am sorry for the disruption in the issues. Shomron

Returning of the Traveling Samaritan in America

AB Samaritan News Service

Samaritan-Israelite Mr. Benyamim Tsedaka will be returning this year to America to continue his outreach programs for the education and support for the Samaritan-Israelites and their future. Tsedaka will be occupied in speaking engagements during his two month tour.
 Benyamim's schedule is to be completed soon. It starts in New York City on Nov. 7 and Washington D.C. areas till Nov. 22. Then To Montana till Nov. 25, then Seattle till Dec.. 1, then to LA till Dec. 10, then to Detroit till Dec/ 19, then to London till December 26, then home. Only slight changes could be done, but this is the general picture. If you or your group would like to meet or have Benny lecture, please contact him. Some information of his lectures are displayed below.


Sunday, December 12, 2004, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. - in English
Monday, December 13, 2004, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. - in Hebrew
Location of Conference: Sheraton Novi Hotel,

21111 Haggerty Road, Novi, Michigan 48375
The Sheraton Novi is a beautiful hotel located in Detroit's affluent northwestern suburbs. The Samaritan Israelites are the descendants of an ancient people. They are the remnant of the ancient northern Kingdom of Israel  having split from the southern Kingdom of Judah during the reign of King Solomon.  Their genealogical records trace back to Ephraim, Manasseh  and Levi.  In the fourth and fifth centuries CE, the Israelite Samaritans numbered about 1,200,000 persons dwelling in many cities and villages in the Land of Israel, from southern Syria to northern Egypt. Cruel religious decrees, forced conversions to Islam and Christianity, slaughter and persecution thinned the Samaritan Community to a bare 146 persons by the year 1917. In the 1930s, the Community reached a turning point and began to increase.  Nonetheless, throughout all history, the Samaritans never lost their unique status and image as a people. They have their own writing, the ancient Hebrew script; they speak their own language, the ancient Hebrew dialect spoken by Jews until the beginning of the first millennium CE; and they are brought up in accordance with a unique,  millennium historical tradition, dating back to the return of the People of Israel, under Joshua son of Nun, to its homeland.  It is the smallest and oldest community in the world. The Samaritans are guided by four principles of faith: one God, who is the God of Israel; one prophet, Moses son of Amram; one holy book, the Pentateuch - the Torah handed down by Moses; one holy place, Mount Gerizim. To these is added the belief in the Taheb son of Joseph, prophet like
Moses, who will appear on the Day of Vengeance and Recompense in the latter days.  The Samaritans celebrate only those holidays mentioned in the Torah. These are seven in all: Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the
> Feast of Weeks [Shavuot], the First Day of the Seventh Month, the Day of Atonement [Yom Kippur], the Feast of Tabernacles [Sukkot] and the Eighth Day of Assembly and Rejoicing of the Torah [Shemini Atzeret-Simhat Torah].  Their New Year is celebrated fourteen days before Passover, and the eve of their Passover on the fourteenth day of the first lunar month, between the sunsets, is marked by a sacrifice of lambs and he-goats on Mount Gerizim.

Speaker: Benyamim [Benny] Tsedaka, Israelite Samaritan: Editor of the weekly newspaper "A. B. - The Samaritan News;" director of the "A. B. Institute of Samaritan Studies" in Holon, Israel, writer of 95 books and publications on the Israelite Samaritans, their history and culture; one of the founders and members of SE [Socie'te Etudes Samaritains = Society of Samaritan Studies]; member of EABS [European Association of Biblical Studies] and author of the entries on the Samaritans for the Encyclopedia Judaica, Encyclopedia Hebraica, Encyclopedia Britanica and Encyclopedia of

Conference Program 6-8 p.m.
The history of the Israelite Samaritans until the present times Life cycle - from circumcision to the last day of life Samaritan view of the words of Jesus Samaritan eschatology in relation to other religions 10 minute movie "The Political Situation of the Samaritans"
Participants - Q&A 8-10 p.m.
The Samaritan Festivals and how they practice them. The new archeological findings on Mount Gerizim and the link to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Practicing of the reading of the Law in Ancient Hebrew pronunciation
The Israelite Samaritan Music - The most ancient in existence (singing and practicing)

30 minute movie: The Israelite Samaritans - "The Commandment Keepers"
Participants Q&A Concluding Remarks

I would like to attend the conference "The Israelite Samaritans" conducted by Benyamim [Benny] Tsedaka. Please register my name as a > participant in the conference: Enclosed is my registration fee of $49 per person, made payable to Benyamim Tsedaka.



Number of people attending _____________

Daytime Telephone___________________



Mailing Address_______________________________________________



Postal Code_________Country_____________


I will attend the (English Conference on Sunday) (Hebrew Conference on
Monday) Circle One. Seating is limited, please mail pre-registration to:
Mr. Benyamim Tsedaka
c/o Mrs. Sharon Dufour
Representative of A.B. - Institute of Samaritan Studies
6462 Wildflower Lane
Brighton, Michigan 481116
 (Questions/Comments - call 810-494-5239)

Thank you!  

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