July-August 2007

Vol.  VI - No.4

In This Issue

  • Mount Gerizim

  • 8 Days

  • Pentateuch

  • Auction

  • Lecture

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See this issue



In Planning Stage

SES: In University of Papa/ Hungary in 2008.

 organised by Dr. Joseph Zsengelle'







Plan on buying a Book? Buy through us and support our main website: www.the-samaritans.com



Tradition Kept: Introductions And Texts To The Literature Of The Samaritans













Have you purchased your book lately?






Feasts & Fasts, A Festschrift in Honor of Alan David Crown


Available from www.mandelbaum.






New Samaritans-

A DOCUMENTARY on Samaritan brides from the Ukraine




Mount Gerizim / Shechem

A very informative page of wonderful photos, a must visit!



An article on a new Finnish Arabic Dictionary.
submitted by H. Shehadeh

click here for article in Arabic


Our Hearts are in Dances

The Samaritan community is one of the most mysterious in Israel. The film "Our Hearts are dances" gives us a rare look at the Samaritans. The film centers around Gadi Tsedaka, once an actor at the Cameri Theatre who now runs a small theatre company with his wife Pnina. The film features two parallel events; a performance of the play "Antigone" by Sophocles at the Tsedaka Theatre, and the Passover sacrifices on Mt. Gerizim, a location sacred to the Samaritans.

1999 director: Ohad Ufaz, Producer: April Com (1989) Ltd. length: 25 minutes.

The Second Authority is happy to offer their film to educational bodies and social organizations. Institutions interested in viewing their films can apply to their website: www.channel2.co.il or email: ifat@channel2.co.il


Israel religious Leaders establish Council of Religious Community Leaders in Israel

On 27 June 2007, a new forum called the Council of Religious Community Leaders in Israel was inaugurated in Jerusalem. The conference was the culmination of months of work by a steering committee, set up at the initiative of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Interior, for the purpose of improving inter-religious dialogue and promoting issues of common interest to all the religions in Israel. Representatives from the Jewish, Muslim, Druze, Greek Orthodox and other Christian denominations, Bahai, Ahmadiyya and Samaritan faiths attended the conference.

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni sent the following message, which was read at the conference:

"Heads of the Religious Communities in Israel, Chief Rabbis, I wish to congratulate you on the convening of this important meeting of the Council of Religious Community Leaders in Israel. Dialogue and interfaith understanding have an honored place in establishing good relations between countries and peoples.

Israel is a unique place from an historical and religious perspective. Here are to be found the holy sites for the members of the three major faiths, and almost every stone has symbolic significance to them.

My hope is that this conference will serve as a basis and as a framework for promoting cooperation among the various religious communities which constitute the diverse mosaic of Israel, and will serve as an example for similar cooperation between Israel and her neighbors. Well done!"

At the meeting, the religious leaders adopted the following covenant:

Covenant of the Heads of the Religious Communities in Israel
27 June 2007

We, the Heads of the Religious Communities in the State of Israel, having come together to establish a council for cooperation between us, declare our faith in the Creator of the Universe who rules His world with grace and mercy, and who demands that we human beings live with each other in peace and respect.

Therefore, we hereby declare:

We are committed to doing all we can in order to fulfill this important command, especially in the Holy Land which is so dear to all of us.

First and foremost, we declare our commitment to the sanctity of human life and denounce all violence against the innocent, especially when this is done in the name of religion, which constitutes sacrilege.

In order to establish peace and mutual respect among the various religious communities in our country, we must educate our children and our communities accordingly, and avoid any affront to the sensibilities and beliefs of others.

The holy sites are a legacy from the past, which requires their preservation as religious and cultural heritages.  This also is in accordance with the law of the state regarding the preservation of the holy sites; the integrity and special character of the holy sites must be safeguarded, and they must be protected from all violence and desecration. It is our responsibility, as religious community leaders, to strengthen this approach and to call upon our communities not to harm the holy sites of other religious communities.

Accordingly, and in keeping with the religious commandments and prohibitions of the various faiths, free access must be guaranteed for all believers to their holy sites, and the relevant authorities must assure this.

Our religious heritages teach that peace and tranquility, doing what is right and just, are the commandments of the Holy One Blessed Be He, and as religious community leaders we bear the responsibility to be attentive to the cries of the weak among us and to work together for a just and fair society.

Bearing a prayer to the One Most High, we thank the Creator of the Universe who enabled us to gather today in order to work together and bring a blessing to all the inhabitants of the State of Israel.

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA


8 days on Mount Gerizim By Ronit Vered

In 1824, James Mourier described the experiences of Hajji Baba, one of the escorts of the first Persian ambassador to the English court, beginning with the first formal dinner to which he was invited. Hajji Baba was astounded to see that the guests did not even think about washing their hands before the meal, he was bowled over by the sumptuously laid table and appalled by the terrible cacophony - waiters' shoes clicking, the scraping of sharp metal instruments, and the lively social conversation around the table. In 19th-century Persia, the rigorous rules of manners mandated eating with one's fingers, so that washing them was elementary; reclining on the floor for meals, with all the portions placed simultaneously in the center; and focusing on the act of eating without idle chatter. He also reported with regret on his total failure concerning the use of the instruments of torture - the diverse spoons, the knives, the forks and so on; and described the spasm of consternation that seized his neighbors when force of habit impelled him to share his bread with them, drink from their glass or use his fingers to scoop food from the serving bowl.

A Western outsider who happens upon a joyous banquet of the Samaritan community might for a moment be afflicted with the Hajji Baba syndrome. At the wedding feast for the groom in the Samaritan community, held at midday on Wednesday, the members of the family use their hands to tear into large slices of cooked mutton, browned chickens roasted in cinnamon, or zaatar (wild hyssop) and mounds of rice garnished with roasted walnuts and pine nuts. Also on the tables are bowls of green-bean soup, stuffed vine leaves and cutlery, but most of the eating is done with the hands, or with the aid of the pita awaiting each diner on a plate.

A wonderful article


Photo and background photo by Alaa Badarneh

The Samaritans of Palestine
By Tareq al Qudsi

Today, when we think of the Samaritans, our minds return to the biblical period and the story of the Good Samaritan (Gospel of Luke, chapter 10) or even of the Samaritan woman who gave Jesus a drink from a well located in Nablus (Gospel of John, chapter 4). But in fact, not only do the Samaritans play a significant role in the past history of Palestine, their culture and heritage live on today in a community of just over 700 persons who live near modern-day Nablus and a smaller community that lives near Holon. These are the last two remaining Samaritan communities in the world today, and they preserve the remnant of a once large and important group of people who dramatically influenced the eastern part of the Roman Empire and Western civilization.


See the rest of the article



Chapter 11 - The Last Thirty Years by F. F. BRUCE


The Qumran biblical manuscripts bear witness to at least three types of Hebrew text which were current in Palestine at the beginning of the Christian era. One was the 'proto-Massoretic' text - that is to say, the direct ancestor of the Massoretic text of later centuries. Another was the text on which the Greek Septuagint version was based; no samples of this text type in Hebrew were known until the discovery of the Qumran manuscripts. There are a number of places in the Old Testament where scholars had confidently emended the Massoretic Hebrew text on the basis of the Septuagint rendering and where their emendations have now been recognized in Hebrew texts from Qumran; one example is at the end of Deut.32:8, where the reading `sons of God', attested by the Septuagint in place of the Massoretic `sons (children)of Israel', and accordingly adopted in the Revised Standard Version, has now been confirmed in a Hebrew text from Cave 4 at Qumran. A third text type, so far as the first five books of the Bible are concerned, is that hitherto known only from the Samaritan Bible. Some of the distinctive readings of the Samaritan Bible are designed to support Samaritan claims against the Jews, but others have no such sectarian tendency, and several of these latter have now been identified in Qumran manuscripts. Apart from the sectarian readings, the Samaritan Bible now appears to be based on a popular Palestinian edition of the Hebrew Pentateuch, used by Jews as well as by Samaritans. http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/kenyon/storyofbible/2ck11.htm


The Link to the updated website of the

Samaritan Museum on Mount Gerizim.



The oldest original synagogue building in the Diaspora: the Delos synagogue reconsidered  Fall, 2004  by Monika Trumper


The original function of the synagogue on Delos has long been contested, and can be determined only through analysis of the architectural history of the building. In this article, the author reconsiders the history of the building's construction on the basis of fieldwork to date. Five phases of construction are distinguished: two predate 88 B.C. and the remaining three date between 88 and the end of the second century A.D. The structure's most characteristic features--a large hall, a water reservoir, orientation toward the east, and an isolated location on the eastern seashore--are not consistent with those of a private house, a meeting place for an association, or a pagan cult building, but rather confirm its function as a synagogue from the earliest phase onward.



Hebrew-English Paleo Exodus – Scripture at the End of the Iron II Period
Phillips, David


Exodus lies at the foundation of Judeo-Christian culture and this book presents the original version, the earliest copy. The most important difference occurs in Chapter 20, which is twice as large as the common Masoretic version and contains the extraordinary 10th Commandment, the paragraph which enjoins “...on Mount Gerizim as I command you today. There you shall build an altar to Yahweh your God...” On the right hand page is the translation. For the first time this version is easily accessible. Although the Samaritan Pentateuch has been known since the 17th century, it has not been translated and only a few specialists have read it. Now paleo Exodus is available to anyone interested in the venerable epic. The translation has been done clause by clause, governed by the punctuation of the paleo manuscripts. Simultaneously the translation refrains from employing dubious literalisms. This translation of Exodus is from the original writing and often clarifies obscure passages of the Masoretic version.

On the left hand page is the paleo-Hebrew text, featuring the Dead Sea Scroll 4Q22 paleoExodus. All of its extensive fragments are printed in the Semitic script of the 7th century BCE. Where the scroll is not extant, the square Hebrew text of von Gall’s edition is given. This superimposes and highlights 4Q22 as the most prominent manuscript of the critical text of Exodus.

The appendices of textual criticism serve to analyze and demonstrate the precise details of the critical paleo text. Appendix A also focuses on key words and phrases of the translation. The method of textual criticism compares all relevant manuscripts comprehensively. All variants of words and inflection between the paleo-Hebrew version and the Masoretic are given, as are all the agreements of the Qumran scrolls of Exodus with the Samaritan or the Masoretic. The von Gall edition is corrected and accredited.

The result is a rigorous resource for scholars using biblical Hebrew as well as a straightforward translation for the general public. It is a significant work for the appreciation of Exodus.
Table of Contents

Comparative Table for the Samaritan Alphabet
A Phoenician Font and Two Hebrew Fonts
Paleo Text and Translation
Paragraphs 1 through 23—chapter 1,verse 1 through 6,19
Paragraphs 24 through 175, with 4Q22 paleoExodus
Paragraphs 176 through 200—37,17 through 40,38
Appendices of Textual Criticism
A. Samaritan word variants, with annotation
B. Samaritan inflection of verbs
C. Samaritan inflection of grammar
D. Samaritan spelling with waw and yod as word-medial vowel letters
E. Von Gall corrected from his upper apparatus, with annotation
F. Unique 4Q22 paleoExodus
G. Kennicott corrected in the text of von Gall
H. Reconstructed variants circa 6th century BCE
I. The Critical Editions of all the Qumran texts of Exodus
J. Printed texts of the early Christian versions of Exodus

Imprint: Edwin Mellen Press

USA List Price: $119.95 UK List Price: £ 74.95  

ISBN10:  0-7734-6315-1   ISBN13:  978-0-7734-6315-8    Pages:  349    Year:  2004   

Schorch J Semitic Studies.2003; 48: 287-320 


Catalogue of the Library of the Late Bishop John Fletcher Hurst: To be Sold at Auction  By John Fletcher Hurst, Anderson Galleries, Inc

By John Fletcher Hurst, Anderson Galleries, Inc Published 1904
The Company518 pages Original from the New York Public Library Digitized Aug 24, 2006 In his library were Samaritan books




File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
manuscripts are now numbered after the order of the Willmet auction catalogue of ...... Collective volume with texts in Arabic and Samaritan, paper, 323 pp. ...

A PDF file



Samaritan Font


TAL J Semitic Studies.1976; XXI: 26-38 PDF



Japheth in the Tents of Shem: Studies on Jewish Hellenism in Antiquity

 By Pieter Willem “van der” Horst

Published 2002
Peeters Publishers 272 pages ISBN 9042911379

Samaritan laguage and Samaritans in Rome.




History of the Jews. Volume 2. From the Reign of Hyrcanus (135 B.C.E.) to the Completion of the ...

 By Heinrich Hirsch Graetz


Adamant Media Corporation ISBN 1402182236


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