Nov.- Dec. 2007

Vol.  VII - No.2

In This Issue

  • Abraham Children

  • BMP of the UCS

  • Great Loss

  • Auction results

  • Studies

  • high priest


  • Life after

  • Call for Papers

  • Web links

  • Biblio

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In Planning Stage

SES: In University of Papa/ Hungary in 2008.

 organised by Dr. Joseph Zsengelle'



SBL 2008

call for papers

Aramaic Studies



Important Links


Samaritan Museum on Mount Gerizim.






Plan on buying a Book? Buy through us and support our main website:



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



Finnish Arabic
 by H. Shehadeh

here for article in Arabic


 ABRAHAM'S CHILDREN: Race, Identity and the DNA of The Chosen People, bestselling author Jon Entine ( vividly brings to life the profound human implications of the Age of Genetics while illuminating one of today's most controversial topics: the connection between genetics and identity.
Entine weaves a fascinating narrative, using breakthroughs in genetic genealogy to reconstruct the biblical tradition of the ancient Israelites. What is the genetic evidence of the story of the Exodus? What can DNA tell us about the Samaritans, whose genetic and cultural uniqueness rivals modern Jews? Can genes help bridge the religious and spiritual gap that sometimes separates Christians, Jews, and Muslims by underscoring the shared legacy of the Israelites? Legendary accounts of the Hebrew lineage of Ethiopian tribesmen, the building of Africa's Great Zimbabwe fortress, and even the so-called Lost Tribes are reexamined in light of advanced DNA technology.
As people from across the world discover their Israelite roots, their riveting stories unveil exciting new approaches to defining one's identity. Not least, Entine addresses possible connections between DNA and Jewish intelligence and the controversial notion that modern descendants of the Israelites are a "race apart." ABRAHAM'S CHILDREN is a compelling reinterpretation of biblical history and a challenging and exciting illustration of the promise and power of genetic research.
Find out more at



Preliminary proposal to add the Samaritan alphabet to the BMP of the UCS

Source Michael Everson & Mark Shoulson 


Great Loss

On November 3, 2007, Fr. Guy Dominique Sixdenier, OSB, died in Paris at 90 years of age. Together with Prof. Abraham Tal he founded the Société d’Études Samaritaines in Paris in 1985. For many years Fr. Sixdenier tirelessly worked for the SES, organising congresses and promoting Samaritan studies internationally.

Rev. Guy-Dominique Sixdenier, (1917-2007) a french orientalist and philologist, PhD, member of the New-York Academy of Sciences, member of the Société Asiatique, Past Secretary of the Edition Critique de la Bible Latine (Roma), co-founder and Secretary of the Societé d’Etudes Samaritaines, author of many articles and papers about the Samaritans, co-director with J-P. Rothschild of “ Etudes samaritaines. Pentateuque et Targum, exégčse et philologie, chroniques ” (Louvain 1988) ;


December 19, 2007- Auction results

Lot 124 : Samaritan Homilies and Sermons, Manuscript on Parchment, [Damascus]: ca.1335

Price Realized:

Pre-Auction Price Estimate:
$5,000 - $7,000


Samaritan Homilies and Sermons, Manuscript on Parchment, [Damascus]: ca.1335


14 leaves (4 x 23/4 in.; 100 x 70 mm) in two gatherings [1 4 , 2 3 ] written in ink on parchment in vocalized Arabic script with occasional phrases in Paleo-Hebrew (Samaritan) script; modern foliation in pencil. ff.1, 8 loose, ff.2-7 unsewn and loosely nested; ff.9-14 sewn with a filament of twisted parchment. Brittle, with numerous cracks, holes, and losses; stained and soiled. Leaves secured atop a modern red velvet tray and tied with attached ribbons, and set within a modern red velvet cloth portfolio.

Published: Marina Rustow, "The Samaritans," Scripture and Schism: Samaritan and Karaite Treasures from the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York: 2000, pp. 6-59.

Notes: Dating back more than 2,500 years, the Samaritans are the longest-lived religious sect in Jewish history and their traditions, beliefs and practices are still maintained by a small community of less than eight hundred. As they always have, most Samaritans live in the vicinity of the biblical city of Shechem (Nablus) near Mt. Gerizim in Israel. The Mountain is central to Samaritan worship and beliefs and is the site of the sect's annual Passover sacrifice. With their own version of the Pentateuch, the Samaritans have always maintained the use of Hebrew, written in Paleo-Hebrew letters, for ritual purposes and used Aramaic as a vernacular until around the 11υth century when, under the influence of Islam, it was gradually replaced by Arabic. At about the same time, the Samaritans began to develop an important center in Damascus. During the course of the 14th century the two centers achieved the height of their social and religious development, and the contact between them, which sometimes reached the dimension of competition, brought about the strengthening and crystallization of the Samaritan life by the renewed writing of books on religious law, history, and the order of rituals. This manuscript is a rare relic of a bygone era in Samaritan history when their numbers were measured not in hundreds but in hundreds of thousands. For a complete transcription of the manuscript as well as a translation into Hebrew, please inquire of the department.


Samaritan Studies -- News

From July 22 to 26, 2007, the International Congress of the Society of Biblical Literature took place in Vienna, Austria. The following papers on Samaritan subjects were read:

Samaritan Studies Session I
8:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Room: Elise Richter Saal - Hauptgebaude

Abraham Tal, Israel, Presiding
Reinhard Pummer, University of Ottawa
The Origin of the Samaritans Reconsidered Again, Or: Is Samaritanism a Jewish Sect or an Independent Form of Yahwism? (30 min)
Ingrid Hjelm, University of Copenhagen
Samaria, Samaritans and the Composition of the Hebrew Bible (30 min)
József Zsengellér, Reformed Theological Academy
Temple of Mount Gerizim as a Trojan Horse: Facts and Interpretations of the Archeological Finds (30 min)
Break (30 min)
Stefan Schorch, Kirchliche Hochschule Bethel
The References to Mount Gerizim in the Samaritan Pentateuch (30 min)
Ariyeh Kasher, Tel Aviv University
Malthace: Herod's Samaritan Wife (30 min)
Lester Grabbe, University of Hull
Jubilees and the Samaritan Tradition (30 min)

Samaritan Studies Session II
1:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Room: Elise Richter Saal - Hauptgebaude

Reinhard Pummer, University of Ottawa, Presiding
Victor Rebrik, St. Petersburg, Russia
Samaritans in the Gospels (30 min)
Menahem Mor, University of Haifa
The Samaritans during the Second and Third Century CE (30 min)
Abraham Tal, University of Tel Aviv
Discerning Late Samaritan Aramaic (30 min)
Break (30 min)
Mose Florentin, University of Tel Aviv
Motivation and Ideology, Community and Language: Some Observations on the Literary Character of the Samaritan Targum (30 min)
Benjamin Tsedaqa, Institute of Samaritan Studies, Holon, Israel
An Introduction to the First English Translation of the Israelite Samaritan Pentateuch (30 min)

Biblical Scholarship from the Reformed Theological Academy in Pápa and the Caspar Karoli Reformed University in Budapest
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Room: Elise Richter Saal - Hauptgebaude

József Zsengellér, Reformed Theological Academy, Pápa, Presiding

János Bolyki, Caspar Karoli Reformed University, Budapest

Critical Editon Project of the Samaritan Pentateuch (30 min)

 EABS: Politicization of Bibles and Biblicization of Politics: Some Aspects
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Room: Marietta Blau Saal - Hauptgebaude

Jeremy Punt, University of Stellenbosch, Presiding
Yairah Amit, Tel Aviv University
The Samaritans: Biblical Considerations in the Solution of a Political Problem (45 min)


Prof. Menahem Mor of Haifa University is preparing the publication of the papers which were presented at the Sixth International Congress of the SES in Haifa in July 2004. The volume will also include papers which were read at the SBL Congress in Vienna. It is to be published by Walter de Gruyter in Berlin. 


The Proceedings of the Fifth International Congress of the Société d’Études Samaritaines, Helsinki, August 1-4, 2000, were published by Geuthner in Paris in 2005.


Reinhard Pummer, "The Samaritans and Their Pentateuch," in The Pentateuch as Torah: New Models for Understanding Its Promulgation and Acceptance, ed. Gary N. Knoppers and Bernard M. Levinson (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2007), pp. 237-269.



 A Bibliography of the Samaritans, Third Edition, by Alan David Crown and Reinhard Pummer is presently available from the publisher at 40% discount. See the website of Scarecrow Press (





A 17th century meeting with the Samaritan high priest

posted by Mississippi Fred MacDowell

In 1697 an Englishman named Henry Maundrell (1665-1701), was elected Chaplain at the Levant Company in Aleppo. That year he embarked on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Easter. The trip was chronicled by him and published in 1703 as Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem at Easter, A.D. 1697. The book went through many printings, as well as translations into other languages.
There is an interesting part about his visit to the Samaritan כהן גדול while in שכם.
Leaving Sebasta we passed in half an hour by Sherack, and in another half hour by Barseba, two villages on the right hand; and then entering into a narrow valley, lying east and west, and watered with a fine rivulet, we arrived in one hour at Naplosa.





Full page bookplate produced by Appleton in the 1870s.


Is there a Life after Death?

By Shomron

    I happened upon this story of a near death experience just recently. So curious as I get, I did a Google search on the subject. I was amazed at what I found.

Many people who have had these near death experiences seem to tell of a bright light associated with a feeling of total love, peace and tranquility. Many associate this with the creator. Some stated that they had understood what life was about and what we were supposed to do here today. Some claim that they were met by people in robes, even relatives that had past on some time earlier.

    One interesting story tells of a male nurse that was with a patient who  was brought back to life, who seemed to be talking to someone. The patient asked questions and even began confessing some wrongs he had done in the past. Some say that they understood all knowledge and that they understand that they existed since the moment of creation and shall always exist. One person wrote, "I experienced what we mean when we say that we have free will and that we choose everything. There are no absolutes. I watched every thought I had ever chosen to its natural end, and each person it had touched. I knew that I was, and had always been a speaker. Which meant I carried between entities and their expressions. I was in physical reality because it is time for the physical being to mature and accept their responsibility for their creation and to realize that they create their reality."

It is very interesting to read these personal testimonies. Some tell of seeing their bodies, hearing what was said, visiting relations, and so on. But what I really found fascinating is the many said that they seemed to fall, some said it was like into the earth. I have always felt that most likely we were in the lower firmament, but could we be in the upper firmament? Also, take note that Moses' face was so bright, he had to cover it! So if you are so interested, check these links out!


SBL 2008: Aramaic Studies Call for Papers

The Call for Papers is now open and updated for the Aramaic Studies section of the 2008 SBL conference. Meeting Begins: 11/21/2008 Meeting Ends: 11/25/2008

Call For Papers Opens: 11/17/2007 Call For Papers Closes: 3/1/2008

Aramaic Studies

The Aramaic studies section is intended to provide a forum for scholars interested in various aspects of Aramaic language and its literature. Previous paper topics have included aspects of the Targumim, Qumran Aramaic, Peshitta, Samaritan papyri, and Elephantine Aramaic. The call for papers is open to any submissions in Aramaic studies. A brief business session will also be held to discuss the future of Aramaic studies.

All questions should be directed to Christian Brady (



Web links

A Samaritan parallel to a famous saying in Pirkei Avot


7-2. Samartian Aramaic: The ten northern tribes of Israel: Samaritan Targum, Memar Marqah (Prose) and the Defter (liturgical texts).



Musicology and Sister Disciplines: Past, Present, Future : Proceedings of

By David Clive Greer, Ian Rumbold, Jonathan King Contributor Bernard Williams, Ian Rumbold, Jonathan King Published 2000 Oxford University Press Musicology/ Congresses 712 pages ISBN 0198167342 brief info on Samaritan music pgs 403-4

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