SeptOct 2008

Vol.  VIII - No.1

In This Issue

·         Festivals

·         Patriarchs

·         Sons

·         Lamps

·         Shem

·         Web Links

·         Muskogean

·         Biblio

The Samaritan Update, is a Monthly Internet Newsletter, a Division of

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Editor: Shomron

Co-Editor: Osher    


Staff Writer:

Staff Photographer:    


Staff Translator:


Special Contributors:


Contact information:

The Editor 


Your link to the Update Index

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To be published soon!

November 20, 2008

SAMARITANS' PAST AND PRESENT: Current Studies (Hardcover)

by Menachem Mor (Editor)

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Walter De Gruyter Inc (November 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 311019497X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3110194975




    Subscribe To the Newsletter -The Samaritan Update.

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     The Samaritans call themselves Bene-Yisrael (“Children of Israel”), or Shamerim (“Observant Ones”)




    Studies and Related Conferences:



    In Planning Stage

    SES: In University of Papa/ Hungary in 2008.

     organised by Dr. Joseph Zsengelle'


    Upcoming Society of Biblical Literature Meeting

    In Boston, November 21-25, 2008

    see past issue




    Important Links


    Samaritan Museum on Mount Gerizim.




    To be published soon!

    November 20, 2008

    SAMARITANS' PAST AND PRESENT: Current Studies (Hardcover)

    by Menachem Mor (Editor)

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Walter De Gruyter Inc (November 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 311019497X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3110194975




    New Samaritans-

    A DOCUMENTARY on Samaritan brides from the Ukraine





    The Samaritans-Israel stamps-1992











    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


    Festivals of Torah

    The typical words 'ye shall have a holy convocation' reads in the Samaritan Torah as, 'you shall have a holy reading' The word convocation is misleading. Convocation in English means, 'A number of persons who have come or been gathered together.' while this is correct that the Samaritans gather together, it is more important to have the reading of Torah. Shomron

    September 29, 2008 (Monday) - The Festival of the Seventh Month.
    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.
    October 4, 2008 (Saturday) Date corrected The Shabbat of Ten Days of Forgiveness.

    It is recommended to read all Book of Deuteronomy and speak afterwards with the family about the value of Atonement and forgiving between one person to other persons. There is no special portion for this Shabbat.
    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.
    September 8, 2008 (Wednesday) The Day of Atonement
    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].
    Deut. 30:1 - 34:12 - 11.10.2008 - The last portion of the Torah. Inside the portion read together loudly Deut. 31:30 - 32:43. At the end of the portion, the end of the Torah it should be said together loudly: Toorah that Mooshe has commanded us, inherited to the congregation of Yaaqob. It was given by the blessed Almighty, Blessed be our Eloowwem for good and blessed his Name for good. This addition should be said at the end of every portion of the Torah.

    October 13, 2008 (Monday)- THE HARVEST FESTIVAL [SUCCOTH]
    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.

    October 18, 2008 - (Saturday) - The Shabbat of the Festival of Harvest
    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.

    October 20, 2008 (Monday) THE FEAST OF SHEMINI ATZERET [The Eighth Day of Succoth]
    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.

    NOTE: On Shabbats and Festivals the worship is the same, no difference, from sunset the evening before till sunset the evening after. Adjust to the time of the sunset in your place, where you are then.

    Patriarchs Time Table

    by Shomron

    This is I believe to be the first time table of the Patriarchs using the Samaritan Israelite calculations from their Torah. I know this has been done in the past by Jewish scholars but using their Torah. This is a chart with the correlating years from creation to Joseph. This page is 8x11 in pdf format.



    Sons of Noah of Torah

    By Shomron

    In Genesis 5:32 it says, "And Naah (Noah) was five hundred years old, and bore Shem, and Aam (Ham), and Yefet (Japheth)." This verse standing alone indicates that Naah began having children and that Shem was his first son. Shem is mentioned first (Gen. 6:10, 7:13, 9:18) and therefore we understand this to emphasize that he was the first born.

    Naah began to have children in the year 1207 FC (From Creation) in the 500th year of his life (Gen. 5:32). The flood come about when Naah (Noah) was 600 years old (Gen. 7:6, 11). It states that Naah lived 350 years after the flood and all his days were 950 years.

    If Naah began to have children when he was 500 years old, that would make his first born 100 years old during the time of the flood. Yet, Genesis 11:10 indicates, 'Shem was one hundred years old and bore Arfakshaad (Arpachshad) two years after the flood.' Using the same standard as set in the years of Naah's life, two years after the Flood would have been 1309FC when Arfakshaad was born. From this we can conclude that Shem was born in 1209FC and was 100 years old in 1309FC.

    Now since Naah (born in 707FC) had children after he was born as stated in Gen. 5:32, the year would have been 1207FC. Then Shem being born in 1209FC and therefore could not have been Naah's first born son Had he been born at that time when Naah grandson was born, Shem would have been 102 not 100 as the verses inform us.

    Scripture indicates an order, Shem, and Aam (Ham), and Yefet (Japheth) in three locations (Gen. 6:10, 7:13, 9:18). (Gen.10:21) does in fact show that Shem was the older brother of Yefet. Yet, Gen. 9:24 indicates the youngest son of Naah, 'and he knew what his youngest son had done to him.' Who was Naah speaking of is found in verse 22, 'and Aam, the father of Kaanahn (Canaan), saw the nakedness of his father,' Is this an indication that Aam being the youngest since the verse indicates that Aam saw the nakedness or is it that Aam bore the responsibility of his son Kaanahn or was Kaanahn considered the youngest?


    Jewish scholars opinions: The Jewish Talmud also give the opinion that Shem was not the oldest. Some Jewish scholars have given the oldest born to be Yefet (Japheth) but this is not possible because of Gen. 10:21. Jewish books such as the the Midrash,  Sefer HaYashar 5:16 indicates that Shem was not the first born. Jewish scholars have also noticed the time of Shem being 100, two years after the flood.


    The Bottom Line: It has been the opinion of many authors and Samaritan scholars that Shem was the first born son of Noah, well as shown above and did receive the firstborn blessings.


    Shem Was Not Melchizedek as Tradition Speculates.

    By Shomron

    According to Jewish tradition, Shem was the king of Salem, known as Melchizedek. The Samaritan verse in Gen. 14:18 has the name Malki Sedeq, king of Shaalem.


    Since as shown above in the Patriarchs Time Table, Shem was born in 1207/9 FC. Shem lived 600 years till he died in 1807/9FC. Abraham was born  in 2249 FC which was 942 years after the flood. Shem only lived 600 years and 98/100 years of his life was before the flood. So just to make a statement that Shem was the king of Salem in Abraham's time would be incorrect.


    Holyland Oil Lamps By Ken Baumheckel

    Early Samaritan lamp of orange clay, having a bow-shaped nozzle with concave sides. In the Samaritan tradition of "horror vacui", the entire lamp is lavishly decorated with ladder designs, concentric circles, and semicircles with lines inside. The discus was broken by the user. The lamp has a ring base with a central omphalos dot, and at the rear of the lamp there is a small pyramid-shaped handle. The lamp measures 9.5 cm long, 6.5 cm wide, and 3.0 cm high. 4th - 5th century CE. Israeli & Av. 399, Adler 656 (similar).
    Comment: Dry (carbonized?) plant roots are extant inside this lamp and can be seen in the photo (inside the filling hole). Adler suggests that the Samaritans made lamps with closed discuses to be broken by the user because of their purity traditions. (A closed lamp did not receive impurity).


    Web Links


    Rabbi Rock presents The Samaritan, BenYamim Tsedaka

    A brief video in two parts.



    The Persecution of the Jews in the Roman Empire (300-428)

    by James Everett Seaver



    Пришли в Иерусалим волхвы с Востока (Мф 2:1)

    Самаритяне — это великолепный «исторический эксперимент»: что представляла бы собой религия Израиля, если бы не влияние "Востока" (Вавилона/Персии). По сути, христианство, с его центральным событием и основным упованием — Воскресением, без этого влияния не получается.

    Отношение самаритян к учению о воскресении достаточно противоречиво, и эта противоречивость сохранилась и, похоже, обострилась в самаритянском христианстве (о котором см.: Yoo, Tae Yeab, Reconstructing the Identity of Samaritan Christianity. PhD, Claremont, California, 1997; Dion, P. E., Pummer, R., A Note on the “Samaritan-Christian Synagogue” in Ramat-Aviv // Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period 11:2 (Leiden 1980) 217-222).



    The Samaritans: it's endogamy, not cousin-marriage (per se)   posted by Razib


    Commentary on the Asatir and Findings

    by Larry Rynearson


    The Asatir, the Samaritan Book of the Secrets of Moses

    Together with the Pitron or Samaritan Commentary

    Written and translated by Moses Gaster, 1927.  pgs 247, 249]:

    The Pharaoh who was in the time of our master Joseph was of the seed of Ishmael, and the Pharaoh who was in the time of our master Moses was of the seed of Jefet Kittim. In his days Moses was born; and it is said about him in the Asatir. "And the slave Rodanim became Pharaoh." And these are the generations of Pharaoh, the son of Gutis, the son of Atiss, the son of Rbtt, the son of Gutsis, the son of Rims, the son of Kittin, the son of Javan, who had learned in the Book of Signs in the town of Babel the Great. And he came out of Sion and he wandered to Nineveh. And when our master Joseph- on whom be peace- was thirty years old, he became king over the land of Eypt. And he was second Pharaoh, besides the first mentioned above, and he had gone to Nineveh and had stayed there three years and one month; and after that he went to Damascus and to Kruzh, that is the town of Kush. And he stayed there sixty three years. And Joseph died and all his brothers and all the men of his generation and the kingdom of Ishmael was charged; as it is said in the Book Asatir, "And the kingdom of Ishmael was charged and Amalek became powerful and he ruled over the land of Egypt." And when the second Pharaoh who was in Nineveh, heard of the death of the king of Egypt, and that Amalek had gained possession of it, he came down with evil and ruled over it one year. And he stayed and held Egypt by force and there was great tribulation in its midst, and the destruction lasted three years. And the king of Egypt died, and there came another king in the land of Egypt and his name was Pharaoh III. And he gathered a large force of Ktpai and he reigned sixty years. And thus the number of kings who ruled over Egypt in the time from Joseph (p. 249) to Moses, who was drowned in the Sea of Reeds was four. For from the time when our master Joseph died unto the day when Moses the messenger was born sixty three years elapsed. This is the absolute truth and there is no difference of opinion about it. On the day when our Master returned from Midian to the land of Egypt, he was eighty years old, so the sum total of these years is one hundred and forty three. The Pharaoh in whose time our Master Moses was born, is the one who ruled for sixty years, and of him it is said, "and he died."


    Commentary of this Section by Shomron

    First, it is an interesting section of the Asatir concerning the Pharaohs of Egypt and the reigns during the time of Joseph and Moses. Understand that the word Egypt is really Mizraim who was the son of Aam (Ham), the son of Naah (Noah) of the great flood. Mizraim's sixth born son was Kasla'em (Cashluim) who was the father of Kaaahn (Canaan). Each father divided his land to his sons, in the same way that Israel was divided up among the tribes. The fact that some of the land was most likely called Egypt by scholars is the fact it was ruled by Egyptians. According to the Asatir, the Pharaoh during the time of Joseph was of the seed of Ishmael. Abraham had a son from Hagar, a Misrite (Egyptian) lady. Ishmael's children settled from Aabbeela (Havilah) to Shor (Shur) facing Missrem (Egypt) towards Aashora (Asshur), the son of Shem, son of Naah (Noah). (Gen. 25:18). Remember there was a famine in the land.

    'The Pharaoh who was in the time of our master Moses was of the seed of Jefet Kittim,' placing an interesting situation of the situation. Was he a Pharaoh of Egypt? It is interesting that in the verses of Exodus (1:8) that there was 'a new king, a Pharaoh that knew not of Yoosef (Joseph)'. Who was this king? According to the Asatir, the king or Pharaoh if you will was a son of Jefet Kittim. Who was Jefet Kittim? Jefet is Yefet (Japheth), the son of Noah. Yefet bore Yaabaan (Javan), who bore Kittemites which is the Kittim. Then the Asatir gives the sons names to the reigning king of Pharaoh if you will. But how is this possible. An uneasy explanation is this, the Pharaoh was of the Hyksos, the unknown raiders and pharaohs in Egypt. Scholars have had no luck in discovering who the Hyksos were? Some think they were Hittites, or Syrian Bedouins, from Asia Minor as the Egyptians called them "Asiatics." The Hyksos accordingly by scholars, ruled Egypt for 198 or 511 years.

    The Hyksos rulers were called 'Shepherd kings'. The Sumerian king list translated by Vincente 1995 calls the kings 'shepherds,' most likely of their flocks, their tribes. The Sumerians are well know for the living between the Tigris and Euphrates, had inscriptions of the Code of Hammurabi, the Flood, etc. Kish, a Sumerian city maybe seen in the Asatir, "and after that he went to Damascus and to Kruzh, that is the town of Kush."


    Fact is, if the Asatir is correct, which I believe it is, the Hyksos were the sons as I describe. Using internet research, I was able to find six Hyksos kings name, one of these is 'Assis' which to me corresponds with "Atiss" mentioned in the Asatir. Another ruler mentioned in the Asatir was Rims who may have been Rim-Sin I who ruled the ancient Near East city/state of Larsa from 1758BC to 1699BC. Gutis and/or Gutsis maybe related to the city of Gutium.  Rodanim or also spelled Dodanim was a son of Javan, great grandson of Noah and has been associated with the Greeks. Kittin or Kittim are interesting since they are also associated with the Greeks. The Hyksos being on the coast of the Mediterranean, they would have spread across the sea.


    Eloowwem will praise Yefet (Japheth) and he will dwell in the tents of Shem and Kaanahn (Canaan) will be his slave. (Gen. 9:27)

    According to a chart that I have been developing showing the years since the Creation,  the Israelite Exodus was in 1685 BCE. The Hyksos kings ruled the land at this time. 

    It is interesting that the Israelites had not left and went back home to the land that was promised to their forefathers but see this I understand why they had not returned. They could have left and returned after the famine to their home. The Hyksos most likely would have had control later and just maybe the Israelites would have lost many lives from the wars had they returned. In any event, not returning to the land sooner and remaining was the safest place to be at the time for the Israelites.

    To study this entire realm, I do not have time for at this time, but I found it interesting and I thought I would share this information.


    Web links

    Lands of the Bible by J.W. McGarvey CHAPTER V. PLACES WITH SHE'CHEM AS A CENTRE. pp. 279-297 I. BETWEEN BETHEL AND SHE'CHEM.


    Hierarchal Muskogean Societies from a Muskogee Perspective

    Essay by Richard L. Thornton

    Muskogean Religion

       At the time of European Contact, the ancestors of the Creeks, Seminoles, Miccosukee, Alabama & Koasati practiced a monotheistic religion based on the worship of a single, invisible, omnipotent Creator.  It was NOT the same religion as practiced by the western Muskogeans in the Mississippi River Basin.  Unlike the Natchez,  Florida Arawaks and people of the Central Mississippi Valley,  there was no human sacrifice or worship of idols.   The de Soto Chronicles recount that the Eastern Muskogeans repeatedly explained that the many stone, ceramic and wood statues in and around public buildings were famous ancestors, not gods.  However, they also were aware that neighboring societies, whom they considered pagans, did worship idols.

       Major features of Southeastern monotheism included the concept of an eternal soul; a heavenly spiritual world for the righteous located somewhere to the west that was ruled by the Creator;  an underground hell for evil-doers ruled by the Horned Serpent; daily ritual bathing (baptism);  mandatory confession & forgiveness of sins prior to participation in rituals;  the requirement that men wear turbans while inside a sacred building or space;  the requirement that women live apart from men during menstruation and delivery of  babies;  the recognition of towns and places where no blood could be shed;  seasonal religious festivals; the title of Keeper being used for all types of priests; the special spiritual significance of caves and mountaintops; and the renewal of all domestic hearths from the coals of the Sacred Fire in the temple at the beginning of the new year.     Interestingly enough, these beliefs and practices were identical to those even today, of the ancient sect of the Samaritans in Israel.  For this fact, we currently have no explanation.  There were only a few significant differences between the two religions. All righteous Muskogean men and women worshiped together, while both the Samaritans & Jews segregate women.  Also, the Muskogean have no cultural memory of circumcision, while both the Samaritans & Jews still practice this custom. Like the Maya, the Muskogean were obsessed with the keeping of accurate time and calendars by means of monitoring the sun (as a religious obligation.)  The Muskogean calendar was far more accurate than that used by the ancient Hebrews, but much more similar to the Gregorian calendar than the Maya calendar in its structure (7-day week~30 day month.)



    Bibliography Additions not found in the third edition



    Catalogue Ref. D/F/AMH Amherst family of Didlington, Norfolk
    Hackney Archives Department: Amherst family papers
    ARCHAEOLOGY - ref. D/F/AMH/162-193  FILE - including a letter from the chief of the Samaritans (dated 2 Oct 1877)


    The Papers of John Steegman Catalogue Ref. GBR/0272/STE Creator(s): Steegman, John, d 1966 Writings - ref. STE/1   FILE - 'Samaritan evening, with sacrifice' -ref.  STE/1/20  - date: Undated            (Shomron: I am not sure of the contents)


    ALFRED WATKINS PAPERS Catalogue Ref. M90 Creator(s):Walker, Alfred FILE  [no title] - ref.  M90/2  - date: 1924-1929    item: [no title] - ref.  M90/2/86 [n.d.] [from Scope and ContentDiscoveries on Mount Gerizim

    [no title]  DD/E/215/108  9 Dec. 1855 These documents are held at Nottinghamshire Archives Contents: Jacob est Shelaby at 10 Carlisle St., Soho Square, London, to archbishop of York [Musgrave]: Refers to earlier favourable notice of a petition "from my brethren the Samaritans of Nablous (Sychar)." Begs again for favor of benevolent consideration as wishing shortly to return to native country and trusts that be able to prove to brethren that England feels sympathy & is willing to lend as helping hand to those in distress. Bishop of London & earl of Shaftesbury taken great interest in cause; addresses him as one of heads of Church of England "feeling persuaded that Your Grace must take an interest in the wonderfully preserved remnant of so peculiar a people whose history is recorded in Holy Writ." Endorsed: Sent onto Rev. W.D. Veitch

     CONTACT: Hackney Archives Department Website  changed to

   . Copyright 2008