All the Days of Our Lives”
January/ February 2014 Vol. XIII - No 3
In This Issue ·
A Poem and a letter ·
Samaritan manuscripts ·
Sinners and Shehmaa ·
Gaster Project ·
Lexicon Project ·
Auction Results ·
New Website ·
Three Letters ·
In the News ·
Gerizim Tours ·
From the Editor ·
News From the Past ·
New Publications ·
In This Issue
· Tomb of Elazar
· A Poem and a letter
· Samaritan Interpretation
· Samaritan manuscripts
· Sinners and Shehmaa
· Gaster Project
· Lexicon Project
· Auction Results
· New Website
· Three Letters
· In the News
· Gerizim Tours
· From the Editor
· News From the Past
· New Publications
Eleventh Month 3652 - Thursday Evening, January 30, 2014
Twelfth Month 3652 - Friday Evening, February 28, 2014
First day of the First Month 3652 - Sunday Evening., March 30, 2014
Passover Sacrifice - Sunday, April 13, 2014
Festival of Passover. First Day of Matzos - Monday, April 14, 2014
Festival of Unleavened Bread - first Pilgrimage. – Sun. April 20, 2014
Festival of Weeks. Second Pilgrimage - Sunday, June 8, 2014
On Sunday, April 13, 2014, the Samaritans will perform their duty to keep the memorial Passover sacrifice as instructed as their fore fathers had done before them.
Once again this year, there is expected to be tour buses traveling for the event. Once they send us their full information, it will be posted on the main web page of theSamaritanUpdate.com. For those that maybe driving, we suggest you use your maps and enter Mount Gerizim from the West side in place of traveling through the busy streets of Nablus.
Isaac Ha-Kohen Ben Amram Ben Isaac
Isaac Ha-Kohen passed away. He was born in Nablus in 1936 when his father, Amram was Secretary of the Congregation. He was the youngest son. He studied Torah community of priests, finished law studies and integrated work in the Ministry of health. He married his cousin beautiful woman in 1970, and both brought to three daughters and a son. After retiring from his work developing the Ministry of counseling and support from pension funds and advice.
The priest Father Amram Ben Isaac [1980-1889] raised and nurtured him. He had a sensitive soul to injustice and oppression. He raised his family with love and encouragement to acquire an education.
He was among the first to come for prayer at the synagogue and feared God and was observant of the Torah. May he Rest in Peace!
Tomb of Elazar Desecrated
See the full article http://www.israelite-samaritans.com/tomb-elazar/ by Benyamim Tsedaka
This is the Tomb of Elazar, the High Priest and son of Aaron, the brother of Moses. His Burial location is acknowledged by Samaritans, who have kept charge of the site. Recently, with weather permitting, a small group of young Samaritan males white-washed the site.
Renovation of the Tomb of the High Priest Eleazar son of Aaron, in Nablus by a group of young Samaritans (Feb. 2014) Well Done!!! כל הכבוד!!!
Two hundred seventy contracts are included in this book, the lion’s share of which concern the Rabbinic Jews. In addition, Karaites are involved in numerous cases, whereas only a few contracts belong to Christians. And only a single contract is Samaritan; it goes back to the year 1584, meaning that only two Jewish contracts are older – by one year. This Samaritan contract is the oldest known to us today, since the most ancient contract in Abraham Firkovitch’s collection (1786–1874) of Samaritan manuscripts preserved in the above-mentioned library dates back to 1649. A wide range of subjects and disputes is discussed and resolved in these contracts, which have titles such as ‘The Jew, the Muslim and the red female mule’ (the earliest, 1583); the subjects also deal with taxes among Christians and Jews, the suit of a Jew who became a Muslim (and was turned down), a suspicious man, a purchase of a house in Safed; a dispute between neighbours; the American consul in Damascus; and Jews of Russian nationality.
The Samaritan contract, consisting of 146 words, is transcribed above followed by my Hebrew translation, accompanied by some clarifications and preceded by a detailed background of the pivotal role of Damascus for the Samaritans in the Middle Ages. Samaritans lived in Damascus from ancient times until the riots of 1625, which caused the well-known family of Denfi to immigrate to Nablus. The Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela (1130–1173) reported that approximately 400 Samaritans lived in Damascus, whereas only 200 were found in each of the cities of Nablus and Caesarea. In addition there was a high priest in Damascus, and the city witnessed a scientific and literary renaissance during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries (see the Arabic book on physicians by Ibn Abi USaibi’a, d. 1269) that led to the emergence of a new manifestation of language known in present scholarly circles as ‘Neo-Samaritan Hebrew’. No wonder then that a great number of Samaritan manuscripts, estimated as more than 4,000 and scattered around the world, originated in Damascus and Cairo. It suffices here to mention that the Samaritan Torah published in Paris polyglot in 1632 and in London polyglot in 1657 stems from a Damascene manuscript purchased by the Italian traveller Pietro della Valle in 1616. Some Syrian families such as Naḥḥās, al-Rumailī, al-‘Asalī and al-Ğa‘farī were originally Samaritan.
Herewith I am publishing for the first time two eulogies, both attributed to al-Maghrebi al-Bahloul. This publication is based on fifteen primary sources: eight Samaritan manuscripts, one Arabic manuscript found at King Saud University library, and six texts available on the internet. These poems of tribute are written in a language that resembles dialectal Arabic rather than written Arabic. A Hebrew translation and a linguistic survey follow the discussion of the poems’ Arabic origins.
The first eulogy is entitled “This is a Maghrebi Asceticism”. Its words are sung to the same melody as the poem “There is no god but God…”, and it has one hundred and two verses.
The second eulogy has no title; as found in Sam JRUL manuscript no. XIV in Manchester,
England, which is the basis for this edition, it has ninety-eight verses. Its verses are sung to the melody of the poem ‘Get up and Turn to God Before the End of Your Life’. The earlier layer of this manuscript, which includes both eulogies, was copied by ‘Abdallah bin Murgan in 1723. I have compared the two eulogies in the Manchester manuscript with three other primary Samaritan sources: manuscript no. 7019 housed at the Yad ben-Zvi Library in West
Jerusalem, copied by Kamal al Israel al-Sarawi in 1930 and referred to in this edition as al -
Quds; the manuscript known as Kitab al-Tasabih and copied by the High Priest Avisha ben
Tabia in 1927, preserved in a private library on Mount Gerizim, and referred to as Nagi; and the codex also entitled Kitib al-Tasbih, whose contents were collected and made available
by Ratson Tsedaka in 1970. An additional four incomplete Samaritan manuscripts kept at the
Russian National Libray have also been utilized here and are referred to as Salama, Yusuf, Qqatqut, and Murgan. Read it here
Creating easy and reliable access to Samaritan
manuscripts, and the ancient Hebrew alphabet on the Internet
By: Dr. Jim Ridolfo,University of Kentucky
In the picture: A manuscript of a Samaritan Scroll from the year 1145CE [Thanks to Dr. David Gilner (left)]
In 2003 Benyamim Tsedaka visited Michigan State University
and spoke before a public meeting of the Board of Trustees. Tsedaka told the
university trustees that they have in their library a large collection of
Samaritan manuscripts, which came to them from the estate of the late Edward
Kirk Warren. Benyamim Tsedaka asked the university to allow more public access
Five years after Benyamim Tsedaka’s remarks, in 2008, I found his request to the Board of Trustees while looking for online information about the Samaritan manuscripts in the Michigan State University library. My curiosity about the Samaritan manuscripts increased, and I wanted to check with Benyamim Tsedaka to learn if the university had ever done something with the Samaritan manuscripts since his 2003 visit, and I found that little had been done.
A Google search found Benyamim Tsedaka’s correct email address, and I sent him a short message, “Hi, my name is Jim Ridolfo and I am a doctoral student at Michigan State University. I found your request regarding the Samaritan manuscripts from 2003. Do you still want to do something with them? Would you want to work with me to digitize manuscripts here at Michigan State University?”
In response, Benyamim wrote back, yes, yes! So, we had a project to digitize Samaritan manuscripts.
Since 2008, Dr. William Hart-Davidson and I continue to computerize the Samaritan manuscripts at two universities - Michigan State University and Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati.
You can see several important manuscripts at the project site here: http://samaritanrepository.org/
For example, you can read a rare manuscript of Deuteronomy from 1145 CE plus parts of three Samaritan manuscripts dating back over 500 years in Egypt. In addition, there’s an attached map of the Samaritan manuscripts out to Israel. http://www.samaritanarchive.org/maps/manuscripts
Ancient Samaritan Hebrew Keyboard
I also created a Samaritan Keyboard for Apple computers and Microsoft keyboards that can be downloaded here: http://rid.olfo.org/keyboard
In the future we plan to continue to computerize Samaritan manuscripts in both universities. If there are readers of the newspaper " A.B. – The Samaritan News or participants on Facebook [or Readers of the Samaritan Update] that have ideas or questions, please write me to: email@example.com
Benyamim Tsedaka Notes:
AB – The Samaritan News and A.B. – Institute of Samaritan Studies meticulously provide correct information about the Israelite Samaritans in the web site: Israelite-samaritans.com added the sites of the researcher Dr. Jim Ridolfio [34 ] at the University of Kentucky, showing the beginning of a job by a joint committee to digitize Samaritan manuscripts at Michigan State University.
Dr. Jim Ridolfo and I are both members of two reputable sites all use the internet. One site presented in the ancient Samaritan manuscripts, and two - Keyboard Hebrew script - the ancient Samaritan. We also have the first site with all the information about the location of the Samaritan manuscripts in the world.
Recently a member of the Israeli Committee of the Samaritans in Holon Eyal Cohen asked me: "When you will no longer be in the world, how will future generations find information about all the Samaritan manuscripts in the world and access to them? The article by Jim Ridolfo and his resources are a complete answer to this question.
Head of A.B. – Institute of Samaritan Studies
Holon, Israel and Mount Gerizim, Samaria
The Sinners of the Golden Calf and Shehmaa against Ashima
The sinners of Golden calf were only minor part of the people, as they always gave harm days to Moses, although their number probably was thousands, but to say that all the followers from Egypt took part in the Calf sin it is not true. Aaron had a weak personality not to stand under the pressure of these criminals. The shock he had was for two reasons: the absence of Moses and the fact that just right after they heard the Ten Commandments started with the two commandments of forbidden idolatry, some of the leadership, including some of the Levites helped Aaron to make the Golden Calf. This story has a message that better to live simple life with worshiping the Almighty than chasing after property and big money to live life of cheating.
The closeness in pronunciation and spelling of The Name [Shehmaa] and the idol Ashima is incidental and has nothing to do with the Israelites of the Kingdom of Ephraim=Israel and the historical facts. The minority of the foreigners brought by the Assyrians to the former Kingdom of Israel for administrative reasons had idols they worshiped as Ashima, Nergal and others [Kings 2, Chapter 17]. At the same time the majority of the Israelites that remained in the Assyrian colonies in the former Kingdom of Israel territories, held the complete and original Torah of Moses and they believed in the Almighty to prefer calling Him Shehmaa not to name His Name in vain - Shehmaa=The Name. This rule never ceased till our days.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 AT 12:55PM
Cataloguing Project. The Centre is delighted to announce an award of £2500 from the John Rylands Research Institute for a project to catalogue Moses Gaster’s correspondence with the Samaritan community in Nablus at the beginning of the twentieth century (four boxes of c.500 letters). This is part of a series of Gaster-related projects that have been and continue to be conducted at Manchester. Further information.
COMPREHENSIVE ARAMAIC LEXICON PROJECT
The CAL is a text base of the Aramaic texts in all dialects from the earliest (9th Century BCE) through the 13th Century CE, currently with a database of approximately 2.5 million lexically parsed words, and an associated set of electronic tools for analyzing and manipulating the data, whose ultimate goal is the creation of a complete lexicon of the language. IT IS A WORK IN PROGRESS, not a completed dictionary. Accordingly, any citations for scholarly purposes should include the date when the data was found. http://cal.huc.edu/
Results of the Modern Samaritan Manuscripts Collection Bought in Public Auction in Jerusalem in February, 2014 by Benyamim Tsedaka
A collection of manuscripts and books of the late Abraham Tsedaka was given by his successor recently to a public auction by “Kedem” Auctions house in Jerusalem and sold completely to antiquities dealers by the total of $15,000. The Estimated selling price was 10,000-12,000$ Link
Some of the items belonged to him, some from through the inheritance of his wife Rachel and the others borrowed by him from his father in law and never returned back. Anyway all the collection was given up at auction recently. The most important of the collection were the manuscripts copied by Samaritan sages of the 18-19Th centuries.
Statement from KEDEM:
Description: Large collection of Samaritan booklets, books and manuscripts from the 19th and 20th centuries, from the estate of Abraham Nur Tsedaka, who during the 1960s and 70s worked as editor and printer of annotated editions of Samaritan manuscripts with explanations of Samaritan laws and customs. [also see the previous Samaritan Update]
Dublin Castle, Dublin
The Samaritan Collection consists of two books and a collection of several fragments - individual leaves or groups of leaves from a variety of manuscripts. These are all copies of the one text (the Samaritan Pentateuch) and range in date from the twelfth to the seventeenth century. Undoubtedly, the two Samaritan codices Ms 751 (1225) and Ms 752 (1339) are of international importance. These were purchased by Beatty in 1930, through Dr Yahuda.
Plummer, Reinhart (1979) 'The Samaritan Manuscripts of the Chester Beatty Library', Studies (spring/summer): 66-79.
A New Website http://www.olim.us/ appeared on the internet on Feb. 14th, 2013 by the Samaritan Community in Holon. This great website is in Hebrew.
Their introduction post reads in Hebrew. We have there for here given an English translation:
“Welcome to the Samaritan community. The database can be found in a variety of Verses from the mouths of poets many photos, videos and reviews many activities at the Samaritan community in Holon, the site is also a forum where you can sign up, you will find it in the links above.
Poems arranged by holidays, every holiday you will find the hymn is written. To enjoy the contents above we ask you to register with the site, forum and start surfing! Happy surfing! The Samaritan community in Holon.”
On the website, they have the largest collection of Samaritan liturgical on the net, including the Samaritan calendar, videos, photos and a forum. The forum, which can be nice and informative. But let us hope that they back up their files, since in the past hackers have accessed a Samaritan website.
Three Letters of Rabbi Obadiah Yerei of Bertinoro 1488-1490 and one letter of his student
Translated by Yaacov Dovid Shulman
There are about 700 Jewish families in Cairo today. 50 of them are Samaritans, 150 are Karaites and the rest are Rabbinic Jews.
The Samaritans only have the Five Books of Moses. Their script is different than that of our holy Torah. Maimonides has written that the Samaritans use a Jewish script that the Jews originally wrote in before they were exiled to Assyria, as is mentioned in the Talmud, in Sanhedrin. They have the Holy Tongue, as we do, but they read it with a slightly different pronunciation, due to their different writing. Also, wherever the Torah has the Tetragrammaton, they write the word, “Asima.” The Jews feel very hostile toward them, because they offer sacrifices and incense on Mt. Gerizim.
Many of these Samaritans traveled with us from Cairo to their temple on Mt. Gerizim to sacrifice the paschal lamb. They keep the Sabbath from midday Friday to midday Saturday. Although they used to be many, very few are left. I was told that today there are no more than about 500 Samaritan families left in the entire world.
The Samaritans are richer than the other Jews in Cairo. They work for the major Egyptian ministers as treasurers and agents. Some have 200,000 or 100,000 golden florins.
The king is a greedy and ruthless man whose throat is an open grave and whose eye is never satisfied. There has been great distress in all of Egypt, because the king has been collecting huge amounts of money to support his army that he sent to fight against the king of Turkey in Ahlab (Aram Tzoba), on the Euphrates. He imposed a great tax burden on the Jews in Cairo: a total of 75,000 golden florins on the Samaritans, Rabbinic Jews and Karaites. He imposed this tax on every nationality, including Christians and Moslems.
In Gaza I saw the building that, according to the Jews there, was pulled down by Samson. In Gaza today, there are about 70 Rabbinic families and 2 Samaritan families. I didn’t see any Karaites there.
Last month, the Israel Skiing Association petitioned the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to change the name of all slalom events.
According to the Israelis, the event was invented in biblical times by the Samaritans and it was called shalom racing. The Samaritans held annual competitions on Mount Gerizim, which Israeli geologist say, was snow covered in winter in the days long before the onset of global warming. It is claimed that the Samaritans and the Judeans participated in events called shalom, giant shalom and super gimmel.
PA to remove religion from ID cards
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority has decided to remove the section detailing religious affiliation on Palestinian identity cards, according to officials.
The undersecretary of the ministry of interior Hassan Alawi told Ma'an
that President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree to remove religious affiliation
from identity cards beginning on Feb. 11, 2014.
Alawi said the decision was made entirely by Palestinian authorities and ensures the equality of all Palestinians, regardless of their religion.
Although the majority of Palestinians are Muslims, just under 10 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank are Christian, in addition to thousands more in the Gaza Strip.
A few hundred Palestinians in the West Bank are Samaritans, a religion closely associated to Judaism. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=673377
See French article: L'Autorité Palestinienne va retirer la mention « religion » des cartes ...
11 dead as ME battered by hail, snow, rain- January 10, 2013
The two women found dead near the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem - one from the ancient Samaritan community - had been posted as missing since Tuesday.
This short video highlights an incredible opportunity provided by Green Olive Tours. Along this journey you can visit Jacob’s Well, The Old City, Balata Refugee Camp, an olive oil soap factory, and Mount Grizim and the Samaritan village. A creative and alternative approach to experience the culture of Nablus, meet and interact with locals, and immerse yourself in this wonderful city!
Day 6. Samaria and Nablus. We will spend much the morning in the Old City of Nablus, learn about the ancient soap production, famous Nablus sweets, and other items within the ancient market and lunch with a local women’s group learning about the Palestinian slow food movement and local culture. After a brief visit to Jacob’s Well and then meet with the Samaritans on Mt. Gerazim and learn about their culture and traditions. http://breakingbreadjourneys.com/foodtour/
Jerusalem Pilgrimage by Warren Shoberg
Our next journey was to drive up and up to Mount Gerizim. This is the ancient mountain atop which the Samaritans worshipped. I am continually amazed at the vertical distance between the valleys and mountains here.
A Samaritan priest met us at their synagogue and spoke to us. He was quite delightful but it was obvious he had difficulty with English. When he finished speaking he told us he had “used up all his words.”
The ditch over which the Passover lambs are slaughtered.
They celebrate the three
great festivals. On Passover they have a ceremonial plaza where
each family brings its lamb, the high priest reads from Exodus, all the lambs are slaughtered over a ditch, they are cleaned, the offal and wool is burned and the lambs roasted in six large pits. At midnight each father takes the lamb home to his family and they eat the Passover meal. Our leader, Rodney, had been to observe this ceremony a few years ago so he could fill in the details.
From the Editor
جامع نابلس الكبير Jami' Nablus al-Kebir) and the Al-Khadra Mosque ( مسجد الخضرة, transliteration: Masjid al-Khadra, translation: "the Green Mosque" also known as Hizn Sidna Yaq’ub Mosque). We know that in Egypt, Samaritan manuscript fragments were found in the Cairo Genizah and also Samaritan fragments in Damascus. [See James Fraser, 'Documents from a Samaritan Genizah in Damascus', Palestine Exploration Quarterly (1971), 85-92]. So are there some fragments in a small room in the Nablus Mosques?
And also, are there any manuscripts among the families of the heritage of the Samaritans that are now Moslems? It could be possible that a family or two had kept a manuscript or two just because it had their family tree written on the shoulders of it. Just some curious thoughts!
Earthquakes in 1182, 1201, 1202 caused extensive damage to the structures and loss of life.
In 1225, only Samaritans lived in Nablus according to Yāqūt ibn-'Abdullah al-Rūmī al-Hamawī) (1179–1229) with a large mosgue. James of Verona, an Augustinian monk in 1335 says that the mosque was a church in the past
In Damascus, in the years 1290-1293 dhimmers (non-Mulsims) were all expelled from public office after the revolt under the rule of al-Ashraf Khalil. In the following years mass conversion took place.
Yet in 1355, Ibn Batutah mentions a main mosque in Nablus but does not mentions the Samaritans as Abu-l Fida does in 1321.
In 1481, Meshullam of Volterra, visiting Gaza mentions only four Samaritan families living there.
In 1488, R. Obadiah of Bertinoro said there were 50 Samaritan in Cairo with one synagogue and worked for the Egyptian ministers as treasurers and agents. In Gaza he saw two Samaritan families. There is said to be a burial ground in the district of Al-Habash in Egypt.
In 1516, Nablus fell under Turkish rule.
The Ottoman Tahrir Registers gives us an indication of the Samaritans for the area of Gaza, in 1525/6, 100 Samaritans, sixty in 1538/9, seventy-five in 1548/9, seventy in 1538/9 and thirty-two in 1596/7. Nablus had one hundred twenty in 1538/9, one hundred-forty in 1548/9 and eighty in 1596/7. Then in the records of 1690/01 there is a hundred in Nablus and twenty-five in Gaza.
In 1584, J.J. Scaliger purchased a Samaritan manuscript of the Samaritan Book of Joshua from Samaritans in Cairo, it is in the Leiden collection today.
One of the reasons for the decline in the Samaritan populations was the poll tax called Jizya, on all non-Muslims, defined as al-Dhimma. The Jizya is a per capita tax on all non-Muslims citizens living in the Muslin Territories. In Nablus between the years 1538-1596, the amount was between 60 – 80 Ottoman akce or as the Europeans called it, asper (silver coin) per person or household. This tax varied per the government agent in office. There was also a tax (kharaj) on agricultural land, land tax (harac), travel tax, etc. At times the collected money would go into the pockets of the governor to refill his treasury from the bribes that he paid to get his position. In Nablus there were no less than thirteen different governors between 1805 and 1842. From 1538- 1548 (a 10 year span) the tax revenue for the city of Nablus increased more than 5 times (5,000 to 26,500).
Had the area had something similar are the Constitution of Medina, the Samaritans would have fared better. Yet the laws made life difficult they had to: live separated from the Muslims; have lower houses then the Muslims; practice their religion secretly and in silence; bury their day hastily in different types of tombs; refrain from showing in public religious objects (such as the Samaritan succah, preforming the Passover Sacrifice, etc.) and sacred texts (Samaritan scrolls were always shown to visitors inside); to wear certain cloths (no silk garments, Turbans made of coarse black stuff, sometime before 1772 they were red, some accounts of wearing old shoes suspended over their shoulders with bells attached.; could not go near or enter mosques; forbidden to ride horses or camels (donkeys were permitted outside of town and had to dismount on sight of a Muslim and required to walk in the same path of the beast when passing a mosque) pack-saddles wear allowed only and ; to pass on the left (impure) side of a Muslim, who was advised to push them to the wall; walk humbly with eyes lowered; remain standing in a humble, respectful attitude in the presence of a Muslim; never interfere with a Muslims religious observance especially prayer; never speak to Muslims except to reply; accept insults without replying; leave Muslims the best places. When charges were placed by a Muslim before a tribunal, the Samaritan seldom was able to respond in testimony. These charges brought imprisonment, beatings (including torture that could result in death), or/and ransoms (avanies). In 1812 Isaac b. Shalamah was lynched in a public bath. Offences against Samaritans by Moslems including death were seldom punished since they could always find a reason to justify his actions.
Certain charges brought the death penalty: carry or possess weapons; raise a hand against a Muslim, even against an aggressor unjustly determined to kill him; become allies of the enemies of the Arabs; criticize Islam, Prophet or their Angels; convert to any religion other than Islam or back to his former religion; be linked by marriage or concubine to a Muslim woman; to hold a position giving him authority over a Muslim.
When intolerance arose in non-Muslim communities under certain circumstances, the dhimmis be could exile and in some cases the whole of the dhimmis could be pillaged and massacred. This is what almost happened to the Samaritans in 1841, as told in John Mills, in Three Months' Residence at Nablus, and an Account of the Modern Samaritans. The Samaritans were accused of having no religion and not even believing in any of the five books of Moses (Jews), the New Testament (Christians), Al-Anbiya (Prophets) or the Koran. The Samaritans tried to prove their faith but of no avail, only the Chief Rabbi in Jerusalem convinced the accusers with a written declaration that the Samaritans acknowledge the Torah.
In 1750 the Samaritans only numbered seventy souls.
In 1786, drought raised the prices of food rose dramatically.
Epidemics were a problem in Nablus in 1572-6 and 1587-9. In 1786, an epidemic caused the death of 20 Samaritans, men, women and children. A Cholera outbreak occurred in 1902/3 in Nablus with at least 12 recorded death in the city.
Earthquakes rumbled in 1033/34 destroying half of Nablus and again there was severe damage in June/July 1201 (also recorded as May 20, 1202) that destroyed Nablus only the Samaritan quarter escaped damage. It was estimated that 30,000 were killed. In Nablus on Jan. 14, 1546, reports are recorded that 300-500 were killed and another report claims 900 were killed with 500 people buried under the ruins. Further records of Nablus quake dates that caused major loss was May 26, 1834, 1837, another 20 souls lost their lives due to an earthquake and March 29, 1903.
On July 11th, 1927 another earthquake hit Nablus destroying Samaritan homes of the 300 buildings that collapsed. Part of the problem of the houses were that because they could not expand their neighborhood they had to build up over existing structures whereas the walls weakened foundations were hundreds of years old. The Samaritan synagogue displayed wall cracks and the Samaritans themselves put up their tents in their cemetery on the hillside. The High Priest had to appeal for assistance. Nablus photograph and News records of the Quake of July 11, 1927 as the worst quake in Modern times.
The Census of the Ottoman Population of 1906/7 gives 95 males and 71 females for a total of 166 Samaritans in Nablus in the Beyrut district. Muslims numbered 111,964, and 1885 Christians totaling 114,015 residents. And what is surprising is the 1906/7 Census also gives a Samaritan population in Haleb (Aleppo) as 52 males and 44 females, making a Samaritan population of 96 Samaritans. ((This need investigation))
The Ottoman Census of 1914 gives us a number of 160 Samaritans in Nablus with 4 Samaritans in Beni Saab (Tulkarem) (Beni Sa`b). Tul Karem was made the administrative center of the Beni Saab sub district in 1886, later becoming a municipality in 1892. Tulkarm or Tulkarem, is now a Palestinian city in the northwestern West Bank. The 1931 Census has 12 Samaritans registered there.
And what is surprising is the 1906/7 Census also gives a Samaritan population in Haleb (Aleppo) as 52 males and 44 females, making a Samaritan population there of 96 Samaritans.
In Haleb (Aleppo) Census of 1914 numbers the Samaritans at 164, that is 4 more Samaritan than Nablus. Since Jews are shown on both censuses and that the Samaritans themselves do not know of their existence, it is reasonably possible that the Haleb Samaritans are Karaites, and not Samaritans at all. But there is a possibility, see: P. A. Vaccari, "Due codici del Pentateuco Samaritano", Biblica 21 (1940), pp. 241-244 and one plate of Codice Samaritano Corballis. A reference of Pietro dela Valle says that when he visited Aleppo there were Samaritans there.
All [Samaritans] wore red turban, the peculiar badge of the sect.” Well, most of the references come from one Egyptian source that I know of.
It was written in the year 1772, by one Achmed Effendi, but does not state where. The laws which he lays down, in way of answers to questions, for the proper regulation of the Samaritans, are as follow:—
"1. They are to be distinguished (from the Mohammedans) by dress. Their turbans must be made of coarse stuff, and of a black colour. They must also not be allowed to wear any garment that becomes men of education or men of high rank. None of their apparel may be made of valuable stuffs, such as silk, fine cloth, or even fine cotton.’
(1364 – 1442)1445–1505)Kitab al-Ta'rikh)
Looking for the following at this time:
A critical edition of the text of the Samaritan Yom Ha-kippur liturgy, with translation thereof and comparison with the corresponding Jewish liturgies by John Macdonald his Thesis (doctoral) University of Leeds 1958
A Critical Investigation and Translation of the Special Liturgies of the Samaritans for Their Passover and Their Feast of Unleavened Bread by Isaac Lerner, University of Leeds 1956
I also ran across an article whereas Dr. Chaplin of Jerusalem had a Samaritan weight that had written on it a quarter of a quarter being 40 grams (0 lb 1.4110oz). A full weight was 640 grams (1lb 6.5753oz)
Google book instructions for downloading a selected book: when you are at the page, on the top right of the Page there is a red sign-in, right below is a gear in a box, click on that and click on download PDF, it will send you to another page, then type in the letters or word into the box and the book should begin to download. To right click, save as, does not work on google book pages.
Anton La Guardia finds out what has happened to the descendants of the people despised by the Jews.
Jerusalem: THE SAMARITAN men gathered at dusk around a narrow trough on the slopes of Mount Gerizim, reciting holy verses in a lost language. The full moon glowed in the east over Jordan. Children held down sheep, one for each family, restless with anticipation of the fate about to befall the animals. Dressed in white robes and red fezzes, and shod incongruously with train- ers, boots or bedroom slippers, the con- gregation at times resembled an assembly of mad scientists.
With a full-chested crescendo of the primitively unmelodic chant, the sheep were turned on their backs and sacrificial knives were slipped through their throats. The animals kicked weakly for a few more minutes before the last flux of life drained away. The business done, the men rose with glazed eyes, smearing blood on their foreheads and on those of nearby relatives as the crowd cheered their work.
Modern technology was applied to the ritual in the form of a bicycle pump, the rubber hose of which was slipped under the skin of the sheep's leg. Air was forced through to help separate the pelt from the flesh. Once cleaned, the carcase was placed on a wooden stake and lowered into the ovens dug in the ground, six flaming nostrils where fires had been burning for several hours.
The Samaritans' Passover sacrifice, a living relic of antiquity, would have been a solemn occasion were it not for the flood- lights and the row of spectator seats around the site of the slaughter, and the jostling of photographers searching for the best picture of gore. One American visitor begged a friend: 'Get me a piece, a bit of skin, anything.' Cont’d
The Spectator, 13 JUNE 1908, Page 3
The Palestine Bulletin, 11 October 1925
CORP. GALAI RELEASED. HAIFA (P.T.A.)
Corp. Galai was released Wednesday from prison by the order of the President of the District Court.
JUDGMENT IN THE MOUNT GERIZIM ASSAULT INCIDENT.
Nablus. - Judgment in the case of assault, when local residents threw stones at and injured tourists visiting the Paschal sacrifices at Passover of the Samaritans on Mount Gerizim, was delivered last week by the District Court here. The Moslem-Christian Association had furnished Counsel for the defendants. One of the accused was sentenced to six months' imprisonment, three to four months, four to three months, while four were acquitted. No right of appeal was given.
Israel's History in Pictures: Joseph's Tomb - Then and Now
What a difference a century makes!
By Lenny Ben-David
Conversation with the High Priest of Hshmronim
Avraham Moshe Lunz
שיחה עם הכהן הגדול של השמרונים אברהם משה לונץ
How To Scare People Into Going To Shul in 17th Century Venice (Feb. 5, 2014)
The following is a letter written by Rabbi Leon Da Modena, the Chief Rabbi of Venice, to the the Jewish community of Capodistria. Apparently the community was having trouble with membership attendance (more specifically: completing the ‘ten men quorum’ for Synagogue prayers) and thus turned to the esteemed Da Modena for help. In this letter, written in flowery Hebrew, Da Modena is decidedly stern; he decrees that all male members of the community must attend synagogue services, twice daily (presumably mincha and maariv(arvit) were conducted one right after the other, as was– and still is quite common), under penalty of ‘nachash’, an acronym which stands for נידוי חרם שמתא loosely meaning complete excommunication. Modena added ‘AND all the curses mentioned in the torah’ for good measure. I was struck by some phrases and their similarity to a similar missive penned by Abraham Firkovich in the 19th century for the Samaritan community in Nablus/ Sichem, that experienced similar problems. I was particularly intrigued by Da Modena’s directive to appoint overseers to make sure that an attendee does not leave the Synagogue, if there are less than ten in the room. His ordinance that nobody engage in commerce before morning prayers, that nobody miss Synagogue unless one has a valid excuse (illness etc.). Compare Firkovich’s ‘contract’ with the Samaritans after the jump.
Contd reading http://toldotyisrael.wordpress.com/
“Palestine, From the Samaritan (A.D. 60). L.- A Hymn of Gerizim (A.D.60).”
Sacred songs of the World. Henry Charles Leonard, London, E. Stock, 1899. p. 107
No God is there but one,
The everlasting God,
He who for ever lives,
Omnipotent is He.
In Thy great power we trust;
Thou only art our Lord,
For Thou from the earliest time
Hast led creation on.
Thy power was hid from men,
Thy glory and thy love.
Revealed are things revealed!
Revealed the unrevealed!
E. Deutsch [Translator]
יוחסין השלם Yuchsin haSholem by Avraham Zacuto London 1857
Title: Thomas Yeates. collation of the Hebrew and Samaritan Pentateuch - Genesis to Numbers Reference 129 Covering Dates c. 1812 Extent and Medium 1 vol http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0016%2FAdd.Ms.b%2F129
Papers of C.H.W. Johns
'Samaritan vocabulary' - an attempt to analyze the vocabulary peculiar to the Samaritan Pentateuch, with Arabic, Targumic and other sources. 1910 (circa) Extent and Medium 1 vol; paper
Papers of C.H.W. Johns
Some handcopies of texts for his 'Assyrian Deeds and Documents', a Lexicon of Akkadian.
1910 (circa) Extent and Medium;1 vol; paper
Content and context: Notes on sin and evil in Mesopotamia, with a study of such words as 'arnu' and 'hittu'. Notes on the Underworld. Notes on Elamite personal names. Lists of kings from Kassite times, Elam, neo-Babylonian, neo-Assyrian, with no sources. Tem pages of Samaritan vocabulary.
1996 DA 1996.1 Ahamed, R. A socio-political study of a religious minority: the Samaritans
Sinai and Zion; or, A pilgrimage through the wilderness to the Land of promise. Philadelphia, Lindsay and Blakiston, 1861.
Bible illustrations: a series of plates illustrating biblical versions and antiquities, being an appendix to Helps to the study of the Bible. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1896. p. 21-22, plates: p. 105, 107
Romer, Isabella Frances
A pilgrimage to the temples and tombs of Egypt, Nubia, and Palestine in 1845-6. vol 2. London: Bentley, 1846.
Smith, Charles Alfred
390 C.E.: Emperors Valentinian II., Theodosius, and Arcadius issued a decree that thwarted the attempt of the association of "navicularii" (ship-and cargo-owners) of Constantinople to force the Jews and the Samaritans to join them and to share in the burdens of the society. They “decided that the communities of the Jews and the Samaritans could not legally be forced to join the navicularii, and that at most their wealthy members only could be taxed ("Codex Theodosianus," xiii. 5, 18). This decree was most important to the Jews, for many of them were ship-owners, and more than one-half of the shipping in Alexandria was controlled by Jews.” (As reported by the Jewish Encyclopedia)
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