The Samaritan Update

“Mount Gerizim,

All the Days of Our Lives”


September/ October 2015                                                                                                     Vol. XV - No 1

In This Issue

·         Auctions

·         Marriages, Passing, Birth

·         Photos

·         Invitation

·         Third Colloquium

·         Videos

·         Searchable Updates

·         New Publications

·         From the Editor

·         Digital Samaritans

·         Repository addition

·         Digital collections

·         New Publications

·         Future Publications

·         Conferences

·         Links

·         Newspapers

·         New Articles

·         Biblio


Your link to the Samaritan Update Index


On January 1, 2015, the Samaritan Community numbered 777.


Future Events

It has been 3654 years since the entrance into the Holy Land

 (Samaritan’s typical calendar) 



Festival of Succot- Oct. 27, 2015

Festival of the 8th day of Succot 3654- Nov. 3, 2015



Special prayer on Wednesday evening, April 6, 2016

New beginning – Month of Spring – Thursday, April 7, 2016

Passover Sacrifice – Wednes day Evening, April 20, 2016


[Calculated by: Priest Yakkiir ['Aziz] b. High Priest Jacob b. 'Azzi – Kiriat Luza, Mount Gerizim]



Lot 76: Samaritan Torah Scroll – Nablus, 20th Century

Auction no. 48 - Rare and Important Items by Kedem Public Auction House Ltd

December 2, 2015, 7:00 PM EET Jerusalem, Israel Live Auction Starting Bid: $7,000.00

Description: Samaritan Torah scroll. [Nablus, 20th century].Handwritten on large paper sheets, glued together; rolled as a scroll. 156 columns. Written by Joseph ben Ab Chisda Hacohen of Nablus. The text of the Samaritan Pentateuch, containing the five books of the Torah, is mostly similar to the Masoretic Text, but there are some variations in the spelling of words or grammatical constructions, and some significant changes, such as the Samaritan commandment to construct an altar on Mount Gerizim. The Samaritan Pentateuch is written in an ancient Hebrew script that preceded the Assyrian [square] script. Height: 48 cm. Over all good condition. Some tears. Restorations with adhesive tape at the beginning and in the end.


Objects. Judaica. Seforim. Manuscripts. Rabbinical Letters

by Moreshet Auctions

October 28, 2015, 4:00 PM EET Tel-Aviv, Israel Live Auction

Lot 64: Samaritan Siddur, for regular days and Shabbatot, Holon, Israel 1961.

Starting bid $200.00

Description: HaDaptor: Shabbat Day, Motzei Shabbat, Erev Rosh Hodesh, Rosh Hodesh morning, different prayers to leaders of the community, copy and translation by Yisrael ben Gamla’el Tzdaka. Printed by Even from the Samaritan handwriting. With title page and content in Hebrew. Holon 1961. 3 sections in one volume, excellent condition.



Newlyweds of Holon

Congratulations to Yif’aat (Yifat Sasoni) and Kobi (Yaaqob) Cohen, (photo below) they were married Sept. 17, 2015.

Their married contract was designed by Sharon Yehoshua (image below right).










Congraulations to Herut Cohen, daughter of Yaier Cohen to  Roey Altif. They were married on Sept. 8, 2015. (photo left)


Engagement of Avi Marhiv and Ortal Sasoni August 2, 2015 with the final marriage ceremony transpired on Sept. 28, 2015. Congradulations!




Yaffa b. Yefet b. Abraham Tsedaka Died in Holon  [1933-Oct. 1-2015] - May Her soul gets mercy from Shehmaa.

A few minutes before the news came from the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon: Yaffa (Beautiful) Japheth, son of Abraham Tsedaka, wife of Innocent, son of Joseph Tsedaka, short-lived, gave her soul to her Creator, after a agonizing long illness. Redemption came alone and her beautiful soul will never, spirits of all flesh. Today, Thursday, XIX, in the sixth month, 1 October 2015.

She is survived by her loving husband in his nineties, two sons and three daughters and grandchildren, she was 82 years old.

She was a beautiful daughter was her father's favorite, as head of the Samaritan community outside Nablus. She accompanied him wherever he went, and his last years, and her husband, sons and daughters dined him and treated him with boundless dedication, devotion age sons, daughters and grandchildren until today at noon, until the whole body comes off, redeemed out of her misery.

It was very difficult for all of us to see how far the disease overcame a busy woman, so devoted, so loving to all her offspring, and they returned her love and kept her manners and her pace until the last minute.

Beautiful was born in Tel Aviv as the only son and all the daughters of Japheth, son of Abraham Tsedaka. In 1947, at the age of 14, accompanied by her father along with her sisters and brother, Bbrhm Nablus because of bloody riots between Jews and Arabs in Jaffa bordering on Tel Aviv.

Thanks to the efforts of the patron of the Samaritans, President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, the second president of Israel, while he was still a member of Knesset on behalf of Mapai, the escapees were able to return to Tel Aviv and to settle it again at the end of August 1949.

So Ben-Zvi turned to Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett interpellation, what the fate of these Samaritans from Nablus to settle in Israel. The Foreign Minister said in December 1949 that the fate of the Samaritans is treated like any Jew who to Israel from Arab countries.

Therefore, from the beginning of the Law of Return for the Samaritans, all Samaritan crossed the border to live in Israel, there was a new immigrant from Jordan, which ruled then Judea and Samaria.

The days of adolescence and young manhood spent Samaritan beautiful new neighborhood is being built in Holon. She did for a living at the grocery store [today it is called a grocery store or mini market] kindly face, integrity and courtesy that over them.

Before the family came to the neighborhood, a connection was made between beautiful and handsome young man from her father, an innocent son Joseph was right, and they were married in most of the Holon, at the beginning of a new residential neighborhood Samaritans. 

They had two daughters first, Mary and Rose of [the kings], after their first child was born Naftali daughter and son Doron birdie.  Beautiful left everything and devoted herself to treat her children and raising them to the glory of Israel. Everyone raised their families in the Samaritan neighborhood in Holon.

Home of beautiful was a magnet to all her offspring, and she treated everyone with joy and sacrifice and worry there will not be anything to them. As noted, in his last years did everything in her father's restaurants and improve mood, and he answered her boundless love.

In death we have lost a mother in Israel and a wonderful woman, a role model for every woman Samaritan community and beyond. We will remember it and we will cherish her memory in our hearts for many years. God have mercy on her and Iscinh garden gently, due untimely.

Elite Maman for ever: but are increasingly = no persistent world that if God's greatness.


A beautiful daughter

A beautiful daughter was born a couple enjoying most complete and Itamar Ben Cohen Bhrgrzim. A beautiful baby girl is born today to Merav and Shalma b. Priest Itamar in Mount Gerizim beautiful daughter was born today, Wednesday, shaykh resume Friday, September 30, 2015 and the most handsome couple Solomon [Shaalmaa] Ben Cohen Itamar Ben-Avraham.  

Every girl adds joy to the community and parents very happy. We also join joy and wish a daughter and mother health and happiness. Best wishes to all the coming and coming. During the week we will update readers in bringing the new name of the newborn. Veins charity

Beautiful Japheth, son of Abraham Tsedaka [2015-1933], God have mercy on her, Yaffa b. Yefet b. Yossef Ben Tsedaka Abraahm Died in Holon 
[1933-2015] - May Her soul gets mercy from Shehmaa



Photo taken by Ayman Nosani, Samaritan pilgrimage in the early hours on Oct. 27th, 2015 on Mount Gerizim.

Yom Kippur prayer Samaritan sect (post of the Facebook page of Journalist Shadi Jarar'ah)

(Photo left: The priest of the Samaritan sect during prayers on Mount Gerizim Yom Kippur ... 2015-10-22

(post from the Facebook page of Journalist Shadi Jarar'ah)



(Photo Right) by Ori Orhof: Pilgramage 2015, Also see:



Samaritan Succahs


















An Open Invitation to Visit a Real Israeli Samaritan Succah for Free

October 27 till November 1, 2015-Street Ben-Imran 15 a, Holon.

Tsedaka invites our friends on Facebook and those who are not on Facebook, to visit Ben-Imran street 15 e in Holon, on any of these days: Tuesday, 27th October (after the sun] or Wednesday, October 28th, or Thursday 29 October or Friday, October 30 (during the 8 until 12 am, or Saturday night (just pm], October 31th or Sunday, 1 November 2015-all the rest of the days between 8 am-to-10 pm. The hospitality is free.
Tsedaka -Tel: 03-5567229, 0525333104



The Jerusalem Post: ‘Samaritans celebrate Succot



Samaritan Benyamim Tsedaka’s World Tour Dates for 2015

Nov. 4-8 - Catania, Cicely,

Nov. 8-10 - Halla, Germany;

Nov. 10-12 - Munster, Germany;

Nov. 12-20 - London, England;

Nov. 20-29 - New York City;

Nov. 29-December 4 - Washington DC;

Dec. 4- 8 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;

December 8-13 - Cincinnati. Ohio;

Dec. 13-23 - Sao Paulo, Brazil

[slight changes are still possible]

If you would like to connect Benyamim Tsedaka, his email is



Institute Dominique Barthélemy for history of the text and the exegesis of the Old Testament

University of Fribourg, Switzerland, 2015


Third International Colloquium of the Institut Dominique Barthélemy « Le texte du Lévitique


The text of Leviticus » October 8th–9th 2015 Université de Fribourg Miséricorde : Salle Jäggi (4112)

Friday, October 9th (Miséricorde, salle Jäggi : 4112)

9h00–9h45 Sarianna Metso (Toronto)

Samaritan Leviticus Tradition in Comparative Perspective 9h45–1030 Innocent Himbaza (Fribourg)

Changement de paradigme pour la Septante du Lévitique.

10h30–10h45 Break

10h45–11h30 Moshe Zipor (Bar-Ilan)

The Nature of the Septuagint Version of the Book of Leviticus

11h30–12h15 Giorgio Paximadi (Lugano)

The text of the LXX between variants and interpretation

12h15–14h00 Break 14h00–14h45 Didier Luciani (Louvain-la-Neuve)

Lévitique et guématria 14h45–15h30 Michael Avioz (Bar-Ilan)

The Book of Leviticus in Josephus’ Writings

15h30–15h45 Break

15h45–16h30 Gert J. Steyn (Pretoria)

The Text Form of the Leviticus Quotations in the Synoptic and the Acts of the Apostles

18h00 At the Library of the Institut D. Barthélemy:

Innocent Himbaza and Mary-Gabrielle Roth-Mouthon (Fribourg) Samaritan Pentateuch Project


Samaritanischer Pentateuch

Sammlungen BIBEL+ORIENT MS 2001.1 Hebräischer Text von Exodus 6,2-7, geschrieben in samaritanischer Schrift




Episódio 29 - Os Samaritanos (Especial Israel) uploaded by Qol haTorá

Published on Jul 10, 2014



Uploads to by Samaritan Gabriel Zadaka


Samaritan synagogue in Holon in 1979


Bar Mitzvah Gabriel Zadaka 1984


The engagement ceremony of Jacob and Sarah 1988



The Abrahamic Reunion \ Peace Journey to Mount Gerizim [video]


Searchable Whole Volumes of Past Issues of the Samaritan Updates in PDF

Vol. XII   Vol. XIII  Vol. XIV


Samaritan Manuscripts at the University of Glasgow: Special Collections

Content of the Collection MS Gen 931

MS Gen 931 - Samaritan texts
Samaritan religious texts.

Contains the following:

MS Gen 931 - Samaritan liturgy 
Samaritan liturgy. Manuscript.

MS Gen 1735/2 - Samaritan Pentateuch 
Facsimile of part of the Samaritan Pentateuch.

MS Gen 1494
Samaritan liturgical MS. probably late 19th century




A group of Danish journalists along with Mr. Naser Khader who is a member in the European parliament visiting the Samaritan Museum on Mount Gerizim. (From the Samaritan Museum Facebook Post (Sept. 3, 2015)








New Publications


”Tibat Marqeh“ by the greatest sage Maarqeh b. ’Aamraam with Arabic Translation in Hebrew characters, copied by the Late High Priest Elazar b. Tsedaka was published last week in Mount Gerizim. (End of the month of August 2015)

The Samaritan Prayer book for Weekday Evenings & Mornings & Commentaries

Shared by Uri Deyoung (photo left) on 2015-05-13

 This Israelite-Samaritan weekday prayer book includes blessings for washing before prayer, the text of the Samaritans’ two daily prayers (evening and morning), and their nusaḥ for counting the ʿOmer between the first Sunday of Pesaḥ and the holiday of Shavuʿot.

This file is all in Samaritan script, an offshoot of paleo-Hebrew which developed after the Jews had already switched to today’s square “Ashurit” script. At the end of the prayer book, I’ve added a short pronunciation guide for those familiar with English or Modern Hebrew.

NEW: You can now download the prayer book transliterated into Modern Hebrew characters (“Ashurit”). The text is completely vowelled according to the Samaritan pronunciation. The prayerbook is available either as an editable Open Document file, or as a PDF file.

Both the original prayer book and the transliterated version have been proofread and corrected by Benyamim Tsedaka, a scholar and spokesman for the Israelite-Samaritan community.

The project of integrating 8 new books in the field of Samaritan studies has been completed - a significant and historical steps in the Israelite Samaritan literature.

- 5 books - a complete commentary of the five books of Moses from Israelite Samaritan point of view - by: Benyamim Tsedaka

The entire operation done thanks to the help of Mr. Uri de-Yong [Elon Moreh]


שמות: EXODUS…/Benny%20Tsedaka%20Torah%20Commentary%20S

ויקרא: LEVITICUS…/Benny%20Tsedaka%20Torah%20Commentary%20U

במדבר: NUMERI…/Benny%20Tsedaka%20Torah%20Commentary%20B

דברים: DUETERONOMIUM…/Benny%20Tsedaka%20Torah%20Commentary%20D
Benny Tsedaka Torah Commentary Baaraashet.pdf
Uploaded with Copy



Report of the Trustees CHESTER BEATTY LIBRARY: 2012



From the Editor


First, I ran across and interesting article, ‘Has the water supply network of Sebestia been connected to that of Nablus?’ by Raghid Sabri, Broder Merkel and Marion Tichomirowa in Freiberg Online Geoscience (FOG) 2015, Vol. 41, pp. 46-64. The article does not mention the Samaritans, but the source of water for me was interesting.


Recently The Samaritan celebrated the 1st day of the seventh month on Oct. 13, 2015. It is said in the Torah  in Numbers 29:1, that it is a day for a blowing of Trumpets. The Samaritans, when they lived in the city of Nablus would not blow a shofar, for safety reasons. Now they live on Mount Gerizim (and Holon) and do in fact blow the shofar.

The 1st day of the seventh month is an interesting day. Yet there is no particular reason mentioned in the Torah. The Jews observe this day, but with their own calendar that differs from the Samaritans.

This is the day that the counting began for the Jubilee years, which means that it was when the Israelites entered the land of Canaan. The first day that the Israelites entered Canaan was the first day of the counting of the Jubilee years. It has now been 3654 years since the Israelites entered Canaan which means that this is the 74th Jubilee year since they entered the land. It would also be 131 years of Jubilee since Creation. The next Jubilee year will take place in 2047 C.E.


The Samaritan counting of the Jubilee began with 50 years and then 49 years consecutively. It is interesting 7 x 7 = 49, hence the Jubilee counting began in the seventh month.


(Image left, the drawing of the tabernacle implements with the Ark of the Covanent. Also the two trumpets.)


I looked up trumpets in the Jewish Torah, particularly in the book of Joshua

Yet in Numbers 10:2, the Israelites were to make two (2) trumpets. The Samaritans have recorded in their book of Joshua, the use of two (2) trumpets. It is not specified how many trumpets were used at Jericho, but there is mentioned in six places in the Book of Joshua, that there were two (2) trumpets. The Jewish book mentions ‘seven trumpets of rams' horns,’ in Joshua 6: 4. Interesting, the Samaritan Joshua does not mention rams horns, just two trumpets. So there is a major different here between the 2 trumpets that the Israelites were instructed to make (which appears that the Samaritan version of Joshua, they used at Jericho) and the Jewish version where they used seven trumpets. Where did the other 5 trumpets come from since they were only instructed to make 2?


I ran across an interesting paper called the Amherst of Hackney Papers. It appears to be papers from William Tyssen-Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney. There it references in boxes 18-21 which contains correspondence from various sources. One subject that is stated on the Samaritan manuscript with letters from Gergheim, Black, Mills, Shellaby and Wright. I assume the Shellaby is to be Jacob Shellaby.

In A Hand-List of a Collection of Books and Manuscripts Belonging to the Right Hon. Lord Amherst of Hackney at Didlington Hall, Norfolk, compiled by Seymour de Ricci, Cambridge: University Press, 1906 there on Page 82, MS.7. The Pentateuch in Arabic, written for the use of the Samaritans (MS. On paper, xviiith century?). From Silvestre de Sacy’s Library.


I recently, discovered a website that shows a statue of Alexander the Great. It is located on Delos, where there is said to be an ancient Samaritan synagogue. It would appear that the Samaritans were on good terms with the other locals on Delos at the time. Would this be a sponsor for the relationship of Alexander and the Samaritans? Also of interest is the information of the mint at the time on page 95 in The Coins of Herod.


Now I have been looking for Herbert Loewe's Handlist of Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts in the Library of the University of Cambridge. No luck!


I have been reading Edward Robertson, Catalogue of the Samaritan manuscripts in the John Rylands Library Manchester 1938 and show on 250 there is a reference concerning the Priest-Levite Ibrahim that died on the morning of Sunday April 1, 1753. He served as High Priest till 1732 C.E.. The reference shows that he died twenty-one years after he served as head priest. I knew of no other priest that had retired early, other than HP Salamah, who retired fully in 1855, yet passed in 1857.

I ask Benyamim Tsedaka about this, he responded:

‘Don't be confused. He is not Abraahm b. Yesaaq, but brother of Taabiaa b. Yesaaq b. Abraahm b. Yesaaq who died young and was the younger brother of Taabia who started to be HP in 1752. He died in falling down accident.’


I ran across an article written by M.W. Shapira in The Athenaeum, No. 2616, De. 15, 1877, on page 773, he wrote:

‘First, many false inscribed stones and squeezes of inscriptions had been forged in Jerusalem and Nablus, some of which came into my possession;..’

Moses Wilhelm Shapira, an antiquities dealer in Jerusalem was mainly speaking of pottery, and addressing charges of dealing with forgeries. He and his shop on Christian street in Jerusalem had been under suspicion of forged antiquities.  He had such a reputation that there was actually a cartoon of him in the 1883 Punch magazine.

In the Athenaeum article, Shapira also spoke of a story of an Arab merchant from Es Salt selling bits of pottery around 1874. Interesting, is the fact that expelled Samaritan Jacob Shelaby had moved there just after the death of the High Priest Amram b. Shalamah in 1874.

Shapira, a converted Jew, had also visited London around the same time in 1887-88 as Jacob Shelaby, and since Jerusalem was not that big at the time, it is reasonably assumed the Shelaby and Shipira knew each other. Shelaby actually admitted that he knew how to forge manuscripts. But was manuscripts the only thing he forged?

I thought about this and can recall a Samaritan inscription said to be from Nablus that was sold in Jerusalem to Dutch Jews. They said they purchased it from the Samaritans or a Samaritan. Then it was purchased from the Jews in 1870. The interesting issue I have with the manuscript is, that it actually has a date 1193 H.A. or 1779. The marble stone was documented the building of a blessed house. Now, the Samaritan synagogue had been constructed many years before this date, so it had to be from a dwelling. Now the Samaritans had suffered greatly when an earthquake hit Nablus and killed a good number of Samaritans in 1759, 20 years before the stone was made. Since the Samaritans built in a small quarter of Nablus and the house were built next and above each other, where was this house? Surely the Samaritans had rebuilt their dwelling before this? And here is what bothers me the most, why would they remove it from an existing house?


I recently sent an email requesting help to try to locate a Samaritan Pentateuch and 5 Samaritan manuscripts that were purchased by Rabbi Charles S. Levi (Levy). He was the Rabbi from 1913 to 1927 for the Congregation B'ne Jeshurun in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Pentateuch was ordered when the rabbi was at Nablus where he purchased the five mss. The Samaritans sent the Pentateuch to the Rabbi but it appears either he never received it or ignored making the payment for the Pentateuch. This is recorded in a letter that was written to Moses Gaster from Ab Hasdah, as shown in the publication of Edward Robertson, Catalogue of the Samaritan manuscripts in the John Rylands Library Manchester 1962, 267, item 358.

So far I have received no response as to the whereabouts of these manuscripts.


 S. Sillifant is said to have presented to the British Museum on April 28th, 1848, a fragment of the Samaritan Pentateuch. It was an Arabic version in Samaritan characters, said to be from Cairo.


Who is S. Sillifant and how did he acquire the fragment? Was it from his grandfather or his wife’s family?


Accordingly S. Sillifant was High Sheriff of Devonshire as recorded in Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum, in the Years MDCCCXLVIII- MDCCCLIII, [1848-1853] on page 27. I located a John Sillifant who was a High Sheriff. Another source has the full name of John Woollcombe Sillifant and even states he was educated in Exeter Coll. Oxford (B.A. 1848). He was the eldest son of the late John Sillifant, who had married Caroline, the daughter of Colonel James Johnstone Cochrane of the Scots Fusilier Guards.

The Colonel died in Bath on Jan, 25th, 1852 and in his obituary it states that he accompanied the Scots Fusileer Guards to Egypt in 1801 and was with them in the Battle of Alexandria against the French.

This could possibly be the link to the Samaritan Pentateuch from Cairo. The Colonel was High Sheriff John Sillifant’s grandfather.


John Sillifant, Esq., now of Combe, married the heiress of Prideaux, of North Tawton. John was a magistrate and Dep. Lieut. for Devon (High Sheriff in 1848) and a Chairman of Quarter Sessions, Coombe, near Coplestone, North Devon.

John Sillifant married Mary Anne Prideaux in 1839, the only daughter of John Prideaux of North Tawton. John Prideaux (born before May 4, 1769 was the son of Edmund and Anne Carter. Edmund was the son of James Prideaux. And James was the son of James. James was the son of Francis (b. 1664). Francis was the son of John (b. 1619). He was the son of John (Born around 1580). Could the Mss have come from her family?


Humphrey Prideaux (1648-1724) was a Dean of Norwich and is not that well-known name in Samaritan studies. He wrote a letter from Oxford, March 20, 1675 to John Ellis (Under-Secretary of State, 1674-1722) where he stated:

‘I have a letter here lately sent from Samaria by the residue of the Samaritans there, wherein they give a fuller account of their religion, customs, and manner of living, then hath as yet been known in Europe. It was write in Samaritan, from which I have translated it into Latin, and esteem it a great rarity; and if you do so too, I shall take care to have it transcribed for you, and will annext the history how it came here.’


Humphrey had married Bridget, the daughter of Anthony Bokcuham had one son Edmund Prideaux, Edmund married Hannah, the daughter of Benjamin Wrench, and had two sons and a daughter. The heir was Humphry.


Apparently, the letter that Prideaux had sent was to Robert Huntington. Huntington had received a Samaritan Pentateuch [page 60] and a letter from Samaritan Merchib b. Jacob while he was in Jerusalem in 1672. Dr. Smith sent this Pentateuch to the Archbishop of Armagh after Huntington’s death. Huntington’s collection placed six Samaritan manuscripts of the Pentateuch in the Bodleian Library and one in the British Library.

 After Dr. Thomas Marshall replied to the letter in 1674. All this is well documented.


Another interesting reference surfaced:

 246 Libri Mss. Bibliothecae Regiar,

A Catalogue of MS. Books and Papers of great Curiosity; Collected by the later Revarnd Dr. Hyde, Regius-Professor of the University of Oxford.

III. 1. A copy of a Samaritan Epistle in the Hebrew Character, from the Samaritans of Sichem to their supported Breathern in England; with Dr. Huntington’s Letter about it.

2. A Copy of a Samaritan Epistle in the Samaritan Character, from the Samaritans of Sichem to Jobus Ludolphus.

A Catalogue of the Manuscripts of the King’s Library: An Appendix to the Catalogue of the Cottonian Library; Together with an Account of Books burnt or damaged by a late Fire:…. By David Casley, London: Printed for the author, 1734, Page 246


While searching for more information, I located a book published in 1817;  Ogles, Duncan & Cochran's Catalogue of Oriental and Jewish Literature, for 1817 ; containing an extensive collection of books in Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, Samaritan, Arabic, Ethiopic, Persian, Chinese, Turkish, and other languages. I could not learn any more on this book.



The following are my notes on the Samaritan Priest-Levite Family:

Salamah ben Tobiah HP #118 (1783–1857)

Also known as Shlomo or Shalmah or Salamah b. Ghazal, or Salama al-Kahin or al-Lawi Salama. He was very young when his father Tabiah b. Isaac b. Abraham b. Sadaqa (1745-1787) died on Monday July 9th, 1787. His mother was Hadiyya, the sister of Ghazal b. Surur of Gaza. Salamah, who was the only remaining priest of the sons of Ithamar, son of Aaron among the Samaritans. He was educated by the Samaritan Elders and assumed the High Priesthood at 13 years old (1798/9) till 1855/7 when he passed it on to his son Amram, who had been 2nd Priest since 1828. Salamah passed away in 1857. He was a writer, teacher and foreign correspondent representing the Samaritans. During his life there was much insecurity effecting the Samaritans of local conflicts, discrimination, real religious persecution, droughts, famines, earthquakes, little income, heavy tax and a dwelling community with not enough females. The stress that laid on Salamah’s shoulders must have been very heavy indeed! 

(Image above: The only known image of Salamah is from a sketch by Mary Eliza Rogers in the spring of 1856. Source: ‘Books and Book-Binding in Syria and Palestine.’ In The Art-Journal, Volume VII, 1868, London: Virtue & Co.)

Salamah’s Family

·         A Son, Isaac (b. 1777- d. 1839) married Tenuphah (Tuhfe bint Ibraham b. Ab Sakhwah of the Danfi family) (b.1812?-1839). Isaac was murdered, found hanging in a bathhouse in Nablus by rioters.

·         Isaac and Tenupha had a son Phinhas (b. 1841/2- d. 1897/8). Phinhas married Zaharah (Bedrȋje) barat Amram b. Salamah (b. 1850-d.?). They had five children. Isaac was a writer and copyist.

·         Phinhas had 2 sons, Masliah (b. 1869/70- d. 1943) and Abraham (b. 1877/78). Abraham married Yokhebed barat Japhet b. Marhib (Safr family).

·         Son: Abraham b. Pinhas (1877/8- d.?)

Salamah married a second time, to Sis, bat Shelah b. Ab-Sawkhwah (Danfi) in 1805, (Firkovitch, Sam. X, 66)

Their children were:   

·         A Son, Amram/Imran was born to Salamah in 1809 (d.1874). Amram married in 1826 at age 17 to Hanuniah barat Jacob b. Sedaqah (Danfi family) (Firkovitch, Sam. X, 21).

·         The 4th son, Aaron/Harun (b.1814 - d.1840/41) married Nashwah bat Ismael. Their son Jacob later became High Priest (see following pages).

·         A daughter, Marian, married Israel Abd Hanunah b. Sedah (Danfi) in 1830 (they had no children)

·         A daughter, Ketabah, married Israel b. Ishmael b. Abraham (Danfi) in 1835.

·         A daughter, Sarah married Marhib b. Jacob. Ishmael (Safr) in 1841.


Письмена на камне [иллюстрированный каталог]


Заглавие: Письмена на камне [иллюстрированный каталог]

Место издания: Санкт-Петербург

Издательство: Российская национальная библиотека

Дата издания: 2014

Физическое описание: 88 с. ил., цв. ил., портр., факс.

ISBN: 978-5-8192-0466-5

Библиотечный фонд: Российская Национальная Библиотека

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Digital Samaritans; Rhetorical Delivery and Engagement in the Digital Humanities

By Jim Ridolfo

Investigates the communicative objectives of Samaritans who are exploring the powerful expressive affordances of digital environments

This title is open access and free to read on the web a free online version is forthcoming

- See more at:



Jim Ridolfo, Digital Samaritans, Rhetorical Delivery and Engagement in the Digital Humanities. University of Michigan Press, 2015.

A Short Review from the Editor of the Samaritan Update


 ‘From Parchments to Bytes,’ these expressive words are taken from the book recently published by the University of Michigan Press (2015) authored by Jim Ridolfo, Assistant Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies at the University of Kentucky. They are powerful words of a hardline past to the accessible future of historical written words that have remained veiled. Mr. Ridolfo spent over six years researching with the Samaritan-Israelites and collaborated with scholars around the world for his third book.

How many times have you been reading or studying a subject and you wish to do more research, yet find yourself at a standstill because you cannot find access to more information. This happens to me more times that I care to count. If you are fortunate to have a large library close by, you may find the information there. And if you are looking for something in an old manuscript, you may be fortunate to have access to microfilms. If you do not then you have to wait and plan a trip, request access, but this all takes time and you have lost momentum in your study. Would it not be nice if you could just go straight online and bring up the document that you wish to see and better yet compare similar documents from other libraries around the world!


Today a few digitizing Samaritan manuscripts can be accessed online at his website

Ridolfo’s new book explains how he became interested in Samaritan manuscripts and his discovery of the Samaritan-Israelites, themselves. He strongly explains the need for supporting the access of manuscripts from the Samaritan ‘textual diaspora’ for Samaritans, scholars and other interested parties. For the Samaritans, it would give access to their forefather’s manuscripts, which they may never have been able to see in their entire life. Ridolfo’s encouragement for digitalizing manuscripts is logical and strongly supported by how easily digitizing can be done today. The result will only encourage students and scholars in their studies.


Contents of the book:

Preface: Rhetorical Serendipity

Chapter 1: Introduction to Digital Samaritans

Chapter 2: Between the Raindrops and Two Fires: A Brief History of the Samaritans and Their Diaspora of Manuscripts

Chapter 3: From Parchment to Bytes: Digital Delivery as a Rhetorical Strategy

Chapter 4: Leveraging Textual Diaspora: Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities as Engaged Scholarship

Chapter 5: The Good Samaritan: At the Crossroads of Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities

Appendix A: Transcripts

Appendix B: Images of Seven Principles Document

Appendix C: Benyamim Tsedaka’s Call for the Repatriation of Artifacts




Should you have a manuscript or if you need assistance to encourage your library to digitize their manuscripts, I suggest that you contact Jim Ridolfo at



The Samaritan Repository


A new book has been uploaded to the, “Kitab al-Hulf” by Ḫadr (Finhas) ben Ishaq al-Ḥiftawi. (1840-1898). On the difference between Samaritans and Jews. Download manuscript at: View the Arabic, Hebrew, and English introduction to the manuscript by Professor Haseeb Shehadeh here:



The New York Public Library Digital Collections


Digitized Samaritan Bible (Pentateuch) writing by Abraham b. Israel ha-Nasi, dated 1232

Content: Described by W. Scott Watson, "A critical copy of the Samaritan Pentateuch written in AD 1232" in Hebraica 9 (1892-3), p. 216-225 and Hebraica 10, p. 122-158. See also B.Z. Kedar in The Samaritans (Alan Crown, ed.), Tübingen, 1989, and Richard Gottheil in American journal of Semitic languages and literature 18, p. 190. Described as Codex F in August Freiherrn von Gall, Der Hebräische Pentateuch der Samaritaner, vol. 1, p. xxxiii-xxxv, Giessen, 1914.


Content: Manuscript, on vellum. Samaritan (Paleo-Hebrew) script. Islamic-style leather binding.



New Publications


New Edition of “Mimar Marqeh” copied and translated from Aramaic into Hebrew by Naftali Tsedaka from Holon, Israel

Contact Benny Tsedaka for further information


The Samaritans, A Profile

by Reinhard Pummer

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

Publication date: 1/13/2016


Samaritan Cemeteries and Tombs in the Central Coastal Plain

Archaeology and History of the Samaritan Settlement outside Samaria (ca. 300–700 CE)

by Oren Tal and Itamar Taxel

Agypten und Altes Testament - AAT 82


Publisher: Ugarit-Verlag

Publication date: July 2015

Bibliographic info: vi + 291 pages

Language(s): English


Description: This book discusses Samaritan burial customs outside Samaria based on the finds of yet unpublished tombs excavated in the second half of the 20th century in the central Coastal Plain of Israel (within the northern city limits of modern-day Tel Aviv, which forms part of the southern Sharon Plain). The burial sites analyzed here include the cemetery of Khirbet al-‘Aura/Tel Barukh, a burial cave at Khirbet al-Ḥadra/HaGolan Street and another one at Tell Qasile. The burial caves excavated at these sites are associated with Samaritan rural populations because of their location and the finds discovered, which include elements of Samaritan material culture (non-epigraphic and epigraphic alike).


Our study constitutes a full report on the excavations of these burial sites and offers an archaeological re-evaluation of Samaritan settlement history and material culture. The appendices complete this study by bringing forward small-scale unpublished excavations of probable Samaritan settlements or revising published material that normally bears relevance to research on this subject. Our re-evaluation is holistic in nature, based upon the sites we studied in full, as well as other published Samaritan sites that have been excavated and surveyed in the central Coastal Plain. This publication contributes to our understanding of daily habits and afterlife beliefs of the Samaritans outside their heartland in the heyday of their expansion to the Palestinian lowlands.

In the printed version there are 28 colour plates at the end. In the ebook all images are coloured!


The following is the content of the book:


Chapter I: The Khirbet al-‘Aura/Tel Barukh Cemetery

1.1 Burial Caves: Structural, Stratigraphic and Spatial Characteristics

1.2 Lamps and Pottery Vessels

1.3 Glass Vessels

1.4 Coins

1.5 Small Finds

1.6 Human Bones

1.7 Animal Bones

1.8 Summary and Conclusions

1.9 Table of Finds: Inventory and Provenience

Chapter 2: The Khirbet al-Hadra Burial Cave

2.1 The Burial Cave: Structural Characteristics

2.2 Lamps and Pottery Vessels

2.3 Glass Vessels

2.4 Small Finds

2.5 Summary and Conclusions

2.6 Table of Finds: Inventory and Provenience

Chapter 3: The Tell Qasile Burial Cave

3.1 The Burial Cave: Structural Characteristics

3.2 Lamps

3.3 Glass Vessels

3.4 Small Finds

3.5 Summary and Conclusions

3.6 Table of Finds: Inventory and Provenience

Chapter 4: Discussion: The Archaeology of the Samartian Settlement on the Central Coastal Plain in the Late Roman, Byzantine and Early Islamic Periods

Appendix I: Selected Unpublished Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Remains in the Southern Sharon Plain

Appendix II: Thin-section Analysis of Samaritan Oil Lamps and Incense Bowl

Appendix III: Archaeometallurgical Characterization of Samaritan Rings and Amulets and Other Artifacts Mode of Copper Alloys



Samaritan Aramaic by Abraham Tal


III. Aramaic 2

LOS 3/2

Printed edition 2014 (ISBN: 978-3-86835-081-4): 181 pages, 28.00 € Click to add the article to the cart

This book is a compendious grammar of the Aramaic dialect in which the ancient Samaritan literature is written. In a large measure this dialect is still used in the synagogal service of the community. As a Lehrbuch it is aimed at students interested in learning this dialect which flourished, along with the Talmudic Aramaic of Palestinian Judaism and Christian Palestinian Aramaic, during the Roman and Byzantine period. As such, the book presupposes a certain measure of familiarity with Hebrew. Some basic knowledge of any Aramaic dialect may be of great help as well. The material that forms the basis of this grammar is drawn from Z. Ben-Ḥayyim’s publications, mainly from his edition of the liturgy, as recited in the synagogue (LOT IIIb), and from his translated and annotated edition of the Samaritan Midrash.



Future Publications from De Gruyter


The Samaritan Pentateuch...

Volume III Leviticus (to be published September 2016)

Ed. by Schorch, Stefan

ISBN: 978-3-11-040410-4, Product Type: Books, Format: eBook (PDF)

Also available as Hardcover, eBook (EPUB), Print/eBook




Farber, Zev

Images of Joshua in the Bible and Their Reception (to be published May 2016)

ISBN: 978-3-11-034336-6, Product Type: Books, Format: eBook (PDF)

Also available as Hardcover, Print/eBook, eBook (EPUB)


Schorch, Stefan

Samaritan Languages, Texts, and Traditions (to be published April 2016)

ISBN: 978-3-11-032454-9, Product Type: Books, Format: eBook (PDF)

Also available as Hardcover, Print/eBook, eBook (EPUB)




John Rylands Research Institute Conference 2016: ‘The other Within’- The Hebrew and Jewish Collections of the John Rylands Library

Monday 27- Wednesday 29, June 2016 at the John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH

The John Rylands Research Institute invites paper proposals for its upcoming 2016 conference on the Hebrew and Jewish collections of The John Rylands Library.

The John Rylands Library preserves one of the world’s valuable collections of Hebrew and Jewish manuscripts, archives and printed books. The holdings span Septuagint fragments to the papers of Moses Gaster and Samuel Alexander. The Rylands Genizah and rich collections of medieval manuscript codices and early printed books are among the strengths of the collection, making The John Rylands Library an important centre for the study of Judaism from the ancient world to the twentieth century.

The aim of this conference is to convene scholars, curators and students researching areas represented in the Library’s Hebrew and Jewish collections, including (but not limited to): the Cairo Genizah; medieval Hebrew manuscript codices; early printed Hebrew books; Samaritan manuscripts; and, the collections of Moses Gaster. It will take place as part of a programme of activities at the John Rylands Research Institute that aim to facilitate the study of the Library’s Hebrew and Jewish holdings. This includes the 2015-2018 externally-funded project to catalogue the Hebrew manuscripts and two ongoing projects on the Gaster collections.

Studies of The John Rylands’ collections, of related Hebraica and Judaica libraries, and of resources and methods that facilitate such research will be particularly welcome. The expectation is that the conference will result in an edited collection of essays.

Paper proposals are due by 17:00 GMT on 29 January 2016. Full details of how to submit a proposal can be found online at:

This event is supported by the European Association of Jewish Studies’ Conference Grant Programme in European Jewish Studies.



8th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age

November 12-14, 2015 Picking Up the Pieces


Friday, 13 November 2015
To be held in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, 6th floor, 3420 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA, 19104 

Workshop II

Stefan Schorch (Martin-Luther-Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg), The Samaritan Parts of UPenn Ms. Codex 1649 in the context of Samaritan Manuscript Culture.



2016 INTERNATIONAL MEETING: Seoul, South Korea


Meeting Begins: 7/3/2016 Meeting Ends: 7/7/2016

Call For Papers Opens: 10/28/2015 Call For Papers Closes: 2/3/2016


John Tracy Greene

Description: This seminar approaches biblical literature through its most famous and pivotal characters, for it is around them that the subsequent biblical story is organized and arranged. Moreover, these characters have come to enjoy a life and fame that extends well beyond the basic Old Testament, Miqra, and New Testament, and even into the Qur’an and Islamic oral and written texts. As was demonstrated at the recent Tartu seminar, Samaritan texts and traditions (unfamiliar to many) have a contribution to make to the seminar as well. Our work seeks, among other goals, to facilitate a meaningful and informed dialogue between Jews, Christians, Muslims and Samaritans by providing both an open forum at annual conferences, and by providing through our publications a written reference library to consult. A further goal is to encourage and provide a forum in which new scholarly talent in biblical and related studies may be presented. 




Investigating the So-called Ancient Synagogue of Delos, Greece

The birthplace of the god Apollo has a site dating to the time of the Maccabees that has been labeled one of the world’s oldest synagogues. But is it?

By Brian Schaefer


How one of the smallest religious communities in the world is struggling to sustain its community

Al-Monitor May 9, 2015


Jumana Manna at Chisenhal

18-September – 13 December 2015


Chisenhale Gallery presents the first UK solo exhibition by the Berlin and Jerusalem based artist, Jumana Manna. The exhibition comprises a newly commissioned feature-length film, A magical substance flows into me (2015), presented alongside an installation of sculptures.


In her new film, Manna explores the different musical traditions of myriad communities living in and around Jerusalem, drawing on her research into the German-Jewish ethnomusicologist Robert Lachmann

(1892-1939) and his work in Palestine. The film follows Manna’s exchanges with musicians as she encounters them in their homes and places of work and worship. The provisional architectures of these private performance settings are developed through a sculptural installation, which also functions as seating for viewers in the gallery.


The film draws on Manna’s research into the Oriental Music broadcasts, a series of radio programmes from the 1930s, which Lachmann made for the Palestine Broadcasting Service; established under the British Mandate (1920-1948). His broadcasts featured field recordings of musical performances by the ‘Oriental’ groups in Palestine, comprising Palestinians and Eastern Jews. Responding to Lachmann’s project, Manna revisits the communities that he studied – including Kurdish, Moroccan, and Yemenite Jews, Samaritans, members of urban and rural Palestinian communities, Bedouins and Coptic Christians – replaying his recordings and making new recordings of her own.


KG: And there is one moment in the film, with the elderly Samaritan couple, where the husband calls his wife over to hear the recording of her father playing but she doesn’t want to hear him.


JM: Yes, that’s right. The Samaritan community live in Nablus, on Mount Gerizim. They are a very small community; the smallest and possibly the oldest minority in Palestine, comprising just 780 people, so they are like a living archaeology. Because of the way that the priesthood is passed on through generations, when Lachmann recorded with the high priest, and then I went to meet the high priest of the current community there was a familial link. The father of the wife of the current high priest was the high priest at the time when Lachmann was alive and Lachmann recorded with him. It was complete coincidence. She had never met her father because he died when she very little. And so after she listens to this recording she says ‘I wish that I could only dream of him’. She doesn’t care to listen to him because she has a certain anger that he bore her mother all these children and left her very young to raise them on her own, and, on the other hand, she desires to see him, at least in a dream.


JM: There are several instances in the film where trash is an interruption. It becomes almost a recurring joke. My mother asks my father, ‘did you take out the compost’. With the Samaritans, the wife is complaining that they have taken away the garbage can before she threw out the trash. These interruptions take place during moments where a very big political topic is being addressed. My father is talking about his Iraqi friend who will never be able to go back to Iraq. The Samaritan is talking about the Holy Tora, which is three thousand five hundred years old, and his wife is talking about the trash. The film moves between these kinds of binaries, the sacred and the profane. …

Robert Lachmann (1892-1939) was a German ethnomusicologist.

Lachmann recorded musicians in North Africa and in Palestine on wax cylinders mostly before he established his Center for Oriental Music. Robert Lachmann arrived in Palestine in April 1935 after he was dismissed from his position at the Berlin National Library.

He came at the invitation of J. L. Magnes, president of the Hebrew University. Until his last day he recorded Arabic music, Jewish oriental traditions and the music of the Samaritans. Lachmann also presented lectures for the Palestine Broadcasting Service (PBS).


‘Program 6, Liturgical Cantillation and Songs of the Samaritans, 3 February 1937’ in Robert Lachmann: The "Oriental Music” Broadcasts, 1936-1937: A Musical Ethnography of Mandatory Palestine Library by Robert Lachmann (Author), Ruth F. Davis (Editor) Series: Recent Researches in the Oral Traditions of Music Library Binding. Publisher: A-R Editions, Inc. (2013) pp. 48- 58.


Learn more: Ethnomusicology and Political Ideology in Mandatory Palestine: Robert Lachmann’s “Oriental Music” Projects by Ruth F. Davis


The Samaritans (No, Not those ones- I mean the Ethnoreligous Group who live in the Mountains above Nablus and are said to be Descended from the Israelites) June 04, 2013


Notes and Queries: A Medium of Entercommunication For Literary Men, General Readers, Etc.

Sixth Series- Volume Fourth, July- December, 1881

London: John Francis, 1882

Nov. 5, ‘81

The Library of Trinity College, Cambridge, p. 361-362

 Attention may also be called to a very fine copy of the Samaritan Pentateuch, given to the college by Dr. Lightfoot, the present Bishop of Durham. According to a Hebrew note in the MS. It would appear to be written entirely on the skins of paschal lambs. As is well known to scholars, the above Pentateuch is in Hebrew, though in Samaritan letters, but the library possesses also a fragment of the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch (Exod. Xxxix.22-Num. iii.3).



The Samaritans: People of the Sacred Mountain 

by Johanna Spector, Dan Wolman, E. G. Marshall

Dr. Spector (1915–2008) was a professor of Ethnomusicology at JTS, and a world-renowned scholar in that field, author of books and articles, lecturer, and producer of documentary films. Her collection includes the cultural treasures of the nearly extinct Jewish populations of India, Yemen, Azerbaijan, Egypt, and Armenia, as well as of the Samaritan people. 


The Samaritans: People of the Sacred Mountain (16mm; Color; 30 minutes; 1971)
Awarded Certificate of Merit, Chicago International Film Festival, 1972

See articles in Rotunda

The Samaritans and the Jews of India page 4, Vol. 19 No. 2, February 1994

The Samaritans and the Jews of India page 5, Vol. 19 No. 3, March 1994

The Samaritans: People of the Sacred Mountain in Rotunda, page 3, Vol. 19, No. 9 October 1994


The Samaritans: People of the Sacred Mountain in Rotunda, page 1, Vol. 19, No. 10 November 1994



Reviewed Work: The Samaritans: People of the Sacred Mountain by Johanna Spector, Dan Wolman, E. G. Marshall

Review by: Willard Rhodes

Asian Music Vol. 4, No. 2 (1973), pp. 42-43 Published by: University of Texas Press


The Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit

Genizah Fragments

The Newsletter of Cambridge University's Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit
at Cambridge University Library

No. 9 April 1985

Last stop

Early in January 1985 three members of the Samaritan community of Holon in Israel, Benjamin and Japhet Tzedaka and their assistant, visited Cambridge University Library. They had travelled to libraries and museums in many parts of the world to gather information about Samaritan manuscripts and Cambridge was the last stop on their tour before their return to Israel.

Dr Geoffrey Khan welcomed them and directed their attention to some of the Samaritan fragments in the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection, such as T-S 16.317 (a Samaritan targum) and T-S 8.267 (a Samaritan liturgical poem).



[Book of Exodus in Hebrew written in Samaritan characters, colophon in the Samaritan language, giving the Samaritan and Hebrew alphabets side by side ... ]


Language(s):      Hebrew ; Samaritan Aramaic

Published:           [Jerusalem, 1864]

Note:    No title-page.

A note on the last page, Hebrew in Samaritan characters, reads: This is the Holy Law which was snatched from the fire by the power of Jehovah the Merciful. Eber the son of Yohana wrote it. Dated: Jerusalem, 1864.

Physical Description:       [100] p. 25 cm.


Image on right from

Peloubet’s Select Notes on the International lessons for 1909. Studies in the Acts and Epistles by Francis Nathan Peloubet and Amos R. Wells, Thirty-fifth Annual Volume Boston: W.A. Wilde Company, 1908 Page 84,

From a Photograph by Wilson. (Samaritan High Priest Jacob, Son of Aaron, with the roll of the Samaritan Pentateuch)



Images from ‘The Samaritans and Their Annual Sacrifice.’ The Literary Digest Vol. XIV. No. 23, Whole No. 364, New York, April 10, 1897, page 79.






Christain Herald, New York, January 2, 1907

Volume 30, Number 1, Page 2,




Dale, Robert (of Birmingham)

‘The Editor on His Travels’ in The Congregationalist, Vol. 5, London: Hodder and Stoughton, May, 1876, pp. 276- 277,

The descent to the plain was made rapidly, and then we had a charming ride among the ripening crops until we reached the opening of a valley on the left. The entrance to the valley is guarded by two mountains; the sides of the southern mountain were fairly covered with grass and bushes, the sides of the northern mountain were very bare The sides of both are broken, so as to form something like the walls of a great amphitheatre, and here the tribes of Israel assembled—" half of them over against Mount Gerizim " on the south, "and half of them over against Mount Ebal " on the north, to listen to the blessings and curses of the law.

Opposite the opening of the valley, and near to the foot of Gerizim, is the well on the wall of which our Lord Jesus sat while His disciples went into the city, a mile or two off, "to buy meat." He was "weary," for it was noon, and He had come over the pass which we had crossed an hour before. He was thirsty from heat and weariness, and when a woman came to draw water He asked her to let Him drink. How real and vivid the story became while we were sitting where He sat eighteen hundred years ago! We could almost see the woman standing with her water pot by her side; we could almost hear her say, as she pointed to Mount Gerizim rising just behind her, " Our fathers worshipped in this mountain:' The ancient masonry above ground is all swept away, but below the surface there is stonework of considerable antiquity. The opening of the well was covered with blocks of stone but on removing one of them and dropping a stone down, we found that the words of the woman are still true—" the well is deep." There has been a recent attempt to surround the well with a stone wall, but the wall remains unfinished. It seems only fitting that where our Lord uttered the great words: "The hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father," the attempt to honour a "holy place" should fail.

About a hundred and fifty yards from the well, more or less, there is the tomb of Joseph. What can be seen is one of the ordinary tombs of the country. Mr. Rogers, Consul at Cairo, formerly Consul at Jerusalem, has built a wall round it to protect it.

The Valley of Nablous, which, as I have said, turns to the left westwards—from the great plain, is very beautiful. Fine hills rise on each side, and the valley is extraordinarily fertile. The valley is one great corn-field, broken by innumerable trees. In one part of the valley olive trees grow in a forest; and besides these there are mulberry trees, lemon trees, and pomegranate trees. It is a perfect Paradise. The woman who came to "draw water" at Jacob's Well was probably fetching it for men who were at work somewhere in the valley, nearer to the well than to the city.

Nablous is a bright-looking city; the white domes of its houses and the graceful minarets of its mosques rise out of a sea of brilliant foliage. The town is surrounded with gardens and orchards. As soon as we had reached our camping-place, Mr. El Karey, the Arab missionary, came to us. Friends in England had written to him to say that we were coming; and he told us that he had been looking for us for three weeks. Mr. El Karey was educated at Regent's Park College, married an English lady, and is now working among his countrymen in Palestine and the neighbouring districts. He told us that it is his habit every few months to mount his horse and go off to the desert, and there he lives for a fortnight or three weeks at a time with the Bedouin, to whom he preaches Christ.

He was good enough to accompany us to the Samaritan synagogue—a very small, mean building in the heart of the town, where the famous Samaritan Codex is kept. This is an ancient copy of the Samaritan Pentateuch, written, as the Samaritans say, 1500 years before Christ; its real age is undetermined. The high priest who has charge of the precious manuscript produced at first a manuscript of much inferior interest. We saw that El Karey was remonstrating with him, and we asked what was the matter. We were told that the old fox thought that he could satisfy us with showing us something less sacred than the great Codex. When our friend protested, he asked, "Will there be good backsheesh?" El Karey said "Yes," and asked whether we should be willing to give four francs—a franc apiece—to see the real manuscript. After the priest was satisfied that he was to receive this wonderful reward, he produced it. It is written on vellum, and rolled up in a silver cylinder, about thirty inches in length and ten inches in diameter. The cylinder is covered with most curious representations of every part of the ancient tabernacle and every utensil that was used in it. If the cylinder could claim any great antiquity these representations would be of great value; but it has been declared by some authorities to be Venetian work of the fourteenth or fifteenth century.

The town is not very interesting. El Karey, who holds some official position—which he says is a protection to him in his mission work thinks that it contains a population of 8,000 males. It struck me as a droll illustration of Eastern contempt for women, that women should not even be counted as part of the population. However, he assured me that they counted only the men. Mrs. El Karey, whose position must be a very lonely one, is trying to give the women that secular and religious teaching which, if they receive it, will perhaps secure for them greater a respect.



Old German News


Die Samaritaer der Bibel in Altonaer Nachrichten, 23 August, 1855 page 2.


Galfilua in Bozner Nachrichten, 10 January, 1896, page 7



New Articles


Molly M. Zahn (University of Kansas), ‘The Samaritan Pentateuch and the Scribal Culture of Second Temple Judaism’ in Journal for the Study of Judaism, Volume 46, Issue 3, pages 285- 313, 2015

The Samaritan Pentateuch (sp), along with its Qumran forebears, has deservedly been regarded as a key source of information for understanding the scribal culture of early Judaism. Yet studies have tended to emphasize the relative uniformity of the characteristic pre-sp readings as evidence of a scribal approach distinct within Second Temple Judaism. This article argues that both the uniformity and the distinctiveness of these readings have been overstated: there is more internal diversity within pre-sp than is usually recognized, and similar or identical readings are also preserved in other manuscript traditions. Rather than representing a distinctive scribal approach or school, the readings of pre-sp are better taken as a particularly concentrated example of scribal attitudes and techniques that appear to have been widespread in early Judaism.

Affiliations: 1: University of Kansas, Department of Religious Studies, 103 Smith Hall, 1300 Oread Ave, Lawrence, KS.


Title: Second Person Suffix Conjugation Endings with 'k' on Tertiae y Verbs in Samaritan Aramaic
Author(s): STADEL, Christian
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 128    Issue: 1-2   Date: 2015   
Pages: 127-156
DOI: 10.2143/MUS.128.1.3080618
Abstract : The Western Late Aramaic language used by the Samaritan community in the Byzantine and early Muslim periods has peculiar 2nd person suffix conjugation endings on tertiae y verbs which are spelled with 'k' instead of the usual 't' known from all other Aramaic dialects. The present paper clarifies three aspects of these forms: (1) An examination of all attestations of 2nd person forms from the texts accessible in reliable editions allows us to determine the extent of the phenomenon: The 'k'-forms are the regular forms in Samaritan Aramaic, not late by-forms, as suggested by some. (2) Ben-Hayyim, Macuch, and Yahalom have proposed different explanations of how these forms developed, all of which rely on a succession of analogies. A critique of their proposals leads to the conclusion that they are highly hypothetical and not convincing. (3) We propose an alternative, phonetic explanation, which assumes that the preceding high-front vowel triggered palatalization of the original t of the endings. This palatalization led to a change in orthography.


The Story of the Tower of Babel in the Samaritan Book Asatir as a Historical Midrash on the Samaritan Revolts of the Sixth Century c.e. by Christian Stadel

Journal of the American Oriental Society Vol. 135, No. 2 (April–June 2015), pp. 189-207

Abstract: The Asatir is a collection of Samaritan midrashim on parts of the Torah, which reached its final form in the tenth or eleventh century. It embellishes the pericope of the Tower of Babel with a number of surprising details: The Tower of Babel was built on a mountain and had a beacon attached to its top; the mount with the tower and the valley of Shinar are compared to Mt. Gerizim and the valley of Shechem. It is argued that these embellishments were introduced in order to read the story of the Tower as a blueprint for historical events surrounding the Church of Mary Theotokos, which was built by the Emperor Zenon on Mt. Gerizim and partly destroyed by the Samaritans in their revolts against Byzantium in the sixth century. The exegetical technique of reading contemporaneous history into the biblical text is discussed from a broader comparative perspective.


A Bilingual Greek-Samaritan Inscription from Apollonia-Arsuf/Sozousa: Yet More Evidence of the Use of [non-Roman script word] Formula Inscriptions among the Samaritans by O Tal Language: German. Publication: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 194, (2015): 169-169

Database: British Library Serials


Blev templet på Garizim bygget med templet i Jerusalem som forbillede?. /Gudme, Anne Katrine de Hemmer (University of Copenhagen). In: Dansk Teologisk Tidsskrift, Vol. 78/3, 06.09.2015, p. 261.


Abstract: Was the Yahweh temple on Mount Gerizim modelled after the temple in Jerusalem? This question is important for our understanding of the sanctuary on Mount Gerizim and the people who worshipped there; if the Gerizim temple was modelled after the Jerusalem temple the argument in favour of the Gerizim cult as derived from the cult in Jerusalem is strengthened. On the other hand, if no such connection can be demonstrated convincingly one must look elsewhere for the answer to the question of Samaritan origins. The present article gives a brief introduction to the relationship between early Judaism and early Samaritanism, or rather Southern and Northern Yahwism, followed by a presentation of Mount Gerizim and the excavations that were recently carried out there. Finally I shall turn to the theory that the temple on Mount Gerizim was modelled after the Jerusalem temple, which has recently been recast by Dr Yitzhak Magen. I conclude that the archaeological remains from the Persian period sanctuary on Mount Gerizim offer no evidence that this temple was modelled on the temple in Jerusalem.


Is the samaritan pentateuch a sectarian text? by Gallagher E.L.

Language: English  Publication: Zeitschrift fur die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, v127 n1 (2015 01 01): 96-107


Der Samaritanische Pentateuch in der Geschichte des hebräischen Bibeltextes by Stefan Schorch

Verkündigung und Forschung. Volume 60, Issue 1, Pages 18–28, ISSN (Online) 2198-0454, ISSN (Print) 0342-2410, DOI: 10.14315/vf-2015-0104, March 2015


Archeometallurgical characterization of Late Roman- and Byzantine-period Samaritan magical objects and jewelry made of copper alloys by D Ashkenazi; I Taxel; O Tal

Language: English, Publication: Materials Characterization, v102 n2 (2015 04): 195-208


The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah: First English Translation Compared with the Masoretic Version. Edited and translated by Benyamim Tsedaka; coedited by Sharon Sullivan. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2013. Pp. xxxvi + 522. $100.00. by Shaul Stampfer

Language: English   Publication: RELIGIOUS STUDIES REVIEW, 41, no. 1, (March 2015): 33-33


The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah: First English Translation Compared with the Masoretic Version. Edited and translated by BENYAMIM TSEDAKA and coedited by SHARON SULLIVAN.

The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah: First English Translation Compared with the Masoretic Version. Edited and translated by Benyamim Tsedaka and coedited by Sharon Sullivan. P. xxxvi + 522. Grand Rapids, MI and Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans, 2013. ISBN 978 0 8028 6519 9.

Moshe Florentin, The Journal of Theological Studies, (20150627): flv061


 (Hebrew title) [Samaritan Elegies – A Collection of Lamentations, Admonitions, and Poems of Praising God]. M. FLORENTIN, J Semitic Studies (Autumn 2015) 60 (2): 503-508


Language: English, Publication: Jewish Bible quarterly, 43, no. 2, (2015): 117-121

Database: British Library Serials


The Samaritan Pentateuch and the Scribal Culture of Second Temple Judaism by Molly M Zahn

Publication: Journal for the Study of Judaism, v46 n3 (2015825): 285-313

Database: Brill Journals


Jews and Samaritans. The Origins and History of Their Early Relations . By Gary N. Knoppers . New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. xi + 326. $55 (cloth). by Susan Niditch

Language: English, Publication: Journal of Near Eastern Studies, v74 n1 (2015 04): 160-161



Adam Zertal, Israeli Archaeologist, Died at 78

Adam Zertal was born in 1936, and died October 18, 2015. Adam was an Israeli archaeologist.


Adam Zertal identified a location on Mount Ebal as the site of Joshua’s Altar, he is wrong of course.  He wrote a number of Samaritan related articles while he worked at the University of Haifa.




Akpoigbe, Stephen Avwoghokoghene



Crooks, George R, and John F. Hurst (Editors)

Library of the Biblical and Theological Literature, vol. I, Introduction to the Study of the Holy Scriptures, New York: Phillips & Hunt 1878


D., E.L.

‘The Samaritans’ in Niagra Index, Volume 28, No. 10, Niagara University, N.Y., February 15, 1896, pp. 147-149.


Loeb, Laurence D. (University of Utah) (Reviewer)

Audiovisuals Reviews: The Samaritans: The People of the Sacred Mountain. Filmed by Johanna Spector in American Anthropologist, September 1975 vol. 77, issue 5. Pp. 694-695


Hensel Benedikt

Samaritanische Identität in persisch-hellenistischer Zeit im Spiegel der biblischen Überlieferung (Esra/Nehemia) und der archäologisch-epigraphischen Befunde (2015)


Himbaza, Innocent

En collaboration avec A. Schenker, “Un Pentateuque Samaritain à la Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire Fribourg (Suisse) L 2057”, Theologische Zeitschrift 57, 2001. Alttestamentliche Forschung in der Schweiz. Festheft der Theologischen Zeitschrift zum XVII. Kongress der International Organization of the Study of the Old Testament 2001 in Basel, p. 221-226.


Kelley, William V. (Editor)

‘Archaeology and Biblical Research, the Samaritans’ July, 1919, pp. 630-636; ‘Archaeology and Biblical Research, the Samaritan Passover’ September 1919 p. 796-801; ‘Archaeology and Biblical Research, the Samaritan Pentateuch’ November 1919 pp. 964-970. In The Methodist Review Vol. 102, the Methodist Book Concern: New York; Cincinnati 1919


Malan, Solomon Caesar

Pilosophy, or truth? Remarks on the First Five Lectures by the Dean of Westminster on the Jewish Church; with Other Plain Words on Questions of the Day, Regarding Faith, the Bible, and the Church. London: Joseph Master, 1865


Nodet, Etienne

‘Sânballa de Samarie’ in RB 122 (2015), p. 340-354.

Abstract: Sanballaṭ of Samaria is an elusive character: the phrase “son of Sanballaṭ” appears in ar-chaeological findings (Elephantine, W. Daliyeh) in connection with governors of Samaria, but for Jewish traditions (Nehemiah, Josephus) Sanballaṭ was clearly a leader of Samaria. A classical problem arises, since the name is witnessed over more than a century, from Arta-xerxes Ist of Persia (ca. -445) to Alexander the Great (-332), and could refer to more than one Sanballaṭ. The solution ventured here is that Sanballaṭ was a Semitic eponym god attached to Ḥarran – in the same satrapy as Samaria –, which Jewish sources construed as a pagan gov-ernor of Samaria.


Pick, B.

The Vowel-Points Controversy in the XVI. and XVII. Centuries, Hebraica Vol. 8, No. 3/4 (Apr. - Jul., 1892), pp. 150-173


Rabello, Mordechai Alfredo (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

The Samaritans in Justinian's Corpus Iuris Civilis (October 27, 2015). 31 Isr. L. Rev. 724 (1997); Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper.


Schedii (Schede) Aliae (Elias)

De Dis Germanis sive Veteri Germanorum, Gallo, RVM, Britannorum, van Dalorum Religione Syngrammata Quatuor. Amsterodami, Apud Ludovicum Elzevirium, Anno 1648


Zakharía, Timothée (Sent-Petersberg Istitut of Jewish Studies)

Samaritan Studies: Selected Bibliography PIJS, 2015



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