The Samaritan Update

“Mount Gerizim,

All the Days of Our Lives”


September / October 2017                                                                                                Vol. XVII - No 1

In This Issue


·       Orhof Photo

·       Auction

·       5 Shehadeh articles

·       Samaritan book

·       Benny Knowledge

·       Facebook Post

·       Call for papers

·       Publications

·       From the Editor

·       Links

·       Recent Articles

·       New Articles

·       Biblio

Your link to the Samaritan Update Index

On January 1, 2017, the Samaritan Community numbered 796.


 Future Events

It has been 3655 years since the entrance into the Holy Land

 (Samaritan’s typical calendar) 



The Eighth Month 3656 - Thursday Evening, 19 October 2017

The Ninth Month 3656 - Friday Evening, 17 November 2017

The Tenth Month 3656 - Sunday Evening, 17 December 2017

The Eleventh Month 3656 - Tuesday Evening, 16 January 2018

The Twelfth Month 3656 - Thursday Evening, 15 February 2018

The Thirteenth Month 3656 - Saturday Evening, 17 March 2018

The First Month 3656 - Sunday Evening, 15 April 2018

Passover Sacrifice: Sunday evening (7:19 pm) 29 April 2018

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


New Photos by Ori Orhof

 Once again Ori Orhof has captured the Samaritans in their environment during their Holy Days. See his photos organized photo albums at his main page.

Wonderful images for any book or article!


Auction: Lot 3: Large Collection of Samaritan Manuscripts and Documents

Winner's Auctions & Exhibitions

October 24, 2017, 5:00 PM AST Jerusalem, Israel

Est: $3,000 - $4,000 Page Link Sold $1600.00


Description: Large lot of hundreds of Samaritan writings from the 19th and 20th centuries, letters, telegrams, various documents regarding Samaritan issues, from the estate of a member of the Samaritan committee which dealt with publishing writings, Mr. Abraham Ben-Nur Tzadka. The manuscripts include versions of the Samaritan bible, Samaritan prayer, and Marque's sayings, some of which are translated in Hebrew and Arabic writing. The collection was not investigated and is being sold as is. Various conditions. Generally fine condition.



5 New Articles from Haseeb Shehadeh, The University of Helsinki

Thank you professor Shehadeh for the new articles that you have been so gracious to share!



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A Book Containing the History of the Samaritan Sect and the Rituals of Their Religion

This manuscript preserves an untitled treatise that is referred to in the introduction simply as Kitābun muḥtawin ʻalá siyyar ḥāl ṭāʻifati al-sāmirah wa ṭuqūsi diyānatihim (A book containing the history of the Samaritan sect and the rituals of their religion). The author is unknown. The work is divided into ten chapters, covering what Samaritans “believe to be the truth about their doctrine and faith.” The chapters are: 1) On the origins of the Samaritan sect; 2) The belief in Mount Gerizim as their qibla (prayer direction); 3) The observance of the Sabbath; 4) Circumcision and the rules governing it; 5) Samaritan months and festivals; 6) Impurities and ablution; 7) Rules governing ritual slaughter; 8) Marriage rituals; 9) The nonexistence of a doctrine of abrogation in their Torah; and 10) The rituals pertaining to death, passage to the afterlife, and resurrection. The Samaritans are an ancient, ethnoreligious group of Levantine origins. They believe they are descendants of the original Israelites. Often referred to as the smallest religious minority in the world, today they number about 800, and live in tight-knit communities on the holy site of Mount Gerizim, near present-day Nablus, and in Holon, south of present-day Tel Aviv, Israel. The manuscript is written in black ink, in naskh style, with catchwords on rectos. Each chapter begins with a rubricated synopsis that gives an overview of the chapter. The manuscript is almost entirely void of images, with the exception of two small illustrations, on pages 126 verso and 127 recto (frames 69 and 70 in this presentation). The first illustration shows an altar “taken from the Book of Exodus,” with two water bowls in the center, and notes on the sides indicating where a sacrifice is slaughtered and where worshipers stand. The second illustration is a drawing of a kiln “taken from the covenant with Abram.” No scribe name or copy date is given, but the manuscript was likely produced in the 18th century.

Contributed by Qatar National Library

Download at:

{The name at the back of the book appears to be William James Guerrier 1892. I have been unable to locate any information on him.]



Ben Sedaka brings knowledge of the Samaritans on Facebook


What is the meaning of to be Israelite-Samaritan?

This is the aim of my posts in Facebook about the Israeilte-Samaritan tradition, history and culture, to spread the clear knowledge of life based simply on the Torah on one hand' and on the other hand to integrate in the life reality and not to ignore other faith believes. I respect the choice of anyone to believe whatever making him/her complete with themselves.

Missionary is forbidden from the Torah but if someone decides to be Israelite Samaritan, being circumcised, keeping the Sabbath directly as it commanded in the Torah, reading the Torah in its original text kept by the Israelite Samaritans, learning the Ancient Hebrew that only the Israelite Samaritans kept it without change; keeping the laws of purity of the human and family, keeping the festivals in its time in Israelite Samaritan Calendar, keeping the law of dietary [Not to mix meat with milk]; first in the list of being Hebrew and being honest and nice to one another - if he needs advice - I will be the first to help him/her. Just go to

It is important to follow the true information based on real facts and not imagination. For information also go to our web site:

Benyamim Tsedaka/ Head Advisor to All Israelite-Samaritan Communities in the world


Ayman Nobani posted 6 photos on his Facebook page Oct. 29, 2017

Does a journalist [Jameel Dababat] need a measurement tool like a meter or any other type of measurement tool, I think the answer yes needs especially if the journalist knows what he wants to write and deliver to the world through his story needs if this journalist is beautiful a where he asked for a meter In help, a story about Samaritan Abu Faraj, who copy the old Bible with its own hand, asked the meter to take the length and display of this bible to be accurate. The idea of what I wrote is that the press is a great human profession and we must respect the work we do and respect people's minds even in the most detail. [Only 4 photos are seen here. Translated by Facebook]





Photos by Ayman Nobani

Call For Papers


Helsinki, Finland


Meeting Begins: 7/30/2018

Meeting Ends: 8/3/2018


Call For Papers Opens: 10/18/2017
Call For Papers Closes: 2/14/2018
Requirements for Participation



Camilla Adang

Meira Polliack

Description: Jews, Christians, and Samaritans living under Muslim rule translated their sacred scriptures into Arabic. Interest in this vast treasure of texts has grown, and their contribution to the history of interpretation and religious history is considerable. This unit will discuss these translations, as well as how they were influenced by the Qur’an and used in inter-religious conversations. 

Call for papers: We plan the following joint sessions of Biblia Arabica (SBL), The Bible in Arabic (EABS) and IQSA members. A. Two invited sessions. 1. “The Arabic Commentary Literature: Between Jewish and Christian Approaches to the Bible”. 2) “Biblical materials in Qur’anic commentaries (Tafsir) - Islamic elements in Jewish and Christian commentaries in Arabic.” B. Open session(s). We invite proposals on “Approaches to Translation and Interpretation”. Papers dealing with any aspect of Arabic Bible translation as outlined above in the General agenda will be considered. While the emphasis has hitherto been on the Middle Ages, we also encourage discussion of printed pre-modern and modern translations. 



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—foregrounded in the academic study of the treatment of characters across texts and traditions—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. 

Call for papers: Biblical literature, the literatures of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and related literatures all place an importance on literature as an important medium for disseminating important “truths” to those with whom the writers wish(ed) to communicate. To Moses, Paul, and Muhammad have been ascribed three anthologies that flow from a similar world-view. Through the three (plus) bodies of literature, one notices a similar theme (not necessarily style) that demonstrates an association by writers who have inherited a specific, progressive Middle Eastern world-view. That world-view has, of course, been informed by neighbors of the core groups of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in a most positive way. Several authors or scribes have been identified as making this traditional literature available to us: Moses, the Hebrew prophets, the writers during the Persian and Greek periods (including the contributors to the New Testament and related literature), and the dictated version of the Prophet Muhammad’s Qur’an. These we intend to explore in great detail. 



Athalya Brenner-Idan

Camilla Adang

Meira Polliack

Description: Shortly after the expansion of Muslim rule in the 7th and 8th centuries CE, Christians, Jews, and Samaritans living in the Muslim world began to translate their sacred texts– the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Samaritan Pentateuch– into Arabic. Many of these translations, from languages such as Hebrew, Greek, Syriac and Coptic, have come down to us in a vast corpus of manuscripts and fragments hailing from monasteries, synagogues and libraries, especially in the Middle East. Compared to other translation traditions of the Bible throughout its history, the Arabic versions in manuscript and later on in print are the most numerous and reveal an unusually large variety in stylistic and didactic approaches, vocabulary, scripts and ideologies. Although originally intended for internal consumption by the different denominations that produced them, the translations were also quoted and adapted by Muslim writers, who were familiar with many biblical episodes and characters through the Qur’an. The study of Arabic translations of the Bible has only recently started to come into its own, but much remains to be done. We invite papers on the various aspects of the production and reception of the Arabic Bible outlined above.


Call for papers: At the 2018 meeting in Helsinki the research group Bible in Arabic will focus on two broad topics: 1. Commentary Literature; 2. Translation and Interpretation. The sessions will be held jointly with The Biblia Arabica Consultation (SBL) and members of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA). We plan to have two invited panels and additional open sessions. The titles of the invited panels are: (1) The Arabic Commentary Literature: Between Jewish and Christian Approaches to the Bible and (2) Biblical materials in Qur’anic commentaries (Tafsir) / Islamic elements in Jewish and Christian commentaries in Arabic. For the open sessions on Translation and Interpretation we invite contributions on Approaches to Translation and Interpretation. Papers dealing with any aspect of Arabic Bible translation will be considered. While the emphasis has hitherto been on the Middle Ages, we also encourage discussion of printed pre-modern and modern translations.



Diana Edelman

Kåre Berge

Philippe Guillaume

Description: This research group is attentive to the core of the Book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 12— 26/28). We want to explore the internal coherence of the legal prescriptions and to take a close look at the world that is imagined to be regulated by them. We also want to explore how this legal core relates to the notion of ‘Israel’ presented in the framework of the book. The unit will continue investigating the apparent tension between the utopian character of the society that is imagined in these ‘laws’ and their focus on down-to-earth politics and economics, which was the topic of our first meeting 2017. Relevant topics are: - Why was Deuteronomy created? - The nature of ‘Israel’ in the book, especially the relation between the society that appears in the core legislations and the ‘All Israel’ of the frame. - The cultic integration of both Judah and Samaria: the adoption of the cult of the ‘god of Israel’ within Judah and its possible connection with local religious practices and Iron-age cults of the two kingdoms. - Issues related to the book’s further application and authorization in the Yehud and Samarian communities: Why did Deuteronomy have audiences in both Samaria and Yehud/Judea who considered themselves to belong to Israel?


Call for papers: For 2018, there will be one session of invited papers and one open-call session. The topic for both will be: Why was the book of Deuteronomy created? Why was it desirable to give authority to (another) collection of legal stipulations in the book (in addition to the Exodus legislation)? We invite both literary and socio-historical perspectives on this question. All papers should relate to the core of Deuteronomy. In particular, we welcome papers that take note of the difference between the core and the frame of the book. One productive angle on the question of why Deuteronomy was created would be to determine what the different emphases are within the ""legal"" materials in Deuteronomy vs Exodus. This makes a lens to address why Deuteronomy is presented to supersede the earlier code, and we invite papers accordingly. To enhance the benefit of congenial exchange during the conference, drafts will be circulated in advance among all the presenters and to interested members of the audience (please request drafts from the chairs in the weeks preceding the conference).




Recent Publication


The Land Beyond Hardcover – 28 Sep 2017

by Leon McCarron (Author)




Future Publication

Leviticus (Hebrew Edition) (Hebrew)

by Stefan Schorch (Editor)

To be published: March 2018

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

Language: Hebrew

ISBN-10: 3110402874

ISBN-13: 978-3110402872



Past Publication


Die Thesen über die Ursprünge der Samaritaner (German Edition) (German) Paperback – May 13, 2015

by Lirer Ganna (Author)

Paperback: 116 pages

Publisher: AV Akademikerverlag (May 13, 2015)

Language: German

ISBN-10: 3639842944

ISBN-13: 978-3639842944

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches


In der gesamten Menschheitsgeschichte gab es kaum ein anderes Volk (wohl nur mit Ausnahme der Juden), um dessen Herkunft und Entstehungsgeschichte so viele Mythen und Theorien existieren, wie die Samaritaner. Bis heute leben die Anhänger dieser Religion in Israel als eine weitgehend geschlossene Gemeinschaft. Wie die Juden hat dieses Volk in seiner jahrtausendlangen Geschichte im Zuge der zahlreichen Eroberungen Israels und Judäas - zunächst durch Alexander den Großen und später das Römische Imperium -, sowie durch die Kreuzzüge oder die Besetzung Palästinas durch das Osmanische Reich, viel Leid erfahren müssen. Die Fähigkeit der Samaritaner, ungeachtet der gesellschaftlichen, politischen und kulturellen Umbrüche, die im Laufe der letzten drei Tausend Jahre um sie herum stattfanden, ihre Identität, Religion und Traditionen zu bewahren, übt auf viele Menschen eine Faszination aus.



From the Editor


I received an interesting email recently from Jeremy Lupton. He sent a couple links. The first link concerns; ‘Records of the Earls Cowper of Cole Green House and Panshanger, in Hertingfordbury and Hertford, their families, households and estates in Hertfordshire and elsewhere, 1251 – 1966,’ found in the UK National Archives.


LIDDELL, H[enry] G[eorge] [Dean of Christ Church College, Oxford. Concerning Jacob Shellaby] - page 9.(1 item, 13 Jun 1888 Christ Church, Oxford)


SHELLABY, Jacob [Social. Letter is addressed to Earl Cowper] - page 58. 1 item, 25 Nov 1890 Fitzroy Square” from ‘Autograph letters scrapbook compiled by Countess Cowper  DE/P/F587  C1868-C1910 Volume 1.’



General correspondence [no ref. or date]


[The following letters were found lying loose in the front of Countess Cowper's album of autograph letters (see DE/P/F587). This album also contains letters to Earl Cowper from H M Queen Victoria (page 1), Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury (page 14), Michael Hicks-Beach (page 15), William Holman Hunt (page 27), William Blake Richmond (page 27), George Frederick Watts (page 28), Clifford Lloyd (page 54), Jacob Shellaby (page 58) and Sir Robert James Loyd-Lindsay, Baron Wantage (page 117) - for further details see DE/P/F587.


I also located the Edward Burnett Tylor Papers, PRM Manuscript Collections). University of Oxford

Using a list originally compiled by Sandra Dudley, subsequently amended by Petch to take account of improved information, the following list of people associated with the Tylor collection was prepared. Note that those items which appear to have been retained by Tylor as part of his private collection up to his death are marked by words ‘[Private EBT collection]’:


58. Jacob esh. Shellaby - via Alfred Harris, sent to EBT by 1917, donated by Anna Tylor 1917 [Private EBT collection]


Also the new Museum of the Bible, a 430,000-square-foot building, will open at 300 D Street, Washington D.C. will open on November 17. 2017. They will be displaying a Samaritan Torah scroll dating from the 12th century A.D.


Also volume XVI of the Samaritan Update can be seen and saved from this link:




Thinking with Samaritans and Cynthia Baker’s Jew


Title: Brethern or Strangers?
Subtitle: Samaritans in the Eyes of Second-Century B.C.E. Jews
Author(s): BOURGEL, Jonathan
Journal: Biblica
Volume: 98    Issue: 3   Date: 2017   
Pages: 382-408

 Abstract : The process leading to the ultimate estrangement between Jews and Samaritans is commonly regarded as having occurred in the second century B.C.E. This paper aims at giving an outline of how the Samaritans of that time were conceived by the Jews and to determine whether the latter were already perceived as a well-defined alien group. The picture that emerges from the Jewish sources is remarkable in that not only were there divergent opinions among the Jews in regard to the Samaritans, but also that the borders between the two communities were still blurred and even in parts overlapped each other.


Recent News Articles


Benyamim Tsedaka, israelita samaritano, “trovatore” e uomo di Pace

LUNEDÌ 23 OTTOBRE, 2017 By di Claudia Lo Presti


A colazione con Benyamim (Benny) Tsedaka

GIOVEDÌ 19 OTTOBRE, 2017 By di Suzana Glavaš


Middle East’s Samaritans link Muslims and Jews

By Michele Chabin October 17, 2017

Same article, different titles:

Middle East’s Samaritans link Muslims and Jews

By Michele Chabin October 18, 2017

Neither Muslim nor Jew: Samaritans in the Middle East

Meeting the world’s most mysterious sect: the Israelite Samaritans iNews


Samaritans Gather Atop Mount Gerizim in Israel to Hold End of Harvest Prayers

Latin American Herald Tribune


Samaritans prepare for celebration of Sukkot at Mount Gerizim

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-03 16:05:28 Editor: Yurou


Palestine’s Samaritans make pilgrimage to Mt. Gerizim

By Qais Abu Samra,  Anadolu Agency


Stolze kleine Brückenbauer

Vor hundert Jahren gab es noch 140 von ihnen. Heute haben die rund 800 Samaritaner gute Überlebenschancen. Sie sehen sich als Brückenbauer zwischen Juden und Palästinensern.

Ulrich Schmid, Kiryat Luza 15.11.2016, 10:00 Uhr


Israël : Samaritains cherchent âme sœur

Publié le 22 septembre 2017 à 16h53

Par Barthélémy Gaillard et Simon Henry - à Kiryat Luza In Jeune Afrique


Samaritains cherchent âme sœur…..

 24 septembre 2017 koide9enisrael- Coolamnews And Koi de 9 en Israel




New Articles


Zsengellér, József

‘The Samaritan Diaspora in Antiquity’ in Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae Volume 56, Issue 2

Abstract: This paper discusses the problems and state of the Samaritan diaspora situation in Antiquity. It was difficult for contemporaries to distinguish between Jews and Samaritans therefore it is more difficult to decide today whether a diaspora was Jewish or Samaritan. Even so, there are regions of the Eastern Mediterraneum where a Samaritan diaspora can be defined, though no history of any of them can be sketched.


Stadel, Christian

‘Quotative Frames in Samaritan Aramaic’ in Die Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft (ZDMG) volume: 167,1 Jg. 2017 Link


Heckl, Raik

Die angebliche Ursprünglichkeit des Perfekts in Bezug auf die Erwählung des Heiligtums im Samaritanischen Pentateuch



At Institut für Israelogie 2014



by guest contributor Matthew Chalmers




van Gelderen, C.

"Samaritaner und Juden in Elephantine-Syene" in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung  15. Jahrgang Nr.8 (August 1912) 337-344


van Hoonacker, Albin 

Une communauté judéo-araméenne à Éléphantine, en Égypte, aux 6e et 5e siècles av. J.-C: London: Humphrey Milford, Oxford University press 1915


‘De Fontein Jakobs en het Tooverboek’ in Het Christelijk Zondagsblad Leiden A. W. Sijthoff 1863, (Christelijk zondagsblad voor het Nederlandsche volk, Volume 2,) Joz XXIV- 15p. 200-3


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Editor: Larry Rynearson. Contact: The Editor

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