The Samaritan Update

“Mount Gerizim,

All the Days of Our Lives”


March / April 2019                                                                                                                              Vol. XVIII - No 4


In This Issue


·         Festivals

·         5 Shehadeh articles

·         Passover Articles

·         New Tannoors

·         Make Matzah

·         Old Article

·         Benny Tour

·         Links

·         New Articles

·         Books

·         New Publications

·         Biblio

Your link to the Samaritan Update Index

2018, the Samaritan Community number 810.


 Future Events

It has been 3657 years since the entrance into the Holy Land which happened on the Sixth Month of the Hebrew Year.

 (Samaritan’s typical calendar) 



The First Month 3657 - April 4, 2019

Passover Sacrifice - April 18, 2019

Feast of Unleavened Bread – Apr 19-25, 2019

Second Passover even May 18, 2019

Festival of Weeks June 3- June 9, 2019

Festival of the first day of the Seventh Month -Sept. 29, 2019

Day of Atonement – Oct. 8, 2019

Festival of Sukkot – Oct. 13, 2019

Festival of the 8th Day – Oct 20, 2019


In total, the Samaritans sacrificed 59 sheep and one goat according to Benny.



See Photos taken by Ori Orhof of the Pilgrimage


65 images






Continue reading at

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Passover Articles



Tiny Samaritan community marks Passover sacrifice as numbers grow

Biblical ritual held annually at West Bank mountaintop ceremonial ground provides participants young and old with hope for future of ancient community

By MIKE SMITH 19 April 2019 (with photos by Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)


Traditional Passover sacrifice held near West Bank city of Nablus

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-19


Samaritans take part in pilgrimage for holy day of Passover


الطائفة السامرية بنابلس تحيي عيد الفسح السامري


The Samaritan community in Nablus celebrates the feast of the Samaritan al-Fath

By Hamdi abu dhair: 170 Photos


Tiny Samaritan community marks Passover sacrifice as…

 April 22, 2019  Brinkwire


Palestine’s Samaritan community celebrates Passover holiday on Mount Gerzim in Nablus




New Tannoors being constructed fon Mount Gerizim

Image by Haanan Altif (3-15-2019)


The tannoors used for the Passover Sacrifice are increasing from the 6 existing to 20 total. The tannoor is used for spit-roasting the Passover Sacrifice.


Image above from Guy Yehoshua (Facebook, March 28)



Images below from Priest Husiany on Facebook taken the day before Passover (17th)







A recent Jerusalem Newspaper Article


Samaritan Noman Yosef Samri Bakes Matzoh, image posted by Haya Saloom (on Facebook April 17, 2019)



How to make Samaritan Matzah

By Benyamim Tsedaka


White flour 2 kg=5 pounds; 8 glasses of water, half glass of salt

Pure 6 glasses on the flour and make the dough with salt. All of these with wet hands from a bawl full of water. Then leave the dough for 30 minutes

Then make a cake forms from the dough with wet hands.

Take the first cake like and flat it with a rolling pin till it will be round and very thin all of it on a table with a map covered with white flour.

All of these do with wet hands from a little basin full of water. Wet your hands from it.

Then take the flat matzah and put it on a hot round convex iron cover that rests on a structure with fire from wood under it or gas.

Let one side stay on the hot cover for 10 seconds then flip it to the other side for another 10 seconds and take it off and put it on a clean piece of fabric to let it be cold.

The same process will be done with the rest of round "cakes".

Then fold every matzah to half then to quarter then to eighth. Put them in a straw basket. Enjoy!



Ms. Codex 1649 - Majūsī, ʻAlī ibn al-ʻAbbās, active 10th century-11th century - [Kāmil al-sināʻah al-tibbīyah]


From the Editor


The image to the left is from The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 07 Sep 1956, Fri page 37.


I have been working on an article and been trying to locate a Samaritan manuscript that was given to Joseph Wolff in 1822. Any help would the great as to its location!!!!


See and download the New

Online Samaritan Bibliography 2018



Chester Beatty Digital Collection

Samaritan Pentateuch

Object Information

Object no.: Heb 751

Object name: Codex

Title: Samaritan Pentateuch

Scribe and production place: Abi Barakatah, Palestine (historical region) (probably)

Object category: Manuscript

Collection: Hebrew collection

Production date: 1225 (622 AH)

Dimensions: 356 mm x 330 mm x 120 mm (height x width x depth)

Material: Parchment (material) Ink (material)

Language: Samaritan (language)

See the great image at




San Diego, CA


Meeting Begins: 11/23/2019 - Meeting Ends: 11/26/2019

Call for Papers Closes: 3/6/2019


Tawny L. Holm

Ute Possekel

Description: The Aramaic studies section is intended to provide a forum for scholars interested in various aspects of Aramaic language. Previous paper topics have included aspects of the Targumim, Qumran Aramaic, Peshitta, Samaritan papyri, and Elephantine Aramaic. 

Call for papers: The Aramaic Studies Section invites papers on any aspect of Aramaic language, texts, and culture. We welcome presentations on Targumim, Qumran Aramaic texts, Syriac language and literature, Samaritan papyri, Elephantine Aramaic, magical texts, and other topics. For the 2019 meeting we are also planning a joint session with SBL's International Syriac Language Project on the current state of Biblical Aramaic lexicography, as well as an independent thematic session on women, gender, and family in Aramaic.



Lecture: Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Programme for Trinity Term 2019

May 15th

11:45 - 12:45 Stefan Schorch (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg) The Role and the Value of the Samaritan Versions for the Textual History of the Samaritan Pentateuch




Ura Iturralde

Documentary/ Photographer

The Last Samaritans


New Articles


The End of the World as They Knew It? Jews, Christians, Samaritans and End-Time Speculation in the Fifth Century by Ross S. Kraemer

Chapter · April 2019 

In book: The End of the World in Medieval Thought and Spirituality, pp.227-250


Iraq Between the Jewish And the Samaritan texts of the pentateuch: A comparative Study in the Archeology of the Holy Bible

Conference Paper · April 2019

Conference: University of Babylon/college of art, At IRAQ- Babylon city


Does Religious Diversity Work? Samaritans and Their Religious “Others” in Contemporary Nablus  by Julia Droeber

Chapter · October 2018 

In book: The Samaritans in Historical, Cultural and Linguistic Perspectives, pp.245-266


Between Samaritans and Karaites: Abraham Firkovich and His Perception of Samaritanism by Golda Akhiezer

Chapter · October 2018 

In book: The Samaritans in Historical, Cultural and Linguistic Perspectives, pp.235-244


Linguistic convergence between The Karaites Grammar School and the Samaritan school in the middle Ages by Nihad Haji

Article · April 2018


Text study of similarity between The Pentateuch Samaritan and the Septuagint by Nihad Haji

Conference Paper · April 2016

Conference: the Conference of Dialogue of Civilizations and International Cultures, the second arbitrator organized by the Faculty of Arts, Tafileh Technical University in Jordan for the period 26/28 April 2016, At Tafileh Technical University in Jordan

Cite this publication

Article · April 2018


Fear of Images Iconophobia and Iconoclasm among Jews and Samaritans in Late Antiquity by Noa Yuval-Hacham

Article in Ikon 11:239-248 · January 2018 


Those who require ‘[…] the burning of incense in synagogues are the Rabbinic Jews’: Burning incense in synagogues in commemoration of the temple by Abraham O. Shemesh

Article (PDF Available) in HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 73(3) · August 2017 

Abstract: This article focuses on the burning of incense in synagogues subsequent to the destruction of the temple, in commemoration of the incense formerly used in the temple rites. We hear about the implementation of this custom in Samaritan and Rabbinic synagogues only several centuries after the destruction of the Samaritan and Jewish Temples. The Samaritans still burn incense in their synagogues at certain times, but among Rabbinic Jews the custom came to an end, probably in the Middle Ages. Burning incense in the synagogue was a point of controversy between the Karaites and the Rabbinic Jews. The Karaites argued that acts involving burning incense and lighting candles are only appropriate for the Temple and their status is like that of sacrifices or offerings that are limited to this complex. It may have been that the rabbinic custom discontinued as a result of the strict Karaite objections to this custom for concern of idolatry. In fact, burning incense in commemoration of the Temple indeed ceased, but this practice remained in evidence until the 19th century for purposes of conveying respect or on festive occasions.



Old Article


The Samaritan Passover solemnities were held on Sunday, May 4th, at the traditional high place near the summit of Mt. Gerizim. Because of the rainy weather and the difficulty of obtaining curfew passes, a relatively small number of non-Samaritans witnessed the ceremony. A group of American Jews spent the evening with the Samaritans, singing songs with them during the interval between the dressing of the Passover lambs and the feast at midnight. The Samaritan high priest, Abishah ben Pinchas, was the most gracious to all the visitors, and permitted them to examine the ancient Pentateuch, which is kept in his tent during the Passover season.

(The Living Church, Vol. CXIV, No. 23, June 8, 1947, Page 11)



Benyamim Tsedaka schedule for the Summer, 2019:


June, 10 - Milano, Bibliothka Ambrosiana

June 16 - Rome, Vatican Barberini Library

June 23 - Sicily, Seminarians on the Israelite Samaritans

June 30 - Paris, Bibliotheca National + Awarding the Samaritan Medal for Humanitarian Achievements to Rabbi Gabriel Hagai

July 6 - London, British Library


Benyamim Tsedaka will be happy to meet seekers of the Israelite Samaritans and Samaritan Studies in each place. You can contact him at


Books by Benyamim Tsedaka

A Complete Commentary on the Torah

based on the Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah as it has been delivered for the past 125 generations, since it was originally written by Mooshee Ban ’Aamraam [Moses ben ‘Amram] the Prophet of all prophets.


Understanding the Israelite-Samaritans

The first publication in English - concentrated information on the Israelite Samaritans - From Ancient to Modern by Benyamim Tsedaka


See his selection of Samaritan writings


Also Subscribe to the A.B. The Samaritan News

See details at


Book Proposal

Also see the proposal for the Samaritan Cookbook

Book Link


Center for Israel Studies (Yeshiva University)


9:15. Welcome

Steven Fine, Director, YU Center for Israel Studies


3:15-5:15. Session 3

Chair:  David Lavinsky, Yeshiva University

Laura Lieber, Duke University, Feasting, Fasting, and the Bounty of the Land: Rituals of Sukkot in Samaritan and Rabbinic Antiquity




New Publications:


The Samaritans in Historical, Cultural and Linguistic Perspectives

Ed. By Jan Dusek

Series: Studia Samaritana 11 Studia Judaica 110

Oct. 2018

xiv, 341 pages, 20 Fig. Language: English

Aims and Scope

The volume contributes to the knowledge of the Samaritan history, culture and linguistics. Specialists of various fields of research bring a new look on the topics related to the Samaritans and the Hebrew and Arabic written sources, to the Samaritan history in the Roman-Byzantine period as well as to the contemporary issues of the Samaritan community.


Leviticus: Volume III

by Stefan Schorch (Editor)

A critical edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch is one of the most urgent desiderata of Hebrew Bible research. The present volume on Leviticus is the first out of a series of five meant to fill this gap. The text from the oldest manuscripts of the SP is continuously accompanied by comparative readings, gathered from the Samaritan Targum and the oral reading, as well as MT, the DSS, and the LXX, creating an indispensable resource for Biblical research.

Print Length: 251 pages

Publisher: De Gruyter

Publication Date: July 2018

Language: English, Hebrew


The Bible, Qumran, and the Samaritans

Series: Studia Samaritana 10 Ed.

by Kartveit, Magnar / Knoppers, Gary N.

Aims and Scope: Discoveries on Mount Gerizim and in Qumran demonstrate that the final editing of the Hebrew Bible coincides with the emergence of the Samaritans as one of the different types of Judaisms from the last centuries BCE. This book discusses this new scholarly situation. Scholars working with the Bible, especially the Pentateuch, and experts on the Samaritans approach the topic from the vantage point of their respective fields of expertise. Earlier, scholars who worked with Old Testament/Hebrew Bible studies mostly could May / June 2018 16 leave the Samaritan material to experts in that area of research, and scholars studying the Samaritan material needed only sporadically to engage in Biblical studies. This is no longer the case: the pre-Samaritan texts from Qumran and the results from the excavations on Mount Gerizim have created an area of study common to the previously separated fields of research. Scholars coming from different directions meet in this new area, and realize that they work on the same questions and with much common material. This volume presents the current state of scholarship in this area and the effects these recent discoveries have for an understanding of this important epoch in the development of the Bible.

Publisher: De Gruyter

Publication Date: July 2018, 214 pages English


Parallel Samaritan and Masoretic Torah

by Marco Enrico de Graya


Paperback: 690 pages Publisher: (December 15, 2018) Language: English ISBN-10: 0244742626 ISBN-13: 978-0244742621       Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.4 x 8.3 inches




News Article

Metachen Recorder (New Jersey) Nov. 12, 1936, page 3



Marin Sanuto (1322 C.E.) has mentioned that the Jews and the Samaritans show the tomb of Phinehas in Awerta (Awarta).





Bergsma, John

A "Samaritan" Pentateuch? The Implications of the Pro-Northern Tendency of the Common Pentateuch

Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für altorientalische und biblische Rechtsgeschichte, 2019

Building on the work of the late Gary Knoppers and his provocative re-reading of the Pentateuch from a Samarian (i.e. northern Israelite) perspective, this paper surveys other macroscopic narrative elements from Genesis through Deuteronomy, such as the locations dignified by patriarchal cultic activity, and the valorization of Judah and Joseph and their descendant tribes in the narrative.  The pentateuchal portrayal of these issues is then contrasted with the approach of the Book of Jubilees, a second-century BCE Judean rewriting of Genesis and Exodus.  The contrast helps highlight the fact that the Pentateuch, even in its Masoretic form, lends itself better to the legitimation of Samarian/Samaritan claims than to Judean ones. This undeniable but overlooked fact makes it extremely difficult to maintain that the Pentateuch is the redactional product of the post-exilic Jerusalem priesthood, whose interests would have been strongly tied to the authorization of the Jerusalem Temple.


Boušek Daniel

'The Story of the Prophet Muḥammad's Encounter with a Samaritan, a Jew, and a Christian: The Version from Abū l-Fatḥ's Kitāb al-Tārīkh and Its Context' in Jan Dušek (ed.), The Samaritans in Historical, Cultural and Linguistic Perspectives (Studia Samaritana 11, Studia Judaica 110), Berlin: De Gruyter., 2018


Campbell, Stephen D.

Review of Samaritan Pentateuch Leviticus

Center for the Research of Biblical Manuscripts and Inscriptions, 2019


Gzella, Holger

Review: A. Tal, Samaritan Aramaic, Bibliotheca Orientalis LXXXV No. 3-4, mei-augustus 2018 374-380


Ireton, Sean (University of Kent)

‘The Samaritans: Strategies for Survival of an Ethno-Religious Minority’ in CBRL 2003

Newsletter of the Council for British Research in the Levant p. 11-12.


Joosten, Jan

Biblical Interpretation in the Samareitikon as exemplified in Anonymous Readings in Leviticus attested in Mʹ

Proofs of an article published in: The Samaritan Pentateuch and the Dead Sea Scrolls (edited by Michael Langlois; Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology 94; Leuven: Peeters, 2019), 313-325.


Stefan  Schorch

The Samaritan parts of Ms. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Codex 1649 in the context of Samaritan manuscript culture (Video Lecture)

Ms. Codex 1649 of the Library of the University of Pennsylvania is a collection of several texts, mainly in Judeo-Arabic. Apart from these texts, however, several Samaritan msnucripts were bound into the volume, specifically:

- Single leaves from a Samaritan Chronicle, written in Samaritan Neo-Hebrew, dating to the early 20th century.

- A full version of "Ṯubūt ad-daula aṯ-ṯāniya" ("The certainty of the Second Kingdom"), a tractate on Samaritan eschatology composed by the Samaritan theologian Ġazāl ad-Duwaik (13th century) in Arabic and Samaritan Hebrew.

- A introductory prayer in Arabic, attributed to the Samaritan theologian Abu l-Ḥasan aṣ-Ṣuri (11th century).


Vainstub, Daniel

“Two Samaritan Amulets in The Biblical Lands Museum, Jerusalem”, Bible Lands e-Review 2019/S3 Bible Lands e-Review 2019


van der Horst, Pieter W.

The Ancient Samaritans and Greek Culture Religions 201910, 290.


Warren, Charles

Underground Jerusalem: An Account of Some of the Principal Difficulties Encountered in Its Exploration and the Results Obtained. With a Narrative of an Expedition Through the Jordan Valley and a Visit to the Samaritans. London: E Bentley and son 1876


The Samaritan Update is open to any articles that are relative to Samaritan Studies. Submit your work to The Editor, is a Bi-Monthly Internet Newsletter

Editor: Larry Rynearson. Contact: The Editor

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