The Samaritan Update

January 17TH 2002

New at our website:

The Samaritan Tradition

By Osher Sasony,

   Samaritan Osher Sasony from Holon, Israel, our web-master, has begun to write about the Samaritan Traditions for our website. From inquiries that we have received through our web site, Osher felt that it was important to have the ability to gain access to this information. The first chapter of his series begins with the impurities of the Samaritan customs from their Holy Book. The Samaritans fulfill the Laws of purity and impurity exactly following the Torah (the first five books, Genesis to Deuteronomy). The Torah commands the children of Israel to save themselves from impurities. “Thus shall worn the children of Israel from their uncleanness,” as read according to the Samaritan version of Leviticus 15:31. Osher’s first chapter can now be found at our web site and his future works will be added to the site periodically. Stop by our website and learn the Samaritan traditions!

If you missed or we failed to send you the last Samaritan Update (1.03.2002), please contact us!

A Full Report on the injured Samaritan men

For the first time since 1967 - Samaritans wounded by gunshots


   As the bar of violence and terrorist acts against Israeli targets was raised, Samaritans too, for the first time since 1967, were being shot at on their way to and from Mount Gerizim.  The first to be hit by gunfire was priest Yossef b. Tsedaka, on Nov. 4th 2001, a fifty-six year old father of four. While he was ascending the summit on his way home on the southern road driving his car he happened upon a Palestinian ambush that mistakenly took him for a settler from Beracha (a Jewish settlement near the Samaritans).  Priest Yossef was seriously wounded by three gunshots in his hip and knee.  Losing control of his car the vehicle rolled quickly to the IDF roadblock at the entrance to the Beracha settlement.  The soldiers behind the road barricade who thought that he was a suicide Palestinian say they fired quickly at the car wheels, which swerved to the left and hit the gate to the Beracha settlement. He was rushed by helicopter to the Rabin (Beilinson) Medical Center and after undergoing three complex operations in his knee and hip was released for home hospitalization under continuous medical surveillance. On Dec. 18th 2001, Tsamer b. Yossef Altif [27], left home in Kiriyat Luza early in the morning on his way to work in Tel Aviv. At the entrance to the village of Chuwwara [Horon], six kilometers south of Nablus, a barrage of shots was fired at his car from among the village houses. Although the heavy Palestinian fire hit his vehicle the young man was miraculously hit only in his left hand. He did not lose control of his car and managed to get away from the range of the bullets.  IDF forces pursued the terrorists.  The young man is recuperating at home after a successful operation on his hand and will soon return to work.


Research, Study workshops and lectures

  Samaritan Scholar and Editor of the A.B. Samaritan News, Benyamim Tsedaka during his recent trip met with various audiences in Europe and in the USA in academic institutions as well as organizations. Study lectures and workshops were arranged on different Samaritan subjects and research were applied to Samaritan manuscripts in several collections as follows:

   In the USA, Benyamim began his trip in Cincinnati researching, examining and cataloging a collection of over 50 Samaritan manuscripts. He also lectured at the local university. Then He visited Washington DC to attend political meetings, background lectures of information on the Samaritans and a seminar on Samaritan music. In St. Louis Benny performed four workshops on Samaritan tradition and Samaritan language. Then traveled to Montana to give a seminar on Samaritan music. Then New York gave Benny many hours of research, examination and cataloging a collection of over 100 Samaritan manuscripts. Included on his visit were background lectures and information on the Samaritans with a seminar on Samaritan music. Across the country to Los Angeles brought meetings to promote Samaritan music. Many people attended his background lectures and information on the Samaritans. With his agenda fulfilled in the US this year Benny boarded a plane to Europe.

   Copenhagen was the first stop to research four Samaritan MSS at the university and giving a seminar on Samaritan tradition and language. In Berlin, the Samaritan Language was the topic of lectures. In Bielefeld, Erlangen and Heidelberg, general lectures on Samaritanism and on the Samaritan language were given. London was the important destination, to discuss the political situation of the Samaritans in high-level meetings. Theses details are also published. At the state capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Benyamim inaugurated a photo exhibition of the Samaritans. The exhibition, presented in cooperation with the A.B. Institute and a representative of the Israeli Embassy opened the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The exhibition displays 100 pictures demonstrating the religious and social life of the Samaritans in both centers in Israel and on Mount Gerizim. The reaction of the public in Ljubljana was enormously positive. Mrs. Ivana Maximovitz, who was also the exhibit’s curator, photographed the pictures. The exhibition will be displayed soon in Budapest and Zagreb. The A.B. Institute authorized Mrs. Maximovitz to make the any necessary activities to help spread the knowledge of the Samaritans all over east Europe. Mrs. Maximovitz, an Israeli citizen, has displayed many of her works in Israel and abroad and is dividing her time between Slovenia and Israel.

A. B. News Services

Remarkable events have occurred on Mount Gerizim

The Cloud

  Exodus 16:10. And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.

   Exodus 19:9. And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud.

   Exodus 34:5. And the Lord descended in the cloud…

   Leviticus 23:37. These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord…

   When I was at the 2000 Passover on Mount Gerizim I witnessed a very extraordinary event. In the sunny cloudless afternoon prior to the eve of the Passover sacrifice on Mount Gerizim, I was told my three Samaritans to watch for the clouds. I was puzzled at what they were telling me and why they informed me of this. There was not even one cloud in the afternoon sky at the time. Clouds had formed and began to move towards Gerizim from southwest off the Mediterranean Sea. The development of these newly formed clouds were in a form of a flock of flying geese. The clouds headed over Mount Gerizim and then it was like it paused and then began to cover the whole sky from this point. Right above us at the site of the sacrifice the clouds rotated around of hole of blue sky. The heat of the day was off our backs and the temperature became very pleasant. I looked at the around to see smiles from my friends, as they told me this always happens at Passover. This was the only Passover on Mount Gerizim that I have been to but I will be watching and recording future occurrences every chance I get. If any one has seen this event please contact me!

   But one other event woke me at around 3:30 A.M. from a deep sleep on the night of the Passover. It was a howling wind blowing very hard between the buildings. I lay there with only one thought on my mind. I wondered if I would be alive in the mourning. I felt that I was missing something that may have also been going on outside but I did not go to investigate.  I asked Osher about the wind and he told me that it was strange. I just smiled. What happened on the really Passover in the night?


Recent Additions to our Web Site:

The Celebration of Passover by the Samaritans

By Ya’aqov Ben Uzzi Ha-Cohen

  Recent interest in the Samaritan Israelites those who wish to know the truth of their customs and beliefs, and particularly of the ceremony of offering the Paschal sacrifice on their holy mountain, has led me to write this chapter of their history. The present study, however, will be limited to the Samaritan description of the Paschal feast alone. I hope my readers will forgive this limitation. With the aid of the Lord Almighty (praised be he!), I shall write a more comprehensive study of the Samaritan history and customs in the near future.

And also read





Religion of the Sect: The religion of the Samaritans is original, and Adam grew up following this religion, and he was ordered that it should be kept with its language, and he dictated it to Noah who kept it in memory, and he added to it biddings and forbidding which he was inspired by the God’s angels, as also God’s friend, Abraham, peace be upon him, who was the first preacher of the oneness of God in the whole world, and the first person who was ordered to execute the operation made to genital organs for hypurposes (Khitaneh). This religion was transmitted from one prophet to another until it reached the apostle our lord Musas son of Imram, peace be upon him, He kept in memory all the religious ceremonies conveyed to him from his ancestors, and all the religious ceremonies inspired to him. He brought forward the Holy Book and all its Chapters; namely the Origin of  Creation, (Genesus), Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. On these chapters the Samaritans depend without any increase or decrease from the original copy of the Holy Book found in their possession, and it is the oldest hand written pamphlet found in the whole world. It is written on skin by the great priest Ebisha’ son of Phinhas son of Eliazar son of Aaron our lord Moses’ brother. This copy is three thousand and six hundred years old (3600 yrs). Samaritans now carry out all its orders and decreed and verses as far as possible. The faith of the Samaritans is built on five foundations;

a)      Belief in the oneness of God.

b)      Belief in the Message of our lord Moses, peace he upon him.

c)       Belief in the Old Testament (Pentateuch) as a book sent by God and the execution of all its decrees.

d)      Belief in Gerizim mount as being the pilgrimage place of God, and the world direction to which the people should direct their faces, and that it is specialized for offering offerings and the carrying out of all religious ceremonies.

c)       Belief in the day of Resurrection, the Day of Judgment, in which every human soul is tried according to its deeds of  good and evil. From these foundations issues meanings which cannot be mentioned in detail, not with standing that which the Bible bids and forbids of             purifications, foods and marriage.


These writings and more can be found at


   Our website has the written work of ATEF NAGI and YUSEF ABU-EL-HASAN- Cohen entitled the BRIEF THEORITICAL POINTS OF VIEW ABOUT THE SAMARITAN SECT OF NABLUS.” This work displays a list of books that were for sale during the time when Nablus was under Jordanian domain. Identify as many of the books as possible and win a free bumper sticker (www.The Send your answers and your mailing address to or Offer expires January 30th, 2002. Offer extended to February 30th

Get a free E-mail address from Just go to our web site and find “get a free e-mail address” or go to and register. Let people know you are involved with the Samaritans.


Written material from 1907-1908 by Jacob ben Aaron, the Samaritan High Priest. I cannot locate “Circumcision Among the Samaritans,” “The Messianic Hope of the Samaritans,” and “The Samaritan Sabbath.” Any help would be appreciated to finish my collection of his works. Please contact Shomron at .

For Sale:

Samaritan Interactive CD: -ROM from Nes Multimedia Production Ltd. The CD works on Windows and Macintosh computers. It displays many photos and mini movies. It addresses the Samaritan religion, chronicles, community, language and literature. There is even a quiz that can test your knowledge. The music on the cd-rom is performed by the Samaritan singers (Osher sings with them on this cd-rom). Full of information.

Other items: A Samaritan Cook book in Hebrew, The cd of the Samaritan Singers, A copy of the Samaritan Torah, post cards of the Samaritans or if you are looking for something different. Interested parties can contact Osher at

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Thank you!

   Osher and Larry would like to thank you for visiting the website, in the past and hope you visit us again real soon. We ask you to forward this Update to your friends. The purpose at our website is the education of the existence and history of the Samaritan-Israelites, descendants of the ancient Kingdom of Israel.  Answering questions from surfers will always be our top priority of our site. We try to maintain our archives of articles to be the best location on the net for the advancement of Samaritan-Israelite studies in English as well as Hebrew. Many gracious scholars have permitted us to exhibit their related articles. Recently we have been working on expanding our website. We do hope you enjoy visiting our site and recommend it to your friends. Again we thank you for visiting us at Take care and may you be blessed from the Holy One from above.

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