October 23rd, 2003  

Vol.  III - No.5

In This Issue

  • Samaritan photos

  • Notes and Extracts

  • Religious Denominations of the World

  • From the Editor

  • Samaritan Bibliographies

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Editor: Shomron

Co-Editor: Osher    


Staff Writer:

Staff Photographer:    

               Eyal Cohen

Staff Translator:

            Guy Tsabary

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A. B. - Samaritan News


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Sunset Times for Central Israel calculated by Abraham Cohen from Holon


begins Friday Oct. 24th, 5:00pm to Saturday 25th, 4:59 p.m.

Oct.31st, 4:53pm- Nov. 1st, 4:52pm

Samaritan Calendar

of Festivals

The next major Festival will be Passover in the Spring



Studies and Related Conferences:


In Planning Stage

SES: In Haifa, July 5-8, 2004 organised by Menahem Mor,


 EABS in Grooningen, July 25-28, 2004 organized by Ingrid Hjelm


(In need of Conferences in North American)



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Samaritan Photos:

State of Israel Samaritan Photos

National Photo collection: For the first time on the internet, in honor of Israel's jubilee, the State of Israel's national photo collection is open and available to the general public! Years of events, people, landscapes, peace and war, industry and culture... Type in keywords and the picture will appear before you. (Wonderful photos)

The postcard shown to the left was produced in the 1920's by Verlag von b. Harz, Berlin. The etching is by E. M. Lilien of the Bezalel School of Art in Jerusalem. It is number 40 of the series, entitled Samaritanischer Hohepriester Mit Thora. The image was taken from the book, Erez Israel Und Sein Volk. Can you recognize the man in the etching? Hint: He was a High Priest in Nablus.

Library of Congress Photo (Perfect for a book cover!) (right photo)
TITLE:  A Samaritan high priest and his sons with the most ancient copy of the Pentateuch.
  LC-USZ62-93716 (b&w film copy neg. of half stereo) MEDIUM:  1 photographic print on stereo card : stereograph. REATED/PUBLISHED:  c1911 CREATOR: Underwood & Underwood. How To Order Copies of This Item


Notes and Extracts From the Semitic manuscripts in the John Rylands Library: V. In the Samaritan Nablus Two Centuries Ago. By Edward Robertson, D.Litt., D.D. Reprint from the "Bulletin of the John Rylands Library," Vol. 22, No. I, April, 1938. (Selection from page 11-2)

   From now on to the end of September they enjoyed the summer days in their earthly paradise, looking forward to the first day of Tishri (October) when the civil year began,- the New Year, with its Feast of Trumpets. The trumpet was not blown in the Synagogue (as is the Jewish practice), but on that day they went to the synagogue for a long service lasting about six hours. And then nine days later, the 10th of Tishri, came the greatest day in their religious calendar, the Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Two hours before sunset the whole congregation of Israel, men and women, purified themselves by ablutions; and at least half an hour before sunset the last meal had been eaten preparatory to the great Fast. From this time until half an hour after sunset twenty-five hours later no food nor drink passed their lips. The male members of the congregation repaired to the Synagogue to pass the night in solemn darkness, reciting parts of the Pentateuch interspersed with prayers and ancient hymns, until the dawn broke. With the morning light it was the practice of some to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of Joseph, returning at noon to the Synagogue when the service was resumed. As the afternoon slowly passed and the long service drew to a close came the great event of the day. The ceremonial presentation to the assembly of the Sacred Scroll, purporting to have been written by Abishua, great-grandson of Aaron. When it was brought forth by the priest all prostrated themselves before it and then pressed forward to kiss or handle the part unrolled, exhibiting the Aaronic blessing [Numbers vi, 24-27]. Thus, in the words of the letter of Muslim in the year 1734, "they chastised their souls from evening to evening, men as well as women and children, great and small, except the babes that sucked at their mothers' breasts." And so ended in the dark of the evening their revelry of repentance.

Five days later came the feast of tabernacles when in the courtyard of their homes they made themselves booths, as prescribed in Leviticus [xxiii, 40], and dwelt in them seven days. they ceased from work on the first of these days and on the eighth day. On the first day they made a pilgrimage to the summit as they did on the Feasts of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost, that the command might be fulfilled: "Three times (Page 12) in the year all the males shall appear before the Lord" [Exodus xxiii, 17]. Muslim's letter tells us that on each of the seven days they stood at the foot of Mount Gerizim and prayed there with joy and with a happy heart evening and morning. The eighth day, the day of solemn rest, they called 'Asereth, and regard as the seventh and last festival of the calendar. The Jews, on the other hand, have a two-days' festival. On the first they offer a prayer for rain during the Musaf service. The second is the Simhath Torah, the rejoicing of the Law, when they finish the reading in the Synagogue of the last portion of the law, and begin at genesis, and when their scrolls are produced and carried round the Synagogue seven times.

(selection from page 18-9)

   When Ibrahim spoke of his dream presaging him Paradise he was giving expression to a thought and a desire continually in the minds of the Samaritans. In the petition with which they closed every piece of writing they invariably at this time asked God to grant the freedom of 'The Garden.' The Samaritan conception of Paradise is indicated in a few lines of poetry attached to the end of a poem in one of the codices. They are independent of the poem to which they are appended both in theme and metre, and it is not clear why they have been placed there at all. Although brief, they are none the less interesting. I give them in translation. (Page 19)

"O traveller to the Garden fair

Pray tell me what you found in place so rare?

Why there you'll see where'er you look around

A glistening pearl and sapphire-studded ground.

It there for you the manna will display,

And there the quails pursue their cumbrous way.

And in the midst of all a shining dome,

All gleaming white, where Moses sits at home,

His great green mantle fluttering abroad,

Its borders broidered with the name of God.

And in his hand, clear sparkling in the light,

A pen of sliver wherewithal to write.

For he it is who faithful doth record

What deeds are done by servants of the Lord."

   The curse of the book borrower is not confined to any age or place. The Samaritans suffered from the forgetful borrower, as witness the following lines found at the end of a codex:-

"Beware my friend, when you a book would lend,

For in this world on man you can't depend.

His word you cannot take- if lend you must,

Then take a pledge and keep it safe in trust.

Prompt to deny and ready with excuse

The man with turban big but conscience loose,

Of such beware, his fate is very plain,

To Hell he'll go and there he will remain."

   Before leaving the subject of their literature, we may draw attention to rhymes which Samaritan scribes, when they had finished transcribing a manuscript, often added at the end. It was their way of asking the reader to forgive any mistakes in the transcription.

"My writing in this book will now remain,

The hand that writes the grave will soon contain.

By God I aks you, reader of this book,

To pray that He my faults may overlook.

Perchance the Lord will me with mercy crown,

Through Moses who to honour books came down."

   The foregoing is the one most commonly found, but sometimes another is added:

"And if you find a fault, and it excuse,

His eye of favour God will not refuse.

O blame not him in whom is fault, but say

How great is God who faultless is alway!"

(This entire article will soon appear at the-Samaritans.com.)


Religious Denominations of the World by Vincent L. Milner, Philadelphia; J. W. Bradley (Publisher), 1860. page 425-6.

The Samaritans were an ancient sect among the Jews, whose origin was in the time of King Rehoboam, under whose reign the people of Israel were divided into two distinct kingdoms, that of Judah and that of Israel. The capital of the kingdom of Israel was Samaria, whence the (Page 426) Israelites took the name of Samaritans. Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, having besieged and taken Samaria, carried away all the people captives into the remotest parts of his dominions, and filled their place with Babylonians, Cutheans, and other idolaters. These, finding that they were exposed to wild beasts, desired that an Israelite priest might be sent among them to instruct them in the ancient religion and customs of the land they inhabited. This being granted them, they were delivered from the plague of wild beasts, and embraced the law of Moses, with which they mixed a great part of their ancient idolatry. Upon the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, it appears that they had entirely quitted the worship of their idols. But though they were united in religion, they were not so in affection with the Jews; for they employed various calumnies and stratagems to hinder their rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. See 2 Kings xvii.; Ezra iv., v., vi. The Samaritans at present are few in number, but pretend to great strictness in their observance of the law of Moses. They are said to be scattered; some at Damascus, some at Gaza, and some at Grand Cairo, in Egypt.


From the Editor

Though the years there has been many brief articles on the Samaritan-Israelites in various publications. Most of which are of quote from scriptures as is shown in case above. Their writings always are at fault. Just as above, it states, "Samaritans were an ancient sect among the Jews," First the term Samaritans can refer to anyone living in the land of Samaria; secondly they are not or never were a sect of the Jews. Miss information is misleading and not acceptable, by any honest standards. 'Israelites took the name of Samaritans.' is not necessarily true to the case in question. The Samaritan-Israelites call themselves Israelites or Shamerim as in those that observe the law or Keepers of the Law. Is this not right, R. Anderson and T Giles? "The name Samaritans most likely was formed from an eponymous 'Shemer' or from the locality 'Shomron'," (The Samaritans by Moses Gaster, p. 4) as one scholarly opinion has it. As it says above, 'carried away all the people captives;' this is a false statement that has been proven that that only less than 18,000 people transplanted outside of Israel. The number that remained in the land must have been enormous. Furthermost, 'they were delivered from the plague of wild beasts, and embraced the law of Moses, with which they mixed a great part of their ancient idolatry;' if they mixed pagan idolatry with the Laws of Moses the Lions would have still been a problem in the land!!! This part, I never made any rationalistic sense of! But yet the statement is made, 'it appears that they had entirely quitted the worship of their idols.' The main issue here is that there were since the time of Samson, three basic religions, those worshipped in Jerusalem (from Shiloh), those that worshipped at Gerizim (Northern tribes respectively) and the Israelites that adopted pagan worship and ways. These northern pagan worshippers are most likely the ones that wanted to help the Jews rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem. Surely, the worshippers at the original place did not want the Jerusalem Temple rebuilt. It would be redundant! But at the very least Vincent L. Milner called them Israelites!


 Rare Samaritan Bibliographies:

"Religious Denominations of the World: Comprising A General View of the Origin, History, And Condition of the Various Sects of Christians, The Jews and Mahometans, As Well As the Pagan Forms of Religion Existing in the Different Countries of the Earth; With Sketches of the Founders of Various Religious Sects, From the Best Authorities" By Vincent L. Milner, Published by J. W. Bradley, Philidelphia, 1860,.......Samaritans. ( See above full article)


? History of the Christian Church to the Reformation by Prof. Kurtz with

Emendations and Additions by Alfred Edersheim, T. &T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1860. Chapter: The Samaritans


The Handwriting of God in Egypt, Sinai, & the Holy Land, by Rev. D.A. Randall, Philadelphia: John E. Potter And Company 1862. Index: Samaritan Pilgrims, Samaritan, Samaritans, etc.


By Leon Modena (1571-1648),The History of the Present Jews Throughout the World. Being An Ample, the Succinct Account of Their Customs, Ceremonies, and Manner of Living, at this time... To which are Subjoined Two Supplements, One concerning the Samaritans, the other of the Sect of the Carraites. From the French of Father Simon, with his Explanatory Notes. By Simon Ockley.... London: By Edm. Powell, 1707


1916 ORIGINS OF THE ISLAMIC STATE 2Vols. RARE PART II SYRIA ,Chapter XIV The Samaritans. 1968 1969 reprints of the original 1916 - 1924 English translations of this ninth century text. The books are: The Origins of The Islamic State (or History of Muslim Conquests). Being a Translation From The Arabic Accompanied With Annotations Geographic And Historic Notes of The Kitab Futuh Al-Buldan of Al-Imam Abu-l 'Abbas Ahmad Ibn-Jabir Al-Baladhuri. Part 1 is by KITAB FUTUH HITTI, and was originally published in 1916 by Columbia University Press. The 1968 reprint published by AMS Press. Part 2 is by FRANCIS CLARK MURGOTTEN, and was originally published in 1924 by Columbia University Press, The 1969 reprint published by AMS Press.



NEW YORK: PHILLIPS & HUNT, CINCINNATI: CRANSTON & STOWE.  First published in 1878, this was the first volume in a wide-ranging series that eventually expanded to nine volumes. XVIII. THE SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH

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