The Samaritan Update

November 22nd 2001

 Update on the Samaritan man that was injured in the terrorist attack. 

   The fifty-year-old Samaritan man that was inured in the attack recently was Yosef ben Tsadacka Cohen. He is a member of the priestly family and a cousin to the current High Priest Shalom ben Amram ben Yitzhaq. After undergoing three operations, Yosef was allowed to return home for final recovery. He was shot in the abdomen and leg while driving up Mount Gerizim returning home. It is still undetermined at this time, which party inflicted the majority of the wounds, the terrorists or the Israeli Army.

New at

The complete book of

The Samaritan Chronicle Or The Book of Joshua, the son of Nun.
Written by Oliver Turnbull Crane, M.A., 1890.


You’ll enjoy reading the Samaritan-English edition!

Osher has been busy upgrading our web site,

So please drop by and don’t forget to sign our guest book!

The Samaritans are developing means to cope with the situation

caused by the Political deterioration in the region.


    The Painful blows, which the Israelis and the Palestinians are inflicting on each other, do not bypass the Samaritans, who are looking for means to deal with the situation caused by the political deterioration in the Shomron region. The main attempts are directed at maintaining a nora\mal routine, despite the aggravation in the political situation. Members of the community go down the mountain to work in Nablus and every day children and youth are taken by special buses to schools in the city. Samaritans from Kiryat Luza who work in Israel risk themselves daily by traveling to Gush Dan (Tel Aviv and the bordering towns) to make a living. Access roads to Mt. Gerizim are more and more supervised. The A.B. editor, who travels each Thursday to the Mountain to conduct courses in history and Samaritan culture to the young men and women that are the future leading generation of the community, is often stared at with wonder by many who are astounded by his strict determination to arrive despite the dangers on the way.

   Not a few who live on the Mountain are finding this situation hard on making a living although many receive income complement from the Israel's National Insurance. Should the situation continue to worsen it will have dire implications on the economic situation of the residents of Kiryat Luza. Nevertheless, the Samaritans are well received at checkup points by identity checkers, following precise instructions to the officers in charge of the Israeli and Palestinian roadblocks. Nowadays traveling is impossible without documentation checkups and Samaritans who order merchandise for their businesses must present themselves at the checkup points if they want to receive their goods.

 A.B News. Volume 800 page 75


Don’t Forget!

Remember to buy your copy of the December Issue of National Geographic containing an article on the Samaritan Passover on Mount Gerizim.

From the Book of Enlightenment For the Instruction of the Inquirer.

By Jacob, Son of Aaron

   To the question, whether the children of Moses, with their mother, returned with Jethro or remained with Moses, I answer, the wife of Moses, or the mother of the children, remained with the apostle without ever being known by him, as we know from Num. xii. 1: “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses on account of the beautiful woman whom he had taken.” This Ishah, or “woman,” was exactly the same Zeborah, and not, as the Jews pretend, that the apostle Moses took a Cushite woman as a wife, -Kusheet, that is “ a black woman.” May God fight them for this imputation on the Apostle! The fact is that the apostle Moses did never remarry, not to say that he had married a black woman, a marriage that was quite prohibited, and the Israelites were absolutely forbidden to approach such women. The qualifying word is Kasheet, which means “beautiful,” and not Kusheet, as the Jews had it, meaning “black,” thereby reversing the meaning of the passage (The Samaritans read this word Kash-sheet, and derive it from a verb meaning “to grow fat, plump, and beautiful.”) For the apostle, after conversing with God in the burning bush, did never know a woman; and we will prove this in another place, if the Lord wills. As to the children, according to our lord high priest Jacob, in his book entitled “Pleasure Hours,” they returned with Jethro; but the apostle, fearing they might go astray after his death, in accordance with what he said in Deut. xxxi.39, wrote them a copy of the Torah, and handed it to them, and sent them in company with their grandfather Jethro. They, however, did not return to their former place, but in company with a party of people, who were to see to the fulfillment of the Torah and its commands, went towards the east, and their descendants are still living; but they had a nomadic life, like the Arabs, dwelling in their hair tents. The writer of the aforesaid book says that their descendants will live unto the end, in their obedience to God. When Moses bade his children good-by, the writer says, he uttered the following words: “Peace be to you, O Gershom and Eliezer!” This was a covenant of peace, a guarantee from all dangers, and it would not be possible that their race be cut off to the end of the world. Only Jehovah had concealed them and set them afar, that none may know their whereabouts until he permits it. And God knows best!

 From the Book of Enlightenment For the Instruction of the Inquirer, Chapter xix. By Jacob, Son of Aaron, High Priest of the Samaritans, Nablous, Palestine, 1913. Translated from the Arabic by Professor A. Ben Kori. (The first half of this book can be found  at our website. The remainder coming soon.)


The Head of the Ninth month as prescribed in the Torah (the first five books)

began on of the Fifteenth of November. The beginning of the Tenth month will begin on the Fifteenth of December.

Questions concerning the Samaritans

Can you tell me about the Samaritan Pentateuch?

The Abisha Scroll of the Samaritans

   During the period of Hadrian many of the Samaritan scrolls were either burnt or stolen, leaving few sources at their deposal. In 1352, the High Priest Pinhas gave the task of composing a book of Samaritan history to Abul-Fath.  It was completed in 1355. During the research through all that was left of the Samaritan scrolls, they found at Nablus, the now famous, the Abisha Scroll. It is written in the scroll between the columns of Dt.5, 6ff: “I Abisha, the son of Pinhas, the son of Eleazer, son of Aaron, The Kohen, to whom be the favor of the Lord and his glory. I have written this the Holy Scroll at the gate of the Tent of the Assembly on Mount Garizim, Beth El, in the 13th year of the settlement of the Children of Israel in the land of Canaan. I thank the Lord.” This Pentateuch of Abisha was written in a form of the palaeo-Hebrew on sewed lambskin or goat-skin from a peace offering. 

   There are over 6000 details differing between the Jewish Masoretic Pentateuch. Most are small variants but in some cases there are great divisions between the two writes. The most important case is the word ‘chosen’ that appears, where the Jews have ‘will chose,’ concerning the sacred place. The Samaritan Pentateuch also contains an additional tenth commandment, where as the Jewish ten being reckoned nine. This refers to Mount Gerizim as the Holy Mount. The LXX is said to have as many agreements as 1,900 readings common with the Samaritan Text. Among them is the case of the Jewish text, Joshua set up an altar on Ebal. In the Samaritan and LXX says the altar was set up on Gerizim, the blessed mountain where the Tabernacle stood for many years.

   Samaritan religious life emerges from the whole code of law of the words from the Pentateuch. Nothing can be added to the written word of the Torah. Therefore the Samaritans are the true keepers of the Law, the “Shamerim.”

   The Samaritans have many times displayed to visitors their most sacred Scroll over the years. It is not allowed for any one Samaritan to show the Scroll alone. In the early 1900’s, the Samaritans allowed each page of the scroll to be photographed. The Scroll bearing traces of its antiquity where parts have become illegible and some letters have been rewritten.

   It has been a controversy to many western scholars through the years of it authenticity. Many have studied it and wrote much about it. Early references of the Samaritan Pentateuch can be found in the writings of Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea, Epiphanius, Cyril of Jerusalem and Jerome, who used it in translating the Vulgate. Some scholars have wanted pieces of the famous scroll to perform tests of it legitimacy. But this would not be permissible. John Usgate in 1734 and others through the years have tried to purchase the Abisha scroll but to no avail. Many scrolls of the Samaritan Pentateuch have been collected. Pieto Della purchased scrolls in 1616 that made way to Italy and Paris. Manuscripts can be found in Rylands Library at the University of Manchester, the British Museum, the Bibliotheque Nationle, Michigan State University and few private collections. 

   There is no current reading of the Samaritan translation of the Torah in English but one Samaritan is working to remedy this situation and hopefully will be published soon. Copies of the Samaritan Torah can be obtained today mainly from the Samaritans in Holon or Mount Gerizim. Racon Tsedaka and A. b. N. Tsedaka has the Samaritan and Jewish versions of the Torah printed in parallel columns showing the differences between the two books. There is also obtainable, a book that does give the pronunciations of the Samaritan dialect written by Z. Ben-Hayyim.


For further study:

 In our articles section: Mount Gerizim, The One True Sanctuary by Jacob, son of Aaron, High Priest of the Samaritans.  Mount Gerizim Bet-El and Jerusalem by Israel Tsedaka

Books: The Samaritan Pentateuch and Origin of the Samaritan Sect by James D. Purvis, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1968.

The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research by Emanuel Tov, Simor Ltd. Jerusalem, 1997

The Jewish and Samaritan Versions of the Pentateuch, Tel Aviv, 1961-1965 [available in five parts separatum or in one volume.]

The Literary and Oral Tradition of Hebrew and Aramaic Amongst the Samaritans, Vol. IV The Words of the Pentateuch by Z. Ben-Hayyim The Academy of the Hebrew Language, Jerusalem 1977.

Subscribe to the A.B.- The Samaritan News-

Since December 1969.         

A Bi-Weekly Newspaper, written in four languages.

POB 1029, Holon 58 110, Israel or e-mail Benyamim and Yefet Tsedaka at:

Back issues are available.

Rare Books for Sale:

 buy them before they’re gone!


SIDDUR HATFILOT, Prayers for all year round according to the Samaritan customs. The prayers are written in Samaritan script (old Hebrew script). The title pages are in Hebrew. The book was copied and translated by Israel Tsedaka. This book was printed in Israel in 1961. In very good condition. Binding is in very good condition too. 17x24.5 cm. price: $80.00 US dollars, large and thick book, so S&H will cost another $15.00. Contact Chani Kaarlinsky:

PRAYERS FOR THE FESTIVALS, written in Hebrew by Israel Tsedaka, $50.00 US dollars, plus shipping, Contact Chani Kaarlinsky:

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 articles and websites related to the Samaritan-Israelites on the web. Many gracious scholars have permitted us to exhibit their related articles. We try to continue our archives of articles to be the best location on the net for the advancement of Samaritan-Israelite studies in Hebrew as well as English. 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.

Our Index of back Issues of the Samaritan Update On the Web