The Samaritan Update

February 14th 2002

The Samaritan Update will SOON be ONLINE.

Review past issues of our bi-weekly Newsletter

at our Web Site.

You must see our NEW additions!

 We have added a Samaritan Calendar and have designed our new Logo.


 New at our web site:

The Samaritan Tradition

By Osher Sasony,

The Samaritan Israelites.


   The Samaritan Israelites are the remnant of an ancient people, descended from the ancient Kingdom of Israel (the Jews being the branch of Israel). In the fourth and fifth centuries CE, they numbers about 1,200,000 persons dwelling in many cities and villages in the Land of Israel, from south Syria to northern Egypt. Cruel religious decrees, forced conversions to Islam and Christianity, slaughter and persecution thinned the Samaritan Community to a bare 146 persons in 1917. In the 1930’s, the community reached a turning point and began to increase. Since then, it has been gradually developing in all areas of life; now, in addition to being the smallest and oldest people in the world, it is also the youngest community from the standpoint of its members’ average age. On January 1, 2001, the Community numbered 639 persons. The existence of this small religious sect is important for their survival.

   Nonetheless, throughout all history, the Samaritans never lost their unique status and image as a people. They have their own writing, the ancient Hebrew dialect spoken by Jews until the beginning of the first millennium CE; and they brought up in accordance with a unique, millennia-old historical tradition, dating back to the return of the People of Israel, under Joshua, son of Nun, to its homeland.

   At the head of the Samaritan Israelites is the High Priest, who is also the head of the “Ha’ Abtai” priestly clan, descendants of Aaron, brother of Moses, through his son, Itamar. The three other Samaritan clans date back to the sons of Joseph: the Tsedaka Hatsafari from the tribe of Manasseh, and the Danfi [Altif + Hassetari (Sassoni)] and the Marchivi [Marchiv + Yehoshua] from the tribe of Ephraim. Today, the Samaritan Israelites are struggling between the frictions in the Middle East.

   The meaning of the term Samaritan Israelite encompasses the following four signs of identification: 1. Settlement within the Land of Israel without leaving its historical borders or establishing residence outside it. 2. Participating in the Passover sacrifice on Mount Gerizim. 3. Keeping the Sabbath as it is written in the Torah. 4. Scrupulous observance of all the laws of purity and impurity as they are written in the Torah. Anyone who does not observe any or all of these signs of identification cannot continue living within the framework of the Community.

   We, at our website wish to educate the public concerning the existence of the Samaritan Israelites. In cooperation with many professors and scholars from all over the world, we make access of information to the public surfers. We also answer any questions that the inquired mind has for us. We publish the Bi-Weekly Newsletter (The Samaritan Update) full of interesting facts that the Christian, Jew or any religious sect in the world would find interesting.  

Coming Soon to Our Items For Sale From

The Samaritan Talit and Amulets (made from the Priestly Family).

A great unique gift for friends and family that is hard to buy for!


 The Ear Lobes of the Samaritans are Unique

   A few years ago when I visited Israel, Osher's father, Shoham smiled at me and turned his head slightly and pulled down on his ear lobe. I was puzzled. He informed me that only Samaritans had ears like his. Later a day before the Passover a gentleman started asking me questions concerning the Samaritans. His first question got by me, answered of course. But during his second question I smiled at him and laughed. I noticed his ear lobes, he was a Samaritan having fun with me. This Samaritan was Yitzhaq Tsedaka that has recently married to Efrat, Benyamim Tsedaka's daughter.

   While visiting Nablus with Shoham, I began to leer at the local populous. The people and Shoham could not have known that I was looking at the ears lobes as I walked the market streets. I recalled that many Samaritans had been through the years converted sometimes by force to the Muslim religion. I recall seeing many similar lobes as the Samaritans on the locals. If they had known what I was doing, they may have thought I was nuts. But, as I looked, I felt as if I could tell which ones had Samaritan ancestors. I still find myself gazing at ear lobes from time to time, even in the States.

    I do not recall reading any written information concerning the unique lobes of the Samaritans. The Samaritan lobe is a little better than the average person that you may see on the street today. The Samaritan lobe is strong enough to wear the weight of gold earrings as spoken of in the Torah. Rebekah’s earring that was given her was the weight of half a shekel (Genesis 24:22). But as it appears men may have also wore earrings as we find that boys wore them; (Exodus 32:2) “And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.” The gold earrings were obviously a custom in Biblical times as it is the custom of most nations. The National Geographic magazine of January 1920 can be located in most libraries has photos that best illustrate the subject of this short article. 


Latest Addition to our Archives:






   While at this time I am unable to type the Samaritan script on my computer to display the full book in our archives. I have typed the PREFACE and the INTRODUCTION of ‘A Grammar of the Samaritan Language with Extracts and Vocabulary’. The book that may have been published in 1858 or the following year is not as extent as the obtainable “A Grammar of the Samaritan Hebrew” by Ze’ev Ben-Hayyim with assistance from Abraham Tal. But the little book by Nichols of 138 pages must have been a major source in its time. Nevertheless, I found the information intriguing. Hopefully soon I will solve my computer dilemma and display the entire book in our archives in the near future. Here is a short of its contains:

   “The importance of the study of the Biblical languages has never been questioned, excepting by those men who are ignorant of them, and are disposed to condemn in toto the utility of that which they have not the means or opportunity to acquire. On the other hand, those illustrious scholars, whose definition of the utilitarian cui bono is directly opposed to the former, have not only inculcated the momentous importance of linguistic study by precept, but have led the van thereof conspicuously by example.”


Recent Additions To Our Web Site:

The Celebration of Passover by the Samaritans

By Ya’aqov Ben Uzzi Ha-Cohen


And also read

The Problem of the Patrilineal or Matrilineal Decent and Inter-Marriage

According to the Samaritan and Rabbinic Halakah

By Michael Corinaldi


   Our web site 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 ( Send your answers and your mailing address to or Offer expires 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.


For Sale From The-Samaritans.Com :
Samaritan Interactive CD: -ROM from Nes Multimedia Production Ltd. The CD works on Windows and Macintosh computers. It exhibits many photos and mini movies. It addresses the Samaritan religion, chronicles, community, language and literature. There is even an interactive quiz that can test your knowledge. The Samaritan Singers reform (Osher sings with them on this cd-rom) their music on the CD-ROM. It is 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 

Thank you!
   We would like to thank you for visiting the web site, 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 web site 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 web site. 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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