June 5th, 2003


In This Issue

  • The Fiftieth Day

  • City Rabbi/Priests

  • Section from The Asatir

  • Book in Arabic

  • Web Links

The Samaritan Update, a bi-weekly Internet Newsletter is a division of the-samaritans.com.


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Editor: Shomron

Co-Editor: Osher    


Staff Writer:

Staff Photographer:    

               Eyal Cohen

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            Guy Tsabary

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The Messianic Hope of the Samaritans

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Mount Gerizim, All the Days of Our Lives

The Fiftieth Day of the Counting of the Omer?

The Samaritan-Israelites celebrated the "Day of Standing at Mount Sinai," (ywm m'md hr Syny) also called "Day of Scripture" (ywm mqrth) on Wednesday June 4th (the fourth day  after the sixth Sabbath of the counting of the Omer). The people gathered in the synagogue reading the Torah and with prayer and hymns. This is a memorial day for the giving of the Ten Commandments.

The day before Pentecost (Saturday, June 7th) is called the "Sabbath of the Ten Commandments."

Sunday, June 8th, 2003 will be the fiftieth day of the counting of the Omer. The counting began on the first day (Sunday) after the first Sabbath that followed the Passover. This coming day is commonly called Pentecost (Sam. assaba'ot) but is also known as "Shavuot," the "Festival of the Firstlings," Harvest Festival" and Festival of the Legislation."

In the early morning hours, the Samaritan-Israelites from both communities (Holon and Kiryat Luza) will ascend the mount for their second Pilgrimage of the year. (see Festivals at our web site- the-samaritans.com)

The next festival will be the "Festival of the Seventh Month" (Friday, Sept. 26th, 2003), the "Day of Atonement" (Oct. 5th, 2003) and Succoth (Friday, Oct. 10th, 2003). Of course all the dates of the days mentioned above actually begin at the setting of the sun the night before.

Hopefully this year the Samaritan-Israelites will enjoy a peaceful and blessed occasion during the observances on Mount Gerizim. As you may know, Israel has moved their military positions in the West Bank. This could effect the festival events on Mount Gerizim. http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2003/june/06_01_1.html

If anyone is interested in experiencing the Samaritan-Israelite Passover next year on Monday, May 3rd, 2004, please contact the Editor at shomron@yahoo.com

City Rabbi/Priests of the Samaritan Community

Assaf Cohen and Abraham Cohen are the two priests that have been given the same status as a Rabbi as mentioned in the last Samaritan Update. A portion of their small income will also go to their assistants, priests Yefet b. Ab-Hisba and Elazar b. Yaacov. Each month the Ministry of Religious Affairs will make a deposit to the Community Treasure.

There are different categories of Rabbis, Neighborhood Rabbi (for at least 20,000 residents), City Rabbis (for at least 200,000 residents) and then there is the Chief Rabbis.

The next step is being undertook by Prop. Michael Corinaldi to petition that the High Priest and two other priests from Kiryat Luza receive the similar status of City Rabbi. 

Section from The Asatir,

the Samaritan Book of the Secrets of Moses

Together with the Pitron or Samaritan Commentary

Written and translated by Moses Gaster, 1927.

[The following is the Pitron, page 261]:

There are three memorable mornings of the world and they have no equals. The first is the morning of the First Day of the Creation of the world. The second is the morning of the fourth day (Wednesday) on which was the Standing (Maamad) before Mount Sinai. And the third is the morning of the Day of Requital. And know there is proof for my explanation of these three mornings, for on these three mornings there was neither the sun nor the moon nor the stars, as for all of them that of the fourth day is proved by the Holy Law in His word in Deut. 4.12. "And the Lord spoke unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of words, but ye saw no form, only a voice." The meaning of which is, "ye saw none of the heavenly forms." The third morning is the Day of Judgment; on it there will be neither sun, nor moon nor stars, for they are required only for the necessity for them. And it is also said about it in the book Asatir, that latter day will be on the sixth day- that is proved by his statement, "the morning of the Creation on the first, the morning of Mount Sinai on the fourth (Wednesday), the morning of the Day of Judgment on the sixth."

Samaritan-Israelite Book in Arabic

A. B. News Services

A new book as well as the first one ever written was published last year by the Samaritan community in Kiryat Luza and in Shechem - tries to explain the history of the Samaritans, their holidays and their tradition, to the Arabic and to the Palestinian communities. The author of this book is - Priest Eleazar Ben Tsedaka Ha’Habta’i, 71 years old, one of the priests and heads of the Samaritan community. The author titled his book [Written in Arabic] with the word: ‘The history, the holidays, and the tradition of the Samaritan community - in short”. The book [in a flexible cover] contains 66 pages, and in addition to them there are 8 pages of preface, plus 4 ending pages, which contains the biography of the author, plus 8 pages of pictures from priest Eleazar’s personal archives. Total of 86 pages in the book. The 8 pages of the preface bears the stamp of the author that included the preface that was written by him, and one page of approval - formulated by the poet - Mr. Lutfi E. Zaglul, who helped Priest Eleazar in publishing the book and with linguistic ending. In his own approval, Mr. Zaglul describes his friendly relationship, and remains that Priest Eleazar wrote many articles about the Samaritans, and that he keeps those manuscripts. In the preface, the author mentions the reasons for publishing his books:

“The lack of means to learn about the Samaritans - in the Arabic Librarys, in Palestin and all over the Arabic world. Providing correct facts about the Samaritan religion - to the Arabic people. The need of the Arabic scholars to hear about the Samaritans and their tradition - from the Samaritans themselves, when all the literature about the Samaritans was not written by them, and has many incorrect facts. The fact that many relates to the Samaritans as Jews, and without any doubt they are not Jews, but conserved through the generations, their Israeli Identity. [In this case it was hard to assume that the book would change the official- political - standpoint of the Palestinian authority - who sees the Samaritans as “Palestine Jews”.

The book starts with a short description of the history of the Samaritans, facts and figures, about them and their distribution through out the generations. In the following pages the author describes in brief – the principles of the religion, the names of Gerizim mountain, the version of the Torah which the Samaritan shave, Traditional Food, Marriage customs, Rules of Prayer, Holidays, Impurity and Purity laws, Inheritance issues, Mourning laws, the Holly Places, and a few short Stories from the History of the Samaritans. The book is sealed with the quotation that describes three of the Samaritans wiseacres who lived during the period of the Mamaluck reign in Israel, as it was written in the book of the Moslem wiseacre - Ibn Abu Ausbi’aa: “Eyun El’Anba fi Tabaqat El’Atiba” [= New Springs in Medical Levels] who died in the year 667 La’ttgra [=1269], and was one of the friends of the wise and strict Samaritan Vazir - Abu El’Faragh Nafis El’Din Ibn Abu Ischaq Ibn Qattar. At the end of the book, Priest Elazar notes the four books that was written by him in Arabic, and are waiting to be published:

The way to the faith knowledge.

The interpretation of the Names in the Torah.

Tradition issues.

The curriculum vitae of Aharon - The brother of Moses.

Priest Eleazar published a photographed edition of the manuscript of Samaritan’s translation of the Torah, in Arabic. The book was written in a very readable style, which brings the reader closer to the rudiments of the Samaritans tradition. As we’ve been told, it is requested by the Arabs and the Palestinians. The author dedicated his book in memory of his uncle - high priest Amram Ben Itzhaq, and his father - Priest Tsedaka - they who educated and taught the knowledge of the Samaritan religion and his life-wisdom. Priest Eleazar Ben Tsedaka, a retired teacher, does an outstanding public utility and literary activity among the Samaritan community. He and his relatives own the most important manuscripts collection from the entire Samaritans’ private collections. Priest Eleazar composed many Samaritans song and poetry, and composed Arabic poetry too. He writes constantly to the A. B. newspaper, and joined delegation - dealing with science and political issues - that flew to Russia and the U.S.A.

Web Links

Color Images of the Tabernacle drawings

Tabernacle drawings ©2002 Trustees of Boston University. Courtesy of Boston University School of Theology Library. Image files and associated text are to be used for non-commercial, personal and private use only. Any other use, including publication, copying or redistribution of image files or text in any manner is prohibited without prior permission.



2002 Passover Sacrifice with photos

Text by M. Kaplan-Green. Photographs courtesy of Danzhu Arnon




The Samaritans: A Yesterday People Today

Laurel G. Cole, “The Samaritans: A Yesterday People Today,” Ensign, Dec. 1974, pg 40 http://ldsjews.org/Diaspora1c.html

He couldn't do it without the help of a good Samaritan. Literally.
The Samaritan is Yaakov Mrhiv, a member of an ancient people who claim to descend from tribes that populated the northern part of the kingdom of Israel nearly 3,000 years ago. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-102402samaritan.story  


President Moshe Katsav with the high priest and notables of the Samaritan community. http://www.president.gov.il/chapters/chap_1/album/29_en.asp

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