July 31st, 2003


In This Issue

  • Very Important Archeological Findings

  • August Day of Samaritan Studies

  • Newly Published Books

  • To the Editor

  • Joseph Patrich

  • The Holy Bible

  • Early Jewish exegesis and theological controversy

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Mount Gerizim, All the Days of Our Lives

Very Important Archeological Findings on Mount Gerizim

(Thanks to A.B News Service. Translated from Hebrew by Osher Sassoni)

Dr. Yitzhak Magen, "We found about 480 marbles inscriptions, and 13,000 coins on Mt Gerizim. The new findings of the Ancient Luza, from  the Persian period till the Romans period may agitate the Historical research world. We found already, 480 marbles inscriptions, and parts of other marbles,” said the archeologist  Dr.  Magen. "About ninety percent of the inscriptions were written in Aramaic script, and the rest were in the ancient Hebrew script or in  Greek.  It seems it was a city of priests, who  wrote in ancient Samaritan script. The inscriptions on mount Gerizim were written in ancient Aramaic script, by people who brought donations and tithes to the priests. The totality of the inscriptions indicates an existence of an Israeli Holy center. Despite the conjectures of all the researchers, the new findings indicate that  this Holy center was built many years before the period of Ezra and Nehemiah.  Our findings reach to the beginning of the Persian Period, adjacent to the the end of the sixth century BCE." says Dr. Magen."

Indeed the finding of 480 inscriptions is unprecedented in Israel. Lately, Dr. Magen resumed his excavation on mount Gerizim which will continue for two months. All the inscriptions, will be published in a book of 600 pages in Hebrew and in English, at the end of this year, hopes Dr.. Magen. There is no doubt, that this unprecedented  inscriptions library, will shock the Historical world, and will begin a new challenge of facing the new evidences concerning the past of the glorious Israeli-Samaritan People.

An August Day of Samaritan Studies,

will take place in Copenhagen.

(Thanks to A.B News Service. Translated from Hebrew by Osher Sassoni)

A day which is dedicated to Samaritan Studies will take place in Copenhagen on Monday, the 4 of August 2003, as a part of a convention of the EABS (The European Association for Bible Studies). The main organizer is  Dr. Ingrid Hjelm from the University of  Copenhagen. She will be the chairman of the first session. Each lecturer is expected to give a thirty minute lecture with a fifteen minute discussion period.

The first person to lecture will be Samaritan-Israelite, Mr. Benyamim Tsedaka, the manager of A.B. Institute. Benyamim will discuss his new futuristic book,  concerning Samaritan History according to their own sources.

The next one to speak will be Dr Joshua Sabih, from Copenhagen University. He will speak on Karaites and Rabbinicals.

Professor Vittorio Morbito from France will lecture on the Samaritan settlement of Sirkuz city, in Sicily.

The last speaker to lecture on the first session will be Professor Heroton Yamaguchian from Moscow University, who will lecture on the Samaritan manuscripts written in Arabic, from the Pirkuvich Collection.

The chairman of the second session will be Mr. Benyamim Tsedaka. Dr. Royard Boyd will begin to lecture on this session will directing his focus on the book called the Asatir.

Dr. Rebeka Shahal of Ashqelon College, will lecture regarding  the conflict  between the Jews and Samaritans in the Second Temple Period.

Next, will be Dr Josef Zengiler from Hungary, who will lecture concerning the repercussion of the writings of II Kings on the Jewish opinion of the Samaritan Source.

The last lecture will be from Dr. Ingrid Hjelm who will speak on the conflict between Jews and Samaritans over the Chosen Place. 

More information can be seen at: http://www.shef.ac.uk/bibs/eabs1/abstracts.htm

Newly Published Books

A new book in Hebrew was recently written by  Dr. Menahem Mor, the chairman of the Interdisciplinary Studies at Haifa University – From Samaria to Nablus.( ‘me shomron le shchem’). The book is in publishing at Zalman Shazar Center for the history of Israel. Dr. Mor made a lot of effort to deal with the history of the Samaritans on a period of time of 1200 years. Finally he got into conclusion  that the Samaritans source is a mixing of Israelites who stayed in Israel after the first exile, with  the strange people that were brought in by the Assyrians. We will just remark, that the new findings from Mount Gerizim, describe only one worship to only one God, in which stands against the opinions of different worships during those times, to some strange gods.

Who Are We ? -The Ancient Story of  the Populations of Israel ; a new book wrote in Hebrew,  from the publication of “Rakia” was written by the physical anthropologist Dr. Yosi Nagar. Dr Nagar determined according to research through inspections of the structure of Human Bones, that the Samaritans are descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel, that have kept the biological continuity during the last 2800 years. Dr. Naga proves this with genetic research recently.

 Testimonies of Early Christian Writers on the Samaritans of their Time: written in English by  Professor Reinhard Pummer, by the publication of  “J.C.B. Mohr. The book contains the original  Testimonies from Christian writers, between the 13-14 C.E. about the Samaritans in Israel, of that time.

The Samaritans-(Arabic) publication of  “Dandis”, written by Eyad Hashem Mahmud, as a treatise to M.A. in the University of Amman. The book is written from an Islamic perspective from different information.

To the Editor:

Re: Update 7.17.2003; Burying the dead on the mount of Blessing: 


Benyamim Tsedaka of the A. B. Institute of Samaritan Studies says, " The name of Ebal is translated mistakenly as 'mourning' because of the confused pronunciation of Alef instead of Ayin in the mouth of the Israelite Samaritans  but it  is very appropriate since the curses were say on this mount. Still the Israelite Samaritans following in most number of cases to bury their dead in the slopes of Mount Gerizim as a kind of after life blessing. They did so on the northern slopes of the mountain and since 1964 contemporary to their new living on the Mountain, they have started to bury their dead on the Southern slopes of the Mountain with respected distance from their holy sites on the peak of the mountain.

The other place - the cemetery of Kiryat Shaul in the vicinity of Tel-Aviv, to the north, was a result of the political separation between the two parts of the community in two different states: Israel and the kingdom of Jordan between the years 1948-1967. During that period when the Israelite Samaritans have been allowed to pass the border between Israel and Jordan only the seven days of Passover, they had no other choice but to ask the Government of Israel to give them special piece of land to have their own cemetery. After long discussion and political pressure the second President of Israel Yitzhaq Ben Zvi[1877-1963], the patron of the Israelite Samaritans, they won that peace of land to be their cemetery and buried there eight Samaritans. Only one of them, Yefet b. Abraham Tsedaka[1894-1982], the head of the Israelite Samaritans in Israel was buried after 1967 following his special request to be buried near his beloved wife, Miriam. After 1964 and specially after 1967 hundreds of Israelite Samaritans were buried in the new cemetery south of Kiryat Luza neighborhood. It is obvious that the Israelite Samaritans still following the message of the Book of Asatir and prefer to be buried in the slopes of the Mountain of Blessing".

Joseph Patrich, "Church, State and the Transformation of Palestine - the Byzantine Period (324 - 640 CE)", in Thomas E. Levy (ed) Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land, Leicester University Press, London 1995.

Samaritan synagogues

Excavated sites number about seven. Others are known from the literary sources). Samaritan synagogues are aligned with their facade or their rear wall toward Mount Gerizim. The recently excavated fourth-fifth century synagogues of el-Khirbe and Khirbet Samra, show a unique plan, never encountered before. They are rectangular halls, entered through a single door and roofed by a vault. The longitudinal walls are therefore ca. twice as thick as the short ones. Stone benches are built along the walls. It appears that the Samaritan synagogues underwent later a development similar to the Jewish synagogues in terms of the final prevalence of the Christian basilical type, and the introduction of an apse for the placement of the Ark. The sixth century synagogue of Beth Shean is basilical in plan, with two colonnades and an apse which is facing away from Mount Gerizim. The plan of the Zur Nathan (and Ramat Aviv?) synagogues was similar, except that a small apse in the rear wall faced eastward - towards Mount Gerizim. http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~fisher/hst372/readings/patrich.html

The Holy Bible; containing the Old and New Testaments, according to the Authorized Version; with introductory and concluding remarks to each book of the Old and New Testaments; and the References and marginal readings of the Polyglott Bible, with numerous additions,

Robinson, Pratt & Co., 63 Wall Street, New York, 1844, page 18b

The Samaritans were. properly. the inhabitants of Samaria. This city was built by Omri, King of Israel, about 925 B.C. (1 Kings xvi, 23, 24);thought it is probable that the district might be called by that name before. (1 Kings xiii, 32) In the reign of Hoshea (B.C. 725,) it was reduced to a heap of ruins. Esar-haddon repeopled it with idolatrous Cuthites from Media or Persia; but these were driven out by Alexander the Great, and a colony of Macedonians planted in their stead: so that, though situated but a small distance from Jerusalem. it was always. more or less, the seat of idolatry. When the Jews were in prosperity, the Samaritans claimed relation to them, calling themselves Hebrews, and said they were descended from the tribe of Joseph; but when they were in trouble they disowned them, and called themselves Phoenicians: at all times, however, they preferred their own temple at Mount Gerizim to the temple of Jerusalem, and the Jews would have no dealings with the Samaritans. (John iv. 9, 20). There are still some remains of this people in the East, particularly at Shechem; and they have a copy of the Books of Moses in the Samaritan character, which they pretend to be the original Hebrew, and many learned men admit the claim; but there are various verbal differences between them, of which the most material are in the Chronology, which agrees much nearer to the Septuagint than to the Hebrew.

Early Jewish exegesis and theological controversy : studies in scriptures in the shadow of internal and external controversies / by Isaac Kalimi -- Assen, The Netherlands : Van Gorcum, 2002. ISBN 9023237137 (hd.bd.)
     xvi, 209 p. : some ill. ; 25 cm. (Jewish and Christian heritage series ; v. 2)
University lectures.Includes bibliographical references (p. [164]-184) and indexes.
Contents: The land : Mount Moriah, and the site of the Jerusalem temple in biblical historical writing -- The affiliation of Abraham and the aqedah with Zion - Gerizim in Jewish and Samaritan sources -- "He was born circumcised" : some midrashic sources, their concept, roots and presumably historical context -- Joseph's slander of his brethren : perspectives on the midrashic interpretation in the light of the Jewish-Christian controversy -- Joseph between Potiphar and his wife : the biblical text in the light of a comparative study on early Jewish exegesis -- History of Israelite religion or Hebrew Bible - Old Testament theology? : Jewish interest in biblical theology -- The task of Hebrew Bible - Old Testament theology : between Judaism and Christianity : a response to Rolf P. Knierim's Task of Old Testament theology.
Subjects: Bible. O.T. -- Criticism, interpretation, etc., Jewish. Isaac (Biblical patriarch) -- Sacrifice. Bible. O.T. -- Theology. http://www.journalofromanarch.com/supplements3.html

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