August 14th, 2003


In This Issue

  • A Kiev Bride

  • From the Editor

  • Copenhagen Conference

  • Palestine Exploration Fund

  • The Holy Land and the Bible

  • Reference Book

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Editor: Shomron

Co-Editor: Osher    


Staff Writer:

Staff Photographer:    

               Eyal Cohen

Staff Translator:

            Guy Tsabary

Special Contributors: A. B. News Services


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Mount Gerizim, All the Days of Our Lives

 A Kiev Bride

Article and Photo by the A.B. - The Samaritan News

On Tuesday, August 12th began a new step in Samaritan social life. A Israelite/Samaritan resident of Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim, Ya'ir (40) b. Elazar b. Tsedaka, of the family of priests has found his wife in Kiev, Ukraine (former Soviet Union). She is Alexandra Krasok of the Jewish Community in Cherson, Ukraine. This blue eyed, blonde will have the Hebrew name of Ora. Her father-in-law is the deputy high priest. Her representative in the Samaritan-Israelite marriage ceremony will be Priest Yosef b. Tsedaka, the uncle of the groom.

This case testifies to the concerns of the marriage problems at present in the Samaritan community. Recently, the young Samaritan men have solved their marriage problems by taking a wife from the Israeli-Jewish population. Over thirty percent of the marriages in Holon consists of former Jewish ladies that joined the community in Holon, which is in the State of Israel. It is difficult to persuade a Jewish-Israeli lady to move and live on the Mount Gerizim, due to the political situation in the area. Without any other choice, a process began to bring Jewish ladies from the Soviet Union Republics.

It was not easy to bring Ora to Israel and then to Mount Gerizim, but eventually she came and absorbed very fast the life style of the Samaritans on the mount. The couple has already received a civil marriage at the Kiev Municipality Building, but this marriage was not valid in the Samaritan community until it was confirmed by the original Samaritan ceremonies that were held on the Aug. 12th, in the Community Center of the Samaritans on Mount Gerizim. Ora is studying her new customs and it seems that she is learning fast! Congratulations Ya'ir and Ora Cohen.

From the Editor:

The Israeli Parliament recently passed a measure that if an Israeli is married to a Palestinian, that couple would have to live apart or leave the country if they wish to remain together. Accordingly this measure is to terminate after one year. The law was appropriated for security issues. This move may not today effect the Samaritan-Israelites but should there be a peace agreement made and if Israel should continue this law, the two Samaritan communities maybe affected, when someone from Holon would want to marry someone from Kiryat Luza. This would force them to live on Mount Gerizim and not have the chose of living in Holon. When or if, Mount Gerizim becomes part of Palestine will yet to be seen at a future time. The area is still unstable! Today the Samaritan-Israelites that live on Mount Gerizim have Israeli Identification Cards with the exception of one person which is currently being resolved.

Copenhagen Conference, a Success

The Copenhagen Conference on Samaritan Studies was held recently on August 4th, 2003, as a part of a convention of the EABS (The European Association for Bible Studies). The Copenhagen Conference was organized by Dr. Ingrid Hjelm of the University of  Copenhagen. Many people may have missed the event, but will hopefully be receiving the lectures from this session in the near future. We will keep you advised of this occurring. (Pictured are seven lecturers of the Samaritan session of the Helsinki Conference: Sitting right to left: Dr. Ingrid Hjelm, Rivka Schachal and Dr. Sabih; Standing: Composer Schachal, Benyamim Tsedaka, Rubrick and Ruairidh Boid)

The Palestine Exploration Fund: A Glimpse into the Past

Note On The Newly Discovered Samaritan Stone.

By J.G. Pritchett, (PEFQS) July, 1873, p. 118.

Mr. Pritchett writes as follows:-

"In Gaza there have been three Englishmen resident for eight years in charge of the telegraph station. One of them, my friend Mr. Mimmo, received me as usual into his house, and very hospitably entertained Mr. Hamilton also. Another, Mr. Pickard, produced the stone which you mention, and Mr. Hamilton forwarded a squeeze of it to England. The stone had been accidentally found by men who were digging old foundations out of the sand for building materials, and Mr. Prickard brought it from thence. There can be little doubt of obtaining more if proper measures are taken. - through Mr. Hamilton, for instance, who knows the place and the people. The stone is carefully preserved by Mr. Pickard."

This is at present the only information we have, except the squeeze itself, of the stone. The squeeze has been very kindly given to the Society by Mr. Dunbar Heath, to whom Mr. Hamilton sent it. The inscription is a passage from Deuteronomy iv. 29-32. It has been suggested that the stone belonged to a Samaritan synagogue at Gaza. We shall probably be able to write more fully on this interesting stone in the next number of the Quarterly.


THE SAMARITAN STONE AT GAZA (same Quarterly Statement, July, 1873, p 157b- 158a

(footnote: See Quarterly Statement, July, 1873, p. 118)

My curiosity was first stimulated in searching after inscriptions by observing the extraordinary amount of energy exhibited by M. Ganneau, who visited Gaza about three years ago. I accompanied this gentleman to several interesting parts of the town, and assisted him in procuring a few Greek inscriptions. We also visited the same spot where the stone was discovered, which is distant from the town about a mile, and half a mile from the sea-shore. It has now been in my possession about a year, and was found in one of the numerous sandpits where excavating is carried on by the natives to obtain stone for building purposes.

About a year ago, passing by the spot, I questioned some of the labourers then at work about stones bearing inscriptions, &c., and was informed that a few days before three of this description had been found. After further inquiries I succeeded in finding out to whom they had been sold, but having to act very cautiously, in order not to excite suspicion, I regret that I was obliged to delay the matter too long; and upon opening the question about the stones the owner coolly told me that he had scraped the two largest! and the other, I suppose, not being large enough for the purpose required, was thrown aside, to share the same fate at some future time. However, after some difficulty I succeeded in getting it; this is the whole history of the stone.

About two months ago three marble pillars were discovered in one of the sandpits before mentioned; they are all of the same size and architecture. A drawing of these might likewise be interesting. About a month ago I also found in the town a lamp similar to the one found in the Pool of Bethesda, with this exception: at the broadest end in bas relief is something not unlike a serpent's head.

Many curious seals are at times found here and about the district of Gaza. I might send you seal-wax impressions of some of these if you think they would be of any interest. I shall always be very glad to keep you duly informed of everything that may be found at Gaza, and supply you with copies, &c.                         J. G. Pickard, Gaza.


The Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) was founded in 1865 by a group of distinguished academics and clergymen. The purpose of the PEF is to promote research into the archaeology and history, manners and customs and culture, topography, geology and natural sciences of the Levant the southern portion of which was known as 'Palestine' in Victorian times. Please visit their website:

(If you want to know about the squeeze, which is most likely a rubbing, the Society is unable to locate it at this time. They believe that because of the light weight paper it may have been destroyed and then discarded over time. Shomron)

The Holy Land and the Bible, A Book of Scripture Illustrations gathered in Palestine by Cunningham Geikie, D.D.

With a Map of Palestine and Original Illustrations by H. A. Harper
Special Edition

The High Priest, a young man, had his portrait to sell, after he had previously secured a gratuity. He is tall and thin, with a long, oval face, light complexion, and good features of a strictly Jewish type; but this by no means implies that he is of pure Jewish blood, since the immigrants sent to Samaria to colonise the country, after the Ten Tribes had as a body been carried off, were themselves Semitic, and, to judge from the monuments, must have been practically undistinguishable from Hebrews. There was no attempt at official dignity, but the friendliest equality amongst all, though it is very different when the priestly robes have invested the leader with his ecclesiastical dignity. Most of the conversation I had with them was on the theme about which they were most concerned—their earnest desire to have an English teacher who should content himself with lessons from the five books of Moses, which alone are canonical with them. "We have no one," said the High Priest, pathetically, "who can teach the common branches of education, and we want an English as well as an Arabic training. We should like to know geography, writing, grammar, and history. We have tried your societies, but they will not send anyone to us if we do not let him teach the whole of the Old and the New Testament." I could not help thinking that to refuse an overture to teach from the Pentateuch alone was a great mistake, for it is part of the Word of God, and even where the whole Scripture is nominally the reading-book, teaching is practically confined to a part of it. (This article will appear in the near future in our Knowledge Center at

Reference Book:

Jerusalem and the Holy Land: Chronicles from National Geographic (Cultural and Geographical Explorations)
by Arthur M. Schlesinger (Editor), Fred L. Israel (Editor), National Geographic Society
Articles from National Geographic present an account of Muslim village life, the travel impressions of a British historian, and a description of the Passover celebration of a small group of orthodox Jews known as Samaritans. Description from Publisher.

  • Library Binding: 131 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.50 x 9.50 x 7.50
  • Publisher: Chelsea House Pub (Library); (March 1999)

  • ISBN: 0791051013

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