September 11th, 2003  

Vol.  III - Nu.2

In This Issue

  • Engagement

  • Festival

  • Samaritans Visit

  • Book Review

  • From The Samaritans

  • The Asatir

  • Unclean Foods From the Editor

  • Catalogue XIV

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Editor: Shomron

Co-Editor: Osher    


Staff Writer:

Staff Photographer:    

               Eyal Cohen

Staff Translator:

            Guy Tsabary

Special Contributors:

A. B. - Samaritan News


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Sunset Times for Central Israel calculated by Abraham Cohen from Holon


begins Friday Sept. 12th, 5:51pm to Saturday 13th, 5:50 p.m.

19th 5:43pm- 20th 5:42pm

Samaritan Calendar

of Festivals


Festival of the Seventh Month- Begins September 25th at Sunset till sunset of the 26th.

Day of Atonement-

October 4th at sunset to sunset of the 5th

Holy Day of Succoth & 3rd Pilgrimage-

October 9th at sunset to sunset of the 10th

7 Days of Succoth-

October 9th at sunset to sunset of the 17th


Studies and Related Conferences:

International Conference: Mandaean and Samaritan Literatures in Memoriam of Rudolph Macuch Freie Universität

Berlin, 1-2 October 2003


2003 Byzantine Studies Conference

Oct 17-19, 2003

Lewiston ME.


In Planning Stage

SES:In Haifa, July 5-8, 2004 organised by Menahem Mor, and a session at the EABS in Grooningen, July 25-28, 2004 organized by Ingrid Hjelm

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By A. B. Samaritan News Service.


Recently, Chanan Altif and Lina from Siberia exchanged engagement rings at their engagement party at Kiryat Luza on mount Gerizim. Lina loves Chanan's beautiful smile and his calming mood. Lina is learning the customs of the Samaritan-Israelites as she anticipates the wedding date next month. Rumors have it, that another Samaritan-Israelite 'Azzi (=My Strength, Ex. 15:3) began dating a friend of Lina. Apparently, Lina's girlfriend was impressed with Azzi and the community. We may hear more in the future in this regard!

Since the single female population is so much smaller that the single male population, the men must find brides outside of the community. It is not good that man should be alone!



Festival of the Seventh Month

September 25th at sunset, marks the Festival of the seventh month, the first day of the Biblical year and this special day will last till the sunset of the following day, the 26th. This day is called "sabbat asarat yumi asseliyyot." It is the first day of the ten days of pence or days of forgiveness. On each of the ten days prayers are made in the morning and at evening until the Day of Atonement, which begins on Oct. 4th at sunset this year. During the ten days the Samaritan-Israelites will reflect on any sins that they may have made and corresponding to the Day of Atonement.

The day is specified in Torah from Leviticus 23:24: "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: in the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of the blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation." Today the trumpet or shofar is not used since there is no Tabernacle standing, but this time is a memorial, a remembrance. The prayers will be made in the synagogues in Holon and Kiryat Luza on mount Gerizim.



Samaritans Visit Denmark and Norway

Article and photo by Osher Sassoni

  (Photo from right to left: Oved Allatif, Izhar Sassoni, Yaniv Allatif, Taki Cohen, Baruch Marchiv, Tamim Sassoni, Shachar Yehosha, Avi Sassoni and top left: Osher Sassoni).

Nine Samaritan-Israelites left Israel on the 26th of August, landing in Frankfurt and took another plane to Copenhagen (Denmark). During our two day stay in Copenhagen, we had to opportunity to meet the sociable Mrs. Dr. Ingrid Hjelm and visit the national library. We took a ferryboat from Copenhagen to Oslo, and from Oslo we drove about 500 Km to a place which is called Gala in Norway (a big ski area which is full of people during the ski season,, of course, we came when the season is off already ). We spent the Sabbath there in Gala. On Sunday we started the trip on the big fureds and the big waterfalls of Norway. On Monday evening we arrived to Bergen the second important city in Norway, where we celebrated my birthday there, and spent there another two evenings. On Wednesday evening, after driving of about 2000 km in two days, we finally arrived in Oslo spending two days there. On Thursday night (4.00 am) we flew back to Frankfurt and from there back to Israel. (Note from the Editor: Happy Birthday Osher and we hope you enjoyed your first adventurer outside of Israel.)


Book Review

Journal of Hebrew Scriptures - Volume 4 (2002-2003) -

Review  by Ingrid Hjelm
University of Copenhagen


Robert T. Anderson and Terry Giles, The Keepers: An Introduction to the History and Culture of the Samaritans (Peabody, MA.: Hendrickson, 2002), pp. xvi, 165 incl. bibliography and index. ISBN: 1-56563-519-1.  




From the Book The Samaritans

Written by Moses Gaster, p. 70.

"Of a similar traditional character is the Samaritan interpretation of the injunction not to seethe a kid in its mother's milk, which occurs three times in the Pentateuch, in Exod. xxiii. 19,xxxiv. 26, and Deut. xiv.21.......The Samaritans follow precisely the same law, but they also give a different reason for this application of the commandment. In their case they apply one of the peculiar methods of exegesis, i.e. by counting the letters as numerals. According to the explanation given to me in 1905 by the then High Priest, Jacob the son of Aaron, it is derived from an oral tradition still living among them, and which, I believe, he said he had found in an old commentary. The numerical value of the word 'gedi'= 'kid' is seventeen, and the number of animals assumed to have been included in Deut. xiv and allowed to be eaten is seventeen. These seventeen must therefore not be seethed in milk, and if this has been done they may not be eaten."

P.71 "Further, they (Samaritans) forbid the drinking of wine or any other intoxicating liquor on the Sabbath and festivals, for they assert that the observance of these days is equivalent to the service in the Temple, and according to Lev. X.9, no priest was allowed to drink before approaching the altar. This is in contradiction to the Jews, who do precisely the reverse, and celebrate the Sabbath and festivals by the blessing over the cup of wine."

The Samaritans by Moses Gaster can be located at



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, pages 247, 249]:

When Jacob our master was eighty years old he went down to Haran, and when our master Joseph- on whom be peace- was seventeen years and eight months he went down to Egypt. The Pharaoh who was in the time of our master Joseph was of the seed of Ishmael, and the Pharaoh who was in the time of our master Moses was of the seed of Jefet Kittim. In his days Moses was born; and it is said about him in the Asatir. "And the slave Rodanim became Pharaoh." And these are the generations of Pharaoh, the son of Gutis, the son of Atiss, the son of Rbtt, the son of Gutsis, the son of Rims, the son of Kittin, the son of Javan, who had learned in the Book of Signs in the town of Babel the Great. And he came out of Sion and he wandered to Nineveh. And when our master Joseph- on whom be peace- was thirty years old, he became king over the land of Eypt. And he was second Pharaoh, besides the first mentioned above, and he had gone to Nineveh and had stayed there three years and one month; and after that he went to Damascus and to Kruzh, that is the town of Kush. And he stayed there sixty three years. And Joseph died and all his brothers and all the men of his generation and the kingdom of Ishmael was charged; as it is said in the Book Asatir, "And the kingdom of Ishmael was charged and Amalek became powerful and he ruled over the land of Egypt." And when the second Pharaoh who was in Nineveh, heard of the death of the king of Egypt, and that Amalek had gained possession of it, he came down with evil and ruled over it one year. And he stayed and held Egypt by force and there was great tribulation in its midst, and the destruction lasted three years. And the king of Egypt died, and there came another king in the land of Egypt and his name was Pharaoh III. And he gathered a large force of Ktpai and he reigned sixty years. And thus the number of kings who ruled over Egypt in the time from Joseph (p. 249) to Moses, who was drowned in the Sea of Reeds was four. For from the time when our master Joseph died unto the day when Moses the messenger was born sixty three years elapsed. This is the absolute truth and there is no difference of opinion about it. On the day when our Master returned from Midian to the land of Egypt, he was eighty years old, so the sum total of these years is one hundred and forty three. The Pharaoh in whose time our Master Moses was born, is the one who ruled for sixty years, and of him it is said, "and he died."

And the children of Israel multiplied and became very powerful. The women used at that time to give birth to two or three children at once: and God knows. And Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, "All the male children ye shall throw into the river." And all men and woman were frightened of him, for the people that were born into the river. And the woman whose child was thrown into the river killed herself after it. And the children of Israel kept their faith and not one of their sons was thrown into the water, for the women of Israel used to pray to Him who knows the feelings of the heart. When they knew that the time had come when they should give birth to children, they used to go out into the field and gave birth there, and then they asked those who stood by as witnesses, to which sex the child belonged, and when it happened to be a male, they left it in the field in the charge of the Creator. And the Lord, may He be exalted, made them suck honey and milk from the flint of the rock according to His statement in His mighty writ, "And he suckled him with honey from the rock and fatness from the flinty rock." When it was a girl, the mother brought it home. And the command, therefore, to throw the male children into the river became a source of destruction to his own people, the Egyptians.



Unclean Foods

From the Editor

Have you ever thought about the specified unclean foods in the Pentateuch. You may have wondered why some animals where specified as unclean to eat. Samaritans, as well as Jews and Muslims do not consume pork since it is consisted to be unclean. Of course most of the time upon inspection of a pig, one can find a blemish but the main concern if the fact that the pig or swine is so claimed unclean (See Deuteronomy chapter 14).Now let us find the reasoning behind the Torah commandment. Dr. J.H. Kellogg wrote a small booklet in 1897, PORK— OR THE DANGERS OF PORK-EATING EXPOSED. In his booklet he says, "Reader, what will you do? Can you continue to use as food such an abominable article as pork, and in so doing run so many risks as you must do? And if you decide that the animal is unfit to claim a place upon your own table, can you conscientiously raise and sell him to your neighbors’ injury?" Read his full booklet online:

For further reading:



Catalogue XIV

One of the famous Rosenthal catalogues. Catalogue XIV, Bible, Hebrew Studies and Rabbinics (1816-1948) from the libraries of the late Chief Rabbi Dr J H Hertz, E N Adler, Dr A Buchler and other well known Scholars including Biblical Archaeology, Grammars & Dictionaries, Karaitica, Liturgica and Samaritan Literature. Oxford, 1949. 48 pp. 3169 items. Pages yellowed. Rosenthal catalogues were produced by the legendary Dr Ettinghausen during a period when the UK played an important role in the Hebrew book trade.

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