September 12, 2002


* A Dangerous Position

* Hulton's National Weekly, Picture Post

*Samaritan Local News

* The Arabic Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch

* A Samaritan Lectures Throughout the World

* Further Information on the Small Tourist Scroll

* Further Information on Mark Twain's manuscripts

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A Dangerous Position

   Terrorists entered into the Jewish settlement of  Har Bracha on August 31, seriously injuring a couple living at the settlement. Yaakov Tzvi ben Rivka and his wife Rut Dalit bat Aviva were seriously injured by gunfire. The settlement is located within a short walking distance of the Samaritan community of Kiryat Luza on mount Gerizim. It was established in 1982 on the Israeli Independence Day. There are approximately ninety families living at the Jewish settlement. Our hearts goes out to the families and friends of the massacred family. I (Shomron) have personally stayed and met some of the Jewish settlers of Bracha and found them to be honest and personable people being very aware of their situation in the troubled area.

   The Samaritan community at Kiryat Luza also realize that they are also in a position to be in harms way. In the past some Samaritans have been injured from terrorists attacks. We pray that there will be no further appalling deaths on the mount of Blessing. May Shema bless the people on mount Gerizim with long life!           (Shomron)

Hulton's National Weekly, Picture Post

   In Hulton's National Weekly, a Great Britain Newspaper called The Picture Post, there is an article on the Samaritans in volume 19, number 4, of April 24th, 1943. The article in the paper is called The Samaritans keep the Passover by Cecil Roth. It is a fairly short article with somewhat different information that does not appear in the normal articles that we have featured in our web site archives of articles. The most exciting elements of the article is the fantastic black and white photos of the Passover. The article does not give the date of the Passover, it may well have been 1942. The man in the photo from the article is the High Priest Mazliach ben Pinchas, as the article so describes. The Samaritan priest  is also known as Matzliach b. Phinhas b. Yitzhaq b. Shalma, who was High Priest from 1933 to 1943. Matzliach's sons were both High Priests: Asher b. Matzliach b. Phinhas 1980-1982  and Phinhas b. Matzliach b. Phinhas 1982-1984. Matzliach was also the uncle of the late High Priest Levi b. Abisha b. Phinhas b. Yitzhaq, who died recently last year. It is an exceptional and congenial article, enjoy! (Photo from the article.)


Samaritan Local News


Afik Tsedaka redemption - last saturday night we have celebrated the ceremony of the redemption of Afik Tsedaka the first born of Efrat and Yitzhaq Tsedaka from the Samaritan Community in Holon. Priest Nethanel b. Abraham came specially from Gerizim Mountain to run it. He held the baby that principally was yet belong to the priests till he will be redeemed. The priest put the baby in his lap and read the redemption verses from the book of Exodus Chap. XIII. Finally he "agreed" to give the baby to his blissfully parents for a ransom of 300 hundreds New Israeli Shekels. As the (Grandfather) father of the mother I was in heaven for few moments says Benyamim Tsedaka testimony].


Ofira &Yefet Cohen - A new couple has been created within the Samaritan community in Holon, south of Tel Aviv/Israel - Ofira Tsedaka [22] a clerk and Yefet [36] b. Priest Phinas b. Abraham, an accountant, that celebrated their wedding in a big hall in Holon. High Priest Shalom b. Amram who wrote and read the marriage deed, run the religious part of the ceremony on Tuesday evening of September 10, 2002. Over 400 hundred Samaritans from both community have attended the wedding, ate and danced a lot. The young couple have already a nice apartment of their own. The community wish that very soon they will start to built a new and glorious family among the Samaritan-Israelite people.

(A.B. News Services)

The Arabic Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch 
Critical edition with Introduction. 

    A new book by author and scholar Haseeb Shehadeh will soon be found at selected bookstores. The Arabic Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch is the production of the Publication of the Israel academy of sciences and humanities. This book is the second volume of a projected three-volume series . The first volume contains the Arabic translation of the Samaritan version of the Torah of the first two books, Genesis and Exodus. After thirteen years Mr. Shehadeh has finally compiled this second volume which contains the Arabic translation of the  Samaritan Pentateuch, for the last three books Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. This volume with the technical translation, tries to understand the Samaritan-Arabic dialect and how the Samaritans understand some of the words in their ancient Torah.  The third and final, introductory volume will address the following topics: The development of the Samaritan Arabic translation; how Samaritan Aramaic came to be superseded by Arabic; the translators and their times; the relationships between the Arabic translation, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Samaritan Aramaic translation and the Tafsir of Sa'adiah Gaon; the character of Samaritan Arabic as reflected in the translation; the manuscripts and the method used in preparing the critical edition. The Second volume written in Arabic will soon be found at some of the big stores around the world and in some internet sites. 

A Samaritan Lectures Throughout the World
Benymim Tsedaka was born in Nablus, Samaria, on August 1,1944, the third day of the fifth month of the Samaritan Calendar. He is the first-born son of Batya and Ratson ben Benyamim ben Shelach Tsedaka. His younger brother is Yefet Tsedaka. In May of 1951 his father moved the family from Nablus to Tel Aviv in the framework of the "Unification of Families" program in the Samaritan Community between the State of Israel and Jordan Kingdom. In September of 1951 the family moved to temporary quarters established on the sands of Holon, a suburb of Tel Aviv. Then in July of 1955, the family moved into the first Samaritan settlement that was established in Israel with the cooperation of the late President Yitzhaq Ben Zvi and the late Yefet b. Avraham
Tsedaka, Head of the Samaritans outside Nablus.
   Benymim (Benny) graduated from the Kibbutz Teachers' College, Tel Aviv in June 1963 and served in the Israeli Air Force till January of 1966. Attended his studies of Israeli History and the Bible at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem from 1967-1970, where he met his present wife, a Romanian Jewish lady named Miriam Davidovich. She joined the community and gave Benymim two boys and two girls, Ratson [1970], Shira [1971], Efrat [1978] and Ro'ai [1981]. In 1985 they built a second residence in addition to their home in the Samaritan neighborhood of Holon, near the Holy Mountain in Qiryat Luza, Har Gerizim.

  In 1969 Benny and his brother Yefet founded the "A.B. Samaritan News," the first Samaritan newspaper. In 1981, the brothers founded the "A.B. Institute of Samaritan Studies." The Institute  publishes the Samaritan Calendar and the Samaritan Telephone book. Along with editing and writing for Encyclopedias, Benny has also wrote many  articles and books well over 80 publications. His latest works the "Summary of the History of the Israelite Samaritans" [Holon, 2001, the A.B. Institute of Samaritan Studies Press], "The History of the Samaritans According to Their Own Sources - 780 Columns -[in Modern Hebrew, now working on editions in Ancient Hebrew, Arabic and English] Holon, 2002 and recently publishing "The Ceremony of the Sacrifice of Passover & Hymns sung  on the Eve of the Festival - 100 pp. - Holon 2002.
   Along with being involved in political affairs, Benny lectures yearly throughout the world informing his audience of the Samaritans religious life, their History and their current situation in the Middle East. Benny is planning to begin his 2002 tour near the end of October.
(A.B. News Services)

Further Information on Mark Twain's manuscripts

   We ran an article in the Samaritan Update issue of August 15, 2002, concerning a document that Mark Twain said he had purchased while on his trip to Palestine. The information was from his book Innocents Abroad: Mark Twain visits Palestine in 1867. Our article essentially resulted in saying that Mark Twain made up the stories for his readers but recent information will displace that there were and is in fact relative books concerning the life of Adam and Eve.

   Gary Anderson of the University of Virginia and Michael E. Stone of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have on the internet, an electronic Edition of the Life of Adam and Eve. The Life of Adam and Eve is an apocryphal story of numerous works in six languages: Greek, Latin, Armenian, Georgian, Slavonic and Coptic. Most of the scholars according to the web site, agree that it was originally written in Greek and composed between the third and seventh centuries of maybe Jewish origin.

   It is evident that Mark Twain did in fact purchase a copy of one of these books, but the question remains did he purchase the manuscript or manuscripts from the Samaritan High Priest or was it someone else. Enjoy information at the sited web site:                 (Shomron)

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