Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out


VIEWS: 199 PAGES: 13

									From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Samaritan ‫םינורמוש‬

Total population 712 (2007)[1] Founder Regions with significant populations West Bank (Mount Gerizim, Samaria) Israel (Holon) Religions Samaritanism Scriptures Samaritan Torah Languages Modern Vernacular Modern Hebrew & Palestinian Arabic Past Vernacular Palestinian Arabic, preceeded by Aramaic & earlier Hebrew Liturgical Samaritan Hebrew, Samaritan Aramaic & Samaritan Arabic[1]

The Samaritans (Hebrew: ‫םינורמוש‬‎ Shomronim, Arabic: ‫نويرماسلا‬‎ as-Saamariyun) are a religious group of the Levant. Religiously, they are the adherents to Samaritanism, a parallel but separate religion to Judaism or any of its historical forms. Based on the Samaritan Torah, Samaritans claim their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites prior to the Babylonian Exile, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel, as opposed to Judaism, which they assert is a related but

altered and amended religion brought back by the exiled returnees. Ancestrally, they claim descent from a group of Israelite inhabitants who have connections to ancient Samaria from the beginning of the Babylonian Exile up to the beginning of the Common Era. The Samaritans, however, derive their name not from this geographical designation, but rather from the Hebrew term ‫( םיִרֶמַש‬Šāmĕrı̂m), "Keepers [of the Law]".[2] In the Talmud, a central post-exilic religious text of Judaism, their claim of ancestral origin is disputed, and in those texts they are called Kuthim (Hebrew: ‫םיתוכ‬‎), allegedly from the ancient city of Kutha, geographically located in what is today Iraq. Modern genetics has suggested some truth to both the claims of the Samaritans and Jewish accounts in the Talmud.[3] Although historically they were a large community — up to more than a million in late Roman times, then gradually reduced to several tens of thousands up to a few centuries ago — their unprecedented demographic shrinkage has been a result of various historical events, including most notably a revolt against Byzantine Christian rulers leading to a violent and death-tolled quelling in 529 CE, and a mass forced conversion to Islam in the Early Muslim period of Palestine.[4][5] According to their tally, as of November 1, 2007, there were 712[1] Samaritans living almost exclusively in two localities, one in Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim near the city of Nablus (Shechem) in the Palestinian territories’ West Bank, and the other in the Israeli city of Holon.[6] There are, however, followers of various backgrounds adhering to Samaritan traditions outside of Israel (especially in the United States) which are not dealt with in this article. With the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language by Jewish immigrants to pre-state Israel, and its growth and officialization following the establishment of the state, most Samaritans today speak Modern Hebrew, especially in Israel. As with their counterpart Muslim, Christian, Druze and other Palestinian religious communities, the most recent spoken mother tongue of the Samaritans was


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Arabic, and it still is for those in the West Bank city of Nablus. For liturgical purposes, Samaritan Hebrew, Samaritan Aramaic, and Samaritan Arabic are used, all of which are written in the Samaritan alphabet, a variant of the Old Hebrew alphabet, distinct from the so-called square script "Hebrew alphabet" of Jews and Judaism, which is a stylized form of the Aramaic alphabet.[7] Hebrew, and later Aramaic, were languages in use by the Israelites of Judea prior to the Roman exile, and beyond.[8]

established both an illegitimate priesthood and an illegitimate place of worship. Abu l-Fath, who in the 14th century CE wrote a major work of Samaritan history, comments on Samaritan origins as follows:[9] “ A terrible civil war broke out ” between Eli son of Yafni, of the line of Ithamar, and the sons of Pincus (Phineas), because Eli son of Yafni resolved to usurp the High Priesthood from the descendants of Pincus. He used to offer sacrifices on an altar of stones. He was 50 years old, endowed with wealth and in charge of the treasury of the children of Israel... He offered a sacrifice on the altar, but without salt, as if he were inattentive. When the Great High Priest Ozzi learned of this, and found the sacrifice was not accepted, he thoroughly disowned him; and it is (even) said that he rebuked him. Thereupon he and the group that sympathized with him, rose in revolt and at once he and his followers and his beasts set off for Shiloh. Thus Israel split in factions. He sent to their leaders saying to them, Anyone who would like to see wonderful things, let him come to me. Then he assembled a large group around him in Shiloh, and built a Temple for himself there; he constructed a place like the Temple (on Mount Gerizim). He built an altar, omitting no detail — it all corresponded to the original, piece by piece. At this time the Children of Israel split into three factions. A loyal faction on Mount Gerizim; a heretical faction that followed false Gods; and the faction that followed Eli son of Yafni on Shiloh.

History and origin
History and origin according to Samaritan sources
According to Samaritan tradition, Mount Gerizim was the original Holy Place of the Israelites from the time that Joshua conquered Canaan and the twelve tribes of Israel settled the land. The reference to Mount Gerizim takes us back to the biblical story of the time when Moses ordered Joshua to take the Twelve Tribes of Israel to the mountains by Shechem and place half of the tribes, six in number, on the top of Mount Gerizim, the Mount of the Blessing, and the other half in Mount Ebal, the Mount of the Curse. The two mountains were used to symbolize the significance of the commandments and serve as a warning to whoever disobeyed them. The Samaritans have insisted that they are direct descendants of the Northern Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, who survived the destruction of the Northern kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians in 722 BCE. The inscription of Sargon II records the deportation of a relatively small proportion of the Israelites (27,290, according to the annals), so it is quite possible that a sizable population remained that could identify themselves as Israelites, the term that the Samaritans prefer for themselves. Samaritan historiography would place the basic schism from the remaining part of Israel after the twelve tribes conquered and returned to the land of Canaan, led by Joshua. After Joshua’s death, Eli the priest left the tabernacle which Moses erected in the desert and established on Mount Gerizim, and built another one under his own rule in the hills of Shiloh (1 Samuel 1:1-3; 2:12-17). Thus, he

Further, the Samaritan Chronicle Adler, or New Chronicle, believed to have been composed in the 18th century CE using earlier chronicles as sources states: “ And the children of Israel in his days divided into three groups. One did according to the abominations of the Gentiles and served other Gods; another followed Eli the son of Yafni, although many of them turned away from him after he had revealed his ”


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
intentions; and a third remained with the High Priest Uzzi ben Bukki, the chosen place.

around the lands of Menasheh and that the type of pottery found was produced around 689 BCE. Some date their split with the Jews to the time of Nehemiah, Ezra, and the building of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. Returning exiles considered the Samaritans to be non-Jews and, thus, not fit for this religious work. The Encyclopaedia Judaica (under "Samaritans") summarizes both past and the present views on the Samaritans’ origins. It says: “ Until the middle of the 20th century ” it was customary to believe that the Samaritans originated from a mixture of the people living in Samaria and other peoples at the time of the conquest of Samaria by Assyria (722–721 BCE). The Biblical account in II Kings 17 had long been the decisive source for the formulation of historical accounts of Samaritan origins. Reconsideration of this passage, however, has led to more attention being paid to the Chronicles of the Samaritans themselves. With the publication of Chronicle II (Sefer haYamim), the fullest Samaritan version of their own history became available: the chronicles, and a variety of non-Samaritan materials. According to the former, the Samaritans are the direct descendants of the Joseph tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, and until the 17th century CE they possessed a high priesthood descending directly from Aaron through Eleazar and Phinehas. They claim to have continuously occupied their ancient territory and to have been at peace with other Israelite tribes until the time when Eli disrupted the Northern cult by moving from Shechem to Shiloh and attracting some northern Israelites to his new followers there. For the Samaritans, this was the ’schism’ par excellence.("Samaritans" in Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1972, Volume 14, op. cit., col. 727.)

History and origin according to Jewish sources
The emergence of the Samaritans as an ethnic and religious community distinct from other Levant peoples appears to have occurred at some point after the Assyrian conquest of the Israelite Kingdom of Israel in approximately 721 BCE. The records of Sargon II of Assyria indicate that he deported 27,290 inhabitants of the region (Jewish). Jewish tradition maintains a different origin for the Samaritans. The Talmud accounts for a people called "Cuthim" on a number of occasions, mentioning their arrival by the hands of the Assyrians. According to 2 Kings 17 and Josephus (Antiquities 9.277–91), the people of Israel were removed by the king of the Assyrians (Sargon II- see special wording of 2 Kings 17 which mentions Shalmaneser in verse 3 but the "king of the Assyrians" from verse 4 onward), to Halah, to Gozan on the Habor River and to the towns of the Medes. The king of the Assyrians then brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avah, Emath, and Sepharvaim to place in Samaria. Because God sent lions among them to kill them, the king of the Assyrians sent one of the priests from Bethel to teach the new settlers about God’s ordinances. The eventual result was that the new settlers worshipped both the God of the land and their own gods from the countries from which they came. A Midrash (Genesis Rabbah Sect. 94) relates about an encounter between Rabbi Meir and a Samaritan. The story that developed includes the following dialogue: • R. Meir asks the Samaritan: What tribe are you from? • The Samaritan answers: From Joseph. • R. Meir : No! • The Samaritan: From which one then? • R. Meir : From Issachar. • The Samaritan: How do you figure? • R. Meir: For it is written (Gen 46:13): The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puvah, Iob, and Shimron. These are the Samaritans (shamray). Zertal dates the Assyrian onslaught at 721 BCE to 647 BCE and discusses three waves of imported settlers. He shows that Mesopotamian pottery in Samaritan territory cluster

Furthermore, even to this day the Samaritans still claim descent from the tribe of Joseph: “ The laymen also possess their tradi” tional claims. They are all of the tribe of Joseph, except those of the tribe of Benjamin, but this traditional branch


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
of people, which, the Chronicles assert, was established at Gaza in earlier days, seems to have disappeared. There exists an aristocratic feeling amongst the different families in this community, and some are very proud over their pedigree and the great men it had produced.(J. A. Montgomery, The Samaritans The Earliest Jewish Sect: Their History, Theology And Literature, 1907, op. cit., p. 32.)

know that Samaritan and Jewish alienation increased, and that the Samaritans eventually built their own temple on Mount Gerizim, near Shechem. It took several decades for the work of rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem to be finalised. The project was first led by Sheshbazzar (about 538 BCE), later by Zerubbabel and Jeshua, and later still by Haggai and Zechariah (520–515 BCE). Work was completed in 515 BCE.

Rejection by Judeans

Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim
The precise date of the schism between Samaritans and Jews is unknown, but was certainly complete by the end of the 4th century BCE. Archaeological excavations at Mount Gerizim suggest that a Samaritan temple was built there c. 330 BCE.[10] According to Samaritans,[11] it was on Mount Gerizim that Abraham offered Isaac in human sacrifice Genesis 22:2. The Torah mentions the place where God shall choose to establish His name (Deut 12:5), and Judaism takes this to refer to Jerusalem. However, the Samaritan text speaks of the place where God has chosen to establish His name, and Samaritans identify it as Mount Gerizim, making it the focus of their spiritual values. The legitimacy of the Samaritan temple was attacked by Jewish scholars including Andronicus ben Meshullam. In the Christian bible, the Gospel of John relates an encounter between a Samaritan woman and Jesus in which she asserts that the mountain was the center of their worship John 4:20.

Ancient inscription in Samaritan Hebrew. From a photo c.1900 by the Palestine Exploration Fund. According to the Jewish version of events, when the Judean exile ended in 538 BCE and the exiles began returning home from Babylon, they found their former homeland populated by other people who claimed the land as their own and Jerusalem, their former glorious capital, in ruins. According to 2 Chronicles 36:22–23, the Persian Emperor Cyrus the Great permitted the return of the exiles to their homeland and ordered the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem (Zion). The prophet Isaiah identified Cyrus as "The Lord’s anointed" (Meshiach; see Isaiah 45:1). Ezra 4 says that the local inhabitants of the land offered to assist with the building of the new temple during the time of Zerubbabel, but their offer was rejected. According to Ezra, this rejection precipitated a further interference not only with the rebuilding of the temple but also with the reconstruction of Jerusalem. The text is not clear on this matter, but one possibility is that these "people of the land" were thought of as Samaritans. We do

Antiochus IV Epiphanes and Hellenization
In the 2nd century BCE a particularly bitter series of events eventually led to a revolution of the Israelites against their Greek oppressors. Antiochus IV Epiphanes was on the throne of the Seleucid Empire from 175 to 163 BCE. His determined policy was to Hellenize his entire kingdom and standardize religious observance. According to 1 Maccabees 1:41-50 he proclaimed himself the incarnation of the Greek god Zeus and mandated death to anyone who refused to worship him. A major obstacle to his ambition was the fidelity of the Jews to their historic religion and their refusal to allow their homeland to be defiled.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The universal peril led the Samaritans, eager for safety, to repudiate all connection and kinship with the Jews. The request was granted. This was put forth as the final breach between the two groups, being alleged at a much later date in the Christian bible (John 4:9), "For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans."[12] Several centuries before the Common Era, the Samaritans had built their own temple on Mt. Gerizim to rival the Temple in Jerusalem. Here, they offered sacrifices according to the Mosaic code. Anderson notes that during the reign of Antiochus IV (175–164 BCE):[13] “ the Samaritan temple was renamed either Zeus Hellenios (willingly by the Samaritans according to Josephus or, more likely, Zeus Xenios, (unwillingly in accord with 2 Macc. 6:2) Bromiley, 4.304). ”

The authority of the high priesthood was severely damaged when first Jason and then Meneleus bought their office from Antiochus. The persecution and death of faithful Jewish persons who refused to worship and kiss Antiochus’ image, along with the desecration of the Holy Temple, ultimately led to a revolt led by Judah Maccabee (Judah the Hammer) and his family. Though quite outnumbered, the Israelites, led by the Maccabee family, managed to regain control of their land. This "miracle" restoration of Jewish sovereignty in the face of Greek dominance has been since observed by Jews in the winter "Festival of Lights" holiday known as Chanukah. Judah’s priestly family, the Hasmoneans, introduced a dynasty that ruled during a period of conflict, with tensions arising both from within the family as well as from external enemies. This Samaritan Temple at Mount Gerizim was destroyed by John Hyrcanus in about 128 BCE, having existed about 200 years. Only a few stone remnants of it exist today.

Josephus Book 12, Chapter 5 quotes the Samaritans as saying: “ We therefore beseech thee, our be” nefactor and saviour, to give order to Apolonius, the governor of this part of the country, and to Nicanor, the procurator of thy affairs, to give us no disturbances, nor to lay to our charge what the Jews are accused for, since we are aliens from their nation and from their customs, but let our temple which at present hath no name at all, be named the Temple of Jupiter Hellenius. Shortly afterwards, the Greek king ” sent Gerontes the Athenian to force the Jews of Israel to violate their ancestral customs and live no longer by the laws of God; and to profane the Temple in Jerusalem and dedicate it to Olympian Zeus, and the one on Mount Gerizim to Zeus, Patron of Strangers, as the inhabitants of the latter place had requested.—II Maccabees 6:1–2

164 BCE and after
During the Hellenistic period, Samaria (like Judea) was largely divided between a Hellenizing faction based in Samaria (Sebastaea) and a pious faction, led by the High Priest and based largely around Shechem and the rural areas. Samaria was a largely autonomous state nominally dependent on the Seleucid empire until around 129 BCE, when the Jewish Hasmonean king Yohanan Girhan (John Hyrcanus) destroyed the Samaritan temple and devastated Samaria.


Roman and Sassanid times

In 167 BCE the Seleucid ruler Antiochus Epiphanes defiled the Jewish temple by setting up an altar to Zeus over the holy altar of burnt offerings in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, which was the center of Jewish religious life. Antiochus also sacrificed a pig on the altar in the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is known as the "abomination of desolation".[14]

Samaritan cultic center on Mount Gerizim. From a photo c.1900 by the Palestine Exploration Fund. Samaritans fared badly under the Roman Empire, when Samaria was a part of the Roman-ruled province of Judea.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
However, this period is also considered as something of a golden age for the Samaritan community. The Temple of Gerizim was rebuilt after the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans, around 135 CE. Much of Samaritan liturgy was set by the high priest Baba Rabba in the 4th century. The oldest, known Samaritan synagogue, the Delos Synagogue dates from between 150 and 128 BCE, or earlier and is located on the island of Delos. [15] There were some Samaritans in the Persian Empire, where they served in the Sassanid army. Many Jews had also lived in Persia for millennia, after various exiles and captivities.


Byzantine times
Later, under the Christian Byzantine Emperor Zeno in the late 5th century, Samaritans and Jews were massacred, and the Temple on Mt. Gerizim was again destroyed. This period is considered the worst for Samaritans.[16] Under a charismatic, messianic figure named Julianus ben Sabar (or ben Sahir), the Samaritans launched a war to create their own independent state in 529 CE. With the help of the Ghassanid Arabs, Emperor Justinian I crushed the revolt; tens of thousands of Samaritans died or were enslaved. The Samaritan faith was virtually outlawed thereafter by the Christian Byzantine Empire; from a population once at least in the hundreds of thousands, the Samaritan community dwindled to near extinction.

The High Priest of the Samaritans, Nablus, c. 1920. second-class citizens, but they were tolerated and perhaps favoured because they were docile and had been mentioned positively in the Christian New Testament.[17] In 1624, the last Samaritan high priest of the line of Eleazar son of Aaron died without issue, but descendants of Aaron’s other son, Ithamar, remained and took over the office.

After the Muslim Conquests
By the time of the Muslim Conquests, Samaritans were living in an area stretching between Egypt, Syria, and Iran. Like other non-Muslims in the empire, such as Jews, Samaritans were considered to be People of the Book. Their minority status was protected by the Muslim rulers, and they had the right to practice their religion, but adult males had to pay the jizya or "protection tax". It has been suggested that they were forced to wear red colored turbans as a result of the terms of a document known as the Pact of Umar, but this stipulation is not explicitly mentioned in the document, the authenticity has been questioned by contemporary scholars, and the tradition cannot be independently verified. During the Crusades, Samaritans, like the other non-Latin Christian inhabitants of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, were

DNA and genetic studies
Genetic and demographic investigations of the Samaritan community were carried out in the 1960s. Detailed pedigrees of the last 13 generations show that the Samaritans comprise four lineages: • The Tsedakah lineage, claiming descent from the tribe of Manasseh • The Joshua-Marhiv lineage, claiming descent from the tribe of Ephraim • The Danfi lineage, claiming descent from the tribe of Ephraim • The priestly Cohen lineage from the tribe of Levi. Of the 12 Samaritan males used in the analysis, 10 (83%) belong to haplogroup J, which includes three of the four Samaritan families. The Joshua-Marhiv family belongs to


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Assyrian conquest of the kingdom of Israel.[20] Archaeologists Aharoni, et al., estimated that this "exile of peoples to and from Israel under the Assyrians" took place during ca. 734 BCE to 712 BCE.[21] The authors speculated that when the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom of Israel, resulting in the exile of many of the Israelites, a subgroup of the Israelites that remained in the Land of Israel "married Assyrian and female exiles relocated from other conquered lands, which was a typical Assyrian policy to obliterate national identities."[22] The study goes on to say that "Such a scenario could explain why Samaritan Y chromosome lineages cluster tightly with Jewish Y lineages, while their mitochondrial lineages are closest to Iraqi Jewish and Palestinian mtDNA sequences." Non-Jewish Iraqis were not sampled in this study, however, mitochondrial lineages of Jewish communities tend to correlate with their non-Jewish host populations, unlike paternal lineages which almost always correspond to Israelite lineages. Genetic differences between the Samaritans and neighboring Jewish and non-Jewish populations are corroborated in that study of 7,280 bp of non-recombining Y-chromosome and 5,622 bp of coding and hypervariable segment (HVS-I) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences. Comparative sequence analysis was carried out on 12 Samaritan Ychromosome, and mtDNA samples from 9 male and 7 female Samaritans separated by at least two generations. The four Samaritan families clustered to four distinct Y-chromosome haplogroups according to their patrilineal identity. Of the 16 Samaritan mtDNA samples, 14 carry either of two mitochondrial haplotypes that are rare or absent among other worldwide ethnic groups.

Interior of the Synagogue of the Samaritans in Nablus, c. 1920. haplogroup J1, while the Danfi and Tsedakah families belong to haplogroup J2, and can be further distinguished by M67, the derived allele of which has been found in the Danfi family. The only Samaritan family not found in haplogroup J was the Cohen family (Tradition: Tribe of Levi) which was found in haplogroup E3b1a M78.[18] This article predated the change of the classifcation of haplogroup E3b1-M78 to E3b1a-M78 and the further subdivision of E3b1a-M78 into 6 subclades based on the research of Cruciani, et al.[19] In a 2004 article on the genetic ancestry of the Samaritans, Shen, et al. concluded from a sample comparing Samaritans to several Jewish populations, all currently living in Israel — representing Ethiopian Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, Iraqi Jews, Libyan Jews, Moroccan Jews, and Yemenite Jews, as well as Druze and non-Druze Palestinians — that the principal components analysis suggested a common ancestry of Samaritan and Jewish patrilineages. Most of the former may be traced back to a common ancestor in what is today identified as the paternally-inherited Israelite high priesthood (Cohanim) with a common ancestor projected to the time of the

Modern times
In the past, the Samaritans are believed to have numbered several hundred thousand, but persecution and assimilation have reduced their numbers drastically. A 1919 illustrated National Geographic report on the community stated that their numbers were fewer than 150. As of November 1, 2007, there were 712[1] Samaritans half of whom reside in their modern homes at Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim, which is sacred to them, and the


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Samaritan and the Samaritan Torah rest in the city of Holon, just outside Tel Aviv.[6][23] There are also four Samaritan families residing in Binyamina, Giv’at Ada, Matan and Ashdod. Until the 1980s, most of the Samaritans resided in the Samarian town of Shechem/Nablus below Mount Gerizim. They relocated to the mountain itself near the Israeli settlement neighborhood of Har Brakha as a result of violence during the First Intifada (1987-1990). Consequently, all that is left of the Samaritan community in Shechem/ Nablus itself is an abandoned synagogue. The Israeli army maintains a presence in the area.[23] Relations of Samaritans with Jewish Israelis, Jewish Palestinians, and Muslim and Christian Palestinians in neighboring areas have been mixed. In 1954, Israeli President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi fostered a Samaritan enclave in Holon, Israel. Those Samaritans living in Israel enjoy Israeli citizenship. Samaritans in the Palestinian Authority-ruled territories are a minority in the midst of a Muslim majority, although the Samaritans are a recognized minority along with Christians and Jews. They had a reserved seat in the Palestinian Legislative Council in the election of 1996, but they no longer have one. Palestinian

During the entire week following the Feast of the Passover, the Samaritans remain encamped on Mount Gezirim. On the last day of the encampment they begin at dawn a pilgrimage to the crest of the sacred mount. Before setting forth on this pilgrimage, however, the men spread their cloths and repeat the creed and the story of the Creation in silence, after which, in loud voice they read the Book of Genesis and the first quarter of the Book of Exodus, ending with the story of the Passover and the flight from Egypt —John D. Whiting, The National Geographic Magazine, Jan 1920

Samaritans have been granted passports by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Samaritan communities tend to be more politically aligned with Israel, regardless of whether they live in Jewish-majority or nonJewish Palestinian-majority areas.[24] As a small community physically divided between neighbors in a hostile region, Samaritans have been hesitant overtly to take sides in the Arab-Israel conflict, fearing that doing so could lead to negative repercussions. While the Samaritan communities in both the West Bank’s Nablus and Israeli Holon have


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
assimilated to the surrounding culture, Hebrew has become the primary domestic language for Samaritans. Samaritans who are Israeli citizens are drafted into the military, along with the Jewish citizens of Israel. One of the biggest problems facing the community today is the issue of continuity. With such a small population, divided into only four families (Cohen, Tsedakah, Danfi and Marhib; a fifth family died out in the last century) and a general refusal to accept converts, there has been a history of genetic disease within the group due to the small gene pool. To counter this, the Samaritan community has recently agreed that men from the community may marry non-Samaritan (primarily, Israeli Jewish) women, provided that the women agree to follow Samaritan religious practices. There is a six month trial period prior to officially joining the Samaritan community to see whether this is a commitment that the woman would like to take. This often poses a problem for the women, who are typically less than eager to adopt the strict interpretation of Biblical (Levitical) laws regarding menstruation, by which they must live in a separate dwelling during their periods and after childbirth. Nevertheless, there have been a few instances of intermarriage. In addition, all marriages within the Samaritan community are first approved by a geneticist at Tel HaShomer Hospital, in order to prevent the spread of genetic disease. The head of the community is the Samaritan High Priest, who is selected by age from the priestly family, and resides on Mount Gerizim. The current High Priest is Elazar ben Tsedaka ben Yitzhaq.

The Samaritan religion is based on some of the same books used as the basis of mainstream Judaism, but differs from the latter. Samaritan scriptures include the Samaritan version of the Torah, the Memar Markah, the Samaritan liturgy, and Samaritan law codes and biblical commentaries. Samaritans appear to have texts of the Torah as old as the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint; scholars have various theories concerning the actual relationships between these three texts.

Samaritans pray before the Holy Rock on Mount Gerizim


Religious beliefs
• There is one God, the same God recognized by the Hebrew prophets. • The Torah was given by God to Moses. • Mount Gerizim, not Jerusalem, is the one true sanctuary chosen by Israel’s God. • Many Samaritans believe that at the end of days, the dead will be resurrected by Taheb, a restorer (possibly a prophet, some say Moses). • They believe in Paradise (heaven). • The priests are the interpreters of the law and the keepers of tradition; scholars are secondary to the priesthood.

Samaritans, from a photo c. 1900 by the Palestine Exploration Fund.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
• The authority of classical Jewish rabbinical works (the Mishnah and the Talmud) is rejected. • They have a significantly different version of the Ten Commandments (for example, their 10th commandment is about the sanctity of Mount Gerizim). The Samaritans retained the Ancient Hebrew script, the high priesthood, animal sacrifices, the eating of lambs at Passover, and the celebration of Aviv in spring as the New Year. Yom Teruah (the biblical name for Rosh Hashanah), at the beginning of Tishrei, is not considered a new year as it is in Judaism. Their main Torah text differs from the Masoretic Text, as well. Some differences are doctrinal: for example, their Torah explicitly states that Mount Gerizim is "the place that God has chosen" for the Temple, as opposed to the Jewish Torah that refers to "the place that God will choose". Other differences are minor and seem more or less accidental.


Entrance to a modern samaritan synagogue in the city of Holon • Samaritan Chronicle, The Chronicle of Joshua (Israel during the time of divine favor) (4th century, in Arabic and Aramaic) • Samaritan Chronicle, Adler (Israel from the time of divine disfavor until the exile) • • Samaritan Halakhic Text, The Hillukh (Code of halakhah, marriage, circumcision, etc.) • Samaritan Halakhic Text, the Kitab atTabbah (Halacha and interpretation of some verses and chapters from the Torah, written by Abu Al Hassan 12th century CE) • Samaritan Halakhic Text, the Kitab alKafi (Book of Halakhah, written by Yosef Al Ascar 14th century CE) • Al-Asatir—legendary Aramaic texts form 11th 12th centuries, containing: • Haggadic Midrash, Abu’l Hasan alSuri • Haggadic Midrash, Memar Markah—3rd or 4th century theological treaties attributed to Hakkam Markha • Haggadic Midrash, Pinkhas on the Taheb • Haggadic Midrash, Molad Maseh (On the birth of Moses) • Defter, prayer book of psalms and hymns.

Relationship to mainstream Judaism
Samaritans refer to themselves as Bene Yisrael ("Children of Israel") which is a term used by all Jewish denominations as a name for the Jewish people as a whole. They however do not refer to themselves as Yehudim (Judeans), the standard Hebrew name for Jews, considering the latter to denote only mainstream Jews. The Talmudic attitude expressed in tractate Kutim is that they are to be treated as Jews in matters where their practice coincides with the mainstream but are treated as non-Jews where their practice differs. Since the 19th century, mainstream Judaism has regarded the Samaritans as a Jewish sect and the term Samaritan Jews has been used for them.[25]

Religious texts
Samaritan law is not the same as halakha (Rabbinical Jewish law). The Samaritans have several groups of religious texts, which equate to Jewish halakhah. A few examples of such texts are: • • Samaritan Pentateuch: only inspired text. (Contains about 6,000 variations from the Masoretic text. Most are minor.) • • Samaritan Chronicle, The Tolidah (Creation to the time of Abishah)

Samaritans in the Christian Gospels
The Christian Gospels mention Samaritans on four occasions: • The Parable of the Good Samaritan. Begins in Luke 10:30.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
• Jesus healed 10 lepers, of whom only one returned to praise God, and he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:11 • Jesus asks a Samaritan woman of Sychar for water from Jacob’s Well. Thereafter many of the Samaritans from her town was converted to Jesus. John 4:7-42. • Later in the Gospel of John, Jesus is accused of being a Samaritan and being demon-possessed. John 8:48 The Gospel of Luke has the parable of the Good Samaritan and the story of the Samaritan Leper, but it also contains a story of a Samaritan village denying hospitality to Jesus and his disciples, because the villagers did not want to facilitate a pilgrimage to Jerusalem—a practice which they saw as a violation of the Law of Moses. Luke 9:51 In Matthew 10:5, when instructing his disciples as to how they should spread the word, Jesus tells them not to visit any Samaritan city, but instead go to the "lost sheep of Israel". The Gospel of Mark contains no mention of Samaritans, either positive or negative.

Samaritan Sect. Harvard Semitic Monographs. 2. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Bowman, John (1975). The Samaritan Problem. Pickwick Press. Coggins, R. J. (1975). Samaritans and Jews: The Origins of Samaritanism Reconsidered. Growing Points in Theology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Pummer, Reinhard (1987). The Samaritans. Leiden: E. J. Brill. ISBN 9004078916. Hjelm, Ingrid (2000). Samaritans and Early Judaism: A Literary Analysis. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 303. Sheffield Academic Press. ISBN 1841270725. Anderson, Robert T.; Giles, Terry (2002). The Keepers: An Introduction to the History and Culture of the Samaritans. Hendrickson Publishing. ISBN 1565635191. Crown, Alan David (2005) [1984]. A Bibliography of the Samaritans: Revised Expanded and Annotated (3rd ed.). Scarecrow Press. ISBN 081085659X. Heinsdorff, Cornel (2003). Christus, Nikodemus und die Samaritanerin bei Juvencus. Mit einem Anhang zur lateinischen Evangelienvorlage (= Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und Geschichte, Bd. 67), Berlin/New York. ISBN 3-11-017851-6 Zertal, Adam (1989). "The Wedge-Shaped Decorated Bowl and the Origin of the Samaritans". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 276. (November 1989), pp. 77–84.

• •





Samaritan media
The Samaritans have a monthly magazine started in 1969 called A.B.-The Samaritan News, which is written in Samaritan, Hebrew, Arabic, and English and deals with current and historical issues with which the Samaritan community is concerned. The Samaritan Update is a bi-monthly enewsletter for Samaritan Studies [2]



• Montgomery, James Alan (2006) [1907]. The Samaritans, the Earliest Jewish Sect. The Bohlen Lectures for 1906. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock. ISBN 1-59752-965-6. • Thomson, J. E. H. (1919). Tha Samaritans: Their Testimony to the Religion of Israel. Edinburgh & London: Oliver and Boyd. • Gaster, Moses (1925). The Samaritans: Their History, Doctrines and Literature. The Schweich Lectures for 1923. Oxford University Press. • Macdonald, John (1964). The Theology of the Samaritans. New Testament Library. London: SCM Press. • Purvis, James D. (1968). The Samaritan Pentateuch and the Origin of the

See also
• Parable of the Good Samaritan • Abu Sa’id al-Afif • Binyamina

[1] ^ "Developed Community", A.B. The Samaritan News Bi-Weekly Magazine, November 1, 2007 [2] David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 5:941 (New York: Doubleday, 1996, c1992). [3] Reconstruction of Patrilineages and Matrilineages of Samaritans and Other Israeli Populations From Y-Chromosome


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

singing_samaritan. "Today there are precisely 705 Samaritans, according to the sect’s own tally. Half live near the West Bank city of Nablus on Mt. Gerizim [...]. The other half live in a compound in the Israeli city of Holon, near Tel Aviv." [7] Angel Sáenz-Badillos ; translated by John Elwolde. (1993). A History of the Hebrew Language. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-55634-1. [8] "The Samaritans’ Passover sacrifice", Ynetnews, May 2, 2007 [9] The Keepers, An Introduction to the History and Culture of the Samaritans, by Robert T. Anderson and Terry Giles, Hendrickson Publishing, 2002, pages 11-12 [10] Samaritans:History [11] [12] NIV English translation of John [13] Jesus and the Samaritan Woman / A Samaritan Woman Approaches:1. [14] What is the Abomination of Desolation? [15] Delos [16] html_articles/Politicalimpact.htm [17] Benjamin Z. Kedar, "The Frankish period", in The Samaritans, ed. Alan D. Cross (Tübingen, 1989), pp. 86-87. [18] Shen, P; Lavi T, Kivisild T, Chou V, Sengun D, Gefel D, Shpirer I, Woolf E, Hillel J, Feldman MW, Oefner PJ (2004). "Reconstruction of Patrilineages and Matrilineages of Samaritans and Other Israeli Populations From Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation" (PDF). Human Mutation 24: 248–260. doi:10.1002/humu.20077. PMID 15300852. publications/Shen2004.pdf. [19] Cruciani, F.; La Fratta, R., Torroni, A., Underhill, P. A., Scozzari, R. (2006). "Molecular Dissection of the Y Chromosome Haplogroup E-M78 (E3b1a): A Posteriori Evaluation of a Microsatellite-Network-Based Approach Through Six New Biallelic Markers". Human Mutation 916 April 2006. ABSTRACT?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0. [20] Reconstruction of Patrilineages and Matrilineages of Samaritans and Other Israeli Populations From Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA Sequence

The Samaritan Mezuzah engraved above the front door and Mitochondrial DNA Sequennce VariationPDF (855 KB), Hum Mutat 24:248–260, 2004. [4] M. Levy-Rubin, "New evidence relating to the process of Islamization in Palestine in the Early Muslim Period The Case of Samaria", in: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 43 (3), p. 257-276, 2000, Springer [5] Fattal, A.(1958) Le statut légal des nonMusulman en pays d’Islam, Beyrouth: Imprimerie Catholique, p. 72-73. [6] ^ Friedman, Matti (2007-03-18). ""Israeli sings for her estranged people"". Associated Press. Yahoo! News. (Sun March 18, 2007, 2:45 PM ET). Archived from the original on 2007-03-26. 20070326164759/ s/ap/20070318/ap_en_mu/


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
VariationPDF (855 KB), Hum Mutat 24:248–260, 2004. [21] Yohanan Aharoni, Michael Avi-Yonah, Anson F. Rainey, Ze’ev Safrai, The Macmillan Bible Atlas, 3rd Edition, Macmillan Publishing: New York, 1993, p. 115. A posthumous publication of the work of Israeli archaeologist Yohanan Aharoni and Michael Avi-Yonah, in collaboration with Anson F. Rainey and Ze’ev Safrai. [22] Reconstruction of Patrilineages and Matrilineages of Samaritans and Other Israeli Populations From Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA Sequence VariationPDF (855 KB), Hum Mutat 24:248–260, 2004. [23] ^ Dana Rosenblatt (October 14, 2002). "Amid conflict, Samaritans keep unique identity". meast/10/08/samaritans/. [24] Samaritans, World Culture Encyclopedia [25] Shulamit Sela, The Head of the Rabbanite, Karaite and Samaritan Jews: On the History of a Title, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 57, No. 2 (1994), pp. 255-267 [26] Samaritan Documents, Relating To Their History, Religion and Life, translated and edited by John Bowman, Pittsburgh Original Texts & Translations Series Number 2, 1977.


External links
• • • • • The Samaritans Samaritan and Jewish divergence theory Torah Comparisons Bibliography The Samaritans the earliest Jewish sect: their history, theology, and literature by James A Montgomery Samaritan Alphabet The Origin and Nature of the Samaritans and their Relationship to Second Temple Jewish Sects 1911 Jewish Encyclopedia, "Samaritans" Samaritans in the 1917 Encyclopædia Britannica Samarian chronology and High Priests The Samaritans Guards of Mount Grizim Reconstruction of Patrilineages and Matrilineages of Samaritans and Other Israeli Populations from Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation, by Peidong Shen, et al., in Human Mutation vol. 24 (2004), pp. 248-260PDF (855 KB) The Socio politics of the Samaritans in the Palestinian Occupied Territories Samaritans, Smallest Minority in Holy Land, Straddle Religious Divide The Samaritans’ Passover sacrifice Amnon K’fir, Ynetnews 05.02.07 (Includes photos) Samaritans in Nablus and the West Bank (photographs) Samaritan Museum on Mount Gerizim

• •

• • • • • •

• • • • •

Retrieved from "" Categories: Samaritans This page was last modified on 20 May 2009, at 20:21 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


To top