The Samaritans  ( in Hebrew – שומרונים in Arabic – السامريون ) are the remnant of the ancient northern Kingdom of Israel, descendants of the tribes Joseph, Menashe, and Levi, who have remained in Samaria (‘Shomron’) and survived the Assyrian exile in the years 721-722 BCE.

The Late High Priest Yaccov b.Aharon (1874-1916)
The Late High Priest Yaccov b.Aharon (1874-1916)

 The Samaritans still keep on the original Pentateuch, written in ancient Hebrew script; adhere to the sacred place – Mount Gerizim  (הרגריזים in one word) and still observe the ancient tradition of the  people of Israel.

  Our real name is, ‘Bene- Yisrael Ha -Shamerem’ (שמרים- -שמרים ) – in Hebrew , which means ‘The Keepers‘, or to be precise, the Israelite – Keepers, as we observe the ancient Israelite tradition, since the time of our prophet Moses and the people of  Israel. The modern terms, ‘Samaritans’ and ‘Jews’,  given by the Assyrians, indicate the settlement of the Samaritans in the area of Samaria, and the Jews in the area of Judah.

Five Principles of faith.

      As descendants of the real Israelites , we have five Principles of faith:

    1. One and only one God – The Lord of the  people of Israel
    2. One and only one Prophet – Moses son of Amram.
    3. One Holy  Torah – The Holy  Pentateuch . Only the first five books of the Torah, written by Moses and observed by the priests of the people of Israel, till these days.
    4. One Holy Place –Mt. Gerizim – The Mountain of  blessing, mentioned in the Torah. In our prayer service  we keep saying “Mount Gerizim all the days of our life.
    5. The Vengeance Day –The belief in “The End Of  Days” and the ‘Taheb’- the Saviour, a prophet like Moses, from the lineage of Joseph, who will show up at the end of the days.

The uniqueness of being a member of the Samaritan Community is by :

    1. Keeping the  Commandments of the Torah, according to the Samaritan tradition, with emphasis on:
        1. Observance of Circumcision, on the eight-day of the newborn male.
        2. Observance of the Sabbath, according to the Torah.
        3. Observance the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).
        4. Observance of the Purity and Impurity Laws of the Torah.
        5. Participation in the Passover Sacrifice.
    2. Living in Israel (The ancient borders of the Holy Land)

Seven Holidays.

 As followers of the Torah, The Samaritans celebrate only the Seventh festivals mentioned in the Torah :

Because of the fact that our children, learn in  a regular educational institutions, they still dress up in costumes on Purim, and eat doughnuts on Chanukah, but without any religious lineaments. 

Two Main Centers of Samaritans.

 Nowadays , the Samaritan Community  that lives in Israel, numbers about 860 souls, divided between two main centers, one in Mt.Gerizim (near Nablus) and the second  in Holon, near Tel-aviv.

The Samaritan Beit Kneset In Holon

 The Samaritans in Holon, living in their own neighborhood which   was established in 1952, and occupied  by mostly Samaritans, with few Jewish families. Some new couples  have found their place, in the attached neighborhood, within walking distance from the Samaritan one.
Most of the Samaritans in Holon, earn their living, from Israeli companies. There is no specific  Samaritan occupation. Among the Samaritans are found : Bankers, Marketing agents , Software programmers, Accountants, Managers etc’.

 The Samaritans on Mount Gerizim, living in Luza ,which was established in 1987. Till that point, they used to live in the Samaritan neighborhood in Nablus. This happened after several occurrences during the First Intifada.
Some of the Samaritans on Mt. Gerizim, earn living, by being self employed, within the Palestinian Authority, while others work for various entities around Nablus. 

What Else?

We preserve the ancient Hebrew of the Torah, as it was also used by the Jews till the 1st C.E., and the original version of the Torah as it was given by Moses to the people of Israel.

At the Head of the community, stands the High Priest, who is the oldest priest among the Priestly family. He is the only arbiter in religious matters and the leader of our religious ceremonies.

 We also have our unique ancient music,  our unique cuisine, our unique liturgy, unique literature, unique art, and our unique clothing during Sabbath and Holidays . Go ahead, and browse the site for more information.

A Samaritan Manuscript of the Torah‬‏
A Samaritan Manuscript of the Torah
A Samaritan Priest with the Scroll of the torah
A Samaritan Priest with the Scroll of the Torah


See also :



  1. Shalom. I’ve been thinking about converting to become a Samaritan, and I’ve been trying to get a copy of the defter prayer book, but I haven’t found any site selling it. Do you have any advice, and do you know where I could get a copy of the defter?

  2. Shalom,throughout my Jewish life, I found it difficult to believe in the Rabbinical order and their Judaism, and Christianity and Islam were not more convincing, and when I lived in Israel from 2006 to 2008, I discovered your existence, I studied and one day I came to see you in Holon, I spoke with the Cohen and members of the community, and it opened my eyes.Since my return to France, I have accepted the 5 principles of faith, and I believe in Mont Gerizim as the place chosen by God, on people I specify that I am not a Jew but a Samaritan Israelite. I know I’m not totally one of you, I wrote my own liturgy, I follow the Jewish calendar for holidays, but my faith and my attachment is to Mount Gerizim and to the Samaritans, may God protect you and may Taheb arrive soon to open the eyes of the Jews.

  3. This is an excellent and really interesting resource for anyone looking to learn more about the fascinating Samaritan faith/people. Thank you so much.
    Just wondering if your community is growing in numbers?

    • Bene, puoi vedere che il patriarca YAHUSEPH (yoseph) è il primogenito Bakor di Yaakov, In lui è il servizio avoda di essere il leader Shalit / Mashal / Melek tra i suoi fratelli. (una tale figura messianica) Davidic è fuori contesto, fuori dalla Torah, gli Shamerim attendono la figura del Taheb (restauratore)

      Puoi anche vedere la figura di Yahushua ben Nun (tribù Efraym) primo melek (re) in Israele.

  4. Shalom and Todah Osher. I have a question how do the Shomronim look when the community grows in number? Possible several decades later. Maybe get an independent state in Israel “a small autonomous state over Nablus” I know that politics and relations between Israelis and Palestinians are difficult. you remain neutral and in good coexistence.
     But it is also difficult to depend on external actors who are not willing to live together in peace “a true peace”.

  5. This website is an important resource to people the world over- whether they themself are a Samaritan, identify with Samaritans, or are simply interested in learning about the unique and fascinating Samaritan community.

    Thank you very much for your stella efforts, Osher.

    Scott Terence Morgan.
    Derby, UK.

  6. Do Samaritans have any stories about noah and abraham living at the same time? Because if you create the gantt chart of the samaritan text from adam to joseph you clearly see that noah is dead before abraham is alive. Thank you very much hope someone can answer that for me .:)

    • Hi Koch,

      No. There are stories about Adam and Noah. The story tells that Adam was the one who has named him Noah. But there are no stories about Abraham and Noah.

  7. I’ve been looking for reliable information about the Samaritans for a long time, then I found this site. Thank you so much. Greetings from Poland.

    • Do Samaritans have any stories about noah and abraham living at the same time? Because if you create the gantt chart of the samaritan text from adam to joseph you clearly see that noah is dead before abraham is alive. Thank you very much hope someone can answer that for me .:)

  8. Hello,
    im a student from a Jewish school in Spain and I would like to know more about the ideology of Baba Rabba, could you explain me about the ideology of Baba Rabba?

    • Hi Mr. Griggs,
      Baba Rabba was a Samaritan leader, who lived in the fourth century and lead the fight against the rulers in that days. He also established the high religious committee and split the country into regions, which each one, had its own Priest, who was the arbiter in religious issues.

      For more info you can write to me directly and I’ll refer you for further sources.


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