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

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

721-722 BCE. 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 Holy days . 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

 

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