A new ‘Chotem Torah’ (a boy or a girl who has finished reading the first five book s of the Torah) in Holon.
Hariel Tsedaka, son of Doron and Hila Tsedaka, celebrated May 14th 2014 his completion of the reading the Torah before the Samaritan community.
Samaritan boys and girls, begin to learn the Torah, at age of 5-6 years old (Chotem Torah). Every day, right after they come back, from their regular school, they visit their instructors – a man or woman from the community who instructs them in the proper reading of the five books of Moses (the Torah).
Their studies begin, by first learning the 22 letters of the ancient Hebrew Aleph- Bet. Then all the combinations between the letters, then the punctuations of the letters, as it was first invented by the Samaritan Scholar Tabya son of Darta who lived in the 11th C.E , and finally, they learn to read whole sentences and verses.
In Each day, they learn between 4-5 verses, According with the progress till the next lesson.
At the end of the reading of the whole five books of the Torah, they must memorize the twelve verses, from the end of Deuteronomy, concerning the Birkat (blessings) that Moshe gave to the tribes of Israel, and then read it in front of the community.
Unlike the Jews, there is no term called ‘Bar Mitza,’ for the Samaritans and the end of reading the Torah is not related to the age of the child. Usually child finishes the Torah after two years, at the age of 7-8 years old.
Boys, usually continue to learn poems and prayers from the ‘Daftar’ – (The Siddur), while girls keep reading only the portion of the week.