Glossary and figures


Amram Dare ( Amram son of Sarad)
Samaritan poet and philosopher. Forth Ce

Amram son of Sarad is the first Known Samaritan Poet, and considered to be one of the two gratest and establishers of the Aramic Samaritan poetry in the ancient form which is still used by the Samaritan in their prayers. the second is Markeh the son of amram.
The history chronicles tells us that Amram who lived in the Third and Forth Ce,
was one of the seven sages who were appointed by the great Samaritan leader Baba Rabba, for the High council , which her goal was to teach the Samaritan people the Torah in the ancient Hebrew , and to be the high court for religion matters .the origin of his nick – Dare is on the Aramic word ,means the elder, or the greatest in his generation. (“Dare” = generation) . As been the first known and one of the greatest poets and Samaritan philosopher , much of the Samaritan prayer , based on his compositions, which are still used by the Samaritans nowadays. His greatest composition are twenty four verses , each one of it, for different prayer. Those verses called “Duraan verses” taken from his name. but in spite those verses and other poems written by Amram, his best and well known composition is “Niftah Fiyannu” , a greatpoem , said in the prayer of ” Yom Kippor ” ( the day of atonement) built from 42 rhymes verses , and written in pure Hebrew unlike his other poems which written in pure Aramic.

Some verses from his poems:

“And you (God) are not from anything
And you are not like anything
And you are the creator of anything
Not like the image of anything”

“We ( the humans) will know you
From the creation of ourselves
We will see your wisdom on ourselves
And we shall worship your greatness “

Aaron Ben Manir

A Samaritan poet, apparently from the beginning of the fourteenth century. Although e —> Talida mentions a Zariz ben Manir, one of the priests appointed by Baba Rabba, the hybrid Samaritan used by the poet precludes an identification with this priest. He is more likely to have been “the sage ben Manir” mentioned in the New Chronicle of—> Ab Sakwa as co-author of Bekhut Gedolot, i.e. Lamentations, together with “the sage Sa’adallah Hakketari (Sa’d ad- Din al-Katari)”, another well-known Samaritan poet.

Aaron the Doctor

The Chronicle of Abo IlFath places this Samaritan healer in the time of Artaxerxes I Lon-gimanus, (465-424 BCE) and Hippoc-rates (who was born 460 BCE). According to the tradition, when Hippocrates refused to help the Persians during a plague, Aaron, who was living in Persia, advised the King to move his people to a mountainous region, to have fires lighted and to have sprigs of Rosemary incense. Costum and Storax resin upon the fires. As a result the plague ceased. The supplementary material to the chronicle (Biblioth~que Nationale MS samaritaine 10, p. 259) speaks of a certain Eleazar and his son-in-law ‘Abdel who cured the Satrap of Egypt. Van Vioten’s Specimen Philologicum 9-11, describes three famous Samartan doctors named Sadaqa, Muhaddhib ad-DinYusufand ‘Amin ad-Daula. The latter was a convert to Islam.

Abd Allah b. Salama

A highly prolific fourteenth century Samaritan poet. A contemporary of Abisha ‘Ba’al Hamimar’ [bal amimaram], who, after the famed poet’s demise, took it upon himself to raise his son. In a hymn he composed as spoken by this Pinhas, he refers to himself as a’an kukaba adlammidni wesuzebi i.e., “this star which has taught and saved me”. In the acrostic of some of his hymns he calls himself Abd Yhwh or Abd El(la). His hymns are written in hybrid Samaritan.

Ab Gilluga (Abu Hamad) b.Tabyab.Qala

Probably a tenth-eleventh century liturgical writer from whom only a single, long Aramaic piyyut ‘0 God of mercy who doeth good to everyone’ [SL, 75-77; LOT IIIl/b, 288-298] and a prayer 1 pray before you’ [SL 77-78] are extant. His name is probably derived from the Aramaic root gig which is equivalent to sbh and to ttmd in Arabic, both having the meaning of praise. This poet should not be confused with the twelfth century personality, Ab Giluga, awealthy man mentioned in Samaritan chronicle.

Ab Hisda (Abu I-Hasan) b. Jacob b. Aaron b. Salam

Levitical Priest (1879-1959).A well known authority on the Samaritan linguistic heritage, a cantor,a teacher of Samaritan Hebrew and literature, a prolific scribe and translator from Arabic into Hebrew and an author of liturgical hymns. Among other books he translated —> Kitab al Kaffi, -> Kitab al-Mirat Siyar al-Qalb and -> Kitab at-Ta’rih.

Ab Uisda [lsda] of Tyre (Abu I Hasan as-Suri)

A famous Samaritan scholar known mainly for his halakhic composition -> Kitab at- Tabbah. This book is considered to be authoritative in Samaritan halakhic and theological matters.
Abu I-Hasan was among the first Samaritan writers in these fields to compose in Arabic. Our knowledge of his personal life is scant. According to the —> Kitab al-lrbat, it is evident that Abu I-Hasan is the father of —> Abu Ishaq lbrahim known also by the nicknames – al-Mu~annif and Samsal-lfukama’. Accordingly, the full name of Abu I-Hasan would be — Abu I-Hasan Ishaq b. Farag (Marhib) b.Marut a?-Sun, who probably lived in Damascus at the end of the eleventh and the beginning of the twelfth centuries. The epithets Abu I-Hasan and Ab Hisda were assigned to him as tokens of respect and honour. It is still uncertain whether Abu I-Uasan was a Priest or not – and the uncertainty holds true with regard to the actual significance of his nisba: af-lfun.
The sixty eight chapters of Kitab at-Tabbah deal with a variety of subjects – theology, halakha, polemics against Jews, Christians, Muslims and Karaites), exegesis, Torah and Aggadah. Kitab at-Tabbah is preserved in many manuscripts, the oldest of which was written between 1692 and 1711 (JRUL Sam. Codex 9A). Other extant treatises are: Kitab al -ma’Sd – ‘Book of the Hereafter’, -> Kitab ft SurQh al-‘aSr kalimat a Commentary on the Decalogue.Other works by Abu I-Hasan are unfortunately known to us only by name or by brief description of contents such as at-tawba, al-iSara, maratib musa. The tradition attributing the authorship of the Old Arabic version of the Samaritan Pentateuch to Abu I-Hasan still lacks adequate scholarly foundation. Though Abu I-Hasan wrote piyyufim in Hebrew and Aramaic he was not a major liturgist. Only three prayers are known (SL 70-72, 79-81 ,875- 877).

Ab Sakwa (Murgan) b. As’ad [Sikkuwwa] (d. 1911 )

AS-Saih Murgan wrote liturgical poems, a chronicle, linguistic treatises and compiled an Aramaic Arabic dictionary. The chronicle written in modern Samaritan Hebrew, copied in 1900 in square letters, known as The New Chronicle or Chronicle Adler was translated into French and published as Une nouvelle chronique samaritaine (Paris, 1903). A tractate on grammar consisting mainly of tables of conjugations in Samaritan script with Tiberian vocalisation, Malhaq bi-muhtasar at taw-tiya, ‘A supplement to the abridged prolegomenon’ of—» Eleazar b. Pinlias b. Joseph is his second linguistic work. Mur~an was Katib al-min (governmental secretary) and an active scribe who dedicated some of the manuscripts that he copied to his brother ‘Abd ar-Ratlim. Towards the end of his life he translated the —> Book of Joshua from Arabic into Hebrew. A commentary called Sarli. barakat sibt Lawi is ascribed to him.

Abi Barakata b. Ab Naftisha [NibbuSa]

Abi Barakata b. Ab Nafusha b. Abraham Sareptah whose working life covered at least the years 1197-1225, was an important scribe of the Coastal genre of writing. Abi Barakata, also known as Abu I-Barakat b. Abu I-Sarur b. Abu I-Farag and as Abi Barakata b. Ab Sasson wrote at least forty Pentateuch manuscripts. It is uncertain whether he is to be identified with -> Abu I-Barakat b. Sa’id who was one of the “fathers” of the Arabic translation of the Samaritan Arabic version and who wrote the Kitab al-irbat.

Abisha [abisa]

Other than the Biblical Abisha (Abisha Scroll) one High priest of this name is known, Abisha b.Pinhas b.Abisha b. Pinhas b. Joseph b. Ozzi b.Pinhas b. Eleazar who lived in Nablus, 1431-1509 (in office 1474-1509).His grandfather was -> Abisha, “Ba’al Hamimar”. The name reappears among the Samaritans of the Levitical family in the twentieth century.

Abisha [“Ba’al Hamimmarim”]

A highly prolific and popular Samaritan poet of the fourteenth century. He is called, “Ba’al Hammimarim” i.e. the scribe, and many of his hymns are included in the liturgy. He is son of f the High Priest Pinhas and brother of Eleazar. All his hymns, which are characterized by their rich, figurative language, were written in hybrid ‘Samaritan’.

Ablutions [‘Tahhara’]

Ablutions are to be performed before prayers, by women after the monthly period and after childbirth, by men after sexual intercourse and noctur- nal emission, and by everyone who came into contact with a corpse. Before prayer, at home, hands, mouth, nose, face, ears, right and left leg are to be washed while verses from the Bible are recited (Lev 15:31, Deut 28:8, Gen 2:7, Exod 15:26, and 40:31-32). Although in former times the biblical injunctions were observed more closely, the Samaritans still carry out ablutions on the above occasions. The Red Heifer has not been burnt for
three or four centuries..

Abraham Qabbasa/aqqabbasi [lbrahim al-Qabbasi]

Engaged in various scribal activities between 1532 and 1584. He wrote several treatises including the commentary Sayr al-Qalb (1532) a listing of the 613 precepts (—> Mitswot) influenced by Spanish Jewish refugees who had settled in Damascus in the early sixteenth century. He also re- stored manuscripts and was a witness to the sale of several Pentateuchal manuscripts. When the High Priest, Pinhas, and his son, Eleazar were able to return to Nablus from their fifteen year exile in —>• Damascus (c. 1523-1538), Abraham aqqabbasi moved with them.

Abraham b. Marhib b. Sadaqa assafari (1852-1928)

A gifted poet whose writings were collected by Ratson Tsedaqa and distributed among the Samaritans. Abraham, who had eight children, left Nablus at the beginning of the century and lived in Jaffa. There he opened a textile shop and, for some time, he earned his livelihood by writing amulets for the Arabs of Jaffa and Nablus. The Nablus youth used to call him ‘The Kohen from Jaffa’, though he was no priest. He translated into Hebrew some Samaritan books, suchas —>• Kitab al-Kafi and —> Kitab at-Ta’rih.

Abu Ishaq lbrahim al-Musannif (=the author) c. 1150-1200

The physician to Salah ad-Din and the son of Abu I-Hasan of Tyre. He was known as Sams al-hukama, the ‘sun of wisdom’. The author of the Kitab al-Mirat and the grammatical work, Kitab at-Tautiyya.

Abu I-Hasan as-Suri —’ Ab Hisda ]lsda] of Tyre Abu Sa’id b. Abi I-Husayn b. Abi Sa’id

Little is known about this famous scholar, who lived in Egypt in the second half of the thirteenth century. His reputation is based on his revision of an Arabic translation of the Pentateuch, which was extant in various versions, all of which were influenced to some extent by the —i- Tafsir of Sa’adya. Abu Sa’id’s surname, as well as his father’s name and family name, are not known to us. No mention of him is made in the seven Samaritan chronicles. The exact dates of Abu Sa’id’s birth and death are unknown and have been a subject of controversy among scholars for some considerable time especially since the earliest extant manuscript of any of his work was copied in Nablus in 1326 CE and other manuscripts date from 1432, 1868 and 1908. We are now able to fix his approximate lifetime on the basis of a fatwa relating to the fast for the day of Atonement, issued by him on 15/7/1261. The fatwa enables us to see that he had already written some exegetical works on the Pentateuch including a preface to his revision of the Arabic translation of the Pentateuch and was acknowledged as a halakhic expert. From his Arabic honorific titles such as: sayh, sayh al-masayih, assadld, ar-rablS, etc., from linguistic evidence and the issuing of the said fatwa, it is clear that Abu Sa’id lived in Egypt. Unfortunately, we have no clear Samaritan equivalent of his name but there is no need to countenance the hypothesis which identifies him as Abu I-Barakat b. Sa’id al-Busri or which even allows of a family tie between the two.
In addition to the three works of Abu Sa’id mentioned above the following compositions of his authorship are known or attributed. Sixty three Aawosm-marginal notes on his Arabic version, a commentary on the pericope Lev 23:27-8 and sarh sawar as-sala – ‘Commentary on the forms of the prayer’; these last two works and a Commentary on the ten commandments mentioned by the thirteenth century scholar Abu I-Hasan b.Ghanayim b. abi al-Farag b. Kattar, are not known to us from other sources. A short commentary on Gen 46:1 is found in Leiden and in Manchester.
Eight additional works are attributed to Abu Sa’id both by Samaritan and Western scholars but without adequate evidence. In the light of Abu Sa’id’s writings, it can be established that he was acquainted with the Jewish Pentateuch, with Jewish and Karaite exegesis and with Arabic grammar. While expressing his hostility to Sa’adya he made use of the Tafsir. One important point which emerges from ‘The book of rules’, whose main aim was to teach the correct reading in the Torah, is the existence of differences between Abu Sa’id’s readings and some modern Samaritan readings, i.e. the non-distinction between He and ale.
Finally, Abu Sa’id, like other medieval scholars based his halakhic studies on the three principles: annass, al-‘aql and an-naql or at-taqlid the text, reason and tradition.

Abu I-Barakat (Abi Barakata) b. Sa’id al-Busri as-Suryani

Abu I-Barakat is famous though mentioned only once in Samaritan works.
His name appears in the one page preface attached to a manuscript of an Arabic version of the Samaritan Pentateuch (BN MS Arabe 5) copied before the year 1514. This preface was plagiarised from BN MS Arabe 6 (1432). Abu I-Barakat, who probably lived in Syria at the end of the thirteenth or the beginning of the fourteenth centuries, was a plagiarist of r Abu Sa’id’s version of the Samaritan Arabic Torah.

Abu I-Fath, Chronicle of The Kitdb at-Ta’rih of—- Abu I-Fath, may be accounted the major work of Samaritan historiography.

Abu I-Fath ibn Abi I-Hasan A fourteenth century chronicler and member of the Danfi family, possibly of the clan of Joseph. He was the author of the —” Kitab at-Ta’rih, – the most authoritative of the Samaritan histories still extant. Although there is some ambiguity in his account of the circumstances surrounding its compilation it appears that he under took it because he had been asked by a scholar about the chronicles of the Samaritans and had been unable to provide a satisfactory answer. Subsequently, in the year 753 AH (1352) he met the High Priest, Pinhas, and complained to him ‘that their chronicles were in a state of disarray’. Pinhas charged him with the task of compiling ‘a chronicle of all the records of events… from the beginning of the world… up to recent times.’ He began to work during Ramadan, 756 AH (1356). Abu I-Fath lists the manuscript sources upon which he based his work, outlined some of the principles of textual criticism underlying the compilation and produced a history whose reliability as a source for Biblical scholars and historians is now recognised.

Abu I-Farag Munagga b. Sadaqa b. Gharub

The father of Sadaqa al-Hakim, known mainly by his halakhic and polemical work > Masa’il al-Hilaf, ‘Matters of dispute’, or Kitab al -Buhat wa-Masa’il al-Hilaf, — ‘The
book of studies’ (between Samaritans and Jews), written in the middle of the twelfth century in Damascus. In the course of his systematic halakhic discussions the author mentions the differences with the Jews and endeavours to prove that his sect holds the true halakha. Both Jewish and Karaite halakha were known to Abu I-Farag. It seems that he was acquainted with earlier Samaritan halakhic works such as —> Kitab al Kafi and —> Kitab at-Tabbah. Only a few fragments of this work have been published. A pure polemical work Kitab ar-Radd °ala l-Yahud, ‘The book of the refutation of the Jews’, or Tartlb al-A’yad wa-Radd…, ‘The order of the Feasts and the refutation … ‘, is ascribed to Abu I-Farag.

Abu I-Hasan b. Ghazal b. Abi Sa’id

A Samaritan who rose to be physician and vizier, like his uncle —>> Muhaddib ad Din, for several Ayyubid rulers. He

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