The Priest waves the Scroll of the Torah in front of the crowd during the pilgrimage to the Holy Mount.
The Samaritans 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.
Our real name is, ‘Bene- Yisrael Ha -Shamerem’ (שמרים- -שמרים ) – a Hebrew word, meaning ‘The Keepers’, or to be precise, The children of Israel – The Keepers, as we observes the ancient Israelite tradition , since the time of the prophet Moses and the once children of Israel. The use of the modern terms, ‘Samaritans’ and ‘Jews’ ,in use were given by the Assyrians, indicating the settlement of the Samaritans in the area of Samaria and the Jews in the area of Judah.
As Children of Israel, we have five Principles of Faith:
- One and only one God – The Lord of the Children of Israel
- One and only one Prophet – Moses son of Amram.
- One Torah – The Pentateuch – only the first five books of the Torah, written by Moses and observed by the priests of Israel till this days.
- One Holy Place –Mt. Gerizim – The Mount of the blessing, mentioned in the Torah.
- The Vengeance Day –The belief on “The End Of Days” and the ‘Taheb’- the Savior –A prophet like Moses, but from the lineage of Joseph, who will show up at the end of the days.
The uniqueness of being a member of the Samaritans Community is by :
- Keeping the Commandments of the Torah according to the Samaritan Tradition, with emphasis on:
- Living in Israel (The ancient borders of the Holy Land)
As followers of the Torah, The Samaritans celebrates only the Seventh Festivals mentioned in the Torah :
- The Feast of the Unleavened Bread
- Shavuot (Pentacost)
- The Feast of the Seventh Month
- The Day of Atonement
- The Feast of Tabernacles
- The Festival of Shemini Atzeret (the Eighth day of Holy Convocation).
Because of the facts our childrens, learn in regular educational institutions, They still dress up in costumes on Purim, and eat doughnuts on Chanukah, but without any religious lineaments.
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 children 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.
Nowadays , the Samaritan Community live in Israel, numbers about 780 souls, divided between two main centers, one in Mt.Gerizim (near Nablus) and in Holon, near Tel-aviv.
The Samaritans in Holon, living in their own neighborhood in Holon,which was established in 1952, and settled by mostly Samaritans, with few Jewish families. Some new couples find 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 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 their living, as self employed, within the Palestinian Authority, while others work for various entities, around Nablus.
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