|Samarian high priest Yitzhak ben Amram |
ben Shalma ben Tabia (circa 1900). View
other pictures of priests here and here
|Samaritan family (1899)|
|Samaritan synagogue in Shechem|
(1899). Also view here
Already in Talmudic days, Jewish authorities rejected the Samaritans' claims to be part of the Jewish people. The Cutim, according to rabbinic authorities, arrived in the Land of Israel around 720 BCE with the Assyrians from Cuth, believed to be located in today's Iraq.
Over the millennia, the Samaritans almost disappeared. Persecuted, massacred and forcibly converted by Byzantine Christians and by Islamic authorities, the Samaritans' community today numbers fewer than 1,000 who are located on Mount Gerizim near Nablus (Shechem) and in Holon, Israel.
|Baking matza on Mt. Gerizim (circa 1900)|
This year, the Samaritans will celebrate their Passover on April 20, 2016.
|Preparing a lamb (1900)|
|"The prepared carcasses|
ready for the oven" (1900)
|Praying on Mt. Gerizim (1900)|
According to Samaritan
officials, on January 1, 2015, the Samaritans number 777 souls.
In May 2013, the Israelite-Samarians numbered 760 individuals, 400 in Holon, Israel and 360 in Kiryat Luza, Mount Gerizim, Samaria.
In 1919, there were only 141 individuals. ( Source: Benyamim Tsedaka, A.B. - Institute of Samaritan Studies, Holon, Israel)