Skip to comments.Leap of faith, Life With The Samaritans
Posted on 10/29/2006 8:10:09 PM PST by ChicagoHebrew
Imagine the following scene: Amid the pristine views from Mount Gerizim, in the heart of the small Samaritan community, as if it were a matter of course, two women who could be straight out of a different story are roaming around - Shura, who came from Ukraine and Lena, who arrived here from the plains of Siberia. Both are married to Samaritans. Shura is the daughter-in-law of the sect's high priest, Elazar Ben Tzadka, and is married to his son, Yair. A beautiful, blond Samaritan princess imported from the city of Kherson, in Ukraine. The two women's stories are told in a film produced by the Israeli channel of the Russian station, RTVI, owned by Vladimir Gusinsky. The film, "The New Samaritans" is a modern version of "The Good Samaritan." Indeed, new and good Samaritans, who until three years ago lived a completely different life.
(Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...
For those interested, the Samaritans are an ancient Jewish heresy (they split from Judaism during the 1st Temple period, with the major dispute being over whether to recognize the Davidic monarchy and the sanctity of Jerusalem) who, in Jesus' time, were despised by Jews (hence, the meaning of the "Good Samaritan" parable -- that even a Samartian could be a good person).
There numbers were dessimated over the centuries after being conquered by the Maccabean King Yochanan Hycarnus, and later on by a disasterous result against the Byzantine Empire. Today there are just 600 Samaritans left . . . which has caused them to result to such desperate measures to keep their community alive.
For a similar punch today, just substitute "illegal alien" or "muslim" for "Samaritan".
Not defending either of those...but our reaction to those terms would be about like a first-century Jew's reaction to "Samaritan."
Even today, Samaritans are officially discriminated against in Jewish law . . . a bizarre and essentially totally irrelevant relic of a millenia-old dispute.
And we thought they had long memories in Kosovo....
More like certain rulings were made 1800 years ago . . . and have never been changed . . . nor has their been any impetus to change them, because the Samaritans are essentially extinct, so no one thinks about them anymore.