Manuscript Collection Auctioned

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Modern Samaritan Manuscript Collection Auctioned in Jerusalem in February 2014

A collection of manuscripts and books belonging to the late Abraham Tsedaka was recently publicly auctioned on behalf of his heir by Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem, and sold intact to antiquities dealers for the sum of $15,000.

Some of the items belonged to him, some were inherited from his wife Rachel, and others borrowed from his father-in-law and never returned. The entire collection was offered for sale recently. The most important items in the collection are maunuscripts copied by Samaritan sages of the 18-19th centuries.


Description of the collection by KEDEM

Large collection of Samaritan booklets, books and manuscripts from the 19th and 20th centuries, with explanations of Samaritan laws and customs.
From the estate of Abraham Nur Tsedaka, whose work included the editing and printing of annotated editions of Samaritan manuscripts during the 1960s and 1970s.

The collection comprises:

Manuscripts by Abraham Nur Tsedaka

1. ‘Manuscript’ of the Five Books of Moses: the Jewish version and the Samaritan version, emphasising the precise differences between the two (according to an ancient Samaritan manuscript from the 11th century), edited by Abraham Nur and Ratzon Tsedaka.

Four volumes: Bereshit, Vayikra, Bamidbar, Devarim.

In this edition, the Jewish version is on the right-hand side and the Samaritan version is on the left, without vowels. The manuscripts were prepared by cutting and pasting the printed words by hand, (sometimes an individual word is cut out and sometimes several words together. The vowels were erased with correction fluid). Apparently, these manuscripts were used for repeat printings in the mid-60s. Both versions were printed in Hebrew.

2-3. Manuscripts by Abraham Nur Tsedaka, the second and third parts of the photocopy edition of Tevat Marqeh. The second part, About the Depths of the Eden Spring, by the Great Scholar, Our Master Marqeh (1990s) is written on large paper sheets in Samaritan. The third part (1995) was written on regular paper leaves. Both parts are written in Samaritan writing, in Hebrew and Arabic (the second part is lacking two leaves).

4. Manuscript by Abraham Nur Tsedaka, sections of the books of Shemot and Devarim, written on large chromo paper sheets. Samaritan writing in square script.

5. Volume of prayers in the handwriting of Abraham Nur Tsedaka, mid 1940s. Samaritan writing.


Samaritan Manuscripts

14 volumes of Samaritan manuscripts, some from the second half of the 19th century and some from the first decades of the 20th century. Among them: a volume of a Samaritan Chumash (large format), written by Abraham ben Marchiv Hassafari (1922) and other volumes of the Chumash.

Many prayer books, including:

  • a volume of prayers from 1856 composed of many varied prayers for Passover.
  • a volume of prayers and songs for the month of Nissan and Passover, with words of praise to G-d by Tabia ben Yitzchak HaCohen.
  • a volume of prayers from the beginning of the 20s with prayers for Chag HaKatzir (the harvest festival).
  • parts of the Ten Commandments and more.
  • an especially handsome volume of prayers from 1863, by Ya’akov ben Aharon ben Shalma ben Tabia HaCohen, with the prayers of Hallel and blessings.
  • Shirat Hayam, prayer and blessing for those who fulfill G-d’s laws.
  • prayer for reinforcing belief in G-d, etc.
  • other volumes with prayers for the Sabbath of Devarim, eve of Mikrata and for the day of Mikrata (Ma’amad Har Sinai), for blessing and rain, health and cure of pain, curse for slanderers and enemies, bringing near days of light, counting the Omer and the Festival of Shavuot, etc. Most in Samaritan writing, some in Arabic. Many volumes have moth damage.
  • large certificate related to redemption for marriage and birth, signed by Binyamim ben Shalach Hassafari (1910s or 1920s).

Books, Booklets and Manuscript Photocopies

Books and booklets published by Abraham Nur and Ratzon Tsedaka (most are lithograph printings of Samaritan manuscripts, in Samaritan writing):

  • The book Bamidbar in three columns (the source is in ancient Hebrew, with Samaritan Aramaic translation and Arabic translation). Written, edited and published by Ratzon Tsedaka HaTzafri. Holon, 1968.
  • The book Bereshit, Samaritan version with Aramaic and Arabic translations.
  • Shirot (liturgical poems), the Eve of Kippur, with commentaries on Samaritan laws and customs, written by a selection of various Samaritan writers, Vol. 2, copy handwritten by Ratzon Benyamim Tsedaka. Israel, 1960.
  • Prayer for the day of Ma’amad Har Sinai (1962).
  • Prayer of Shabbat Devarim – the Ten Commandments.
  • Hundreds of photocopied leaves from manuscripts:
  • Prayers for the Sabbath and Succot,
  • The book Vayikra (Samaritan version),
  • Prayers for the weekdays, prayer for the Eve of Chada (Motzaei Shabbat),
  • Prayer for Sabbath morning, prayer for the Eve and Day of the New Year.
  • Prayer book for the prayers of the Sabbath of Tzamot of Passover (copied and edited by Abraham Nur   Tsedaka). Enclosed:
  • Annotated edition of the Meimar Marqeh (compilation of homiletics and explanations on the Samaritan Torah written in the 4th century by the Samaritan scholar Marqeh ben Amram ben Sarad), Hebrew-English, edited and translated by John Macdonald. Published by Alfred Töpelmann, Berlin, 1963. Two volumes.

The items were bought at the beginning of February 2014

Benyamim Tsedaka


Samaritan HISTORY


Choir and MUSIC



Samaritan RELIGION





Manuscript Collection Auctioned


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