Saturday, December 19, 2009

Benyamim Tsedaka Explains the Samaritan Saturday Night Service

Benny writes to me as follows:

In regard to your question. It is not the Song of the Sea that sang in every Saturday evening. The Israelite Samaritan believe that the crossing of the Reed Sea started on Saturday night. Therefore we are starting the second part of Saturday evening prayer with the citation from Ex. 14:10, 13 by the next words:

וישאו בני ישראל את עיניהם ויראו והנה מצרים נסעים אחריהם וייראו מאד.
ויאמר משה אל העם אל תיראו, התיצבו וראו את ישועת ה'.
ה' ילחם לכם ואתם תחרישון:

14:10b: "And the son of Israel raised their eyes and they saw, and behold the Egyptians were driving after them, and they became very frightened."
14:13a: "And Moses said to the people, do not fear, stand by and see the salvation of Shehmaa."
14:13b: "Shehmaa will fight for you while you keep silent."

Note: all citations are from the Samaritan Pentateuch.

Thank you so much Benny for clarifying that. As noted in a previous post, we clearly have the ritual context for Secret Mark's description of Jesus baptize the neaniskos on the seventh night, which in turn served as the paradigm for the Alexandrian practice of baptizing their catechumen on the seventh night of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (see previous posts).

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