Are questions about Samaritanism, especially questions about Samaritan teachings or practices that differ from Rabbinic Judaism, on-topic?

I was thinking about asking a question about why the Samaritans have not built (or rebuilt, as the case may be) a Temple on Mt. Gerizim (as their Samaritan Pentateuch teaches them to do), but I am not sure if it would be acceptable. I would love to learn whether their delay is more practical in nature (e.g. lack of funds, lack of architectural skills, refusal of building permits, fear of sectarian violence, or simple apathy) or whether they are delaying the construction for doctrinal reasons (e.g. waiting for Messiah, waiting for a certain sign in the heavens, etc.).

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  • Samaritans aren't Jews. Judaism is the religion practiced by Jews. Thus I think questions about Samaritanism are off-topic.
    – ezra
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 19:58
  • @ezra on what basis are you claiming that Samaritans are not Jews? Did your rabbi tell you this? Is it in the Talmud? Was this determined for the purposes of Mi Yodeya during its Area 51 phase? Could you post an answer to this question indicating your basis of understanding? Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 20:01
  • @RobertColumbia - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaritans#Jewish_sources
    – ezra
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 20:03
  • @ezra that site claims that Samaritans claim descent from the tribes of Joseph and Benjamin. How can someone be a member of one of those tribes and not be Jewish? Do you have evidence that their maternal lines are non-Jewish and that proper conversions were not done? I could claim that Australian Aborigines are descendants of a Lost Scottish Clan and not Austronesian at all. That wouldn't make it true. Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


I think that questions about Samaritans, based on Judaism, would be on topic - for example, the question of whether they built a temple on har Grizim is answerable from many places in Shas, such as the sugya in A"Z about cusim, and their claim about being descended from Yosef and Binyamin could be answered by quoting Rebbi Meir that גירי עריות הם. However, answering based on Samaritanism would not be on topic, as that is not Judaism.

  • I disagree strongly with this. The site is for questions about Judaism, not for questions about Jews. "Are Lithuanian Jews descendant of Binyamin?" is off-topic.
    – msh210 Mod
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 12:28
  • @msh210, Uber - Any question can be phrased to be about Judaism (e.g. "Does Jewish Literature discuss X"). This question is whether or not questions about their teachings and customs are on topic, not whether or not we are able to refute them from Jewish tradition. BTW, Uber, what are גירי עריות? ;) Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 13:50

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