2018-12-07 / Travel

Holy Land

Part 3: Samaritans, Hasidic, Orthodox
By Warner M. Montgomery, Ph.D.


Orthodox Jews believe Jewish males must wear sidelocks, long black coats, and black hats. Wearing sidelocks is a Torah prohibition of removing hair from certain areas of the head. Leviticus 19: 27 states, “Do not round off [the hair] at the edges of your heads.” Orthodox Jews believe these traditions are expressions of God’s will. Orthodox Jews believe Jewish males must wear sidelocks, long black coats, and black hats. Wearing sidelocks is a Torah prohibition of removing hair from certain areas of the head. Leviticus 19: 27 states, “Do not round off [the hair] at the edges of your heads.” Orthodox Jews believe these traditions are expressions of God’s will. I have always been attracted to the Holy Land, modern Israel and Jordan. Three times I have found myself wandering through the historic sites searching for the meaning of life.

In 1970, after doing research in Thailand for my dissertation, I stopped off in Jerusalem for three days. In 1983, after completing two years as principal of an American school in Cameroon, I spent two weeks in Israel with my two sons, Chai and Jyoti. And, in 2006, Linda and I took a trip through the wonders of Jordan.

So,my dear readers, I share the following adventures with you.

Hasidic Judaism is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality through Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspect of the faith. It was founded in 18th-century Eastern Europe as a reaction against overly legalistic Judaism. Hasidic teachings cherish the holiness of the unlettered common folk and their equality with the scholarly elite. Their emphasis on the Divine presence in everything gave new value to prayer, deeds of kindness, supremacy of study, encouragement, and daily fervor.Hasidic Judaism is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality through Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspect of the faith. It was founded in 18th-century Eastern Europe as a reaction against overly legalistic Judaism. Hasidic teachings cherish the holiness of the unlettered common folk and their equality with the scholarly elite. Their emphasis on the Divine presence in everything gave new value to prayer, deeds of kindness, supremacy of study, encouragement, and daily fervor.
Next Week: David, Caesarea, Omarl


The Samaritans, an ethno-religious group descended from ancient Semitic tribes, are adherents of an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism. Samaritans believe theirs is the true religion of the ancient Israelites from before the Babylonian Exile. They see Judaism as a related but altered religion brought back by those returning from the Babylonian exile. The major issue between Jews and Samaritans is the location of the chosen place to worship God: Jerusalem according to the Jewish faith versus Mount Gerizim according to the Samaritan faith.The Samaritans, an ethno-religious group descended from ancient Semitic tribes, are adherents of an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism. Samaritans believe theirs is the true religion of the ancient Israelites from before the Babylonian Exile. They see Judaism as a related but altered religion brought back by those returning from the Babylonian exile. The major issue between Jews and Samaritans is the location of the chosen place to worship God: Jerusalem according to the Jewish faith versus Mount Gerizim according to the Samaritan faith.

Return to top