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אתי בשלם | ࠀࠕࠉ࠰ࠁࠔࠋࠌ | Itti Bishlam (Come in Peace), a Samaritan Aramaic Poem for the Festival Season by Marqeh ben Amram (ca. 4th c.)
Itti Bishlam is a sixteen-hundred year old Samaritan Aramaic poem attributed to the great Samaritan sage Marqeh son of Amram. In twelve stanzas it tells the story of the night of the tenth plague and the Exodus. Samaritans traditionally recite it on the night before the holidays, the Sabbaths before the holidays, and the evening before the first day of the first month (the Samaritan new year, fourteen days before Passover). Largely a half-alphabetical acrostic, the fifth stanza of Itti Bishlam begins with an īt (ḥeth) rather than the expected īy (her), understandable considering the loss of guttural distinctions in Samaritan phonology. (See the number of Jewish poems which confuse sin and samekh for a parallel occurrence.) Itti Bishlam is, interestingly enough, lacking polemic or sectarian content — it never calls upon the Samaritan holy mountain of Aargaarizem (Mt. Gerizim), nor does it include any context that contradicts the traditional Jewish interpretation of the paschal narrative. It is worthwhile for Jews to learn about and understand the liturgical practices of their sister religion, and this poem is a great place to start! . . .
Reconstruction of a Greek text of the Shabbat Amidah preserved in the Constitutiones Apostolorum (circa 380 CE), by Dr. David Fiensy
This is a reconstruction of a sabbath liturgy for the Tefillah of the Amidah, at least in some variant of its public recitation, in Greek and preserved in an early Christian work, the Constitutiones Apostolorum (Apostolic Constitutions), a Christian work compiled around 380 CE in Syria. Several prayers derived from Jewish sources appear in the Apostolic Constitutions and they can be found grouped together and labeled “Greek” or “Hellenistic Syanagogal Works” in collections of apocrypha and pseudepigrapha. Because explicitly Christian references appeared to be added onto a pre-existing text with familiar Jewish or “Old Testament” themes and references, scholars in the late 19th century were already suggesting that as many as 16 of the prayers in the Apostolic Constitutions books 7 and 8 were derived from Jewish prayers. A more modern appraisal was made by Dr. Fiensy and published in Prayers Alleged to Be Jewish (Scholars Press 1985). Based on a careful analysis of the prayers, he concludes that the only prayers which can be identified as Jewish with certainty are those found in sections 33-38 of book 7. . . .