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Samaritans - 2

Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim , Israel , May 2012

The Samaritans (Hebrew: שומרונים‎ Shomronim, Arabic: السامريون‎ as-Sāmariyyūn) are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Religiously the Samaritans are adherents of Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism. Based on the Samaritan Torah, Samaritans claim their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites prior to the Babylonian Exile, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel, as opposed to Judaism, which they assert is a related but altered and amended religion brought back by those returning from exile.

Ancestrally, Samaritans claim descent from a group of Israelite inhabitants from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (the two sons of Joseph) as well as some descendants from the priestly tribe of Levi, who have connections to ancient Samaria from the period of their entry into the land of Canaan, while some suggest that it was from the beginning of the Babylonian Exile up to the Samaritan Kingdom of Baba Rabba. The Samaritans, however, derive their name not from this geographical designation, but rather from the Hebrew term Shamerim שַמֶרִים, "Keepers [of the Law]".

In the Talmud, a central post-exilic religious text of Judaism, Samaritan claim of ancestral origin is disputed, and in those texts they are called Cutheans (Hebrew: כותים‎, Kuthim), allegedly from the ancient city of Cuthah (Kutha), geographically located in what is today Iraq. Modern genetics has suggested some truth to both the claims of the Samaritans and the mainstream Jewish accounts in the Talmud.

Historically, Samaritans were a large community — up to more than a million in late Roman times, but were then gradually reduced to several tens of thousands a few centuries ago — their unprecedented demographic shrinkage has been a result of various historical events, including, most notably, the bloody suppression of the Third Samaritan Revolt (529 CE) against the Byzantine Christian rulers, and mass conversion to Islam in the Early Muslim period of Palestine. According to their tally, there were 745 Samaritans as of November 30, 2 near the city of Nablus in the West Bank, and the other in the Israeli city of Holon. Also eight families in Gaza City were found to be Samaritans. There are followers of various backgrounds adhering to Samaritan traditions outside of Israel, especially in the United States.

With the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language by Jews in Israel, and its growth and officialization following the establishment of the state, most Samaritans in Israel today speak Modern Hebrew. The most recent spoken mother tongue of the Samaritans was Arabic, as it is for those in the West Bank city of Nablus. For liturgical purposes, Samaritan Hebrew, Samaritan Aramaic, and Samaritan Arabic are used, all of which are written in the Samaritan alphabet, a variant of the Old Hebrew alphabet, distinct from the so-called square script "Hebrew alphabet" of Jews and Judaism, which is a stylized form of the Aramaic alphabet. Hebrew and later Aramaic were languages in use by the Jewish and Samaritan inhabitants of Judea prior to the Roman exile.

As of November 30, 2011, there were 745 Samaritans, half of whom reside in their modern homes at Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim, which is sacred to them, and the rest in the city of Holon, just outside Tel Aviv. There are also four Samaritan families residing in Binyamina-Giv'at Ada, Matan and Ashdod.
Image details
Image size
4288x3005px 6.31 MB
Shutter Speed
1/400 second
Focal Length
200 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
May 9, 2012, 5:42:47 AM
© 2012 - 2021 DaniBabitz
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Interesting. I've always wanted to learn more about the Samaritans

asharashark's avatar
:star::star::star-half::star-empty::star-empty: Overall
:star::star::star::star-empty::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star-half::star-empty::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star-half::star-empty::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star-empty::star-empty::star-empty: Impact

The portrait in itself is great - you've captured a good pose, and a good expression. However, I think the piece itself is over-edited. You don't need the textures nor the overblur nor the diffuse glow nor the way the edges of the subject fade into the bg. These effects are crutches that a photo of your calibre does not need. They cheapen your skill.

The edits distract from the strong original image, and make the viewer think things like "does the artist have a vision or meaning to this?" rather than letting the photo speak for itself.

Personally, I'd like to see the edges of the foreground kept crisp so that the impact is retained. Idk what the original background was, but whether you blur it a little or mute it in some way, don't change it beyond all recognition.

If the background worked with the composition (which I can't tell without seeing it) I might also suggest changing the crop to portrait. If the background is simple it would take a few minutes to extend it upwards, making the head the middle block if the new composition were to be divided into thirds. There are two reasons that I suggest this. Firstly, I think that having the subject looking at something that's definitely out of frame adds more impact and focuses the viewer on the expression. Secondly, at the moment I don't think the empty space adds anything to the image.

A caveat, though: it may be that the unaltered background would look better than the blank space.

That said: nice, evocative colours, great shot.
DaniBabitz's avatar
Hi ,
I'd like to thank you very much for this really critique .
It is great to receive a feedback like this !
I'll take all the recommendation forward !
Thank you so much !
asharashark's avatar
No problem! I'm glad it was helpful! :)
EmmetEarwax's avatar
L hmea; O piy yje vurse E# Yje vutse ###
CentralCityTower's avatar
the cloak fades into the background nicely, the hat not as much
DaniBabitz's avatar
Thank you so much !
Laerthel's avatar
Is the background supposed to be like glass, I like the effect! Nice emotive feeling.
DaniBabitz's avatar
Thank you so much !
jadedPhotographer's avatar
You over-processed it.Ruined a perfectly good picture.
DaniBabitz's avatar
It could be !
However , thank you for your comment !
mcdee2005's avatar
Another great shot but i would tend to agree with the critique.
DaniBabitz's avatar
Thank you so much !!
dyzemra's avatar
i thought it was an iman... looks good
Kimidoll's avatar
Looks great ^^
DaniBabitz's avatar
Thank you so much !
Dageeling007's avatar
love the lightning and the colour! Really nice one! Keep on subminting!
DaniBabitz's avatar
Thank you so much !
theirishbronyx's avatar
Why does this remind me of santa?
roamingtigress's avatar
Powerful work here, and the post production editing just bring out the message more :)
DaniBabitz's avatar
Thank you so much !
roamingtigress's avatar
You are very welcome :)
Von-Amadeus's avatar
Beautiful photo!
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