"We do not believe in sorcery, reading palms or coffee grounds or performing exorcism," he said. "All this is baseless quackery."Heh.
"We practise astrology by asking the name of the mother, the husband or wife, and we predict illness, marital breakdown or loss of work."
Samir, who started studying the ancient arts at the age of 12, says that each letter of a person's name has meaning and that the 22 letters of the ancient Hebrew alphabet used by Samaritans each correspond to a body part.
In this week's parsha, we read:
כג כִּי לֹא-נַחַשׁ בְּיַעֲקֹב, וְלֹא-קֶסֶם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל; כָּעֵת, יֵאָמֵר לְיַעֲקֹב וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵל, מַה-פָּעַל, אֵל. 23 For there is no enchantment with Jacob, neither is there any divination with Israel; now is it said of Jacob and of Israel: 'What hath God wrought!'
I suppose this is OK, since they are not Jacob nor Israel.
There is also this gem:
The Samaritan capability for divination, he says, comes from their reputed descent from the Israelite tribe of Levi -- the tribe of the biblical character Joseph who, according to scripture, interpreted dreams for the Egyptian pharaoh.The Biblical character Joseph gave forth the two tribes, Ephraim and Menashe. Levi was Joseph's brother, and he gave forth the tribe of Levi.
Excellent reporting, Majeda El Batsh and AFP!
(Besides all this, there is a definite agenda to the article, which is the deligitimization of the Jewish people and by extension the state of Israel.)