I want to know how the kuzari principle can hold in light of the history of Sammaritanism as a religion. By our chronology, the Samaritan population illegitimately converted and were all convinced that they were the original Jews and they were in fact present in Ancient Israel and broke off from mainstream society during the time of Eli to form a distinct group. By the Kuzari principle such a story could not be fabricated for the same reason that the story of matan torah could not be fabricated, so how can this be explained? It's also important to mention that it is the consensus among scientists that Samaritans and modern Jews are genetically related, which one could argue corroborates their beliefs.

It's very important to me to find an answer for this question because my faith is very contingent on kuzari as a proof, and I want to say that I have rational reasons to believe in torah.

  • See here for a major hole in Samaritan belief: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/47385/….
    – Harel13
    Jun 2, 2022 at 12:33
  • 1
    Could the same question be asked of any descendant of converts to Judaism? Lets say 10 generations ago 1 of my 512 ancestors converted to Judaism but over time that info was forgotten and that component of my ancestry became fully assimilated culturally/ideologically/geneticaly to Jews/Judaism. Would that be a knock against the Kuzari argument? Lets say the same thing happened but to a small group of converts and it fully assimilated within the span of a few generations to Judaism, is that a knock against the argument? Does the argument not accommodate the successful assimilation of converts? Jun 2, 2022 at 13:19

2 Answers 2


Like most questions on the Kuzari proof this question revolves around a different question. Can people rewrite history? The answer to that is "yes". The government, media and propagandists do it all the time. The Kuzari doesn't suggest otherwise.

What you can’t do is rewrite history when that revision (1)will force people to make both major personal and societal life changes while (2) you are insisting that that either you PERSONALLY saw those events take place or your ancestors personally saw those events and have ALREADY been keeping those personal and societal life changes even since the story place if the people you are speaking to never heard about your claims.

You can also probably convince people (with major difficulty of course) that a certain custom of unknown /unclear origin is kept for a made up reason but you would not be able to do so if the custom itself is inherently clear that it only exists to commemorate something. Which is the case by most of the mitzos that are zecher l’yitzas Mitzrayim.

Even propagandists and history rewriters have their limits of what they can sell. Such claims are going past the limits. E.g in today’s times both the stronger opponents and stronger supporters of Trump seem very eager to believe all sorts of baloney about him but you could never convince either group that his first inauguration never happened or that his second one did. Everyone being told that would know that if I did not see or hear about it already then it CAN not be true. That is what the Kuzari is saying.

Such an argument and those criteria do not apply to the Samaritan beliefs. There is nothing inherently preventing propagandists from retroactively claiming to have broke off from the main group during the times of Eli. There were no changes to Samaritan life being demanded by such a claim. What counterevidence would there have been at a much later time? At the much later date when this claim was being introduced anyone questioning “why didn’t I hear about it” would be given the same claim of superior knowledge that all propagandists and rewriters of history make.

As far as DNA is concerned it makes sense that there would be some shared DNA between Jews and Samaritans and that Samaritans would also have DNA like Jews do . At the time their status was unclear there were probably plenty of intermarriages. There also probably was a decent sized OTD crowd who became Samaritans. Additionally I have seen claims that the DNA evidence backs up the Jewish version of events .

  • What if I try selling a religion to a kid by saying that everyone else died except for me?
    – Alex
    Jun 3, 2022 at 20:37
  • There are in fact religions who claim mass revelations but also (conveniently ) claim that other than their founder everyone who saw it died immediately . Evidence wise they are no different than any other religion whose founder claimed "God came to me alone " Were Judaism based on someone making such a claim to a child or have a known such person in it's history then indeed the Kuzari argument wouldn't start. ( Don’t speculate that there really was such a person. Someone so integral to a religion never could have concealed his existence from future generations )
    – Schmerel
    Jun 3, 2022 at 21:18
  • Why couldn’t such a person’s existence be lost to history?
    – Alex
    Jun 3, 2022 at 21:25
  • Reread my last sentence
    – Schmerel
    Jun 3, 2022 at 21:25
  • That’s what I am responding to.
    – Alex
    Jun 3, 2022 at 21:26

R Dovid Gottlieb argues for the Kuzari Principle in his book Reason to Believe, and he responds to the counter arguement from the Samaritans here (on page 25 and 26).

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