Samaritan High Priest Aharon Ben Av-Hisda died in his home on Mount Grizim

Samaritan High Priest Dies (87)

Samaritan High Priest Aharon Ben Av-Hisda died in his home on Mount Grizim on Friday. MDA emergency teams from nearby Har Bracha rushed to his home and tried to resuscitate the High Priest, with no success.  Ben Av-Hisda was 87.

The Samaritans are supposed to be celebrating their Passover holiday, along with their Passover sacrifice this coming Tuesday.

Five days before Pesach offering -Samaritan high priest died
Five days before the Pesach ritual sacrifice of the Samaritan community, the ‘kohen gadol’ of the congregation – Aharon Ben Av Hisda, died • Regional Council head: “a heavy loss to the State of Israel. Was a friend of settlement”
Eli Schlesinger, Behadrey Haredim , 21 Apr 2013 15:25 (Israel time)

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The Samaritan ‘kohen gadol’ in Pesach ceremony. Photo: Shomron Regional Council

The High Priest of the Samaritan community, Aharon Ben Av Hisda, died at age 87, after he lost consciousness in his home in the Samaritans suburb on Mount Gerizim.

Clinic volunteers of the Samaria Regional Council, MDA and Hatzala JS from the nearby community of Har Bracha were called to the scene and tried to resuscitate him, but eventually he was pronounced dead.

Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika said: “This is a heavy loss to the Samaritan community and the State of Israel. The late high priest was a friend of Israel and a member of the Jewish settlement in Samaria. The settlers in Samaria embrace our neighbors and our dear friends of the Samaritan community.”

The Samaritan community lives on Mount Gerizim since they were brought to the area by Sennacherib King of Ashur during the exile of the ten tribes. The Samaritans believe that they are a remnant of the ancient kingdom of Israel. The community upholds the law of Moshe as written verbatim to this day and is, according to the Samaritan faith, a descendant of the people of Israel from the tribes of Ephraim, Manashe and Levi.

Members of the community live on Mount Gerizim, the mountain sacred to the Samaritan community, and Holon.

The ‘kohen gadol’ is the most important role and most respected in the Samaritan community. There are no elections for the role of Kohen Gadol but it is filled by the eldest of the family of Levites.

The sudden death of the High Priest took place five days before the Pesach sacrifice ceremony and the Samaritan Pesach holiday, which is expected to take place on Tuesday.

About Fr. Orthohippo

The blog of a retired Anglican priest (MSJ), his musings, journey, humor, wonderment, and comments on today's scene.
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3 Responses to Samaritan High Priest Aharon Ben Av-Hisda died in his home on Mount Grizim

  1. Before attaining the office of high priest, he was a deputy high priest and well known as a singer in the small Samaritan community. He was married with four sons, two daughters, and six grandsons.

  2. silver price says:

    The duties of the Abtah High Priest are: to be the High Court regarding personal matters in the community, consulting with heads of households and his brothers, the priests; to resolve disputes between individuals and families in the community; to calculate the calendar in 6-monthly periods, and twice a year to circulate it to members of the community aged 20 or over; to direct all religious ceremonies, including circumcision, conclusion of the reading of the Torah, wedding, divorce and burial, as well as to officiate at personal events such as the benediction of the first born or witnessing oaths; to represent Israelite Samaritans in dealings with the secular government; to bless the worshippers with the Blessings of the High Priests each Sabbath and festival, and on the three pilgrimages (Numbers, 6:3-4). Above all, the High Priest directs the greatest event of the year: The Paschal Sacrifice on Mount Gerizim.

  3. Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Very helpful info specially the last part 🙂 I care for
    such information much. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time.
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