Aharon ben Ab-Chisda ben Yaacob

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Aharon ben Ab-Chisda ben Yaacob (February 1, 1927 - April 19, 2013) (Hebrew: אהרון בן אב-חסדה‎), also transliterated Aaron b. Abhisda b. Jacob, was the Samaritan High Priest (Cohen Godal). He had inherited the office upon the death of Elazar ben Tsedaka ben Yitzhaq as the eldest priest of the family of priests. He was considered by Samaritans to be a direct descendant of Aaron and the 132nd High Priest to hold the office since the time of Moses.[1][2]

Ab-Chisda and other priests, regulate daily life in a number of ways. They ensure the strict rules of religious observance are preserved. This includes traditions such as the full keeping of Sabbath and other Levitical laws. They also serve as arbitrators and judges, as well as set the calendar. This is called Ishban Kashta, which translates from Arabic as "truth calculation".[3]

One of High Priest Aharon ben Ab-Chisda's main duties is to preside over the Passah (Passover) ritual. He did so for the first time in 2010 at the age of 83. The Samaritan community more than doubled during the 20th century, but is still very small. Less than 750 of the faithful, the total community, attended the rite. During the performance of the Passover ritual, Ab-Chisda wore a green silken robe. It was secured with a broad cloth, carefully tied. He wore a tallit, draped over his head. This attire is connected with a long tradition that the Samaritans trace back to Biblical times.[3]

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.[1]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "High Priest Elazar b. Tsedaka the 'Aabta'ey (1927-2010)". The Samaritan Update IX (3). January–February 2010. 
  2. ^ Michael Collins Dunn (February 2010). "Death of Samaritans' High Priest". Middle East Institute Editor's Blog. 
  3. ^ a b Benjamin Balint (February 2010). "Good Samaritans : Israel’s smallest religious minority offers Jews a glimpse of what might have been". Middle East Institute Editor's Blog. 
Preceded by
Elazar ben Tsedaka ben Yitzhaq
Samaritan High Priest
2010-2013
Succeeded by
Aabed-El ben Asher ben Matzliach