Aabed-El ben High Priest Aasher, ben High Priest Matzliach is the new High Priest of the Israelite Samaritan People.
The Almighty Eloowem of Israel has chosen the priest Aabed-El ben High Priest Aasher, ben High Priest Matzliach to be the new High Priest of the Israelite Samaritan People, following the death of High Priest Aaron ben Ab Hisda, ben High Priest Yaacob on 19 April 2013.
This divine election follows the principle that the eldest person in the Israelite Samaritan priestly family should become High Priest after the death of the previous one. This principle [Leviticus 21:10] avoids argument regarding the selection of the High Priest, the spiritual leader of the Israelite Samaritan People. The principle has prevailed among the Israelite Samaritans since 1624 CE, when, after providing 112 High Priests, the last of the Pinhas Priestly family died without male issue. The family had been commanded by the Almighty to fulfill the office of High Priest [Numbers, 25:13].
The new High Priest Aabed-El (in English: Obedient to the Almighty) was born in Nablus (Shechem), Samaria, in the north of the Promised Land in 1935. His father Aasher was High Priest from 1980-1982, and his grandfather Matzliach was High Priest from 1933-1943.
High Priest Aabed-El, 78, has a wife Yarcha (Badri); two handsome sons, Aasher and Yaacob; two beautiful daughters, Basma and Rubka, and many grandchildren. May all enjoy long life.
High Priest Aabed-El has a serene personality, down-to-earth, friendly and welcoming. He is a successful businessman, having established the Tahini factory in Kiriat Luza. The factory, in the Samaritan neighbourhood on Mount Gerizim, the Mountain of Blessing [Deuteronomy 11:29-30], produces the finest Tahini: “Har Bracha Tahini” (“Mountain of Blessing Tahini”), appreciated by customers from all over the world. The Tahini is certified Kosher by the Jewish Rabbinate. Now, having assumed the Office of High Priest, Aabed-El has left the management of the factory to his sons and nephews.
The duties of the High Priest include leading prayers in the synagogue on Sabbaths and Festivals, conducting ceremonies to mark joyful and solemn events for individuals and the community, leading the annual Passover Sacrifice, resolving internal and external disputes, and welcoming those who frequently come to receive his blessing, since he is the only religious person chosen directly by the Almighty, and has the closest spiritual connection with Him.
In the last two weeks High Priest Aabed-El received telegrams and letters from around the world, including the Presidents of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, wishing him success in his new appointment and offering condolences to the family of the late High Priest Aaron. Many came personally to the Visitor’s Centre and the Mount Gerizim International Centre For Peace to offer their best wishes and condolences.
High Priest Aabed-El has asked me to extend his welcome to all Peoples of the world, and to invite them to promote political calm, and worldwide peace. All are welcome to visit the Israelite Samaritan People in their current centres: Kiriat Luza, Samaria and Holon, Israel.
May success, good health and long life be bestowed upon him. And may he bestow his personal blessing, the blessing of Aaron and his sons in Numbers, 6:24-27.
Editor of A.B The Samaritan News”, Holon, Israel and Mount Gerizim, Samaria.
Head of A.B Institute of Samaritan Studies“, Holon, Israel and Mount Gerizim, Samaria.
Volunteer Chancellor to the High Priests.
Photography: Ori Orhof