Affixing the mezuza,
Affixing the mezuza,Meir Birchia, Samaria Reg. Authority

The Admor of Vizhnitz, Rav Yisrael Hager, who is considered to be the most senior living Admor – or head of a Hassidic dynasty – visited Samaria (Shomron) Monday with an entourage of hundreds of rabbis and followers.

This is the first visit to Samaria by a Vizhnitz Admor in 45 years. The previous such tour was held in 1967, in the aftermath of the liberation of Judea and Samaria, when the Admor known as "Imri Hayim" and his son, who became Admor after him and died six months ago, toured the area of present-day Elon Moreh and the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem.

The Shomron Regional Authority sees the visit as the culmination of the series of visits to the Tomb of Joseph since it was renovated by the Regional Authority and IDF about 18 months ago.

Hundreds of hassidic followers awaited the Admor at Elon Moreh, after he received a guided tour of Samaria. He was received in the home of Head Shomron Rabbi, Rav Elyakim Levanon, and met there also with Yitzhar Rabbi David Dudkevich, Samaria pioneer Benny Katzover and Shomron Regional Authority head Gershon Mesika.

The convoy of cars then set out to the Tomb of Joseph. The Admor was visibly excited as he recited Psalms and sang hassidic hymns before the Holy Ark.

Photos: Meir Birchia, Samaria Regional Authority