Visit to Hill of Pinchas
Visit to Hill of Pinchas Roei Hadi

Some 450 Israelis made a pilgrimage overnight to a site known as the Tomb of the Seventy Elders on the Hill of Pinchas (Hill of Phineas), located inside the Palestinian Authority-controlled town of Awarta, south of Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria.

According to tradition, the Hill is believed to contain the burial places of a number of biblical figures, including Aaron’s sons, Itamar and Elazar, and Aaron’s grandson, Pinchas (Phineas).

A separate tomb on the Hill of Pinchas is also believed to contain the remains of the Seventy Elders – the judges appointed by Moses in the wilderness to adjudicate disputes, forming a court which would later be known as the Sanhedrin.

Jewish tradition, as brought down by the Shulchan Aruch, a 16th-century code of Jewish law, says that the Seventy Elders all died on the 5th of Shevat in the Hebrew calendar. This morning’s visit was planned to coincide with the anniversary of their passing.

The pre-dawn visit early Friday morning was organized by the Samaria Regional Council with the assistance of the organization which manages Joseph’s Tomb – another prominent Samaria pilgrimage site, located in the southern edge of the nearby city of Shechem (Nablus).

IDF forces from the Samaria brigade provided security for the visit.

The visitors included Samaria Regional Council chief Yossi Dagan, deputy chief David Ben-Tzion, and Samaria brigade commander Col. Sagiv Dahan.

“We are happy to host hundreds of visitors here,” said Dagan, “religious, haredi, and secular alike, from all across the country and the world, who came here to pray and to connect with the roots of their nation. We visit the [resting] places of the Jewish people’s great leaders, the spiritual leaders and political leaders who led the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and according to Jewish [religious] tradition.”

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