Photo Credit: Jewish Press

As we mentioned last week, Shimon HaTzaddik served as Kohen Gadol for many, many years. Every Yom Kippur he would emerge from the Kodesh HaKedashim with a bright and magnificently shining countenance, and happy was the man who was privileged to live in his time and behold that wonderful scene.

One Yom Kippur, however, Shimon HaTzaddik emerged with a face that was drawn and sad. The people sensed that something was wrong and they were greatly troubled.


Kohen Gadol,” they asked, “why is your countenance so sad and why do you appear so troubled?”

“My children,” he replied, “this is the last year that I shall be with you, for this year I will die.”

“What?” cried the people, “how do you know this thing?”

“Every year when I do the service in the Kodesh HaKedashim I behold a figure, that of an old man – an angel – who is always dressed in white and who enters and leaves with me.

“This year, however, I beheld the figure and it was dressed in black as if in mourning. He entered with me but he did not leave with me. I know, therefore, that I will not survive the year.”

The Prophecy Is True

And so it happened. Immediately after Sukkos, Shimon HaTzaddik took ill and the doctors despaired of his life.

Calling together Chachmei Yisrael, he told them. “I am about to die and I desire that you appoint as Kohen Gadol not my eldest son, Shimi, but rather his younger brother, Chonyo.”

And then Shimon HaTzaddik’s neshama departed, and Klal Yisrael lost one of its greatest leaders.

Share this article on WhatsApp:

Previous articleThe Bread
Next articleGames Galore: Back To School