Shimon HaTzadik

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Shimon HaTzadik
Shimon HaTzadik
שמעון הצדיק
Other Names:
Shimon ben Chonyo HaTzadik, Simon the Righteous
29th of Teshirai
Kohen Gadol who led the Jewish Nation during the Second Temple following the Men of the Great Assembly.

Shimon ben Chonyo HaTzadik was the last surviving member of the Anshe Kneset Hagedola. He succeeded Ezra Hasofer as Kohen Gadol, maintaining that position for 40 years. Shimon HaTzadik is buried in Yerushalaim, his Hillula falling on the 29th of Tishrai. His main student and successor was Antigonus Ish Socho


[edit] Alexander the Great

When Alexander the Great and his army entered the middle east, they were greeted by the Kirite leaders who slandered the Jews, claiming they cursed Alexander each day in their Temple. Infuriated, Alexander began a march to destroy Yerushalaim. Israel was stricken with fear and the entire nation repented, fasted and mourned. Upon hearing the news, Shimon Hatzadik donned the eight garments of the High Priest and went to greet Alexander along with the honorable men of Israel and thousands of teenage Kohanim dressed in their priestly white garments.

At dawn the two camps met and to the surprise of his generals, Alexander rushed forward, prostrating himself in front of Shimon Hatzadik. He later explained that he was accustomed to seeing visions of Shimon Hatzadik leading him victoriously through each battle. Shimon Hatzadik explained how they pray for Alexander's success in the Temple rather then curse him. Tables now flipped, the Kirites were handed to the Jews, who executed them.

Shimon Hatzadik took Alexander to the Bais Hamikdash allowing him to enter as far as a gentile could. Alexander requested that they build a statue in his form and place it in front of the Alter. Shimon HaTzadik explained this was not possible for religious reasons but to prove their devotion to him, all cohanim born that year would be named Alexander. It is from this incident that Alexander became a Jewish name.

[edit] Kohen Gadoel

Shimon HaTzadik served as high priest for forty years. Each year during the lottery for the Yom Kippor goat sacrifices, the tablet proclaiming the 'Sair LaHashem' (the goat to be slaughtered) would always be pulled up by his right hand. This was considered a good omen for the Jewish nation. Additionally the red string used to test the atonement of the Jewish nation on Yom Kipor, would always turn white. There were also other heavenly indications approving the leadership of Shimon Hatzadik and his generation, including the blazing strength of the alter flame and a consistent fire in the western cup of the menorah that never extinguished.

[edit] Passing

One year after Yom Kippor, Shimon HaTzadik announced that he would pass away that year. He revealed how each year as he approached the Kodesh Hakodashim he was greeted by a spiritual being appearing as an elderly man dressed in white, who would enter and then leave the Holy of Holies with him. That year he was greeted by a spiritual being appearing as an elderly man dressed in black. He entered the Kodesh Kodashim with Shimon HaTzadik but did not exit with him. Right after Sukot ended, Shimon HaTzadik fell ill for seven days and then he passed away.

[edit] Teachings

On three things the world rests, on Torah, on Avodah, and on acts of Kindness.

[edit] Kever Shimon Hatzadik

Shimon HaTzadik is buried at the edge of north Jerusalem under the Arzi Habirah neighborhood at the edge of the currently Arab occupied neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

[edit] Hillulah of Shimon Hatzadik

The Yartzeit of Shimon Hatzadik is on Kaf Tes Teshirai (29th), Erev Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan.

[edit] Directions

Geographic Coordinates

  • Latitude: 31.791613
  • Longitude: 35.231143

[edit] More Photos

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