This family also traces its roots to priests who served in the Temple. The Toma-Soli family is one of the families that farmed in the village continuously from days of old.
In a list prepared by A.M. Luntz in 1899, the Toma family appears as the largest family in the village, with 21 members. Based on the family’s activities and trade, they are defined as “workers of the land.”
Hakham Yosef Abraham Toma-Ha-Cohen, a cousin of Mazal Sa’adah Zeinati, was born in Peqi’in in 1858. Extremely learned, he presided as the last head of the ancient Peqi’in Jewish community.
In 1955, when the foundations for the ‘New Peqi’in’ moshav were laid, he was privileged to receive then-President Yitzhak Ben Tzvi, in festive garb. He recited the shehehiyanu blessing and noted with emotion his privilege of receiving the president of Israel after 2,000 years, as a descendant of the family of priests who served in the Temple in Jerusalem and never left Israel.
He died in 1965, at the ripe age of 107 years.
His grandson, Ilan Shechter Cohen-Toma, recently returned to live in ancient Peqi’in.
To Ilan’s site of ‘Moreshet Cohanim’: http://www.2all.co.il/web/sites/peqiin/