Road to shrine, David UMoshe
- Rabbi Shlomo ben Lhensh
Perched on the edge of a mountain above a river valley sits the 500 year-old tomb of an emissary from the land of Israel who died while on a fundraising trip in southern Morocco. The Rabbi Shlomo (Solomon) has been given the moniker “Ben Lhans” (“Son of the Snake”) and remains one of the most revered Jewish saints in Morocco, including by Muslims, who call him “Mul Asguine.” What makes his tomb even more remarkable is a living man who has resided there for over 30 years: Hananiyah Alfassi, the last Berber Jew in the Ourika Valley. Hannaniyah guards the rabbi’s tomb, welcoming visitors and pilgrims from around the world.
- David UMoshe
The remote shrine of Rabbi David UMoshe is in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. The complex, nestled below snow-capped mountains, includes an old cemetery, a large synagogue, and guest rooms for hundreds of pilgrims who visit the rabbi’s grave each year for his hiloula (celebration on the anniversary of death).
- Raphael HaCohen
Raphy Elmaleh, takes viewers on a tour inside the shrine of Raphael HaCohen, a legendary rabbi who by tradition is buried in the village of Achbarou, south of Marrakesh.
- Moulay Ighi
Tucked away in the middle of nowhere, miles from any main roads, the shrine complex of the rabbi known as Moulay Ighi (“Master of Ighi”) sits perched on a hilltop amidst the grandeur of the Atlas Mountains. For centuries, Jews (as well as Muslims) from all over Morocco would converge here on foot and on mules to visit the rabbi’s tomb and pray for his intervention in their lives. The remote shrine is considered one of the most popular in the country, and by some accounts thousands of people would arrive for the annual hiloula (pilgrimage) to the grave on the holiday of Lag b’Omer. Today the shrine is still visited by pilgrims (though in smaller numbers), who can now stay in new guesthouses and even enjoy a modern synagogue on the premises.
- Baba Sali’s Home
Enter the old mellah (Jewish quarter) of Rissani, a city in southeastern Morocco near the Algerian border, and explore its narrow alleyways in search of a famous home. Buried inside the mellah’s labyrinth is the former home of the Baba Sali (Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira), an internationally renowned rabbi.Before he became an icon in Israel, France, and around the world, the Baba Sali lived on the edge of the Sahara desert in Morocco.
- Habib Mizrahi
Leaving Marrakesh heading southeast on the road to Ouarzazate, about 20 minutes into the drive, a faded whitewashed wall on the right side of the road appears with a cryptic spray-painted message: “Rabbi Habib.” The sign is half hidden behind an electric pole as well as by the regular traffic of donkeys that pass through the local village of Ait Ourir. The blue spray paint is a sign for pilgrims to turn off the paved highway and venture up a dirt road into the Atlas Mountains toward the grave of an esteemed rabbi.
- Three Rabbis
Just north of Er Rachidia, pilgrims come to the town of Krandou to this cemetery and the periodically open synagogue near-by — as a stop on the way to other shrines as well as to pay homage to the three largely forgotten rabbis buried here. Who the rabbis were is as much as mystery as why the pilgrims keep coming.
- Shmuel Abu Hatziera
Rabbi Shmuel AbuHatzeira is the grandson of the legendary Moroccan rabbi known as the Abir Yaakov and the first-cousin of the Moroccan-Israeli iconic rabbi the Baba Sali. His tomb in the Erfoud cemetery was once exposed to the elements, covered only by a small roof with no walls. In recent years, a formal complex has been built around his grave, including a large function hall where guests can celebrate his annual hiloula (pilgrimage).
- David Ben Barukh
Outside of Teroudant, in the small village of Bizou, is the tomb of Rabbi David Ben Barukh HaCohen, some of whose decedents are still to be found in Morocco. The family is active in the synagogue that bears his name in Casablanca and is responsible for the upkeep of and hillula (yearly pilgrimage) to his shrine, which occurs on the 8th day of Chanukah.
- Haim Ben Diwan
A dirt road leads to a compound of buildings enclosed by a gate, overshadowed by mountains and built on rocky terrain in the village of Ouirgane. Inside the shrine are three different tombs, leaving the precise burial spot of Rabbi Haim Ben Diwan in doubt — befitting the mysterious circumstances of his death. Two of the graves are identified with markings that appear to indicate it is of Ben Diwan. But which one? The other two are believed to be for two of his disciples. Artifacts, some dating to at least the 1700s, adorn the room, including candlesticks, menorahs, Torah scroll crowns, the Ten Commandments (in Hebrew) etched on a plate, and a flower vase.
- Sidi Moussa
In the remote High Atlas Mountains lies a lush hidden valley accessible only via a solitary road that winds through the mountains. The dramatic valley floor is punctuated by two pyramid-like mini-mountains, each capped by a round mud granary that surrounds the tomb of holy men: Sidi Moussa (Lord Moses) and Sidi Chitta (Lord Chitta) – both Jews, according to local legend.