Tunis - Four victims of the Hyper Kosher tragedy made their Aliyah (immigration) to Israel “after death.” Their migration is being seen around the world as a symbolic call for massive Aliyah to the country.
Tunis – Four victims of the Hyper Kosher tragedy made their Aliyah (immigration) to Israel “after death.” Their migration is being seen around the world as a symbolic call for massive Aliyah to the country.
Today, Jewish cemeteries have fallen prey to desecrators in France and many other countries. If the dead, who are already buried, had the opportunity to make Aliyah, which country would they choose? They might choose Morocco.
The desecration of cemeteries has increased recently in Europe, especially in France, in Great Britain and East of Europe. Young people usually lead this act by degrading steles, ornamentation and inscriptions, stealing objects, or committing acts of vandalism, such as making swastika markings. Concerning Christian sites, the desecrators and the associated institutional reports often justify their motives with the excessive consumption of alcohol. In extreme cases, the desecration could be part of a satanic ritual, which especially happens on April 30 celebrating, in cemeteries, both the birthday of Adolf Hitler and the foundation of Satan Church in the United States. On April 30, 2007, 114 Christian graves were vandalized in the village of Marne (France): replacing crosses with satanic symbols.
In other countries, the destruction of (Jewish, Muslim and Christian) cemeteries is prohibited. Morocco, for example, has laws that protect people even in the “afterlife”. In 1950, the “second land of the Jews”, had nearly 250,000 Jews out of 10 million people, a number that has declined significantly following an appeal to go to Israel, which hosts between 700,000 and 800,000 native Moroccans.
Although the number of Moroccan Jews has declined, Moroccans feel no distinction between Moroccans who live in Morocco and those who live abroad. Moroccans abroad of all persuasions are still loyal to Morocco, no matter how long they’ve spent outside the country.
The Kingdom protects the dead through grave rehabilitation. The book entitled “Les Maisons de la vie, réhabilitation des cimetières juifs du Maroc”, or “Houses of Life (Beth Chaim Ha), Rehabilitation of Jewish Cemeteries in Morocco”, written by Serge Berdugo, former Tourism Minister and Secretary General of the Council of Jewish Communities of Morocco (CCIM), reports on a major project initiated in 2010 by the CCIM, the Chief Rabbinate of Morocco, and the Ministry of Interior (in charge of worship), with the strong support from the monarchy.
The rehabilitation project, which is unprecedented in the Islamic world, concerns 167 mausoleums and cemeteries in the mountains, plains, and coastal areas, in 14 regions and 38 provinces, with a concentration on the Meknes-Tafilalet and Marrakech-Tensift-Haouz regions. This project shows Moroccans’ respect for the deceased and highlights religious tolerance in Morocco, even in the afterlife.
“It is a different vision and practice of religion that is being put into action. It is a practice of moderation, dialogue, and respect of the others, which is completely against current patterns that are occupied by extremists,” said Serge Berdugo during a presentation of the book in Paris.
The preservation of these places of memory and the development of pilgrimage destinations such as Ouezzane Cemetery, where the Hilloula is celebrated, encourages Moroccans who emigrated to Israel to return, even if temporarily, to “the land of Saints”: Morocco.
The Aliyah of the dead to Morocco is a possibility. In the country, places of worship, cemeteries, and the traditions of monotheistic religions are protected and guaranteed by law. In Morocco, the desecration of religious sites and graves is severely punished by law. Jewish graves in Morocco are safe. In a time when many Western countries are seeing Jewish graves being defiled, perhaps the deceased will begin making the Aliyah to Morocco.
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