Rabat - A Moroccan man from Arazan, a small village located at few kilometers from Taroudant in southern Morocco, has kept a promise for over 70 years to cleaning the grave of his friend’s Jewish ancestors.
Rabat – A Moroccan man from Arazan, a small village located at few kilometers from Taroudant in southern Morocco, has kept a promise for over 70 years to cleaning the grave of his friend’s Jewish ancestors.
The man’s name is Lahcen. One winter day in the early 1950s, his friend Moshe, a Moroccan Jew, and his family decided to leave Morocco for Israel. Moshe asked his friend, Lahcen, to take care of the graves of his ancestors.
According to Mr. Omar Louzi, President of the Rabat Business Club, Lahcen promised to honor the request, loyal to the friendship he had with his Jewish friends. For more than 60 years, at the beginning of each year, Lahcen has been cleaning the graves of the ancestors of his Jewish friend.
Despite his meager resources, Mr. Louzi said that at the beginning of each year, Lahcen bought a small box with black paint and re-writes the names originally written on the graves in Hebrew. What is amazing about Lahcen’s loyalty is that he honored the request, while he never been to school.
Now, despite his old age, Lahcen is adamant about keeping his promise. According to Mr. Louzi, “when someone dares to say that “it is now old, and he has already done enough to honor his promise”, he gets angry, and answers, “A promise is a promise.” He added that he “will continue to do what I have to do … until the return of my friend Moshe … or until I die”.
Lahcen’s noble gesture embodies the atmosphere of tolerance and coexistence that prevailed between the Jewish and Muslim Moroccans in the past before their emigration to Israel and other countries.
Edited by Timothy Filla
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