Besides the strong, overwhelming emotions, the annual commemoration is for the Moroccan Jewish community a time to express pride and a chance to connect to their origins.
Rabat – Members of the Moroccan Jewish community in the village of Ait Bayoud in the Essaouira province began celebrating the Hiloula of Saint Rabbi Nessim Ben Nessim on Thursday.
Hiloula is a religious event celebrated by the Moroccan Jewish community. The main purpose of Hiloula is to pray for a good life and the resolution of problems. The Jewish community lights candles, touch the memorial stone and prays at the tomb of the saint.
Jewish Moroccans from across Morocco and around the world flock to Essaouira for the event.
The annual commemoration of Saint Rabbi Nessim Ben Nessim is a time not only full of emotions for the Moroccan Jewish community but a time of immense pride and a chance to connect to their origins. It is also an opportunity to celebrate peace, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence.
A ceremony at the sanctuary of Saint Rabbi Nessim Ben Nessim was held on Thursday evening, in the presence of Adil El Maliki, the governor of the province of Essaouira and local authorities.
Simon Levy, President of the Holy Places of the South, gave a speech sharing his joy at holding the religious ceremony. The speech also praised the fraternity and tolerance of the Moroccan people. Levy called on Moroccan Jews living abroad to return to Morocco. He said they should ” come to Morocco, their birthplace, the crucible of their culture… to invest in this beautiful country.”
“We invite them, above all, to take advantage of all the securities and facilities that the Kingdom offers to investors,” he said, recalling that “Morocco, homeland, will remain forever a point of pride to all.”
For his part, El Maliki pointed out that Rabbi Nessim Ben Nessim’s Hiloula is special this year because it coincides with the holy month of Ramadan. This is not only a time for “prayer, piety, and contemplation for both communities, Jewish and Muslim, but also fraternity, sharing and conviviality,” he said.
”Our country has been able to maintain and consolidate these values of fraternity and tolerance, thanks to the King’s effort to preserve the historical legacy of our country and to promote its heritage,” El Maliki continued, citing a program the King recently launched to restore the medinas of multiple cities.
He added that in Essaouira, this program particularly concerns the Mellah district, including the Slat Al Kahal Synagogue. The urban landscape of the area, as well as the local amenities, will be improved in order to enhance the cultural heritage of the area.