Members of the Moroccan Jewish community gathered on Wednesday at the historic Jewish cemetery of Meknes to celebrate the Hillula of Tzadikim for the first time in 60 years.
Placed under the High Patronage of HM King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, the Great Hillula of Tzadikim of Meknes was celebrated by members of the Jewish community from Morocco and several foreign countries including France, Belgium, Canada and Israel.
This Hillula is celebrated for first time in 60 years in Meknes, the Secretary-General of the Council of Jewish Communities in Morocco, Serge Berdugo, told M24, MAP’s 24-hour rolling news channel.
This celebration was held after the completion of the rehabilitation of the Jewish cemetery, a “unique” initiative launched by HM the King, he added.
The cemetery of Meknes is unique with tombs embedded in the historic wall, Berdugo said, adding that the celebration allowed 500 Moroccan Jews, most of whom are from Meknes, to come together and find a part of themselves.
Speaking at the opening of the celebrations, Berdugo shed light on the rehabilitation of the old Jewish cemetery of Meknes, an initiative that was prompted by the decision of HM King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, regarding the rehabilitation of Jewish cemeteries in Morocco. The royal initiative has allowed the safeguarding of more than 170 necropolises, which have regained their dignity to the satisfaction of the families of the deceased, he said.
This event was also marked by the inauguration of the rehabilitation of the Museum of the Mellah, a museum space containing “priceless documents such as the Ketuba – the marriage certificate Rabbi Raphael Berdugo.”
The Hillula celebration was attended by the Governor of the Prefecture of Meknes Abdelghani Sabbar, the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Morocco David Greene, the Head of the Israeli Liaison Office in Morocco David Govrin, rabbis, and several other figures.
On this occasion, Green told M24 that during his years in Morocco, he learned a lot about Morocco’s history of tolerance and coexistence between Jews, Muslims, and Christians. “Morocco is a country that welcomes all faiths,” he stated.
The audience raised prayers to the Most High to grant glory and greatness to His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Amir Al Mouminine, and to fulfill the Sovereign in the person of HRH Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan, HRH Prince Moulay Rachid and all the members of the illustrious Royal Family.
Prayers were also raised for the repose of the soul of the late HM Hassan II and the late HM Mohammed V and to have the late Sovereigns in His holy mercy.