Are there any Jews left in Morocco?

By NILI SALEM B’SIMCHA
October 1, 2017 19:59

There are graves of tzaddikim in almost every city, village, mountain, valley and beachside town on the map, many of which I was blessed to be able to go to thereafter and pray at.




The Lazaama Synagogue (Synagogue of the Deportees, 1492), Marrakech.

The Lazaama Synagogue (Synagogue of the Deportees, 1492), Marrakech.. (photo credit:NILI SALEM B’SIMCHA)

On a whim I wandered westward for a week’s trip to Morocco to explore this passionate culture I’ve learned so much about since living in Israel, that produces delicious matbuha (red bread dip), mesmerizing Sephardic music (like the famous funky tune for “Dror Yikra”), and the stereotypes about the “Moroccan mother” notorious for covering Shabbat tables worldwide with rainbows of rich salatim (appetizers) that would stuff a sumo wrestler full upon completion of only the first course.

Alone in Arab Marrakech, I wasn’t quite sure what I’d done. I was feeling lonely and insecure in a stark marble hotel, with not much to eat but the orange I’d carried in tow and some nuts for the next day. I have traveled alone before, but I wondered whether this time I had made a mistake. I did some sightseeing, but the emptiness I felt was powerful, and so far, no sight of anything Jewish. So I plunked onto the hard bed and davened (prayed), pleading.

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