Foreign Minister Israel Katz and Ramat Gan Mayor Carmel Shama.
(photo credit: ILAN SAFRA)
Ministers and MKs attended Mimouna celebrations across the country Saturday night, wishing citizens tirbahu u’tsa’adu, the traditional post-Passover greeting of “may you prosper and be successful.”
President Reuven Rivlin said that Mimouna has long been a holiday for all Israelis.
“A tradition... brought by those of North African origin turned into an Israeli celebration that crosses populations,” Rivlin said. “I wish and hope that we can celebrate together on this uniting day.”
Mimouna is marked on the day after Passover by Jews of Moroccan and other North African origin, and many other Israelis have joined in since the tradition was imported to Israel. This year, the celebration was delayed for a day because Passover ended on Friday at the beginning of Shabbat.
The holiday is usually celebrated outdoors, with picnics and barbecues featuring traditional Moroccan dress, music and dancing, as well as food – especially moufleta, a sweet crepe-like dish.
MKs across the political spectrum are known to take part in and give speeches at Mimouna celebrations around the country, while other festivities revolve around religious figures and are held at rabbis’ homes.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a Mimouna celebration in Or Akiva near his home in Caesarea.
“No nation has fought for its freedom like the Jewish people, and against such great forces,” Netanyahu said. “Sometimes we failed, but we continued to hope. We returned to our land and built our state... Israel has become a significant force in the world. We see the power, development and respect nations of the world give us.”
Netanyahu thanked voters for giving him “the chance to serve you again.”
“I’m proud of you, and I love you,” he said.
Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel paid tribute to the contributions Moroccan-Israelis have made to society, culture and politics in Israel.
“Mimouna, which has become an Israeli holiday, in which homes and hearts are opened, is a great additional contribution of this glorious Jewish [group], contributing to the unity of Israel,” Gamliel said. “This year, after a very divisive election, this holiday is especially important.”
Blue and White co-leader Yair Lapid went to Mimouna celebrations in Rehovot, where he said: “The story of the Exodus from Egypt is a story of a group of people who set a goal for themselves and did not let anything stop them. Even if there’s a delay. A happy, sweet holiday to everyone.”
In 2016, the Knesset passed a law exempting Mimouna from noise by-laws, allowing the holiday to be celebrated outdoors past 11 p.m. Other exceptions are Purim, Independence Day, Lag B’Omer and Jerusalem Day.
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