Netanyahu at Mimouna.
(photo credit: Avishag Shar Yashuv)
Traditional post-Passover festivities, known as Mimouna celebrations, were held
around the country on Monday night and Tuesday with several politicians taking
part in the lively events.
Deputy Religious Affairs Minister and Bayit
Yehudi MK Rabbi Eliahu Ben-Dahan attended a Mimouna in Ashkelon on Monday night,
along with MK Yoni Chetboun, also of Bayit Yehudi.
The celebration is a
tradition that began in the Jewish communities of North Africa, in which
families open up their homes to guests and provide leavened products, prohibited
during Passover, such as bread, cakes and various other delicacies including
mufletta, a type of pancake eaten with honey.
The festival has since been
widely adopted throughout Israel.
Speaking at the event, Ben- Dahan, who
was born in Morocco, said that the festival provides a message of
“The Mimouna festivities symbolize, above all, the unity of the
Jewish people around the world in the belief and trust of the coming of the
Messiah,” the minister said.
Ben-Dahan explained that the rabbis of
Morocco worried that at the end of the Passover holiday, a time defined by
freedom and redemption, the Jews of the community would still not feel redeemed.
The rabbis feared the community would be despondent and their faith in their
ultimate redemption would decrease.
The rabbis therefore established the
tradition “to strengthen the faith and trust [of the community] in the
redemption of the Jewish people and the coming of the Messiah,” Ben-Dahan
Chetboun, whose parents immigrated from Morocco to Israel, lauded
the celebration as a cultural contribution to the state.
“The Mimouna is
the warmth and hospitality which immigrants from Morocco and North Africa
contributed to Israeli society,” Chetboun said.
“Above the arguments and
the differences between cultures and communities, and for sure beyond the
political arguments, we are all one people and its important to remember
“We must also remember the spiritual value of the Mimouna as a sign
of the expectation and yearning for the coming of the redeemer at the end of
Passover, from the redemption of Egypt to the future
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also attended a Mimouna in the
capital, saying that the holiday unites the people and the
Economy and Trade Minister and Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali
Bennett attended a Mimouna in the southern city of Netivot and helped make the
muflettot at the event.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife
Sara also attended a Mimouna festival, traveling to a local celebration in Or