Hundreds of pilgrims in Morocco to celebrate life of Rabbi Haim Pinto


(JTA) — Hundreds of Jewish pilgrims visited Morocco to pray on the grave of Rabbi Haim Pinto on the anniversary of his death.

The annual, four-day celebration, or Hiloula, of Pinto’s legacy, which ended Sunday, attracted nearly 1,500 pilgrims to the coastal city of Essaouira in Western Morocco, the Moroccan news agency MAP reported.

The tomb of Pinto, a venerated rabbinical judge who died in 1845, has for decades attracted many Jewish pilgrims on and around the 26th of Elul, the date of his death on the Jewish calendar.

This year’s event was attended by Andre Azoulay, one of the advisors to Moroccan King Mohammed VI, and the governor for the Province of Essaouira, Abdelouahab El Jabri, MAP reported.

Rabbi David Pinto from Paris, a descendant of Rabbi Haim Pinto with many followers in Israel and France, thanked local authorities in his speech for facilitating the celebration.

El Jabri was quoted as pledging his country’s support for promoting a dialogue between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East and beyond.

In April, the Jewish Museum of Casablanca reopened following a major renovation funded by the Moroccan government. The renovation was part of a broad effort led by Morocco’s king to restore Jewish heritage sites in the country, including an ancient synagogue in Fez and dozens of former Jewish schools.

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