Every city we visited had a Mellah. A Mellah is the Jewish quarter. In case you are in doubt, yes Morocco is a Muslim country. But the Jewish faith has existed here for 2000 years. As it always seems to do, it has had tribulations and survived and prospered.
The Jews in Morocco date back to early Berber tribes and manged to flourish. Things began to change during the inquisition and the Nazis.
The inquisition and the Nazis both lead to a diaspora across the Mediterranean into Morocco. The Jewish population peaked at about 300,000, until 1948 when the state of Israel absorbed most of them.
Their life in Morocco was a mixed bag. They were allowed to trade in some of the most prosperous trades and free to go about their business during the day. At night they were confined, under guard in the Mellahs.
Today there are about 10,000 jews in Morocco, mostly in Fez. In fact, the Mayor of Fez is Jewish. Under the current king of Morocco, whom you might call a progressive, Jewish schools receive state funding. He has issued a royal invitation to Jewish expatraites to return to Morocco, and many have.
Just a few more of the hundreds of graves in this large cemetary.
OK, so that is short and sweet. I made this special post to illustrate the openness of the Moroccan people and because each city guide we had made sure we visited the Mellah.
I hope you enjoyed it. Keep the faith. L’Chaim.
Spin the coconut and share this post, toda rabah.