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November 25, 2015 / 13 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘pilgrimage’

Alexandria Court Bans Annual Jewish Pilgrimage to Holy Rabbi’s Tomb

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

The Supreme Court of Alexandria has ‘permanently’ banned the three-day festival and celebration of the life of Rabbi Ya’akov Abuhatzeira, held on the anniversary of death.

The yearly event includes a worldwide Jewish pilgrimage to the tomb of the Moroccan Torah sage who set out from his home for Israel in 1879.

The rabbi was known for his skills in kabbalah and other ancient knowledge. He fell ill while passing through the Nile Delta region of Buheira and died in the small city of Damtu.

Since the signing of the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, Jews have flocked to the tomb annually to pay their respects and celebrate the life of the Torah sage.

The celebration and pilgrimage were canceled for the first time since then in 2012, when the post-revolutionary government deemed the atmosphere to be unsafe to Jewish pilgrimage.

At that time, groups from across the political spectrum announced a plan to form human shields to prevent “Zionist” visitors from visiting the tomb on the anniversary of the rabbi’s death.

The tomb is registered with the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities as a Jewish Heritage Site. Among those protesting was the Muslim Brotherhood – which was leading the way towards the presidency – as well as the Freedom and Justice Party, Nasserist Trend and the Mohamed ElBaradei campaign.

This year it is not the Cairo government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who is issuing the edict, but rather the provincial court.

The court also called on the government to reverse the 2001 recognition of the festival as an event listed by state tourism officials and to remove it from the list of recognized shrines.

A request by the Israeli government for permission to transfer the remains of the rabbi to a grave in the State of Israel was denied because Islam forbids exhumation.

The judge in the case cited unspecified “moral offenses” as the reason for the ban and for stripping the site of its status, Al Arabiya reported.

Nevertheless, a government official who requested anonymity told the Cairo-based Al Ahram newspaper earlier this week that the court has no jurisdiction over recognition of sites as shrines. He added that Egypt’s government will appeal the move if necessary.

Uman Jews Fined $15K for Breslov Pilgrims’ Tent City

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

The city of Uman has fined its Jewish community $15,000 for the erecting an unlicensed tent city to greet pilgrims to the gravesite of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov for the Rosh HaShana holiday.

The sum was reached as a compromise with “quality of government” activists pushing to dismantle the tents, and city officials, by the Rabbi Nachman International Charitable Foundation.

“There were legal issues with a tent city for 2,500 people, which we operate on Rosh HaShana,” Rabbi Shimon Buskila of the World Breslov Center told JTA on Wednesday prior to the holiday.

Buskila oversees operations related to the annual pilgrimage and the permanent Jewish presence in Uman.

The Ukrainian city of Uman is still the focal point for the Breslov Chassidic group whose founder, Rebbe Nachman, died in 1810.

This year a record number of more than 30,000 of the Rebbe’s Chassidim from 25 different countries flocked to his tomb for the holiday despite the difficult situation in eastern Ukraine.

Boryspil International Airport was tasked with handling over 20,000 Hasidic Jews from all over the world, using 236 special flights, according to the International Business Times, which quoted airport statistics to reveal that most came from the U.S. and Israel.

Tunisia Leader Facing Flack Over Jewish Pilgrimage to El Ghriba

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Just one day after Tunisia’s leader urged officials not to make a fuss over normalization of ties with Israel, the country’s parliament voted to “interview” its tourism minister for deciding to allow Israelis to participate in the annual Lag B’Omer pilgrimage to El Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba.

The elected National Constituent Assembly (NCA) has announced it will question Tourism Minister Amel Karboul over the decision to allow Israelis to enter Tunisia.  Also to be “interviewed” will be Security Minister Sefar Ridha, according to international media reports.

“Our problem is not with our Jewish brothers who come for the pilgrimage but with the Zionist entity that occupies Palestinian territories,” said leftist Democratic Alliance head Mohammed Hamdi.

Since the country’s Jasmine Revolution in January 2011, Tunisia has struggled with a massive economic crisis.  Interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa warned the parliament Tuesday it was in Tunisia’s best interest to “make the tourist season a success, because tourism is one of the activities that brings immediate cash to the country.”

Of those activities, Jomaa noted, tourism professionals have determined “the pilgrimage to Ghriba must be successful for the tourist season to be successful.” He added, “This is a tradition known to us – the pilgrimage has been taking place for years.”

The tourism industry in Tunisia employs some 400,000 people and accounts for seven percent of the GDP.  Jomaa’s decision to create a policy of tourism “transparency” means that Israelis can for the first time use their official passports to enter the country for the pilgrimage, rather than a specific Tunisian embassy-issued document.

Tunisia had “offices of interest” in Tel Aviv in 1996, and Israel had one in Tunis as well. Those ties were established just two years after the closure of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters which had existed in Tunisia for the twelve years prior.  But the fragile ties established between Tunisia and Israel were torn apart in October 2000 when the PLO succeeded in launching the second intifada in Israel – prompting Tunis to freeze ties in a protest against Israel’s efforts to quell the violence.

For years Jews have gone to Tunisia for the pilgrimage, with or without formal Israeli-Tunisian diplomatic ties. But an Al Qaeda terror attack on the synagogue in 2002 left 21 people dead, and killed the tourist event for the next decade. The Jasmine Revolution and the Arab Spring did the rest.

A Pilgrimage to Shiloh, Like the Days of Old

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Centuries before Jews trekked to Jerusalem for prayer, Jewish pilgrims came to the Mishkan Tabernacle in Shiloh to pray to God on chaggim, holidays and whenever they could.  Yes, the Shiloh where I live is the same Shiloh, which was the spiritual and administrative Capital of the Jewish Nation for almost four hundred years, from the time of Joshua until Shmuel Hanavi, Samuel the Prophet.

Yesterday,  a group of women came from all over Israel to visit and pray at the ancient site, Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh.  They have been in touch with me via social media, mostly Facebook  and we have been planning this trip for months.

They traveled from various parts of the country by bus and car for the opportunity to pray where Chana prayed and see the modern Jewish community that has grown on the same site where our ancestors lived and visited.

No doubt that it was due to the holiness of the spot, but everyone managed to find the strength and agility to hike all over Tel Shiloh.

The highlight, of course, was the chance to pray and say T’hillim, Psalms to God, in the very spot most experts, archaeologists and Biblical scholars believe the Mishkan had once stood.

Everyone agreed that the visit was spiritually exhilarating, despite all their time traveling.

Afterwards, we spent some time in the Visitors Center, where you can buy drinks, snacks, local crafts and souvenirs, including  wine and olive oil from the area.

Pilgrims can’t leave hungry, especially Jewish pilgrims to Shiloh.  The last stop of the group was the local dairy restaurant, pizza place, where everyone ordered a delicious meal,and we even skyped with a member of the group who presently lives abroad. Thank God for modern technology.  Of course, the entire group is due to modern technology, internet and social media.  Almost all of us are writers, bloggers and photographers, so there should be more posts in various sites and blogs in the internet about this visit.

For information about Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh, contact visit@telshilo.org.il or call 02-994-4019.  They cater to both groups and individual visitors besides running large public events during Jewish Holidays.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/a-pilgrimage-to-shiloh-like-the-days-of-old/2013/04/25/

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