Saturday, August 01, 2015

F2F in Netivot and the Baba Sali

Last week, for the second time, a group of facebook friends and I met in Netivot. For some, the attraction of Netivot is the Tomb of the Baba Sali, and one member of the group lives right near there. It's a popular place of prayer, because he was considered a very holy and wise Jew.
Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira was a Moroccan-descent Rabbi and Kabbalist Teacher.
Baba Sali has become legendary to Moroccan Jews and is known as the “Praying Father” of the Moroccan Jewish community, who made Aliyah to Israel in the middle of the twentieth century. Baba Sali was part of a lineage of great talmudic scholars, and his sons continue to lead religious lives. He was married to his wife when he was 16, and she would play a large role in his religious pursuits. He is known for miracles preformed, particularly healing a crippled IDF soldier, and for helping lead the Moroccan Aliyah to the young State of Israel.
His funeral, in 1984, was attended by an estimated 100,000 people and his tomb has become a pilgrimage site to Moroccan Jews. (Jewish Virtual Library)

You're not going to find the crowds that make Kever Rachel so unpleasant.

I'd say that it's heimish if you don't mind my using a Yiddish word to describe a pilgrimage spot most popular with Moroccan Jews. The food is there for the saying of blessings. It reminded me of a Sephardi/North African Jewish shiva house, one in which someone is in the week of mourning. There's lots of food, and the visitors are encouraged to make blessings and eat. The Ashkenaz custom is not to serve, since the mourner isn't supposed to be caring for the visitor. The mourner is to be cared for.

The reason we returned to Netivot to see a friend who had recently recovered from a serious medical problem. It was a celebration, and we met for dinner at a lovely dairy restaurant called KAKAO.  The food was great.

We didn't try desserts. I had their Five Color Health Salad, and they brought me olive oil when I requested it.

Miriam, another member of the group also blogged about it. I had a wonderful time and can't wait unit we meet again.


Netivotgirl said...

Lovely post about a wonderful meeting of dear friends! Thank you Batya once again for your delightful writing!!

Batya Medad said...

Thank you for your generosity