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Moroccan Jews
Jews
(Arabic: اليهود المغاربة‎, translit. al-Yehud al-Magharibah Hebrew: יהודים מרוקאים‬ Yehudim Maroka'im) are the Jews
Jews
who live or have lived in the area of North African country of Morocco. Some Jews migrated to this area and settled among the Berbers. They were later met by a second wave of migration from the Iberian peninsula
Iberian peninsula
in the period immediately preceding and following the 1492 Alhambra Decree, when the Jews
Jews
were expelled from kingdoms of Spain, and soon afterwards, from Portugal
Portugal
as well. This second immigration wave deeply modified Moroccan jewry, who largely embraced the Andalusian Sephardic liturgy, making the Moroccan Jews
Jews
switch to a mostly Sephardic identity. At its peak in the 1940s, Morocco's Jewish population exceeded 250,000, but due to the migration of Moroccan Jews
Jews
to Israel
Israel
and other nations, including Operation Yachin
Operation Yachin
from 1961 to 1964, this number has been reduced to approximately 5,000. The vast majority of Moroccan Jews
Jews
now live in Israel, where they constitute the second-largest Jewish community, approximatively half a million. Other communities are found in France, Canada, Spain, the United States
United States
and South America, mainly in Venezuela, Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina.

Contents

1 History 2 Communities today 3 Culture

3.1 Music 3.2 Henna 3.3 Clothing 3.4 Mimouna

4 Religious observance

4.1 Liturgy 4.2 Religious customs

5 Notable Moroccan Jews 6 Genetics 7 See also 8 References

History[edit] Main article: History of the Jews
Jews
in Morocco

Etching of Jewish home in Mogador, Darondeau (1807–1841)

Moroccan Jews
Jews
constitute an ancient community, immigrating to the region as early as 70 CE. Until the 1950s the majority of Morocco's Jews
Jews
were still living in Morocco. In accordance with the norms of the Islamic legal system, Jewish Moroccans had separate legal courts pertaining to "personal law" under which communities (Muslim sharia, Christian Canon law
Canon law
and Jewish halakha law abiding) were allowed to rule themselves under their own system. After Israel's independence in 1948, and due to domestic strife in the 1950s, the next several decades saw waves of Jewish emigration to Israel, France
France
and Canada. Moroccan Jews
Jews
emigrated for a variety of reasons. Some have emigrated to Israel
Israel
for religious reasons, some faced persecution, and others left for better economic prospects than they faced in post-colonial Morocco. With every Arab-Israeli war, tensions between Arabs and Jews would rise, sparking more Jewish emigration. By the time of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, the majority of Morocco's Jewish population had emigrated.[12] As a protectorate of France, parts of Morocco
Morocco
were heavily influenced by French culture, while the same is true of the portions of the country that belonged to Spain. Traditionally, the Jews
Jews
were classified as being French-Moroccan or Spanish-Moroccan depending on where in Morocco
Morocco
they lived, and remnants of these classifications can be felt today. These differences are reflected in language, foods, last names and even liturgy.[citation needed] Early photographs of Moroccan Jewish families, taken in the early 20th century by German explorer and photographer Hermann Burchardt, are now held at the Ethnological Museum of Berlin.[13] A small community of around 2,000–2,500 Jews
Jews
live in Morocco
Morocco
today. However, in a rapidly increasing trend, young men from the community are emigrating to Israel
Israel
and France.[14] As of 2017, according to The Economist, "No Arab country has gone to the lengths of Morocco
Morocco
to revive its Jewish heritage."[15] The country has restored 110 synagogues and has the Arab world’s only Jewish museum.[15] More than 50,000 Israelis visit Morocco
Morocco
annually.[15] Communities today[edit]

Old Jewish quarter, Essaouira

Jewish cemetery, Essaouira

Morocco: In 2012 it was estimated that 2,000–2,500 Jews
Jews
still lived in Morocco, mainly in Casablanca.[8] Other towns are said to have smaller, aging populations. Israel: The 1950s saw large waves of Jewish emigration from Morocco
Morocco
to Israel. Many Moroccan Jews
Jews
were transferred to peripheral development towns while others settled in larger, established cities. Today, Jews of Moroccan descent can be found all across Israel. France: Large communities in France
France
include Paris, Marseille, Strasbourg, Lyon
Lyon
and Nice. Argentina: Mainly in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
and Rosario. Brazil: Amazonian Jews
Jews
mainly in Belem
Belem
(about 450 families), Manaus (about 250 families) and Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
(about 100 families),[16] with small communities scattered throughout the Amazon region. In 2009 made 200 years of the first wave of immigration to Amazon region.[17] Canada: In the 1950s Canada
Canada
began extending visas to Jews
Jews
from Morocco. Large communities developed in Montreal and Toronto. Moroccans were attracted to Canada
Canada
because of its high quality of life and to Montreal in particular because of the French language. Toronto is known for its significant Moroccan population originating from cities such as Tangiers
Tangiers
and Tetouan. In the recent past, however, an emergence of French-Moroccan musical liturgy and customs has been noticed even in this dominant Moroccan city. For example, the traditional Moroccan Bakashot, classical music sung by Sephardic
Sephardic
Jews in the winter months across countries in the Middle East on Friday night, has come to life in recent productions by Magen David Congregation and Abir Ya'akob Congregation.[citation needed] Venezuela: Concentrated mainly in Caracas. Gibraltar: The Jewish community in Gibraltar
Gibraltar
originates from Tangiers and Tetouan. United States: In 1972 the Moroccan Jewish Organization (MJO)[18] was founded. Founding Members created Moroccan Services & a Synagogue in Forest Hills, NY named Shaar Hashamayim Sephardic
Sephardic
Synagogue. Members and Participants of MJO went on to create other Moroccan Synagogues and Batei Midrashot / Houses of [Torah] Study in Manhattan (Manhattan Sephardic
Sephardic
Cong.), Brooklyn (Netivot Yisrael), Fort Lee, NJ, Cedarhurst (HaChaim veHaShalom) and Philadelphia, PA.

Culture[edit] Moroccan Jewry has developed as a hybrid of the many cultures that have shaped Morocco
Morocco
itself, namely Jewish, Arab, Berber, French and Spanish. Music[edit]

Jewish Festival in Tetuan, Alfred Dehodencq, 1865, Paris
Paris
Museum of Jewish Art and History

Even before the arrival of Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews
to Morocco, Moroccan Jews performed and developed the traditions of the Andalusian classical music and introduced it into their Liturgical music. In his book "Jews of Andalusia and the Maghreb" on the musical traditions in Jewish societies of North Africa, Haim Zafrani writes: "In Spain
Spain
and Morocco, Jews
Jews
were ardent maintainers of Andalusian music and the zealous guardians of its old traditions ...."[19] Henna[edit] Traditional Henna parties usually take place within the week before a special occasion, such as a wedding, Bar and Bat Mitzvah, or baby showers. During pre-wedding Henna parties, the Matriarch of the family (often the grandmother) smudges henna in the palm of the bride and groom to symbolically bestow the new couple with good health, fertility, wisdom, and security. The henna is believed in Moroccan tradition to protect the couple from demons. The grandmother covers the henna, a dough-like paste produced by mixing crushed henna plant leaves with water, in order to lock in body heat and generate a richer color. Normally, the henna will dye skin orange for up to 2 weeks. In Moroccan folklore, the bride is exempt of her household duties until the henna completely fades. After the bride and groom are blessed with the henna, the guests also spread henna on their palms to bring good luck. Clothing[edit] Although most Moroccan Jews
Jews
tend to dress in styles of their adopted countries, traditional Moroccan clothing is sometimes worn during celebrations (Mimouna, weddings, Bar Miṣvas, etc.) or even during more intimate gatherings, such as Shabbat dinner. Men usually wear a white jellaba (jellabiya) cloak while women wear more ornate kaftans. Mimouna[edit] Mimouna
Mimouna
is celebrated by many Moroccan Jews
Jews
on the night following the last day of Passover. It has spread to be an almost national holiday in Israel
Israel
where it is particularly prevalent in the city of Haifa. Religious observance[edit] Main article: Minhag Morocco Many Rabanim have passed through and sojourned in Morocco
Morocco
leaving behind great influence. In 2008, a project to preserve Moroccan Torah and the words of its Ḥakhamim was initiated. DarkeAbotenou.com was created by a few members of the Toronto Sephardic
Sephardic
Community; devoting their time and effort to increasing global awareness of the customs and laws that Jews
Jews
of Morocco
Morocco
live with every day. Daily emails are sent in both English and French containing the customs, laws, and traditional liturgy of both the French and Spanish parts of Morocco. This daily publication is currently broadcast in both English and French.[20] Liturgy[edit] The observer of a typical Moroccan Jewish prayer service will note the presence of Oriental motifs in the melodies. However, unlike the tunes of Eastern rites (Syrian, Iraqi, etc.), which were influenced by Middle Eastern sounds, Moroccan Jewish religious tunes have a uniquely Andalusian feel. Furthermore, just as Eastern liturgical melodies are organized into Maqams, Moroccan liturgy can be classified by Noubas. The Moroccan prayer rite itself is also unique among Sephardic customs. The Moroccan nusach has many unique components but has also incorporated numerous Ashkenazic customs due to the country's proximity and exposure to Europe. Some customs of the Moroccan nusach include:

Two blessing for Hallel: One blessing (ligmor et ha'Hallel) is said when the full Hallel is recited, while the other blessing (likro et ha'Hallel) is said when the abridged Hallel is recited. Other Sephardim omit the latter. Yiru Enenu: The blessing commencing with the words Yiru Enenu (translation: Our eyes shall see) is recited after Hashkivenu in the Arvit service after the Sabbath. Many Ashkenazim say this passage on every weekday night after Hashkivenu. This custom is discussed in Tosafot
Tosafot
of Tractate Berakhot 4a. Le'David: Before the Arvit service after the Sabbath, three psalms are recited in a unique tune said to be the same tune that King David's soldiers recited them in. The psalms are Chapters 144, 67 and 44 (in that order). Some congregations begin this service with Chapter 16 in a tune that leads up to the other three psalms. Pesukei Dezimra: The opening verse of Psalm 30 ("Mizmor Shir Ḥanukat Habayit LeDavid") is added to the remainder of the Psalm during Shaḥarit of Hanuka. Other Sepharadim begin with "Aromimkha" even on Ḥanuka. Shir HaShirim: This is usually read between Mincha
Mincha
and Kabbalat Shabbat on the Sabbath eve. Other Sephardic
Sephardic
groups tend to read it before Minḥa. Moroccan Jews
Jews
chant Shir HaShirim with a unique cantillation. A common practice is for a different congregant to sing each chapter. Before the repetition of the Amidah
Amidah
in Shaḥarit and Musaf of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the hymn "Hashem sham'ati shim'akha yareti" (Translation: Hashem, I have heard your speech and was awed) is sung. The origin of this verse is Habakkuk
Habakkuk
3:2. The Moroccan tune for Torah Reading is unique to the Moroccan tradition, unlike all other Sephardic
Sephardic
Jews
Jews
who merely utilize different variations of the Yerushalmi tune. Some of the Moroccan Piyutim / Jewish Prayer Melodies and Songs - are said to come from the songs of the Leviim / Levites - that were sung on the steps leading to the Beit HaMikdash / Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Religious customs[edit]

Psalm 29
Psalm 29
and Lekha Dodi are recited sitting down in the Kabbalat Shabbat service. Packets of salt are distributed to congregants on the second night of Passover, marking the first counting of the 'Omer. The significance of salt includes the commemoration of the sacrifices in the Temple and other Kabbalistic reasons.[21] Pirke Avot
Pirke Avot
is read during the Musaf service of Shabbat between Passover and Shavuot. As well, the custom is for pre-Bar Miṣva boys to read each chapter, and this is usually performed with a special tune. After reciting the hamotzie blessing over bread, there is a custom to dip the bread into salt while reciting "Adonai melekh, Adonai malakh, Adonai yimlokh le'olam va'ed" (Translation: God reigns; God has reigned; God will reign for ever and ever). This "verse" is actually a compilation of three verses taken from Psalms and Exodus. The validity of this custom has been disputed among Moroccan Poskim
Poskim
since it may constitute an interruption of a blessing. Before the Magid section of the Passover Seder, the Seder plate
Seder plate
is raised and passed over the heads of those present while reciting "Bibhilu yaṣanu mi–miṣrayim, halaḥma 'anya bené ḥorin" (Translation: In haste we went out of Egypt [with our] bread of affliction, [now we are] free people). It can be heard here.[22]

Notable Moroccan Jews[edit]

Linor Abargil, Israeli model, and both a Miss Israel
Israel
and Miss Universe winner Reuven Abergel, founder of Israeli Black Panthers Michel Abitbol, scholar Yaakov Abuhatzeira, 19th-century rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira
Yisrael Abuhatzeira
(Baba Sali), 20th-century rabbi Amram Aburbeh, chief rabbi of Petah Tikva Zohra Al Fassiya, classical singer from the 1950s Shlomo Amar, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel Richard Attias, businessman Pierre Assouline, journalist André Azoulay, senior adviser to Mohammed VI of Morocco Audrey Azoulay
Audrey Azoulay
, Director-General of the UNESCO and French Ministry of Culture Yigal Azrouël, fashion designer Moshe Bar-Asher, linguist, president of the Academy of the Hebrew Language Zehava Ben, Israeli singer Baruj Benacerraf, immunologist, Nobel Prize laureate Elena Benarroch, fashion designer Isaac Benayon Sabbá, businessman Yossi Benayoun, Israeli footballer Samuel Benchimol, businessman, professor, scientist and economist Marc Bendavid, Canadian actor Omri Casspi, Israeli basketball player, the first Israeli in the NBA Amram ben Diwan, 18th-century rabbi Daniel Benlulu, politician Aldo Bensadoun, founder of ALDO Group
ALDO Group
footwear Daniel Ben-Simon, journalist, writer, politician David Bensoussan, engineering professor, Montreal Jewish communal leader and historian of the Jews
Jews
of Morocco Raquel Bitton, singer, actress, playwright, record producer Simone Bitton, filmmaker Emmanuelle Chriqui, actress Ralph de Toledano, politician Aryeh Deri, Israeli politician Patrick Drahi, billionaire and founder of Altice Gadi Eisenkot, Chief of Staff of the Israel
Israel
Defense Forces Alber Elbaz, fashion designer André Elbaz, painter and filmmaker Ronit Elkabetz, Israeli film maker Samy Elmaghribi, singer Edmond Amran El Maleh, writer Gad Elmaleh, comedian Arthur Essebag, television presenter David Guetta, French DJ, record producer, remixer, and songwriter Samuel Hadida, film producer Serge Haroche, physicist, Nobel Prize laureate Maguy Kakon, author and politician Marc Lasry, billionaire hedge fund manager Moses Elias Levy, 19th-century international businessman and reformer Shlomit Malka, Israeli model for Intimissimi Paul Marciano, fashion designer Ya'akov Margi, politician Jacques Morali, producer, creator of Village People
Village People
and the Ritchie Family Ze'ev Revach, Israeli actor Agam Rudberg, Israeli model and actress Abraham Serfaty, politician Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit, politician Avi Toledano, Israeli singer A.B. Yehoshua, an Israeli author Haim Zafrani, scholar and writer

Genetics[edit] Main article: Genetic studies on Jews Over the years the Moroccan Jews' DNA
DNA
was examined and studied by numerous studies, the general image of it showed that in terms of Y- DNA
DNA
it was mainly from the same Levantine source as the vast majority of the world's Jewry, meaning that they too are descendants of the Ancient Hebrews/ Israelites
Israelites
from the Biblical times. In the case of Ashkenazi
Ashkenazi
and Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews
(in particular Moroccan Jews), who are apparently closely related, the non-Jewish component is mainly southern European.[23] Genetic research shows that about 27% of Moroccan Jews
Jews
descend from one female ancestor.[24] Analysis of mitochondrial DNA
DNA
of the Jewish populations of North Africa
North Africa
(Morocco, Tunisia, Libya) was the subject of further detailed study in 2008 by Doron Behar et al.[25] The analysis concludes that Jews
Jews
from this region do not share the haplogroups of the mitochondrial DNA
DNA
haplogroups (M1 and U6) that are typical of the North African Berber and Arab populations. Similarly, while the frequency of haplogroups L, associated with sub-Saharan Africa, are present in approximately 20–25% at the Berber populations studied, these haplogroups are only present in 1.3%, 2.7% and 3.6% respectively of Jews
Jews
from Morocco, Tunisia and Libya.[25] Behar et al. conclude that it is unlikely that North African Jews
Jews
have significant Arab, or Berber admixture, "consistent with social restrictions imposed by religious restrictions," or endogamy. This study also found genetic similarities between the Ashkenazi
Ashkenazi
and North African Jews
Jews
of European mitochondrial DNA
DNA
pools, but differences between both of these of the diaspora and Jews
Jews
from the Middle East.[25] See also[edit]

Amazonian Jews Moroccan Jews
Jews
in Israel Migration of Moroccan Jews
Jews
to Israel Operation Yachin The Jewish Community of Fez

References[edit]

^ "Statistical Abstract of Israel
Israel
2009 - No. 60 Subject 2 - Table NO.24". Israeli government. Retrieved 12 December 2011.  ^ "Les Juifs marocains en France". Les Juifs marocains Dans Le Monde. Mimouna. Retrieved 12 December 2011.  ^ "Toronto". Les Juifs marocains Dans Le Monde. Mimouna. Retrieved 12 December 2011.  ^ "Montréal". Les Juifs marocains Dans Le Monde. Mimouna. Retrieved 12 December 2011.  ^ "Les Juifs marocains en Espagne". Les Juifs marocains Dans Le Monde. Mimouna. Retrieved 12 December 2011.  ^ "Les Juifs marocains au Vénézuela". Les Juifs marocains Dans Le Monde.  ^ "Les Juifs marocains au Brésil". Les Juifs marocains Dans Le Monde. Mimouna. Retrieved 12 December 2011.  ^ a b Sergio DellaPergola, World Jewish population, 2012, p. 62. ^ "Les Juifs marocains à Gibraltar". Mimouna. Retrieved 12 December 2011.  ^ [1] ^ "Les Juifs marocains en Argentine". Les Juifs marocains Dans Le Monde. Mimouna. Retrieved 12 December 2011.  ^ " Morocco
Morocco
film searches out Jews
Jews
who left". YnetNews.com. Retrieved 22 August 2017.  ^ Jewish couple in Morocco
Morocco
on the roof of their house; Jewish family during the Feast of Tabernacles on the roof of their house; Moroccan Jews
Jews
in 1905, by Hermann Burchardt; Jewish family, 1905; The Saba Synagogue, 1905; Jewish family in their home; The Ibn (Aben) Danan Synagogue, in the Mellah of Fès (click to enlarge); Jewish family in Morocco, early 20th century (click on photo to enlarge); Family portrait, Morocco. ^ "Moroccan Jews
Jews
study high-tech in Israel". YnetNews.com. Retrieved 22 August 2017.  ^ a b c "Morocco's little idyll of Jewish-Muslim coexistence". The Economist. 2 November 2017.  ^ Judaica, Amazonia. "Blog do Amazônia Judaica: Linha do Tempo da Presença Judaica na Amazônia". aj200.Blogspot.com.br. Retrieved 22 August 2017.  ^ " Portal Amazonia Judaica - Quem Somos". www.AmazoniaJudaica.org. Retrieved 22 August 2017.  ^ Moroccan Jewish Organization (MJO) "The History of the MJO". Retrieved 13 Sep 2017.  ^ Haïm Zafrani (2002). Juifs d'Andalousie et du Maghreb. Références Maisonneuve et Larose. Maisonneuve & Larose. p. 228. ISBN 978-2-7068-1629-1.  ^ Darké Abotenou » About. Darkeabotenou.com (2008-11-21). Retrieved on 4 July 2011. ^ "Salt of Omer" in the Kehila Centre Website Archived 2008-07-04 at the Wayback Machine.. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2011-07-04. ^ Pesah פסח – Bibhilou בבהילו – Jo 'Amar ג'ו עמר z"l on YouTube. Retrieved on 4 July 2011. ^ Zoossmann-Diskin, Avshalom (2010). "The Origin of Eastern European Jews
Jews
Revealed by Autosomal, Sex Chromosomal and mt DNA
DNA
Polymorphisms". Biol Direct. 5 (57): 57. doi:10.1186/1745-6150-5-57. PMC 2964539 . PMID 20925954. Archived from the original on November 16, 2012.  ^ "Genetics and the Jewish identity". The Jerusalem Post JPost.com. Retrieved 2017-05-28.  ^ a b c Behar, Doran M.; Metspalu, Ene; Kivisild, Toomas; Rosset, Saharon; Tzur, Shay; Hadid, Yarin; Yudkovsky, Guennady; Rosengarten, Dror; Pereira, Luisa (2008). MacAulay, Vincent, ed. "Counting the founders: the matrilineal genetic ancestry of the Jewish Diaspora". PLOS ONE. 3 (4): e2062. Bibcode:2008PLoSO...3.2062B. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002062. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 2323359 . PMID 18446216. 

v t e

Moroccan diaspora

Brazil/Peru Canada France
France
(Paris) Italy Mali Netherlands Spain Sweden United Kingdom United States Belgium

v t e

Demographics of Morocco

Religions

Islam

Sunni Shia

Christianity

Orthodoxy Catholicism Protestantism

Judaism

Ethnic groups

Arab Arab-Berber Berber Arabised Berbers Jewish Roma (Gypsy) other Maghrebis

Languages

Arabic

Maghrebi Arabic Modern Standard Arabic Hassaniya Arabic

Hilalian Pre-Hilalian

Berber

Standard Moroccan Berber A

.