Egypt to Block Jewish Pilgrims to Abuhatzeira Tomb

Egyptians plan to block Israelis from making their annual pilgrimage to the tomb of Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira. The country’s Islamist parties and other activists vowed last week to put an end to Jews visiting the grave site of the 19th centry rabbi, son of a chief rabbi of Morocco and known among Jews to be a Kabbalist.

Rabbi Abuhatzeira was elderly when he became ill and died near Alexandria while traveling in 1879 from Morocco to the Holy Land. According to tradition, his followers attempted three times to move his body from Egypt — but each time, heavy storms blocked the effort. The tomb is located in the village of Daymouta in the Nile Delta, about 180 kilometers (112 miles) north of Cairo.

The peace treaty signed between the two countries in 1979 should have allowed Israeli Jews to travel freely to pray at the grave site and to mark the day of the rabbi’s passing, but the privilege has been allowed sporadically at best.


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