Jewish Morocco

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kosher Catering

Are you part of the group? I asked.
No, I live here.

Last year on a trip to Morocco, Moti decided to make Marrakech his permanent home. I was confused.

I lived in Israel for 40 years but now I’ve found my home.
You’re Israeli then?
Yes.
Are you Moroccan?
Yes, I was born in Casablanca but my family is originally from Marrakech.
What do your friends think?
They think I’m crazy.

He handed me a business card. He is a shochet, a ritual slaughterer, and is now a kosher caterer…in Morocco.

I‘m likely to be in Marrakech for Yom Kippur, can I pray with you? I asked.
Of course, here is where you can sleep and we’ll break the fast together the next night.

I got excited. What an experience this would be. Moti introduced me to his wife. His wife, who’s British, met Moti last year while touring Morocco. A short while later they were married. She tells this story in a much more magical way but to hear it was fantastic. She is currently studying the mellah of Marrakech and mapping the cemetery. She bakes challah in the communal oven close to the synagogue that was most likely the oven that most of the neighborhood Jews frequented. I told her I had heard that there was a map of the mellah in the synagogue and if she knew where that was. She pointed behind me and there it was pointing out dozens of synagogues and other religious institutions. I look forward to seeing her and Moti again for Yom Kippur.

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