Jewish Morocco

Friday, November 7, 2008

Taroudant – Oct 28

I arrived yesterday in Taroudant and quickly found a hotel by Bab Zourgane. It was one of those bus rides where everybody decides to throw up simultaneously so I was very happy to arrive. Taroudant sits at the foot of the High Atlas mountains. As usual it once had a significant Jewish community of some 1,000 years but not much remains. I found my way to the cemetery by following the inside of the surround mud brick walls. The cemetery was very large and obviously once boasted many more graves than I could at the time see. There was a full time caretaker who showed me around including to the tombs of the tzaddikim. Very few graves had Hebrew inscriptions on them despite the good condition of most of the visible graves. The Taroudant Jewish cemetery has a very interesting history that I am just beginning to discover. As I left the cemetery I asked the guardian to point me in the direction of the mellah and he did. The older pictures I had seen of the mellah showed narrow streets and alleys and all mud brick construction. It seems that over the last 50 or so years much of that has come down and been replaced by cement structures. I toured the mellah a bit but could not identify any of the buildings shown in the pictures I have.

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