Several hundred members of the Moroccan Jewish community gathered at the Israelite cemetery in Rabat, to celebrate the Hiloula (Yahrzeit) of Rabbi Eliezer Davila, who was born in 1714 in Salé, Rabat’s twin city, and who died in 1761.
Besides the strong, overwhelming emotions, this annual commemoration is for the Moroccan Jewish community a time to express pride and a chance to connect to their origins. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the peace, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence prevailing in the Kingdom.
Speaking during the ceremony the, vice-president of the Jewish community of Rabat-Salé, Henri Abikzer, said this annual spiritual celebration brings together hundreds of Jewish pilgrims from Morocco and abroad who gather to reaffirm their belonging to Morocco.
In Morocco, the name Davila (or De Avila) appeared in Meknes in the 18th century with Eliezer father Samuel De Avila, who later on settled in Salé, Rabat’s twin city. Eliezer Davila was a chief rabbi of Rabat, Marrakech and Salé and a prolific scholar. The Hiloula of several Jewish ‘saints’ is celebrated across Morocco by the local Jewish community.