A record of more than 2,000 members of the Moroccan Jewish community from across the world visited the Moroccan city of Essaouira to celebrate the Hiloula of Saint Rabbi Haim Pinto after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Hiloula of Rabbi Haim Pinto, or the Yom Hillula, is a religious meeting that marks the anniversary of the death of Rabbi Haim Pinto.
He was one of the most popular Hiloulas – a Jewish scholar or teacher – as well as the leader of Essaouira.
Every year on the 26th of Elul – the twelfth month of the Hebrew calendar – Jews from all over the world come on pilgrimage to pray at Rabbi Haim Pinto’s grave in the old Jewish cemetery in Essaouira.
Eyal David, Israel’s deputy head of mission in Morocco said on Twitter: “I am sure that they [the Israeli tourists] will enjoy discovering this wonderful historical city [Essaouira] that I personally adore.”
Since they re-established diplomatic ties in December 2020, Morocco and Israel have taken a series of measures to consolidate relations, including boosting the Israeli tourism market in the North African country.
Last April, more than 15,000 Israeli tourists visited Morocco to celebrate Passover.