Moroccan Jews: Pesach Will Have a Different Taste because of Quarantine

It is during this period of the year that Moroccan Jews are preparing to celebrate Pesach, making exceptional preparations to welcome this sacred religious holiday which brings together the largest number of Jewish families.

This year, the holiday will be celebrated differently, owing to the health restrictions imposed on Moroccan citizens through the ban of gatherings and the obligation to respect distances between individuals, in order to counter the spread of the Coronavirus.

Susane, who lives in Rabat, says that the appropriate atmosphere for this holy holiday for Jews is not ensured this year because of the quarantine. Instead of celebrating it with all their members, families will have to be content with as few individuals as possible, three at best. “Nevertheless, it is impossible not to celebrate holy holiday. It’s like Ramadan for Muslims. It will be an opportunity for us to pray and make wishes,” she added.

For her part, Karen, from Casablanca, spoke of the importance of Mimouna. It is the last night of the eight-day festival, during which Jews meet with Muslims among friends and neighbors to spend joyful moments in a festive atmosphere of music and dance. However, this is not possible in the present circumstances.

Maurice, who also lives in Casablanca, says that this festival was known for the mass arrival of Jews from all over the world to take part in the celebrations. But this is no longer possible today, especially since the temples have been closed for some time. So everyone will have to celebrate this occasion at home, with as few family members as possible. “Even celebrating Mimouna is no longer possible.”

It should be remembered that Moroccan Jews celebrate Passover from April 10 to 17, a feast that reminds them of the exodus and their liberation from slavery imposed by Pharaoh and their departure from Egypt, with the help of the Prophet Moses, peace be upon him.

The celebrations of this holy religious feast among the Jews begin about a month before its date. Thus, families make sure to change their furniture, repaint their homes and buy supplies for this occasion during which they eat special dishes, according to what many members of the Jewish community residing in Casablanca have confirmed to us.

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