Home > Egypt, Gaza, Israel, Morocco, Palestinian Authority > Israeli pilgrims flock to Rabbi Abuhatzeira’s burial site in Egypt

Israeli pilgrims flock to Rabbi Abuhatzeira’s burial site in Egypt

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (WJC) — Several hundred Israeli Jews have come to Egypt for an annual pilgrimage to the tomb of a 19th-century rabbi in the Nile Delta. Last year, Egypt had denied the pilgrims entry because the anniversary coincided with Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip. In past years, Cairo limited the number of pilgrims visiting the tomb of Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira near the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, but according to Israeli newspapers President Hosni Mubarak accepted a request from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow unlimited numbers of pilgrims to travel there. An Israeli diplomat said Mubarak personally approved Netanyahu’s request and instructed intelligence chief Omar Suleiman to take measures to ensure the worshipers’ safety.

Cairo airport officials say about 290 Israelis arrived on Sunday and police imposed tight security at the airport and on the main highway to Alexandria, where they will spend few days before the commemoration of the anniversary of the rabbi’s death on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rabbi Abuhatzeira, who was a son to a chief rabbi of Morocco, is revered by some Jews as a mystic renowned for his piety and for performing miracles. He was on his way from his native Morocco to the Holy Land in 1879 when he fell ill and died in the Egyptian city of Damanhour, near Alexandria. Abuhatzeira was the grandfather of Yisrael Abuhatzeira, also known as the Baba Sali, a revered rabbi and kabbalist whose tomb in Netivot is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in Israel.

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

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