DAILY LIFE STORIES: Jewish Pilgrims, Egypt
Pilgrims visit the 125-year old tomb of Rabbi Yaakov Abu Hatzeira in Damanhour, Egypt on the anniversary of his death.
After Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979, Jewish pilgrims, mostly of Moroccan origin, visit the tomb of the 19th-century Jewish holy man in the Nile Delta.
Rabbi Abu Hatzeira, the son to a chief rabbi of Morocco is revered by some Jews as a mystic renowned for his piety and for performing miracles. The elderly rabbi was traveling from his native Morocco to the Holy Land in 1879 when he fell ill and died in the Egyptian city of Damanhour near Alexandria.
The tomb is a vestige of Egypt’s once-prosperous Jewish community, which in 1948 numbered about 80,000 people.
Since these photos, Egypt has limited the numbers of pilgrims and with the political situation it has become more difficult and dangerous for them to visit.