Under the influence of Hasidic-Ashkenazi orthodoxy, the Oriental Jews adopted the worship of rabbis over time and thus the custom of making pilgrimages to them or their graves. Every January in southern Israel, the Hilulla festival takes place at the tomb of Baba Sali in the desert city of Netivot and attracts hundreds of thousands. The cultural religious gathering is based on traditions of Moroccan Jews.
In 1951, Abuhatzeira immigrated to Israel and settled in Lod, where he tried to hide from the public. However, he was soon discovered and offered the post of chief rabbi of Lod, which he turned down. When Abuhatzeira learned that Jewish life in Morocco had deteriorated spiritually, he returned to his birth country and took it upon himself to guide and inspire the local community. In 1964 he returned to Israel and settled in Netivot.
Baba Sali was not only a rabbi and a recognized arbiter of Jewish halacha (religious law), but also a scholar of Kabbalah. He always wore the traditional...
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