Preservation of the
Jewish cemetery
of Sefrou in Morocco

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time is against us, We must save the cemetery

The graves crumble and are revealed,
the sweepers ready to clear everything

וַיֹּ֖אמֶר מֶ֣ה עָשִׂ֑יתָ ק֚וֹל דְּמֵ֣י אָחִ֔יךָ צֹעֲקִ֥ים אֵלַ֖י מִן־הָֽאֲדָמָֽה
And He said, "What have you done? Hark! Your brother's blood cries out to Me from the earth. -Bereshit (Genesis) - Chapter 4

Why we must save the Jewish cemetery of Sefrou in Morocco

The preservation of the Jewish cemetery of Sefrou in Morocc

Overall, saving the Jewish cemetery of Sefrou in Morocco is crucial for preserving history, respecting the deceased, promoting cultural understanding, and fostering tolerance and dialogue. It serves as a reminder of Morocco’s diverse past and contributes to the enrichment of its cultural landscape.


Join our fundraising team, create your own and make a donation to help finance our sacred and urgent campaign, to really save the cemetery of Sefrou


Historical and Cultural Significance

The Jewish cemetery of Sefrou holds immense historical and cultural value. It represents the rich Jewish heritage in Morocco and serves as a tangible link to the Jewish community that once thrived in Sefrou. Preserving the cemetery helps to maintain this historical narrative and promotes an understanding of the diverse religious and cultural fabric of Morocco.


Respect for the Deceased Aleem Hashalom

Cemeteries are sacred spaces where individuals are laid to rest, and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Preserving the Jewish cemetery of Sefrou ensures that the final resting place of the Jewish community is not forgotten or desecrated. It is a way to honor and remember those who came before us.


Educational & Research Purposes

Jewish cemeteries, like the one in Sefrou, can be valuable resources for historical research, genealogy, and the study of Jewish culture. They provide insights into the lives, traditions, and beliefs of the Jewish community in a particular region. Preserving the cemetery allows scholars, researchers, and future generations to learn from and engage with this important historical site.

The story about the jewish community of sefrou in morocco

The Jewish community of Sefrou in Morocco has a long and rich history that dates back several centuries. Sefrou, located in the Fes-Meknes region of northern Morocco, was once a thriving center of Jewish life in the country.

The Jewish community of Sefrou established several synagogues, religious schools, and social organizations. The most notable synagogue was the Beth El Synagogue, which served as a spiritual and communal center for the Jewish community. It was renowned for its beautiful architecture and intricate designs.

In the mid-20th century, as Morocco gained independence from French colonial rule, the Jewish population of Sefrou, like in many other parts of the country, began to decline. Political changes, including the establishment of the State of Israel, led to significant emigration of Moroccan Jews seeking better opportunities and safety.

Today, the Jewish community in Sefrou is much smaller than it once was, with only a handful of Jewish residents remaining.

However, the Jewish cemetery in Sefrou stands as a testament to the community’s past and its enduring legacy. Efforts are being made to preserve and protect this historic site as a cultural heritage asset.

Despite the diminished size of the community, Sefrou continues to be a place of cultural and historical interest, attracting visitors who are intrigued by its Jewish heritage and the unique blend of Moroccan and Jewish traditions that once thrived in the city.

© INCYO – 2023. All rights reserved. – כל הזכויות שמורות ואין להעתיק שום תוכן או תוכנה

The Tsadikim (Saints) of Sefrou

In Sefrou, Morocco, there is a rich tradition of Jewish saints, known as tzaddikim or righteous individuals, who are revered by the local Jewish community. These saints are believed to possess spiritual power and are venerated for their piety, wisdom, and ability to intercede on behalf of their followers. While there are several Jewish saints associated with Sefrou, two prominent figures are Rabbi Moche Elbaz Rabbi Shalom Ben Attar.

  1. Rabbi Amram Ben Diwan: Rabbi Amram Ben Diwan was a highly revered tzaddik who lived in Sefrou during the 19th century. He was known for his deep devotion to God, his exceptional knowledge of Jewish texts, and his ability to perform miracles. Rabbi Elbaz’s tomb, located in the Jewish cemetery of Sefrou, is a significant pilgrimage site for both local Jews and Jews from other parts of Morocco and beyond. Many visit his tomb to seek blessings, guidance, and to pay their respects.

  2. Rabbi Shalom Ben Attar: Rabbi Shalom Ben Attar, also known as the “Or HaChaim” (Light of Life), was born in Sefrou in the 18th century. He was a renowned scholar and kabbalist whose teachings and insights on Jewish mysticism were highly regarded. Rabbi Ben Attar’s tomb, located in Jerusalem, is considered a holy site, and his teachings continue to influence Jewish thought and spirituality.

These Jewish saints, along with others associated with Sefrou, hold a significant place in the religious and cultural traditions of the local Jewish community. They are revered for their spiritual wisdom, their ability to perform miracles, and their role as intercessors between their followers and the Divine. The veneration of these saints reflects the deep faith and religious devotion of the Jewish community in Sefrou and their belief in the power of these righteous individuals to bring blessings and spiritual guidance.

our duty and our mission to save the cemetery of Sefrou

Preserving and saving the cemetery of Sefrou is indeed a duty and a mission that carries significant importance. the question is what is the danger of not taking care of the preservation of the cemetery of Sefrou...,

If the preservation of the cemetery of Sefrou is neglected or not given proper attention, several dangers and negative consequences may arise:

  1. Desecration and Vandalism: Without proper care and protection, the cemetery may be vulnerable to acts of desecration and vandalism. This could include damage to tombstones, destruction of gravesites, or theft of valuable artifacts. Such acts not only disrespect the deceased but also erode the historical and cultural significance of the site.

  2. Loss of Historical and Cultural Heritage: The cemetery of Sefrou holds immense historical and cultural value. If left uncared for, the site may deteriorate over time, leading to the loss of valuable information, inscriptions, and architectural features. The loss of this heritage diminishes our understanding of the Jewish community in Sefrou and its contributions to the region’s history.

  3. Irreversible Damage: Neglecting the preservation of the cemetery can result in irreversible damage to the site. Natural elements, such as erosion, weathering, and vegetation overgrowth, can gradually degrade the tombstones and structures. Once the damage is done, it may be difficult or impossible to fully restore the cemetery to its original state.

Urban planning needs in the vicinity of the cemetery of Sefrou can also pose certain risks and challenges if not carefully considered and integrated with preservation efforts. Here are some potential dangers:

  1. Encroachment and Disturbance: If urban planning activities encroach upon the cemetery’s boundaries or take place in close proximity without proper safeguards, it can disrupt the sanctity and tranquility of the site. Noise pollution, vibrations from construction, and increased human activities near the cemetery can negatively impact the peaceful environment and potentially damage the cemetery’s physical integrity.

  2. Lack of Adequate Space and Infrastructure: Urban development that disregards the need for adequate space and infrastructure around the cemetery can lead to overcrowding and insufficient facilities for visitors. This can result in difficulties in accessing and maintaining the cemetery, limiting its potential as a cultural and historical resource.

  3. Loss of Context and Visual Integrity: Inadequate urban planning may result in the loss of the cemetery’s visual integrity and context within the surrounding built environment. Unplanned or incompatible development can disrupt the historical landscape and visual character, diminishing the cemetery’s aesthetic value and its ability to convey its historical significance.

“And it was because your son will ask you tomorrow to say what is this? The voice of the blood of your brothers shouting to me from the ground! You shall not stand on the blood of your neighbor, I am the Lord. “

We work hard these days to perpetuate and honor the graves of tzaddikim and genius rabbis and Jewish trumpeters who are buried in the place of the ancient cemetery that has existed for more than a thousand years.

We are all connected to our roots and it is impossible to remain indifferent when you see the state of the cemetery and the yeshiva in the state they are in, ruined gravestones, gravestones sunk into the ground, holes, unburied bones, bushes growing everywhere, and wild animals wandering around and entering the graves, and hundreds of gravestones we have lost over the years already do not exist! The bones are crying out from the ground and begging please respect us we are obligated to take care of those who have taken care of us for generations.

Therefore, we decided to take matters into our own hands and carry out a project to renovate the place, which is over twelve thousand square meters in size, as part of the renovation, all the headstones will be renewed with concrete that will remain over the years, and the entire area of the cemetery will be covered with concrete asphalt to prevent the growth of weeds between the headstones, and in order That the tombstones will not sink again in the future in the wet ground and also for the convenience of the worshipers to move between the graves of the martyrs of Zafar. If we do not act immediately, we will no longer know and there will be no trace left of the part of the cemetery except for the fence with sheep lying there.

As everyone knows, the city of Tzafro, known as the city of sages, writers and righteous people, is a few kilometers away from the big city in Israel called Faz, and tens of thousands of Jews pass through Sefrou to go to the Atlas Mountains and beyond, where many righteous people are buried along the way. We must respect and facilitate the thousands of people who every year come to pour out their hearts to the tzaddik and his holy ones, and therefore – we see the need to prepare a suitable place for those who come from a long and steep road.

Therefore, with God’s help, we want to build a hospitality hall with refreshments and comfortable services. These Jews will be happy to stop at the cemetery. of Sefrou if the place will be accessible and respectable and they will be able to pray and pour out their hearts in banking and settlement of the mind and also, the mother of the sons yeshiva located in Malach in Sefrou where our parents and thousands of Jews were educated, the situation is at a low ebb as you can see in the pictures and in the video it is deteriorating and it really hurts my heart to see how everything is going down the drain now – dear brothers , friends, family and the people of Sefrou, let’s give thanks and together, we will return Atra to its former glory.

We will all participate without profit in this large project to renovate these places immediately and immediately and yeshiva if the sons will be a very respectable place to receive guests for the thousands of immigrants, but to contain the festivities.

Together with the large community of Sefrou expatriates in New York, which takes a large part in the project and is closely aligned with the community and authorities in Morocco.

The above project can be certain until the Rosh Chodesh of Elul, the month of mercy and forgiveness, and surely in this you will be blessed with happiness and wealth and all that is good. Surely our forefathers prayed for us and we will be blessed with all the blessings of salvation, and what is said in us will be fulfilled – Moshibi the barren of the house is the mother of the sons, happy is she .

״וְהָיָה כִּי יִשְׁאָלְךָ בִנְךָ מָחָר לֵאמֹר מַה זֹּאת? קוֹל דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ צֹעֲקִים אֵלַי מִן הָאֲדָמָה! לֹא תַעֲמֹד עַל דַּם רֵעֶךָ אֲנִי ה׳. ״

אנו עמלים רבות בימים אלו בכדי להנציח ולכבד את קברי רבני צדיקי וגאוני וקדושי ויהודי צפרו הקבורים במקום בית הקברות העתיק הקיים יותר מאלף שנה. כולנו מחוברים לשורשים שלנו ואי אפשר להישאר אדישים כשרואים את המצב של הבית העלמין והישיבה במצב בו הם נמצאים, מצבות הרוסות, מצבות שקועות באדמה, חורים, עצמות לא קבורים, שיחים הגדלים לכל עבר, וחיות בר מסתובבים ונכנסים לקברים, ומאות מצבות אבדנו במשך השנים שכבר לא קיימות! העצמות זועקות מן האדמה ומתחננות אנא כבדו אותנו אנו מחוייבים לדאוג לאלו שדאגו לנו במשך דורות. לכן, החלטנו לקחת את הדברים בידיים ולבצע מיזם לשיפוץ המקום שגודלו מעל לשנים עשר אלף מטר רבוע, אשר במסגרת השיפוץ יחודשו כלל המצבות בבטון שישאר לאורך השנים וכן יכוסה כל שטחו של בית-העלמין באספלט בטון כדי למנוע צמיחה של עשבים שוטים בין המצבות, ועל מנת שהמצבות לא ישקעו שוב בעתיד באדמה הרטובה וכן עבור נוחות התפתפללים לנוע בין קברי קדושי צפרו. אם אנחנו לא פועלים מיד כבר לא נדע ולא ישאר זכר מחלק בית העלמין למעט הגדר עם כבשים שרועים במקום.

כידוע לכל, העיר צפרו הידועה כעיר של חכמים וסופרים וצדיקים נמצאת מספר קילומטרים בודדים מהעיר הגדולה ואם בישראל הנקראת פאס ועשרות אלפי יהודים עוברים דרך צפרו לנסוע להרי האטלס ועוד היכן שקבורים הרבה צדיקים בדרכים. עלינו לכבד ולהקל על אלפי אנשים שמדי שנה באים לשפוך את ליבם לצדיק וקדושי צפרו ולכן – רואים אנו בכך את הצורך להכין מקום ראוי עבור הבאים מדרך ארוכה ותלולה לכן בעזרת השם יתברך רוצים אנחנו לבנות אולם הכנסת אורחים עם כיבוד ושרותים נוחים יהודים אלו ישמחו לעצור בבית העלמין של צפרו אם המקום יהיה נגיש ומכובד ויוכלו להתפלל ולשפוך את ליבם בנקיות וביישוב הדעת וכמו כן, ישיבת אם הבנים הנמצאת במלאח שבצפרו איפה שהורינו ואלפי יהודים התחנכו , המצב בשפל כמו שאתם רואים בתמונות ובווידאו מדורדר וממש כואב הלב לראות איך הכל יורד לטמיון עתה – אחים יקרים, חברים משפחה ואנשי צפרו, בואו נכיר תודה ויחד , נחזיר עטרה ליושנה נשתתף כולנו ללא מטרת רווח בפרויקט הגדול הזה לשפץ את המקומות האלו תיכף ומיד וישיבת אם הבנים יהיה מקום מאוד מכובד להכנסת אורחים לאלפי העולים, ואולם להכיל בו את ההילולות.

יחד עם הקהילה גדולה של יוצאי צפרו בניו יורק, אשר לוקחת חלק גדול בפרויקט ובהתאמה דבוקה עם הקהילה והרשויות במרוקו. הפרויקט הנ״ל יכול להיות מסויים עד ראש חודש אלול התשפ”א הבא עלינו לטובה, חודש הרחמים והסליחות ובוודאי בזה תזכו לאושר ועושר וכל טוב בוודאי אבותינו התפללו עלינו ונזכה לכל הברכות הישועות, ויקויים בנו מה שנאמר – מוֹשִׁיבִי עֲקֶרֶת הַבַּיִת אֵם הַבָּנִים שְׂמֵחָה הַלְלוּ יָהּ.

save the Jewish cemetery of Sefrou