Revisiting Mimouna, a Moroccan Jewish Passover Celebration
Tonight, the Israel Religious Action Center is hosting its first-ever Mimouna celebration.
Mimouna is one of five national holidays created after the founding of Israel in 1948. This traditional Moroccan Jewish celebration marks the return to eating chametz after nightfall, on the last day of Passover. Not many people know this, but originally, the Mimouna was a holiday that marked the good relations between the Jews and their Muslim neighbors in Morocco. At the end of the Passover holiday, the Jews would welcome all visitors back into their homes and their Muslim neighbors would bring presents and flour to prepare moflettas.
IRAC seeks to revitalize the original spirit of the festival as part of a wider initiative to create positive interactions between Jews and Arabs in Israel. The project is being led by our fieldworker, Tal Abitbol, who wants to reclaim the holiday that her grandparents used to celebrate in Morocco. We will be organizing Mimouna festivities in Jerusalem's First Train Station, and in Yaffo. Jews and Arabs will join in eating moflettas together. There will be bands playing Eastern and Arabic music, activities for children, and storytellers talking about the coexistence that prevailed in North Africa.
Every Passover, we begin the holiday by placing ourselves among those who left Egypt. We remember that we were strangers in a strange land. This Passover, we will end the holiday by celebrating our different cultures, dancing to the melodies that sing our history, and planting the seeds of coexistence to come.
On behalf of the entire IRAC staff, I wish you a free and happy Passover.