The Baba Sali

March 22nd 2011

The Baba Sali, Rabbi Israel Abuhazera, was from a leading rabbinical family in Morocco. Baba Sali, born in 1889, came to live in Israel when he was 70 years old. He lived in the Negev town of Netivot and secluded himself in his home. People would gather in his home to receive his blessing, especially for healing. His tomb, also in Netivot, receives around 600,000 visitors every year. The Baba Sali complex is divided into a women’s section and a men’s section, with the tomb in the center. On his Hebrew date of death, typically in January, close to 100,000 people visit his tomb and take part in the Moroccan Jewish community’s customs. Worshippers place objects close to the tomb in the hope of receiving a blessing, and women dance and sing to the rhythm of a drummer.