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Chaim Pinto Synagogue

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Chaim Pinto Synagogue

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Basic Information

Location Essaouira
Country Morocco
City Essaouira

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Geographical Coordinates 31.51306,-9.76972


Summary

The Chaim Pinto Synagogue, an historic site in Essaouira, Morocco, formerly known as Mogador, Morocco, was the home and synagogue of Rabbi Chaim Pinto. Although there is no longer a Jewish community in Essaouira, the building is an active synagogue, used when pilgrims or Jewish tour groups visit the city. The synagogue is on the second floor of a three-story, courtyard building inside the walls of the old city that also contained Rabbi Pinto's home and office. The building is of whitewashed plaster over masonry. The synagogue consists of a single large room. There are two women's sections, one across the courtyard and one on the third floor, both with windows looking into the synagogue. The synagogue room underwent a modern renovation, concealing the ceiling and column capitals, and painting the wood of the Torah Ark and Bimah light blue.

General

Rabbi Ḥaim Pinto (1748–1845) was the leading rabbi in the seaport city of Essaouira, Morocco, known in his lifetime as Mogador, Morocco. Rabbi Pinto, himself born into a distinguished rabbinic family, had four sons, Rabbi Yehouda also known as Rabbi Haddan, Rabbi Yossef, Rabbi Yehoshiya and Rabbi Yaacov. Annually, on the anniversary of Rabbi Pinto's death, ( 26 Elloul 5605, in the Jewish calendar) Jews from around the world come on pilgrimage to pray at the rabbi's grave in the Jewish Cemetery of Essaouira. Rabbi Pinto is remembered as a man whose prayers were received in heaven in such a way that miracles resulted.

The Chaim Pinto Synagogue, the building that was Rabbi Pinto's home, office and synagogue is preserved as an historic site.

Rabbi Pinto's followers and descendants have a number of synagogues worldwide, including the Pinto Center synagogue on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, which was founded by Rabbi Yaacov Pinto.

Contemporary descendants include Rabbi Yishayahu Yosef Pinto, Rabbi Ḥaim Pinto of Ashdod, Israel & Rabbi David Pinto.


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