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Djerba Lag Baomer Pilgrimage

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Djerba Lag Baomer Pilgrimage

Ghriba pilgrimage 2007.jpg

Basic Information

Location Djerba, Tunisia
Date 2013/04/27 - 2013/04/28
Recurring Event: yes
Country Tunisia
City Djerba

Tourist Information

Free entry yes
Suitable for kids yes
Handicap accessibility no
Yearly event yes


Summary

After residing 3,000 years in the ancient land, the remnants of the time-honored Jewish community of Tunisia remain passionate about staying in their homeland, now known as the Republic of Tunisia, despite the waves of Jewish emigration that prevailed throughout the past half century. Most of Tunisia’s Jewish community today, now numbering around 2,000 – 3,000 people, live in the southern holiday island of Djerba.

According to tradition, Djerba was once referred to as the “Island of the Cohanim” because of the high number of Jewish families residing there who could trace their ancestry back to Aaron (the brother of Moses), the first High Priest.

The main Jewish cultural and religious center on the island is the synagogue known as El-Ghriba, or “the wondrous”. The local population holds the synagogue with the utmost regard, and it is cherished even by the Jewish communities in neighboring Libya, and Tunisian Jews who decided to emigrate to Europe, North America, Israel and elsewhere. Every year, a pilgrimage to the El-Ghriba synagogue on Lag Ba’omer - the 33rd day of the period between Passover and Shavuot – takes place, a tradition which has been honored since the 19th century. In recent years, due to the tension caused by the Arab Spring and by an increase in anti-Jewish sentiment in the region, attendance has been low but the event has been known to attract crowds of up to 20,000 visitors to the island.


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