Baba Salis park: ett minne av Marocko i Israels landskap


  • Karin Sjögren Lunds universitet


Jews -- Morocco, Zionism, Israel, Politics and Judaism, Group identity


Addressing problems of Jewish identity in Israel, how memory of the past is constructed and how it is modified over time, this article focuses on a building and a park on the outskirts of the small Israeli town of Netivot, the Baba Sali’s Park. Rabbi Israel Avichatzerah, the Baba Sali, a member of Moroccan Jewry’s leading religious dynasty, immigrated to Israel in 1964. His ability to heal and cure became famous as well as his reputation as a saintly man. After his death in 1984, at the age of 94, his grave and the adjacent park has become a holy shrine and national pilgrimage. The study of Baba Sali’s park as a historically, geographically and socially specific demonstrates the dynamic character of collective memory and its continuous dialogue with history. It reveals how collective memory can turn into a contested arena that highlights social and political divisions. With the ingathering of the exiles into the new State of Israel, cultural differences and ethnic cleavages were suppressed in the interest of building the nation. Under Ashkenazi direction, control and patronage, there was little occasion for ideological debate. At a certain point, however, the business of nation-building comes to an end. It gives way to other priorities. Like older nations, Israel is discovering that its citizens feel the need for sources of identity narrower than the national one.



How to Cite

Sjögren, K. (1998). Baba Salis park: ett minne av Marocko i Israels landskap. Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies, 19(1-2), 45–59.