Friday, December 13, 2013

An Nontraditional Portrait of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai & a description of Lag Baomer in Morocco in 1944

In 1944 a book was published titled תולדות רמב"ה ורשב"י a biography of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai. Authored by Yehiel Bouskila, a Hebrew teacher in Casablanca, Morocco.
Bouskila, was a devout Jew as well as a devout Zionist, and he describes one of the purposes of his book, as being to show how even our greatest Rabbis such as Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes and Rash"bi were Zionist and had great Jewish National pride.

The author describing the Tanaim as Zionists and Nationalists
In the book, appears an amusing illustration of Rashb"i, not the one traditionally used today.

Notice how they made Rabbi Shimon hold a Zohar in his hands towards the viewer, just in case you had any doubts...

Bouskila also describes how Lag Baomer was celebrated throughout Morocco:

"מכל הערים נוסעים בהמונים למקומות שונים בשביל להשטתח שם על קברי צדיקים"
"From all the cities, people travel in numbers to various places to be able to pray at the graves of the Saints"
"האוהלים של אנשי העיר ושל אנשים אורחים הבאים מערים אחרות להעביר פה היום הגדול והקדוש הזה"
"The tents of the people of the city and of the many guests who come from other cities to spend the this holy day here"
"היו עורכים סעודות ואוכלים ושותים ושמחים וכל העיר קזאבלנקא שמחה וצהלה"
They would make great meals and eat and drink and be jolly, and the entire city of Casablanca is happy and rejoicing"

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