Modiin, Israel – Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe (Bogi) Yaalon started off this year’s Moroccan-Jewish holiday of Mimouna with a bang. Traditionally celebrated the day after Passover, Mimouna marks the beginning of spring and the return to eating hametz (unleavened bread) after Passover.
“After every holiday, we celebrate our victory with feasts; sometimes it’s with donuts and sometimes with matzot and sometimes with sweets,” said the Israeli Police Commander, Rav Nitzav Yochanan Daninu, a member of the Moroccan community. As Daninu arrived, he tasted the traditional Mimouna ‘moufleta’, a crepe of sorts – the first permissible hametz. Daninu wished those who came a happy holiday, and that they should continue “succeeding all the days of the year”.
The chief Ashkenazi rabbi, Rav David Lau, whose father Ben Piotrokow was killed in Poland during the Holocaust, greeted Mimouna celebrants in an open-house reception. “On the holiday of Passover,” he said, “We offer a seat to anyone who does not have a place for the Seder, and today, right after the holiday, we continue to leave the door wide open. This is the holiday we celebrate today.”
Those who celebrated on Tuesday tasted traditional sweets and sang folk songs as part of the Mimouna celebration.
The Chairman of the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry in Israel, Sam Ben-Shitrit, handed out gold Federation pins to the VIP’s who attended the ceremony. “More than 100,000 homes throughout the state celebrate this holiday,” he said. “Even Israeli President Shimon Peres joined the festivities and offered a Mimouna holiday greeting.”