Beyond Exoticism and Syncretism: Situating Moroccan Jewish Pilgrimage in Jewish Studies
Publication Date: January 2005
Series: AJS Perspectives: The Newsletter of the Association for Jewish Studies, Spring 2005, pp.14-16.
Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive
Keywords: Mizrahi Jews; Religion; Culture; Judaic Studies
The author calls into question the two dominant trends in the study of Moroccan Jewish saint veneration: exoticism (stressing the differences between these practices and Ashkenazi practices) and syncretism (stressing the similarity of these practices with the surorunding Muslim culture). The author questions syncretism by noting that these pilgrimages and hagiographic practices of saint veneration are thoroughly integrated into halachic (Jewish legal) and Torah-specific practice. He questions exoticism by noting similarities between Moroccan and European Chasidic practices.