Lazama Synagogue, Marrakech

by tiresomemoi

StarsLazama Synagogue stars

The kid* who showed me the way (I knew I was close but  uncharacteristically consented to an escort) told me that there are currently two Jewish families living in the Mellah (the historical Jewish Quarter**) and a couple hundred Jews in Marrakech as a whole. Take that with a grain of salt but it seems plausible. Speaking of salt, Mellah means the place where salt is sold. And moving from salt to spices in general, the Mellah is home to a bustling spice market. You’ll smell it before you see it.

OpenLazama Synagogue A

ClosedLazama Synagogue B

UpstairsLazama Synagogue second floor

DownstairsLazama Synagogue courtyard

InsideLazama Synagogue inside

Outside (Tzedakah)Lazama Synagogue Donations

Access

There is a large step down (about 10”) from the street to the courtyard but once you’re inside the courtyard is flat. There’s also a small step (about 2”) to enter the synagogue. The restrooms are not accessible.

The passage leading to the synagogue is narrow and cobbled. This is not the fancy part of town so there aren’t a lot of tourists and the ones who do venture into this part of the Kasbah are generally looking for hints of its Jewish past. That means if you look lost someone will invariably ask you if you’re looking for The Synagogue (there is more than one but only the Lazama Synagogue is open daily) or the Jewish cemetery.  That also means if you’re willing to part with some cash you’ll have no trouble finding a guide, though only official (badge-holding) guides are allowed in the synagogue.

*The Kid was conveniently waiting for me when I was ready to leave the synagogue, just in case I wanted to visit the spice market, which I did. And, of course, he knew just the shop I ought to visit for the best prices and highest quality products.

Ginger, cumin***, paprika, and Berber lipstick thrown in as a gift.Spices

**If you’d like more info on Jewish Marrakech, click here.

***I quite like cumin but I’ve had to triple bag it as it left a faint scent of body odor on everything it came into contact with.

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