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MOGADOR (or SUERAH):

Seaport of Morocco, on the Atlantic; founded by Sidi Mohammed ibn Abdallah in 1759. It has a total population of 19,000, including 10,000 Jews. Mogador is divided into three parts: the Ḳaṣbah, where the governor, some Mohammedans, the European officials, and a number of Jewish merchants reside; the Medinah, or city, of the Moors; and the Mellah, or Jewish quarter, which has two fortified gates. The Medinah contains the old Jewish quarter, called "Al-Mellaḥ al-Ḳadimi" (the old Mellah). In 1807 the governor, Ibn 'Abd al-Ṣaddiḳ, found it necessary for the security of the Jews to found thepresent Mellah. The condition of the Jews has always been better in Mogador than in many other parts of the empire, as the sultans—especially those of the Sherifian dynasty—in many instances favored them. An exception, however, was made in this respect by the sultan Muley Yazid, who in order to convert ten Jews of Mogador tortured them for ten days by repeatedly hanging them head downward in a dry cistern and bastinadoing them. When the news of the death of Muley Yazid came, some of them had expired and one had embraced Islam; the rest were set free.

The Sherifs encouraged the commerce of the Jews in every possible way by granting them privileges and loans; this condition lasted until the end of the government of Muley al-Ḥassan, when the European merchants began to give protection to their Moroccan agents. When the French navy, in 1846, bombarded Mogador, the Arab tribes of the neighborhood suddenly attacked the city and pillaged the houses of Jews and Mohammedans, dishonoring the women, and killing many of the inhabitants. Those who could escape fled as far as the city of Morocco in order to find a shelter. When peace was restored, they returned to Mogador in a condition of abject poverty. In 1860, again, when Spanish war-ships were sent to Morocco, the Jews left the city and fled to the southern province of Haha, where they were protected by the governor. The mission of Sir Moses Montefiore to Morocco brought about a better state of affairs for the Jews of Mogador and resulted in the abolition of the bastinado. The condition of the Jews of Mogador to-day, however, is still far from being secure.

The commerce of the city, mostly with England, France, and Germany, lies chiefly in the hands of the Jews, so that the Mohammedans are compelled to suspend business on the Jewish Sabbaths and holy days. Religious matters and also civil cases are decided by a board of three rabbis, and Jewish congregational affairs by a committee of seven rabbis of the community, chosen annually. The Mellah is represented in civic and political affairs by a sheik, who is installed by the government and is responsible to it for the regular payment of the Jewish tax, which amounts to 250 "doros." The expenses of the Jewish community, including the salaries of the rabbis and charity for the poor, are met by a meattax, a tax on imported and exported merchandise, and by donations from a French and an English shipping company by whose ships the Jews have agreed to export their merchandise. The community has a bet ha-midrash, a French and an English school for boys (founded respectively in 1862 and 1864), and two English schools for girls, one, founded in 1887, being supported by the Anglo-Jewish Association, the other being a private school.

Since its foundation the community has had the following rabbis: Yaḥya, from Agadir; Jacob Bibaz, from Rabat; Abraham Coriat, author of "Sefer Zekut Abot" (went to Leghorn in 1793); Ḥayyim Pinto (d. 1846); David ibn al-Ḥazzan (d. 1828); Joseph ben Jacob Almaliḥ, called Joseph al-Kabir (d. Jerusalem 1837); Abraham Coriat II., author of "Sefer Berit Abot"; Joseph ben Aaron Almaliḥ; Abraham ibn 'Aṭṭar (d. 1882); Moses Cohen (emigrated to the city of Morocco); and Abraham Sabah (d. 1903). The present (1904) rabbis of Mogador are Judah ben Maniel, Mas'ud Knafo, and Joseph ibn 'Aṭṭar.

D. M. Kn.
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