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Kaddish’ at East London grave of Jewish sage who died in 1888

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:30 05 October 2010

Prayers at garve of Rebbe Joseph de Elmaleh

Prayers at garve of Rebbe Joseph de Elmaleh

turned up at a university college praying for the soul of a Jewish sage and miracle worker’ who died 122 years ago. The worshippers recited the Kaddish’ memorial prayer at lit candles at the graveside of Joseph de Elmaleh at the ancient Jewish cemetery in East London, now part of Queen Mary college campus

By Mike Brooke

RABBIS and members of the Orthodox community turned up at a university college campus praying for the soul of a Jewish sage and miracle worker’ who died in London 122 years ago.

The worshippers recited the Kaddish’ memorial prayer and lit candles at the graveside of Joseph de Elmaleh at the ancient Jewish cemetery at Mile End, now part of Queen Mary college campus.

Rebbe De Elmaleh died in 1888 at the age of 56, but is still revered by members of Stamford Hill’s Cheredi sect on the anniversary of his passing.

“Joseph de Elmaleh is remembered for the tireless work he did for our people,” Rabbi David Marmorstein who arranged the pilgrimage told the Advertiser.

“He was a healer and miracle worker who seemed to be able to cure the sick.

“But he was a sick man himself. He came to London seeking medical treatment, but died after two years.”

De Elmaleh was an international figure with influence in the court of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph. He was appointed vice-consul for the Austro-Hungarian Empire at Mogador in his native Morocco, where he was chief rabbi, and used his influence at the Moorish royal court to protect Morocco’s Jews.

Tuesday’s visit to pray at his graveside was arranged by a new group set up this month in Stamford Hill to run pilgrimages to ancient burial grounds around the country where Jewish sages and other revered figures are buried.

It was their first pilgrimage to the Mile End burial grounds which date back to the 17th century, now hidden behind the college science block off the Mile End Road. Next month the group plans to visit York and the site of the massacre of Jews in 1190 at Clifford’s Tower.


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