Tablet Magazine ran an interesting news article about a ritual pilgrimage that the Jews of Bosnia were able to undertake a few days ago, as the country is slowly opening up after months of coronavirus lockdown. The procession to the grave of Rabbi Moshe Danon is intricately connected the so-called “Sarajevo Purim,” probably the best-known event from the 19th-century history of the Jews of Bosnia. Back in 1819, Rabbi Danon and ten other prominent Sarajevo Jews were arrested by Ottoman governor Ruzhdi Pasha, who demanded a ransom for their release. Thanks to the intervention of Rafael Levi, a local member of the Jewish community, and under significant pressure from local Muslims, the governor was forced to release the eleven arrested Jews. A decade later, on his way to Jerusalem, Rabbi Danon died in the town of Stolac in Herzegovina, where he was buried.
Our Jewish Heritage Tour of Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Trieste includes a stop at the grave of Moshe Danon — often referred to as the “Rabbi of Stolac.” On the way to Stolac, we also visit the beautiful nearby town of Mostar, home to the famed Stari Most (Old Bridge), spanning majestically across the turquoise waters of the Neretva river.