Jewish communities on two continents are mourning the murder of a young couple killed in the Marrakesh explosion Thursday morning.
Messod Wizman, 32, and his wife, Michal (Zekry), 30 lived in Shanghai, China, but were in Casablanca over the Passover holiday where Messod’s parents live. On Thursday, the couple visited Marrakesh and stepped into a popular café frequented by tourists in the city’s main square when a bomb exploded, killing 15 and injuring 20. Authorities are regarding it a terrorist attack.
“The Jewish community in Casablanca is very tight-knit,” Morocco’s Chabad representative told lubavitch.com. “The whole community came to the Wizman home in Casablanca this morning to cry with the parents over this terrible tragedy.” Messod and Michal’s three-year old son, David Yosef, was with his grandparents at the time of the bombing.
On the other side of the globe, in Shanghai, China, Rabbi Sholom Greenberg is devastated. The Wizman were “close, personal friends of ours, and a treasured part of our community,” the Chabad representive to Shanghai said.
“We lost very precious people. The entire community is in shock. Messod and Michal were very special and beautiful people with the kindest of hearts and purest of souls. They were a sincere young couple with an open home.”
Greenberg told lubavitch.com that David Yosef is “a treasured student in our Shanghai Gan Preschool. He was the light of his parents’ life.” His mother was on the parents’ school committee, “and loved giving of her talent and time” to the community.
Messod regularly attended Chabad Torah study classes “despite his demanding business schedule, and supported our programming and fundraising. They always participated in our events and activities and were part of our extended Shanghai family” said Rabbi Greenberg.
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has ordered an immediate investigation into the bombing, charging authorities to “be scrupulous in revealing the truth,” of their findings.
Although recent unrest in the country sparked by Muslim extremists leaves many worried, the King enjoys widespread popularity and has promised to accelerate reforms in his country, which is already more politically open and economically liberal country than most Arab countries in the region.
There are roughly 5000 Jews in Morocco, with the large majority living in Casablanca. Messod’s parents have been involved with the Chabad community there for many years, said Morocco’s Chabad representatives, in New York at the time of the bombing. On Thursday evening they escorted two of Messod’s sisters at JFK, as they boarded flights from New York to Casablanca, to be with their parents.
The King, who continues a long tradition of warm relations with his country’s Jewish citizens, has reportedly arranged for a charter flight to fly family members from Morocco to Israel, where the young couple will be laid to rest on Monday.