ottoman period

Rav Moshe Danon Burial Place

This is the burial place of Rav Moshe Danon, who became the head rabi of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1815. At that time, the governor of Bosnia was Ruždi-paša, who was considered an unjust ruler. Accusing the Jewish community for the unresolved murder of the dervish Ahmed, a Jewish convert to Islam, in 1829 Ruždi-paša ordered the arrest of Moshe Danon and 10 of his closest fellows, demanding a ransom the Jewish community could not collect. After he threatened with their execution, the Muslims of Sarajevo who were not satisfied with his rule rose up and liberated the captives.

During his captivity Moshe Danon made an oath that he will make a pilgrimage to Palestine, and if he were to die on the way, he should be buried in that location. Death found him near Stolac, where a tombstone was built for him resembling the medieval standing stones of Bosnia, as was the custom among Bosnian Jews. Over time, Moshe Danon’s grave became a place of pilgrimage for Sephardic Jews from Bosnia and Herzegovina and beyond, and this tradition has survived to this day. Although it belongs to the Jewish culture, the tombstone was honoured among Muslim as well, particularly among dervishes.

The following epitaph is written on the tombstone of Moshe Danon in Hebrew:

This stone built here, may it be a sign and monument of the burial of a holy person whose deeds were miraculous and who can be considered pious and holy. He is our lord and teacher and great rabi, Rabi Moshe Danon. May his good deeds help us, Amen. He separated from this world on 20th Sivan 5590 (11th June 1830).

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