chapter  III
33 Pages

THE BARAKA (HOLINESS OR BLESSED VIRTUE) : ITS SENSITIVENESS

It is polluted by contact with infidels. One reason why the Sultan M ulai ‘AbdPaziz lost his baraka was the presence of Christians at court. The barbers of Andjra say that there is no baraka in the razors used by their colleagues in Tangier, because they are sharpened by Christians. A prayer said in a Christian’s house or in the house or garden of a Jew is of no avail. If a Jew enters the house of a Moor, the angels will desert it for forty days. A scribe from the R if told me that if a hajj, or person who has made the pilgrim age to Mecca, wants to retain his baraka, he must never go to the market and expose himself to the looks of the Jews who are gathered there. Nor are the latter allowed to come near the place at the market where the Moslems sell their grain, so as not to spoil its baraka. A Jew must not tread on a threshing - floor nor enter a granary. He must not ride a horse which has on it a Moorish riding-saddle. Nor is a Jew allowed to approach the hives of the bees ; nay, I was told by a Berber from A glu that if a man robs the hives of his bees while he has a Jew as his guest, he will find them empty the next time he goes to them. A Jew once went to Lalla Takerkust at night, sacrificed an animal at the spring, and had his legs bitten by the holy tortoises so that they got cured ; but after this the tortoises disappeared, and many sacrifices, including five bullocks sent by the Sultan, were

required to induce them to come back. If the holy spring Igzer, which is frequented by the saints of Demnat, runs dry, it is a certain sign that some Jew has taken water from it.