|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Architecture and Town Planning|
|Supervisor:||Assoc. Prof. Alon-Mozes Tal|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The Baba Sali compound is in the northern part of the city of Netivot and is a holy place of pilgrimage for those who believe in the sanctity of Israel Abuhazira ("The Baba Sali"). After the rabbi's death in 1984, his son, Baruch Abuhazira ("The Baba Baruch") succeeded him. The compound has two main centers: The Baba Sali court which includes the Baba Sali's Villa, yeshiva and the Baba Sali grave; and the "North Africa Jewish community park". Additional parts of the compound are still in their planning phase.
The research follows the spatial aspects of the Baba Sali's sanctity in Netivot and their meanings, and also discusses three principal subjects: Physical and chronological analysis of the compound, characterization of the holy architecture and analysis of the institutionalized and non-institutionalized powers on the development of the compound. For these purposes, theories in literature on "holy place", "holy architecture", and "saint worship" in Morocco and Israel have been examined. The research deals mainly in examining the concept of sanctity in its architectural context, using the chronological changes in the Israeli society.
Two main approaches describe the "holy architecture" in professional literature. One has been called: "Holy architecture as a language", according to which all holy sites share common attributes that are inseparable; the other approach is “Holy architecture as a vessel” which states that architecture contains and holds the sanctity but doesn't play a significant part in it. The Baba Sali tomb has been defined as "holy architecture as a vessel". The Baba Sali court structures were defined as "architecture as a language".
The development process of the Baba Sali compound states the empowering of the Moroccan congregation. The Baba Baruch's purpose was to create a Moroccan architectural language that differs from the conformist building styles which were the custom in Netivot, as in the entire country, until the 70's. The Baba Baruch understood the significance that the Moroccan congregation attributes to their past in Morocco and aspired to establish their identity through the architecture of the compound. Moreover, the compound's architecture expresses the objection of the immigrants to the "melting pot" policy according to which they were expected to abandon their past and adopt a western- modern culture and architecture.