Ono Academic College wishes its Druze students, faculty and staff a happy Ziyarat al-Nabi Shu’ayb (Pilgrimage of the Prophet Shu’ayb) holiday. This festival, celebrated by Israel’s Druze community, has been recognized as a public holiday during which workers and soldiers are allowed vacation and schools are closed in the Druze sector.
The holiday is marked by festivities at the Maqam (Shrine of) al-Nabi Shu’ayb, near Kfar Zeitim, not far from Tiberias. According to Druze tradition, the Prophet Shu’ayb retreated to a cave in this area and was later buried there. There is also a tradition that on the night before the decisive Battle of Hittin, in 1187, the Sultan Saladin dreamed that an angel told him that he would defeat his Crusader foes, on the condition that after the battle, he would ride West until shown the lost burial site of Prophet Shu’ayb.
While central to the Druze religion, Nabi Shu’ayb (the prophet Shu’ayb) is also a respected figure in Judaism. In the Torah, he is known as Yitro (Jethro), the father in law of Moshe (Moses), who joins the Israelites in the desert and provides them with critical and much needed advice.
We send the traditional holiday blessing of زيارة مقبولة (Ziyarat Maqbula) meaning “May your pilgrimage be accepted”.