ASHRIKI, MORDECAI (second half of 18th century), known as Lahazan Bakha, personal adviser to the ruler of Morocco, Muhammad ibn Abdallah (1754–90) in Meknès. Ashriki was entrusted with important matters of administration, and was also a leader in the Meknès Jewish community; he tried to use his political position to improve the situation of his coreligionists. When Muhammad's son Yazīd tried to rebel against him, Ashriki advised the ruler to banish his son, fearing that the Jews would suffer under Yazīd. When Muhammad died, his son succeeded him. Yazīd (1790–92), in fact, hated the Jews and wanted to destroy them; and among his many Jewish victims was Ashriki, whom he ordered to be burned. Before   the sentence was carried out, Ashriki was given the option of converting to Islam to stay alive, but he refused. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: S.A. Romanelli, Massa be-Arav (18342), 63–64, 81; J.M. Toledano, Ner ha-Ma'arav (1911), 165–8, 171; Hirschberg, Afrikah, 2 (1965), 292, 295–301.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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