Moshe Danon’s gravestone, Stolac  ©Dr. Eliezer Papo Ben-Gurion University

For nearly two centuries, Stolac was the destination for a pilgrimage to the grave of rabbi Moshe Danon. In 1820, Grand rabbi of Sarajevo Moshe Danon and ten other prominent members of the Jewish community were accused of assassinating a local dervish, a Jewish convert to Islam named Ahmed. The pasha of Sarajevo threatened the death penalty unless they handed over a ransom of 500000 groschen, an impossible sum to raise. Sarajevo’s Jews the requested the help of the city’s Muslim residents, who in tun stormed the prison, freed the captives, and obtained the contemptible pasha’s removal by the sultan. Ten years later, on his way to Palestine, Moshe Danon fell ill at a stopping point in Stolac, where he died. Soon after, the practice of a pilgrimage to the site came into being, every first Sunday in July.