Sigd!

110813_mishmash_israelEthiopians in Israel have just completed the celebration of Sigd on the 29th of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan. The holiday takes place 50 days following Yom Kippur.

On Sigd, the community rejoices for the renewal of the alliance between the people, God and His Torah. This act is reminiscent of the treaty made for the people of Israel by Ezra and Nehemiah upon their return from Babylonian exile: “And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen’…” (Nehemiah 8:5-6).

Today, as the majority of the Ethiopian Jewry has made aliyah to Israel, members of the community make their way to Jerusalem, to the Wailing Wall and to the promenade at the Armon Hanatziv. The kessim (the Ethiopian clergy) carry the Bible, and they stand on top of a stage to read the
excerpts and prayers before the community.

The Knesset legislated the Sigd Law in 2008, which declares Sigd a national holiday.

— Baltimore Zionist District — bzdisrael.org

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