Next week the Ethiopian Jewish community will celebrate Sigd, an ancient holiday observed 50 days after Yom Kippur on the 29th of the Hebrew months of Cheshvan, thought to be the day on which God first revealed Himself to Moshe.
Sigd comes from the word Sigda, which means “to pray to God or to prostrate oneself”. In Ethiopia, Jews would walk for days to climb a high mountain and pray in the direction of Jerusalem. The holiday begins with a fast and prayer. The qessim (rabbis) bless the community, and then a mid-day feast is enjoyed.
Click here to learn more about the holiday’s origins.
Watch this short video on celebrating Sigd in Israel featuring Pnina Agenyahu, former senior shlicha for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and Interfaces and Synergy Director of the Strategic and Planning Unit at The Jewish Agency.
Read the inspiring story of Efraim Zion Lawi, the first Israeli-born Qes (an Ethiopian Kohen or priest).
Meet Qes Lawi at a special Sigd Salon Event, hosted by The Jewish Agency‘s New York Shlichim Delegation and the UJA Federation of New York, in partnership with the Story of a Journey program in Israel on Thursday, November 12 at 12pm ET or 7pm ET.
Join Be’chol Lashon in collaboration with Hunter Hillel, OneTable & PJ Library, for a special Ethiopian Kabbalat Shabbat service with music, prayer and storytelling on Friday, November 13 at 3 PM ET. Register here.
And if you haven’t yet heard the good news – 2,000 new immigrants from Ethiopia are readying for their new lives in Israel, thanks to a decision by the Government of Israel to approve their Aliyah (immigration).
Mlekam Ba'al - Blessed be the holiday!