Sunday, November 18, 2007


by: Schvach Yid

Oops! I missed it by eight days. Sigd falls on the 29th day of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan. And what is Sigd? Sigd is the national holiday of Ethiopian Jews, where, in Ethiopia, worshippers gather on mountaintops to pray and fast for their speedy return to Mt. ZionJerusalem; in Israel, members of the Ethiopian Jewish community travel to Jerusalem for this annual observance.

Sigd means prostration in Amharic, the secular language of Ethiopia (its alphabet has 260 characters – and I thought Hebrew was tough). Gez is the Ethiopian Jewish religious language.

The Jewish Ethiopian community in Israel is in the process of establishing official recognition of Sigd as a formal holiday in Israel. One Jewish Ethiopian youth remarked, ‘We are very proud of our culture’. And why shouldn’t they be?

For those who are interested, here are some links:

This is the stuff for which Michael Freund and his organization Shavei Israel live. One year I’ll manage to remember the date and show up in Israel for the fest.


muse said...

Amharic is actually a very easy language to learn. That's what my daughters say. Two picked it up during Sherut Leumi. The youngest lectured in it during her Addis trips.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

i tried to catch Sigd when i was in Israel, but missed it both years :-(

Schvach said...

No language has ever been easy for me.
Steg: I'm itching to attend the festival/observance; maybe some year I'll succeed.

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