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Sigd Festival in Jerusalem

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Sigd Festival in Jerusalem

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Basic Information

Location Jerusalem, Israel
Date 2015/11/15 - 2015/11/16
Recurring Event: yes
Phone number 02-5314600
Country Israel
City Jerusalem

Tourist Information

Free entry yes
Suitable for kids yes
Handicap accessibility no
Yearly event yes
Website http://www.jewishideasdaily.com/5493/features/the-sigd-festival-comes-home-to-jerusalem/


Summary

Today nearly all of the Ethiopian Beta Israel community, estimated to be more than 120,000 people, reside in Israel and are citizens under the Israeli Law of Return. Most were brought to Israel in rescue missions during the 80’s, and since then a new generation of Israeli-born and raised Ethiopian Jews live within Israel. The process of immigration was not necessarily a smooth one, but as time passes the Ethiopian Jewish community becomes more and more integrated into Israeli national consciousness, along with some of its traditions and unique festivals such as the annual Sigd Festival.

The Sigd Festival is an annual Jewish holiday which is celebrated on the 29th of Cheshvan, 50 days after Yom Kippur, and according to Ethiopian Jewish tradition, this is the date that God first revealed himself to Moses. The word sigd means “prostrating oneself” in Amaharic, and it is a celebration honor of the Jewish covenant established in receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. In some ways the holiday is similar to Yom Kippur in that on this day the community fasts and carries out a communal self-examination of past sins. On this day, a mass ceremony is held on Mount Zion in Jerusalem followed by a procession to the Western Wall and to the promenade at Armot Hanatziv.

History and time period

The first mention of Sigd is from the 15th century.

Sigd symbolizes the acceptance of the Torah. Kessim (a religious role in Beta Israel) have also maintained a tradition of the holiday arising as a result of persecution by Christian kings, during which the Kessim retreated into the wilderness to appeal to God for His mercy. Additionally they sought to unify the Beta-Israel and prevent them from abandoning the Haymanot (laws and traditions of Beta Israel) under persecution. So they looked toward the Book of Nehemiah and were inspired by Ezra's presenting the "book of the law of Moses" before the assembly of Israel after it had been lost to them during Babylonian exile.


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Type

Ethnicity

Holidays

Jewish Religious Movements/Denominations





Country

Israel

City

Jerusalem


Affiliation