web analytics
July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

The 2013 Sigd Celebration in Jerusalem

"Sigd" means bowing or prostration in Ge’ez, and the service includes frequent bowing and prostration on the part of worshipers.
A copy of the Orit is displayed to worshipers during the 2013 Sigd.

A copy of the Orit is displayed to worshipers during the 2013 Sigd.
Photo Credit: Ilene Perlman

In his address, MK Shimon Solomon suggested that the Sigd holiday has three primary functions: to safeguard Jewish identity and assure that Jews remain distinct from gentiles; to safeguard the Jewish way of life; and to bring about peace in the home and between friends.

“The Sigd is my answer to those who question our Jewishness,” MK Solomon declared.

Rabbi Yosef Hadane, the Chief Rabbi of the Ethiopian community, stressed the significance and historical context of the Sigd in his speech. “This day is important for us, the Jews from Ethiopia, as well as for the entire nation of Israel — as all of Israel are responsible for one another,” he said.

The rabbi recounted that in Ethiopia the practice was for Jews to gather and ascend a mountain during the Sigd, to pray, and afterwards to return to the synagogue.

“Why don’t we pray in the synagogue? Why do we climb a mountain?” Rabbi Hadane asked.

He explained that the Sigd practice of worshiping outdoors, on a mountain, is connected to the original receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

“We celebrate in commemoration of Ezra and Nehemiah,” the rabbi said, describing how the Jews in the Land of Israel had forgotten much of the Torah and intermingled with the local non-Jewish population as a result of the Babylonian exile, but that when Ezra arrived he reorganized the community “so that all will be according to the ways of Moses and Israel.” As a result, the Jewish community repented and recommitted itself to the covenant with God in Jerusalem.

“Gentlemen,” Rabbi Hadane said, returning to his point about why the holiday is celebrated atop a mountain, “the acceptance of the Torah at that time was similar to the acceptance of the Torah at Mount Sinai,” and each year that covenant is renewed during the Sigd.

As the Sigd has a strong element of repentance, it is also a fast day. Following the services, the worshipers joyously escorted the qessotch to a specially erected tent at the Armon Hanatziv Promenade, in which the fast was broken. After some traditional celebratory Ethiopian dancing, the qessotch recited blessings and then passed out chunks of bread to the people crowded within, and the Sigd ceremony at the Promenade concluded.

Following the Sigd, I visited the Netanya home of Qes Emaha Negat, one of the oldest qessotch in Israel. Among the topics the qes talked about was the importance of maintaining Ethiopian Jewry’s unique religious heritage in the state of Israel, including the Sigd celebration.

“The Sigd isn’t something that the community formed there [in Ethiopia]. It was instituted here, in Jerusalem, after the return from the Babylonian exile,” Qes Emaha said, citing a tradition about the holiday. “And so our community safeguarded it, to strengthen Judaism, and we kept it for 2,500 years. We don’t understand why the rest of the Jewish nation didn’t maintain it. And now we want the entire Jewish nation to safeguard this heritage.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

2 Responses to “The 2013 Sigd Celebration in Jerusalem”

  1. The_CroW24 says:

    5+1 and Iran Trust in close final agreement on #nuclear program in no more than a year – http://t.co/tp9V1Oi0mN

  2. Myriam Obadia says:

    yes, why are they the only ones who kept it? It seems to me that we should all return to that tradition

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Hamas terrorists often misfire their rockets that explode in Gaza civilians areas.
‘Hamas Fired from UN School Area and Prevented Evacuation’ Says IDF
Latest Indepth Stories
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

IDF soldier injured in Gaza is evacuated by helicopter to Soroka hospital.

The residents of Gaza were not occupied by the Hamas; they voted for the terror organization in democratic elections, by a huge majority, by virtue of its uncompromising struggle against Israel. For this reason, the separation between the armed Hamas terrorists and those ‘not involved’ or ‘innocents’ is false. The Gazans are now paying for […]

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

People test Israel every day to see how serious we really are in knowing when we are right.

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

We mourn the dead, wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, and pray that God guides the government.

More Articles from Shai Afsai
A copy of the Orit is displayed to worshipers during the 2013 Sigd.

“Sigd” means bowing or prostration in Ge’ez, and the service includes frequent bowing and prostration on the part of worshipers.

Left to right: Rabbi Wayne Franklin, Elder Ovadiah Agbai, and Elder Pinchas Ogbukaa speaking to students at Temple Emanu-El's Religious School.

There are some 3,000 members of the Igbo ethnic group practicing Judaism in Nigeria.

Sigd means “prostration” or “bowing down” in Ge’ez, the ancient Ethiopian liturgical language.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-2013-sigd-celebration-in-jerusalem/2013/11/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: