Archive for November 2022

We DO have a holiday during the month Cheshvan!

The National Holiday of the Ethiopian Jewish Sigd

Sigd, which always takes place on 29 Cheshvan, 50 days after Yom Kippur. Sigd is a unique Ethiopian-Jewish holiday rich in liturgy and ritual, signifying the renewal of the Covenant with G-d, and leading to forgiveness and Jerusalem.

Sigd means to bow down or to prostrate oneself, which participants do at specific times in the day. It is also a fast day ending with a celebratory feast.

In Ethiopia, participants followed their religious leaders Kessoch, who carried the Orit (Bible) up a mountain to a high, pure place, reminiscent of Moses going up to Mt. Sinai. In Israel, where Sigd is now a national holiday, the ceremony is held in Jerusalem.

Kessim, the title for Ethiopian Jewish religious leaders, stand with their traditional robes and parasols. Photo by Gil Zohar.
Women pray during the Sigd festival on the Hass promenade in Jerusalem. Photo by Gil Zohar


A Sigdiyada festival in Tel Aviv (Courtesy Bezawit Abebe and Be’chol Lashon)

Ethiopia, sung by singer Ejigayehu Shibabaw, known by her stage name Gigi

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November 2022