The Ethiopian Jewish community celebrates Sigd 50 days after Yom Kippur and this year it falls on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, to the evening of Monday, Nov. 13, 2023.
Sigd means “prostration” in Ge’ez, an ancient Ethiopian liturgical language, and is related to the Aramaic word “sged” (to prostrate oneself). Historically, on Sigd, Jews living in Ethiopia would mark the renewal of the covenant between God and the Jewish people and pray to return to Jerusalem.
Now that a majority of Ethiopian Jews live in Israel, the community marks this holiday by gathering at the Western Wall, celebrating the return to their ancestral homeland, and educating all Israelis about Ethiopian Jewish history and culture.
Avi Wogderas Wassa, an Ethiopian-Israeli musician, explained that Sigd is a day to “stop and [celebrate] a dream that has come true. [Our] ancestors prayed for generations for our return to Jerusalem and we have fulfilled this dream.”
The State of Israel recognized Sigd as a national holiday in 2008. Today in Israel, it is celebrated for the entire month prior to the 29th of Cheshvan, as a time to explore the rich Jewish heritage of Ethiopia.
Originally Published Nov 3, 2021 03:38PM EDT