In Jerusalem, Fulfilling the Zionist Dream

As usual, there is much happening in Jerusalem, Israel.

Jewish community leaders from around the world are gathering

 with four major conferences in one week,

including the Board of Governors of Jewish Agency 

and the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly.

There has been a “summit” on Jewish identity

and a talk about Ethiopian Jewry.

But what a shame

these world leaders were not around last week 

on the 29th of Heshvan to experience the annual Sigd holiday,

which falls 50 days after Yom Kippur.

image Sigd, Sigd photo, picture Sigd celebration

They would have seen the tens of thousands of Ethiopian

olim from all around Israel who came

image Sigd, photo Sigd, picutre Sigd on Tayelet

to the Tayelet, on the Sherover Promenade, to celebrate.

photo of Sigd, image Ehtiopian dancers. picture Sigd

There were young people doing traditional dances,

picture Ethiopian men, image Sigd, photo men at Sigd

elders sitting quietly, 

image Sigd, Sigd photo, Sigd holiday picture

and women in traditional white.

image Sigd, Sigd stage photo, picture Sigd stage

The main stage was filled with Kessim, the spiritual leaders, 

under their colorful umbrellas.

image Sigd with umbrella, photo Sigd, picture umbrella

 I am not sure why this one was not on stage.

image Sigd., Sigd photo crowd, picture crowd at Sigd

It was so crowded that only a few could actually see the stage,

and most did not even try.

image Ethiopian man at Sigd,, imge Sigd

Most people were walking and talking,

image food at Sigd, Sigd woman offering food, picture traditional food Sigd

some were fasting, while others offered food.

For centuries in their villages in Ethiopia,

  the Kes went to a hilltop to pray for the return to Zion,

and now their prayers were answered and they are here in Jerusalem.

From this spot with the best view of the Old City, 

 they can pray for the rebuilding of the Temple.

Ethiopian soldiers, Sigd celebration photo, image Sigd

Many faced poverty and discrimination,

image Sigd, photo Israeli soldiers, male and female soldiers

some walked through deserts from Ethiopia to get here,

and everyone had to learn about this new, strange culture and adjust to it.

However,

Sigd image, photo Sigd, Picture Ethiopians in

 some of my favorite scenes were of the young people in uniform,

image Sigd, Sigd photo, Ethoipians in

proud Israeli soldiers.

image Sigd, Sigd photo, Sigd holiday picture

Buses were lined up all around the area for most of the day.

image Arab woman, photo Arab woman walking, Israeli apartheid

Thousand of Israelis of Ethiopian origin filled the streets.

While Jewish world leaders talk,

these Ethiopians ‘just did it.’

They came to Israel

and are living their ancestors’ Zionist dream.

 

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