SIGD Celebrated in Jerusalem

SIGD Celebrated in Jerusalem

Sigd is one of the most photo worthy, special annual events held in Jerusalem, Israel.

Tens of thousands Ethiopian-Israelis and others gathered at the Tayelet, Armon Hanatziv promenade, for the annual Sigd Festival gathering today. Prayers went from early morning through to breaking a fast at 2:00 pm.

Sigd in Jerusalem Israel

Crowds lined the path and filled gardens of the Tayelet with the Old City in view.

Men around Ethiopian holy book at Sigd in tayelet

Besides the main ceremony, men were gathered around their holy books.

View on Old City on Sigd with figures dressed as in time to Beit Hamikdash

These cutout figures were dressed as in Temple times.

Ethiopian Israeli man and woman with view of Jerusalem in background

Generations of Ethiopian-Israelis come together on Sigd.

Sigd Ethiopian festival in Jerusalem Israel

For thousands of years in Ethiopia, they dreamed of returning to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Israel women in costume for Sigd

For Sigd, smiles and colorful costumes were abundant.

Ethiopian Sigd holiday and women praying.

White clothing was worn by women dressed in old traditional outfits prayering.

Sigd prayers in Jerusalem Israel

These women were probably all born in Ethiopia, each must have a story of how they and families arrived in Israel.

Crowds were huge. Security was especially tight.

Jerusalem Israel Ethiopian Israeli rabbi Rav Shaul

But at least I got to see Rav Shaul and others arrive and enter, as I impatiently waited entry.

Kessim on stage for Sigd at Haas Promenade

Once in the very restricted area, this was view of the main stage with the Kessim under colorful umbrellas.

Ethiopian religious leaders Kessim in Jerusalem for Sigd

The prayers were still being chanted around noon.

Kessim at Sigd Jerusalem Israel

One man near the stage raised his hands in prayer.

Kessim shaking hands with President Rivlin at Sigd

President Rivlin reached up to shake hands with the Kessim as he proceeded to the stage to speak.

Ethiopian Israeli women walking to find bus home from Sigd

So many buses, from all over Israel were lined up, it was a long walk for these women to find their bus home. One was complaining in Hebrew about the distance, but I thought how much longer and difficult was the journey from Ethiopia to Israel.

Sigd was celebrated 50 days after Yom Kippur by Ethiopian Jews going to the mountains yearning to return to Zion. On the top of the mountain, the faithful would pray and fast. At the conclusion of the prayers, the Kessim would break bread known as Dabu which symbolized the bread served in the Temple. Today in Jerusalem, Israel, Sigd was remembered looking toward the Old City and site of the Temple.

Here is a short video near the end of the prayer service.

More Sigd photos on Facebook HERE 

Tuesday or Sunday, Election and Harvest Week in Jerusalem, Israel

Tuesday or Sunday, Election and Harvest Week in Jerusalem, Israel

Sunday.

One thing people mention they miss most living in Israeli is Sunday.

In Israel it is a regular week day, with school and work beginning bright and early Sunday morning.

No more Monday morning blues in Israel, by Monday evening the week feels half over.

View of Kotel and Har Habayit from Rova Jerusalem Israel

In Jerusalem on a Sunday we can enjoy special scenes like this one in Old City, but it’s not a day off.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018, was a national holiday, Election Day.

Elections for local governance and municipalities in Israel are held every 5 years.

Many olim joked that having this Tuesday off from work made it feel like Sunday.

Sadly in Jerusalem even though it was not a work day, the turnout was low.

Apathy with only a 30% voter turnout?

Ofer Berkovitch for Jerusalem Mayor

A runoff election is to be held in two weeks between Ofer Berkovitch and Moshe Lion.

Meanwhile, the future leadership of Jerusalem, Israel, is an unknown.

Line of tourists going into Jewish Quarter Old City Jerusalem Israel

Nevertheless, tourists keep coming by the tens of thousands. One part of a group in this photo was heading into the Old City near the Jewish Quarter.

Har Hazetim and view from Old City Jerusalem Israel

Seeing the grave stones on Har Hazetim, the Mount of Olives, with the Arab buildings up next to, and even on top of ancient Jewish graves, is another visual tourist experience.

Soldiers and tourist near Zion Gate in Jerusalem Israel entrance to Old City

Entering the Old City through Zion Gate, with its bullet-marked stone walls, is often the route for tourists and new IDF soldiers to learn history first hand.

The symbol of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is a sword wrapped by an olive branch.

Olives and olive oil have connection to Eretz Yisrael going back thousands of years.

While elections are every five years, harvesting olives has been an annual event for centuries.

Jerusalem Israel President House Olive tree in back ground

There are 60 olive trees on the grounds of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence.

Among other things I learned this week, olive trees can live 2,000 years.

So important is the harvesting of olives there is a special word for it in Hebrew, מסיק, masik.

Jerusalem Israel olive harvest

So this week after the first winter rain, President Rivlin invited olive growers to help him harvest the presidential olives.

Israel President at Biet Hanasi

President Rivlin and his wife Nechama came out to greet the invited guests, Arab, Jewish, religious, secular, of all ages, some seventh-generation farmers.

Those little orange rakes were good for official photographs.

But the serious harvesting was done by large electric tools.

Cat in garden of Israeli President in Jerusalem Israel

And as usual in the Presidential gardens, the Presidential Cat was on guard supervising.

The fall season is not just for harvesting olives.

post for annual Oud Festival in Jerusalem Israel

The annual Oud Festival is coming up soon.

Sugganiot ready for Hanukah

And suffganiot, those Hanukkah donuts, are appearing and disappearing from bakery shelves.

Jerusalem Israel message of support with Pittsburgh on walls of Old City

And with all this happening, a shadow over this past week was cast by the unthinkable events in Pittsburgh which we learned about after Shabbat here in Jerusalem. As young people gathered Sunday night to sing Hebrew sad songs in Zion Square, this message of support was shown on the walls of the Old City.

Up-down, another roller coaster week, but if you want to end on a positive note, meet one of Israel’s proud olive growers.

Not everyone in Israel wants to go into hi-tech, some still believe in value of agriculture.

The sun is shining, the weather cooling, and it’s a great time to get out and walk around to see what else is happening in Jerusalem, but watch out for those black overripe olives that have fallen on sidewalks.

What’s New in Jerusalem After Holidays?

What’s New in Jerusalem After Holidays?

The holidays are over.

It is time to get “back to normal.”

The Knesset winter season has opened, and universities are back in session.

A rocket from Gaza destroyed a home in Beer Sheva overnight.

Thankfully the mother was able to run with her 3 sleeping children to a safe room.

In Beer Sheva schools are closed, as students are home for a “rocket day.”

Happy New Year sign up way after new year in Jerusalem Israel

On one Jerusalem, Israel, street, the Happy New Year signs were still up.

Jerusalem Israel building cranes

And building cranes were also up, way up, and back to the business of building.

Jerusalem Israel Montefiore Windmill shield of arms over door

The Montefiore Windmill is now open as a winery and tourist spot.

The missing Monefiore coat of arms seems to be back over the door.

Bride and groom in Inbal lobby Jerusalem Israel

After the holidays, weddings galore filled the days and nights.

Ben Gurion actor in Jerusalem Israel at Christian Media Summit

Conferences and Israel 70-year missions are too many to list, enough to surprise Ben Gurion.

Jerusalem Israel conference with US Ambassador Friedman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu on stage

Two hundred international Christian media professionals came for a media summit.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and US Ambassador Friedman were featured at the opening event.

I met a woman from Canada, a radio team from Estonia, and sat next to a working couple from The Hague, all supporters of Israel.

These visitors were all excited and happy to be here.

Security at First Station at end of day

Check out the security, still partially visible as I left the event at First Station.

Har Hazaytim tour buses in Jerusalem Israel

After the holidays tourist buses were still lining the road on Har Hazeitim, the Mount of Olives.

Record numbers of tourists arrived this past year in Israel.

Ido Aharoni diagram at ITSS

Ido Aharoni told the International Tourism Security Summit (ITSS) that Israel’s Main Value is its creativity. He used as an example actors in a theater group who bake bread on stage as part of the show. All the actors are blind and deaf, and use 1500 physical cues to perform perfectly every night in the theater.

which kills more people sharks or coconuts?

Summit seems to be the new term for conference. Some of the slides at the ITSS were great.

This one I really appreciated. Who knew how many people are killed by falling coconuts a year?

Night on porch of Inbal Hotel Jerusalem Israel

The Inbal has been renovating, and the patio was lovely at night,

View from Inbal balcony at night Jerusalem

as was the view over the Liberty Bell Park with the Dan Boutique Hotel lit up in the distance.

German Chancellor and Israeli President in Jerusalem Israel

As soon as the holidays were over, Angela Merkel arrived in Israel.

Israeli President House lunch for German delegation in Jerusalem Israel

The German Chancellor, her delegation, and Israeli guests were served lunch at Beit Hanasi.

Prof Aumann talks with Andrea Merkel at Beit Hanasi lunch

I wondered what Nobel Prize Winner Prof. Aumann said to Merkel as she entered the room with the Israeli President.

Jerusalem Israeli President House reception for Andrea Merkel and delegates

Other Nobel Prize winners were invited, and the only female Israeli winner sat next to Merkel.

Jerusalem street blocked to traffic during visit of German chancellor

Most people only paid attention to the German delegation in Jerusalem when streets were closed.

After the holidays, and traffic was back to normal, filling the streets.

Rabbinic Judges Swearing in at Israeli President House

Twenty-four new rabbinical court judges were sworn in this week at Beit Hanasi.

New Rabbinical judges with Israeli President

This photo of the President, Chief Rabbis and the head of selection committee has received attention for being all male.

Rabbi Amar and Rabbi Yosef at Israeli President House

But have you seen this photo? I am looking for good caption, open to suggestions.

This is only a fraction of what has been happening, and so much more is scheduled for after the holidays.

A Jerusalem favorite starts tomorrow.

Over 120 varied locations are open for free in the annual  100 Houses from Within 

Jerusalem Israel Zeev Elkin office

Municipal elections are at the end of October.

Signs were popping up everywhere.

This pop-up store front became a campaign location.

Holidays may be over, but much is still happening on the Jerusalem streets.