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 

Sigd and Shabbat Shalom

Sigd and Shabbat Shalom

Sigd, a holiday which is set on

the 29th of Hebrew month of Heshvan,

 falls out on Shabbat this year.

A national holiday in Israel since 2008,

thousands of Ethiopian-Israelis celebrate

by coming to Jerusalem, Israel,

to the tayelet in Armon Hanetziv.

Ethiopian religious leaders in Jerusalem Israel Sigd

Kessim, religious elders, sit under umbrellas,

perhaps remembering the days in Ethiopia

when they went to the highest mountain to fast,

praying to one day return to Yerushalayim, to Zion.

Woman praying at Sigd event in Jerusalem Israel

Women can be seen praying,

and perhaps remembering life in Ethiopia,

and their arduous journey to Sudan and challenges in Israel.

Each year,

Young male IDF soldiers in uniform for Sigd in Jerusalem Israel on Tayelet

more and more of the young people

Young female IDF soldiers on Tayelet for Sigd celebration

 young women as well as men,

are serving in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Sigd was observed on Thursday this year,

so as not to have the celebrations interfere with Shabbat.

The reason the main celebration is on the tayelet

Shabbat Shalom from the Tayelet view of Old City Temple Mount

 is that its elevation provides this, one of the best views

of the Old City and the Temple Mount.

שבת שלום