Sigd, the Ethiopian holiday which falls on 29 Heshvan,
50 days after Yom Kippur, was celebrated on the Tayelet.
A spot with the best views of the Old City, but
with heightened security in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.
Also, somewhat smaller crowds were out on the Haas Promenade.
Buses brought Ethiopian Israelis from all over Israel
to celebrate the annual event, a national holiday since 2008.
I love to see the young men in uniform,
and the girls too.
But, Sigd is not just eating, dancing, and socializing.
Sigd began centuries ago in Ethiopia,
with leaders gathering on a mountaintop and praying to return to Zion.
Today they have returned.
Kessim, religious leaders dressed in white,
were seated at this long dais and more
were in the audience, under their colorful umbrellas.
Prayers and speeches by government officials are part of the day.
After President Reuven Rivlin spoke,
he went down the line and shook hands with the dignitaries.
Only a small part of the crowd of thousands, mostly the elders,
were seated, with politicians and dignitaries in front.
However, one woman caught my attention.
What was she thinking?
Did she remember Sigd from Ethiopia?
What had she gone through to get here?
She stood during the speeches looking towards the Old City,
towards the Temple Mount in the distance.
Sigd has become one of my favorite events.
Interesting, both last year and in 2012, I also wrote that
we were in the midst of “difficult times.”
I must find out what this is hair-like thing is,
I noticed several of them this year.
Sigd, where ancient blends with the modern,
and the very modern customs and practices.
The program ended in the early afternoon.
Shabbat also starts very early
with just a few hours to prepare before it is dark.
Wishing a Shabbat Shalom to all from Jerusalem,
where sometimes dreams do come true.