November 15, 2009/28 Cheshvan, 5770
Ethiopian Jews, members of the Beita Israel community, have been celebrating the Sigd festival each year on the 29th of Cheshvan ever since the sixth century C.E.
Sigd falls on the 50th day after Yom Kippur and symbolizes the acceptance of the Torah. During the celebration, members of the community fast, recite Psalms, and gather in Jerusalem where Kessim (Ethiopian rabbis) read from the Orit-Torah and celebrate.
Philologists, who have identified the language of the Beita Israel Jews as a Semitic language, note that the word “Sigd” originates from the Hebrew root s.g.d., which means “bow” or “worship.” In honor of the occasion, which is observed this week, we present a photo gallery of some of the special events held in the Beit Israel community.