Sigd is a Jewish holiday that was preserved by Ethiopian Jews for centuries and is a day of fasting, purification and renewal. It centers on the idea of accepting the Torah and yearning for Israel and Jerusalem. The holiday serves as another, more public layer beyond the private introspection of Yom Kippur.
Bring an incredible Ethiopian speaker to your community's Sigd celebrations.
Celebrate Sigd at home with these yummy Ethiopian dishes.
Get into the Sigd spirit with these tunes, brought to you by Beit Avi Chai.
The Sigd holiday falls 50 days after Yom Kippur, on the 29th of Cheshvan on the Hebrew calendar, which is thought to be the date when God first revealed himself to Moses.
In Ethiopia, on the day of the holiday, the community fasts before ascending a high mountain. At the top, the Qesoch (Jewish leaders/rabbis) do a public reading of the giving of the Torah. At the end of the ceremony, they blow trumpets and declare their desire to celebrate next year in Jerusalem. Following this, the community descends to the village singing and dancing.
In Israel, in 2008, Sigd was established by law as an official national holiday. The Sigd ceremony is held at Armon Ha’Natziv, a promenade that overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem.
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Pnina Gaday Agenyahu, Director of The Jewish Agency's Partnership2Gether Global Network, reflects on how the Ethiopian community unites for Sigd celebrations and Sigal Kanotopsky, The Jewish Agency’s Northeast Regional Director for the U.S., shares how she's brought Sigd to America.