The Ethiopian-Jewish-Israeli Holiday “Sigd” to be Celebrated in New York

(Photos courtesy: Chassida Shmella, Ethiopian Jewish Community, Inc.)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, November 6th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – The Ethiopian-Jewish-Israeli holiday Sigd, which is a national holiday in Israel, will be celebrated in New York on November 14th and 16th at the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue, Congregation Shearith Israel (Two West 70th Street), and at B’nai Jeshurun (257 West 88th Street). The 5th annual event hosted by the Ethiopian Jewish Community organization, Chassida Shmella, features special guests from Israel: Kess Eli Mentesnot Vandat and Kess Efraim Zion Lawi. In addition, organizers note, Rabbi Dr. Sharon Shalom and Professor Ephraim Isaac will be present.

“The Sigd holiday takes place 50 days after Yom Kippur and Ethiopian Jews flood Jerusalem by the thousands to observe the holiday, celebrated on the 29th day of the month of Cheshvan,” states the announcement. “It symbolizes the acceptance of the Torah.”

Wiki adds: “There are two oral traditions about the origin of Sigd. One tradition traces it to the 6th century in the time of the Aksumite king Gebre Mesqel when the war between Jews and Christians ended and both communities separated from each other. The second tradition traces it to the 15th Century as a result of persecution by Ethiopian-Christian Emperors. The first mention of Sigd is from the 15th century. Sigd symbolizes the acceptance of the Torah. Kessim have also maintained a tradition of the holiday arising as a result of persecution by Christian kings, during which the Kessim retreated into the wilderness to appeal to God for His mercy.”

Video: PM Netanyahu’s Sigd Greetings to the Ethiopian Community (IsraeliPM YouTube)

If You Go:
NYC; Weekend of November 14th – 16th
Congregation Shearith Israel – The Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue
Friday, November 14: Friday evening services 4:30pm,
Followed by a Friday Night Lights lecture
Shabbat dinner 7 PM
Shabbat dinner (Kosher) must be prepaid:
$38 ($30 student) before 11/6
$45 ($40 Student) after 11/7
2 W 70th St, New York, NY 10023
Tel: 212-284-6532

Sunday, November 16th: Celebration at B’nai Jeshurun
Enjoy Ethiopian/Israeli finger food, amazing Ethiopian music & dancers
Sigd: prepaid: $40 (Students $32).
Price at the door: $45 ($40 Students)
COMBO PRICE for both dinner and Sigd: $65
$72 after 11/7
Doors open 3:45 pm/ Sigd program begins at 4:15 pm
For any questions: Tel – 212-284-6532

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