Thursday, January 31, 2008

Israel Adopts Ethiopian Jewish Festival of Sigd as National Holiday



Any visitor to Israel quickly reaslizes that the equating of Zionism with racism is a "Big Lie" worthy of the creators of the Nazi "Big Lie" technique, Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels. Perhaps only the United States boasts a more racially diverse society. The prophetic ingathering of the exiles has brought Asian Jews, Russian Jews, Polish Jews, French Jews, North African Jews, Greek and Turkish Jews, Anglo-American Jews, Latin American Jews, Persian Jews, Indian Jews, and, yes, even Arab Jews, among many other diverse Jewish communities, back to the Holy Land. In recent decades they were joined by the Ethiopian Jewish community of "Beta Israel," adding a distinctly African coloring to the marvelous stew that is the reborn State of Israel. Symbolizing the integration of Ethiopian Jewry into the Jewish People of Israel, the Knesset today gave preliminary approval of legislation to recognize the Ethiopian Jewish festival of Sigd as a national holiday. The bill is expected to receive quick final approval, as its co-sponsors include parties from the full spectrum of the Israeli body politic, left, right and center, secular and religious.

As recounted by Israel National News:
Sigd takes place on the 29th of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, exactly fifty days after Yom Kippur. The holiday is pronounced Sigd (one syllable), which means prostration in Amharic and shares its root with the word for temple. The ceremony resembles the one held for the renewal of the Divine covenant by Ezra the Scribe during the Second Commonwealth, described in the Book of Nechemia. "All the people gathered themselves together as one man into the broad place that was before the water gate; and they spoke unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel" (Nehemiah 8:1)

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