Happy Sigd to you all! If you haven’t heard of this day, it’s probably because you’re not an Ethiopian Jew. For many, it is a very important day and I’d like to share the words of Mazal Jambar, a 25 years old Ethiopian Jew from Ashkelon (as shared by Sivan Rahav Meir.)
“I am the daughter of parents who made Aliyah from Ethiopia. Today is the holiday of Sigd and what the State of Israel needs most right now, in my opinion, is Sigd. Between elections, investigations, boycotts, and demonstrations – Sigd. Exactly 50 days after Yom Kippur, Ethiopian Jews gather for a day of prayer and self-examination, looking forward to redemption. For generations, our progenitors would launder their white clothes and, in simplicity and humility, march to a tall mountain carrying stones that represented the burden of their weighty sins.
At the top of the mountain, they recited prayers led by the community kohanim who would encourage the people to keep mitzvot despite the hardships of galut. They also promised: in the end, we will return to ‘Yerusalem.’ Without the holiday of Sigd, which we observe today, we would not remember that 50 days have passed since that holy day when we promised to rectify our sins, to improve ourselves, and to make the world a better place. Today is a reminder for all of us to perform a restart, to choose goodness and unity, to launder the clothes that have already begun to get dirty again.”
May we all carry this important message with us as we begin the month of Kislev, the month of light and Chanukah.