It is a religious holiday of the Beta Israel community, the Jews of Ethiopia, which commemorates the delivery of the Torah to the prophet Moses on Mount Sinai.

The name Sigd is Ge’ez for “prostration,” and the festival celebrates the renewal of the covenant between the Jewish people, God and the Torah. For centuries it also marked the community’s belief that they would return to Jerusalem, and nowadays it is an opportunity to give thanks for that dream becoming a reality.

Today, during the celebration, members of the community fast, recite Psalms, and gather in Jerusalem where Kessim(The elders of the Beta Israel Ethiopian Hebrews) read from the Orit (the Octateuch). The ritual is followed by the breaking of the fast, dancing, and general revelry.

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