Few people notice when a delegation of visitors comes to Yad Vashem, when the members lay wreaths and stand silently and view the photographs of Nazi atrocity during the Holocaust. One delegation that visited Yad Vashem the other day drew notice — a group of French imams, leaders of their country’s Islamic community.
Every year on the 50th day after Yom Kippur, Ethiopian Jews mark Sigd, a unique Ethiopian Jewish fast day, with prayers and Torah readings. The holiday, which means “prostration” in Ethiopia’s Ge’ez language, marks the day when, according to the Ethiopian Jewish tradition, God first revealed himself to Moses.
On Sigd, Ethiopian Jews symbolically re-accept the Torah.
In Israel, where the majority of Ethiopian Jews have settled in the last three decades, the Ethiopian Jewish community has grown to more than 100,000.
Throughout Germany and a few other European countries where the Nazis reigned during World War II, German artist Gunter Demnig has installed several thousand Stolpersteine — “stumbling stones” — in city sidewalks in memory of victims (and in a few cases, survivors) of the Holocaust.
This week there are 11 fewer Stolpersteine.
On Kristallnacht last week, the anniversary of the 1938 Nazi-orchestrated “Night of Broken Glass,” police in Greifswald discovered that all its stumbling stones were missing.