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.