Jerusaelm, Israel - Nov. 12, 2015 - For centuries in Ethiopia, Jewish religious leaders called Kessim would go to the tallest mountain top and pray, yearning to return to Jerusalem. This Sigd holiday, 50 days after Yom Kippur, is now celebrated annually in Jerusalem, Israel.
On the Tayelet, with the walls of the Old City as a backdrop, Kessim dressed in traditional garb with colorful umbrellas, sat at a long dais under cloudy skies. Buses brought tens of thousands of Israeli Ethiopians from all points of the country to participate.
Music, food, discussion groups, and hours of socializing for young people were features of the Wednesday event on the Haas Promenade grounds. Traffic was blocked on a major road for security reasons.
During the official mid-day program, President Reuven Rivlin, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Immigration Minister Zev Elkin and the Chief Rabbi of Ethiopia were among the speakers.
For those who walked, and then flew from Ethiopia years ago, Sigd is day of a Zionist dream come true.