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The Sigd Holiday of Ethiopian Jewry

by Shai Afsai (October 2013)


For centuries, the Jews of Ethiopia, the Beta Israel (House of Israel), lived in almost complete isolation from other Jewish communities around the globe. In his Travels in Abyssinia, Joseph Halevy recounts that when he journeyed to Ethiopia in 1868 in order to meet some of the Beta Israel’s members, he had difficulty convincing them that although he was white, he was a Jew. Halevy tried to assure them that there were many other Jews in the world, who, as far as their skin-color, “could not be distinguished from the other inhabitants of their respective countries.”  more>>>