Classes to learn the traditional prayers for Sigd will be offered Wednesday at the Armon Hanatziv promenade in Jerusalem. Ziva Mekonnen, Executive Director of the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews and Shoshana Ben Dor, Executive Director of North America for Ethiopian Jews will translate the readings from the ancient language of Gez.
The Sigd liturgy is partially based on sections of the Book of Nehemia Chapters 8 and 9 in which is states, "All the people gathered themselves together as one man into the broad place that was before the water gate; and they spoke unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel...The Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the LORD."
The classes will take place at a tent at the Haas Promenade overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem from 10am - 3pm. Thousands are expected for the annual Sigd holiday prayer service. Sigd takes place every year 50 days after Yom Kippur on the 29th of Cheshvan.