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Celebrating Sigd


Is there any discussion in Halacha regarding the celebration of Sigd, a Holiday of Ethiopian Jewry. Are there any issues with non-Ethiopian Jews partaking in the celebrations? Why or why not?



I have seen different reasons for the holiday. One reason was that since it is 50 days from Yom Kippur and like Shavous is 50 days after Pesach, so too there is reason to celebrate 50 days after Yom Kippur. Another reason I have seen is because there was a lot of intermarriage amoung the Ethiopian Jews ,and there Ethiopian Kohanim did something similar to what Ezra did before they left Babylon, where Ezra told everyone who intermarried to divorce their wives, and to cleanse the community, and this holiday is a commemoration of this act.

Regarding if there is any issue with non Ethiopians partaking in this event. Regarding the first reason I saw, to partake in such an event has an element of danger to it. Which is that our mesorah and tradition whether written or oral doesn’t have any reason for us to celebrate 50 days after Yom Kippur. The reason we celebrate Shavous is because that is the day that God gave us the torah on Mt. Sinai, as is written clearly in the torah. Therefore according to our mesorah, by celebrating this day of Sigd, we are as if making up a new holiday for no reason, as far as what we can see. This will bring confusion to us, as we want to keep to our mesorah, because if we stray from it, one day we might just say, if we can add it, we can, we can also take away from it when it isn’t convenient, which is very dangerous.

However regarding the second reason, it is a holiday that pertains only to the Ethiopian community, and we wouldn’t have any gain, by celebrating it, as it doesn’t pertain to us.


Yalkut MInhagim ( Asher Wassertal) pg. 142.

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