Tag Archives: Temple

Ethiopian Jews Celebrate The Sigd – Jerusalem

The Ethiopian Jewish community, called Beta-Israel, lived in seclusion for over 1,000 years, only reconnecting to the Jewish world in the late 20th century. According to Ethiopian tradition, their roots go back 3,000 years to the era of King Solomon. Like their brethren in many parts of the world, Ethiopian Jews suffered persecution for their beliefs and refusal to adopt Christianity. In the Middle Ages their lands were confiscated, villages plundered and many murdered. They were nicknamed Falash – intruders, homeless and without property. Despite the hardships, this community preserved their traditions with great devotion and generations were educated on the value of yearning for a return to Jerusalem, The Holy City, home of The Temple, pure and holy. The Sigd celebrations, Sigd meaning “to bow or prostate oneself”, convey their love and yearning for Jerusalem.

Traditionally the celebrations took place on a hilltop looking toward Jerusalem,signifying a renewal of the bond with God. Now, with a community of over 150,000 in Israel the main event takes place annually at the Sherover Promenade in Jerusalem, overlooking The Temple Mount.Thousands followed the Kessim, the religious leaders, and gathered in the late morning hours in colorful traditional garments or in whites signifying purity, to pray and give thanks. Guests of honor included Minister of Immigrant Absorption, Ms. Sofa Landver and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

The yearning for Jerusalem has become a reality. Israeli-born offspring to Ethiopian Jews are finding it more and more difficult to identify with the aspirations of their forefathers. First signs are evident that this ancient ethnic celebration of hope and faith might one day be forgotten.

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Yearning for Jerusalem No More

The Ethiopian Jewish community, called Beta-Israel, lived in seclusion for over 1,000 years, only reconnecting to the Jewish world in the late 20th century. According to Ethiopian tradition, their roots go back 3,000 years to the era of King Solomon. Like their brethren in many parts of the world, Ethiopian Jews suffered persecution for their beliefs and refusal to adopt Christianity. In the Middle Ages their lands were confiscated, villages plundered and many murdered. They were nicknamed Falash – intruders, homeless and without property. Despite the hardships, this community preserved their traditions with great devotion and generations were educated on the value of yearning for a return to Jerusalem, The Holy City, home of The Temple, pure and holy. The Sigd celebrations, Sigd meaning “to bow or prostate oneself”, convey their love and yearning for Jerusalem.

Traditionally the celebrations took place on a hilltop looking toward Jerusalem,signifying a renewal of the bond with God. Now, with a community of over 150,000 in Israel the main event takes place annually at the Sherover Promenade in Jerusalem, overlooking The Temple Mount.Thousands followed the Kessim, the religious leaders, and gathered in the late morning hours in colorful traditional garments or in whites signifying purity, to pray and give thanks. Guests of honor included Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

The yearning for Jerusalem has become a reality. Israeli-born offspring to Ethiopian Jews are finding it more and more difficult to identify with the aspirations of their forefathers. First signs are evident that this ancient ethnic celebration of hope and faith might one day be forgotten.

The 35mm f/2 was a pleasure to work with! Light and extremely mobile hanging on my neck – I could easily raise it quickly to get the shot I wanted without scaring off the subject. Some shots were even framed from the chest. I love the shallow depth of field! Most of the work was done at f2.5 ISO100 with very high shutter speeds.  Close and intimate!

nir

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Filed under documentary, image, israel, Jerusalem, photo, photographer, photography, photojournalism, photos

Tisha Be’Av – Mourning the Loss of The Temple

Tisha BeAv, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be'Av, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha BeAv, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be'Av, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha BeAv, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be'Av, Jerusalem, July 2009

On the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av, Tisha Be’Av (Hebrew), Jews all over the world mourn the destruction of the two Holy Temples; the First Temple built by King Solomon was destroyed by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE and the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Jews were dispersed and exiled all over the world for almost the next 2,000 years. Other tragic events are also tied to this date; God told the Children of Israel that the oldest generation would not enter the Land, the city of Betar was captured and thousands of Jews were killed in 135 CE, the Roman emperor built a pagan temple on the site of the Holy Temple and rebuilt Jerusalem as a pagan city in 136 CE, Jewish expulsion from Spain in 1492 began on Tisha Be’Av, World War I began and the beginning of the deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka death camp.

Tisha BeAv, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be'Av, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha BeAv, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be'Av, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha BeAv, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be'Av, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha BeAv, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be'Av, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha BeAv, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be'Av, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be’Av is a day of fast, of prayer, of reflection, and of reading the Book of Lamentations. Thousands of Jews from all over Israel visit the last remnant of the Temple – The Western Wall (also called The Wailing Wall), exhibiting symbols of mourning; sitting on the ground or on low stools, not wearing leather shoes, not washing or bathing and refraining from any display of physical affection.

Tisha BeAv, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be'Av, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha BeAv, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be'Av, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha BeAv, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be'Av, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha BeAv, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be'Av, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha BeAv, Jerusalem, July 2009

Tisha Be'Av, Jerusalem, July 2009

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