On November 20, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., Canadian/Israeli journalist and award-winning author, Judie Oron, will speak about the Sigd holiday in the context of her novel, Cry of the Giraffe: Based on a True Story.
In the novel, a young Ethiopian Jewish girl named Wuditu has been trapped in domestic slavery. One morning, the child wakes up to realize that, having been separated from her community, she has not been marking the ancient Sigd holiday. Malnourished and ill, she nevertheless decides that she will fast all through her work day – just as her people have fasted for centuries on that important occasion.
Wuditu’s decision proves to be costly. But her steadfastness in her religious beliefs reflects the importance of the ancient Sigd holiday to her community. In July, 2008, the Sigd was made an official holiday in Israel. It is unique to the Beta Israel community and is now marked throughout the country. The Sigd also completes the Jewish Calendar year, as, until now, Jews did not have a religious holiday in the month of Cheshvan.
As part of her book talk and signing, Judie will be speaking about Wuditu’s story and about this ancient holy day and its place in the context of Ethiopian Jewish religious practice.