Immigration & Absorption

Diario Judío México - The historic saga of Ethiopian Jewry, with its unique traditions and customs, will be incorporated into the mainstream Pessah story for the first time in a new Haggada written by Ethiopian-Jewish history expert Rabbi Menachem Waldman.

Set to reach bookstores this weekend, the 195-page Haggada features prayers and commentaries on the story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt translated from Amharic into Hebrew, as well as an account of how Ethiopia’s Beta community escaped to first via Sudan in Operation Moses in 1984-85 and later during Operation Solomon in 1991.

The book also includes extensive photographs and detailed explanations of Ethiopian Jewish traditions and customs connected with Pessah.

“I have written many books about Ethiopian Jewry,” Waldman, director of the Shvut Am Institute and a frequent visitor to the East African country, told The Jerusalem Post Thursday. “But this is the first time that we are putting the story of the Ethiopian Jewish community onto our Seder table.”

The book, he said, is not aimed at the Ethiopian community per se, but is meant to demonstrate to the Israeli public that “the community has a very long and deep history that is firmly connected to Judaism.”
“Oftentimes we think that Ethiopian Jews arrived here with no connection to Judaism and we need to teach them how to be Jews,” continued Waldman, who is deeply involved in the fight to allow thousands of Falash Mura – Ethiopian Jews whose ancestors were forcibly converted to Christianity – to immigrate to .

“However, they actually did come with a Jewish background,” he pointed out. “They celebrate Pessah in their own way. It’s different from the way we celebrate it, but it is still Pessah.”

Waldman explained that while Ethiopian Jews recount the Pessah story in their own version of the Seder, their texts do not include what has become accepted as the mainstream version of the Haggada, because Ethiopian Jewry had been severed from Talmudic Judaism.

According to Waldman, many versions of the standard Haggada are available in Amharic, translated in an attempt to include Ethiopian Jewry in reading the accepted text, but there is no recognition of the community’s own way of marking the festival.

Aviad Mozes, marketing director for Koren Publishers, which published the new Haggada, told the Post that the aim was “for Israelis to understand and recognize the traditions and history of Ethiopian Jewry.”

Las opiniones expresadas aquí representan el punto de vista particular de nuestros periodistas, columnistas y colaboradores y/o agencias informativas y no representan en modo alguno la opinión de y sus directivos. Si usted difiere con los conceptos vertidos por el autor, puede expresar su opinión enviando su comentario.


Deja tu Comentario

A fin de garantizar un intercambio de opiniones respetuoso e interesante, se reserva el derecho a eliminar todos aquellos comentarios que puedan ser considerados difamatorios, vejatorios, insultantes, injuriantes o contrarios a las leyes a estas condiciones. Los comentarios no reflejan la opinión de, sino la de los internautas, y son ellos los únicos responsables de las opiniones vertidas. No se admitirán comentarios con contenido racista, sexista, homófobo, discriminatorio por identidad de género o que insulten a las personas por su nacionalidad, sexo, religión, edad o cualquier tipo de discapacidad física o mental.