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Eyal Golan performs for new IDF recruits in Bat Yam..(Photo by: Courtesy)
Jerusalem Grapevine: Sigd solidarity
■ THE ORTHODOX Union (OU) is joining in the annual Sigd holiday in which Ethiopians from all over the country gather in Jerusalem. Sigd is very similar to Succot or Simhat Torah. In Ethiopia, the people would come from many villages to a central place on a high mountain to pray and give thanks to the Almighty.

There were several rituals attached to the ceremony. Trumpets would be sounded and the congregation would kneel and bow, extending their hands skyward as they thanked God for the opportunity to celebrate the holiday again and expressed the wish to celebrate it the following year in Jerusalem.

Following their aliya, Ethiopian Jews mark the Sigd annually on a Jerusalem hilltop overlooking the Temple Mount, where they also hold a memorial ceremony for the thousands who died on the long trek from Ethiopia to Zion.

On the Sigd holiday on November 30, OU participants will visit the Ethiopian memorial on Mount Herzl, and from there will proceed to the Western Wall to join in the traditional Ethiopian prayers, after which they will congregate with the Ethiopians on the Haas Promenade in East Talpiot, where there will be an arts and crafts fair highlighting traditional Ethiopian culture.

It should be noted that ESRA, the English-Speaking Residents Association, has long been involved in integrating and improving the quality of life for members of the Ethiopian community, with particular emphasis on those who live in Netanya, where ESRA-sponsored projects include tutoring in English by ESRA members and various diplomatic spouses and a mentor system whereby Ethiopian high school students are mentored by people from their community who are university students serving as role models for younger members of the community.

The OU tour will be led by David Brayspis. For registration and further details call (02) 560-9110.

■ THE MEDIA often report on acrimonious divorces in which children are used by their parents as emotional footballs. It was therefore a delightful experience when popular singer Eyal Golan and his ex-wife, model and former Miss Israel Ilanit Levi, celebrated the bar mitzva of their son, Liam, at one of the Sephardi synagogues in Jerusalem’s Old City. Despite the fact that Golan and Levi have teamed up with significant others since their divorce, he with international model Rosalinda Rodina, with whom he has a son, and she with Big Brother winner Eliraz Sadeh, they maintain a friendly relationship and a united family. Rodina and Sadeh were both present, together with Rodina and Golan’s infant son.

A stranger watching as Golan and Levi led their son to the Torah beneath a bridal canopy (the Torah being the bride of the Jewish people) would have thought that this was a typical happy family.

Mother and father posed happily for numerous photos with Liam and his sister. Liam’s bar mitzva was held on Tuesday on the exact date of his 13th birthday, in accordance with the Hebrew calendar.

After the synagogue ceremony, there was another at the Western Wall, plus a luncheon for some 150 people at the Kedma restaurant.

The Golan entourage was led by a drummer and a saxophonist who also blew a long shofar.

■ LAST THURSDAY, singer, actor, writer, current affairs commentator and TV host Yehoram Gaon, after agreeing to pose for countless selfies that day, realized that the selfie has become a syndrome. It doesn’t really mean anything to the people in the photograph, but it has become obsessive for people to photograph themselves with anything that moves and even with inanimate objects such as a cake, a pipe or tree or against a landmark building.

How much more so with a familiar face from the television screen.

Gaon did not refer to himself as a celebrity, but obviously celebrities and well-known political figures are the No. 1 targets for selfies.

Of course, none of the people who agree to pose for selfies can even hazard a guess at how many times they’ve done so, but in thinking about it, Gaon came up with the idea that it would be interesting to aim for the largest selfie collage in the world, and has asked anyone who has a selfie of themselves with him to send it to his Facebook. He may be on the verge of starting a new trend, with other celebrities following suit.
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