“Od Lo Tamu Kol Pla’ayich” (Your Wonders Have Not Yet Ceased) is one of Rami Kleinstein’s greatest hits. Celebrating the magic of Israel, it’s often sung on Yom Ha’atzma’ut and other such “patriotic” occasions.
But when Hagit Yaso and friend Bitanya Belai sing it on national television in honor of the Ethiopian holiday of Sigd, it takes on a special meaning.
Suffice it to say that many in the Ethiopian community are ecstatic to be able to observe their holiday in the Promised Land, And so, this rendition of the song expresses special gratitude and appreciation for Eretz Yisrael – a country that declared Sigd a national holiday in 2008.
Many Ethiopian Jews are thrilled to be living in Israel, a land they had yearned for and dreamed about for generations. Among them? Hagit Yaso’s parents, who immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia in the 1980s through Sudan (Wikipedia).
Hagit Yaso rose to national prominence in Israel after winning Season 9 of Kochav Nolad (A Star Is Born).
What Is Sigd?
The name “Sigd” means “prostration” in Ge’ez, an ancient Ethiopian liturgical language, but it is related to the word sged (same meaning) in Aramaic, one of the languages of the Talmud.
Sigd is about accepting the Torah and yearning for Israel and the Temple. It is thought to be the date on which God first revealed himself to Moses.
Traditionally, members of the Beta Israel community fast on Sigd, read from their scriptures (which are called the Octateuch, the five books of Moses plus Joshua, Judges and Ruth), recite psalms, and pray for the rebuilding of the Temple. It is also a time for renewing the Israelite covenant with God. The fast ends mid-day with a feast and dancing. For this reason, though it is connected to Yom Kippur, it shares many resonances with Shavuot.
Since 2008, Sigd has been recognized as a state holiday in Israel. In Israel today, it is celebrated for an entire month leading up to the 29th of Cheshvan, and it is an opportunity to raise Ethiopian Jewish visibility and educate Israeli Jews about Beta Israel customs.https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/what-is-sigd/
“Od Lo Tamu Kol Pla’ayich: Translated Lyrics
A land whose garment’s shabby, a land whose feet are bare,
You are the apple of my eye by morning and by night,
Oh, let me hear your music, my own beloved bride,
Open up the portals, and I’ll give thanks inside.
Within the shaded forest where sun can never reach,
We’ll put down roots together into the earth beneath,
Into the wells of beauty, the fountains clean and pure,
My homeland ever humble, a nomad proud and poor.
They’ll never cease, your wonders,
Your song remains, I know,
My heart is at your mercy,
And whispers soft and low:
My own little land, you are mine,
You are my sister, my own,
You and you alone,
All that is left.
The fragrance of the village to our robes will cling,
The sheep bells in the meadow within our hearts will ring.
And in the peaceful twilight
with one soft ray of light,
We’ll stroll as joyful lovers, we’ll walk with naked feet.
They’ll never cease, your wonders…
Original song by Rami Kleinstein: