Haymanot

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yətbaräk 'əgzi'abəher 'amlakä 'əsra'el ("Blessed be God the Lord of Israel") is a main religious sentence.

Haymanot (Ge'ez: ሃይማኖት) is the branch of Judaism practiced by the Beta Israel.

Haymanot in both Ge'ez and Amharic is the regular word meaning "religion" or "faith". Thus in modern Amharic, it is common to speak of the Christian Haymanot, the Jewish Haymanot or the Muslim Haymanot. It is also a common girl's name meaning "Faith" for members of all three religions in Ethiopia. It is only in Israel where the Ge'ez term haymanot is associated with a particular religion.

Religious leaders[edit]

Texts[edit]

Mäṣḥafä Kedus (Holy Scriptures) is the name for the religious literature. The language of the writings is Ge'ez. The holiest book is the Orit (from Aramaic "Oraita" - "Torah") which consists of the Five Books of Moses and the books Joshua, Judges and Ruth. The rest of the Bible has secondary importance. The Book of Lamentations is not part of the canon.

Deuterocanonical books that also make up part of the canon are Sirach, Judith, Esdras 1 and 2, Meqabyan, Jubilees, Baruch 1 and 4, Tobit, Enoch and the testaments of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Non-Biblical writings Include: Nagara Muse (The Conversation of Moses), Mota Aaron (Death of Aharon), Mota Muse (Death of Moses), Te'ezaza Sanbat (Precepts of Sabbath), Arde'et (Students), Gorgorios, Mäṣḥafä Sa'atat (Book of Hours), Abba Elias (Father Elija), Mäṣḥafä Mäla'əkt (Book of Angels), Mäṣḥafä Kahan (Book of Priest), Dərsanä Abrəham Wäsara Bägabs (Homily on Abraham and Sarah in Egypt), Gadla Sosna (The Acts of Susanna) and Baqadāmi Gabra Egzi'abḥēr (In the Beginning God Created). Zëna Ayhud (Jews Story) and fālasfā (Philosophers) are two books that are not holy but still have a great influence.

Prayer house[edit]

Synagogue in the village of Wolleka in Ethiopia.
Modern Synagogue in the city of Netivot in Israel.

The Synagogue is called masgid (place of worship) also bet maqds (Holy house) or ṣalot bet (Prayer house).

Dietary laws[edit]

Dietary laws are based mainly on Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Jubilees. Permitted and forbidden animals and their signs appear on Leviticus 11:3–8 and Deuteronomy 14:4-8. Forbidden birds are listed on Leviticus 11:13–23 and Deuteronomy 14:12–20. Signs of permitted fish are written on Leviticus 11:9–12 and Deuteronomy 14:9-10. Insects and larvae are forbidden according to Leviticus 11:41-42. Birds of prey are forbidden according to Leviticus 11:13-19. Gid hanasheh is forbidden per Genesis 32:33. Mixtures of milk and meat are not prepared or eaten but are not banned either: Haymanot interpreted the verses Exodus 23:19, Exodus 34:26 and Deuteronomy 14:21 literally "shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk" (like the Karaites). Nowadays, under Rabbinic influence, mixing dairy products with meat is banned.

Ethiopian Jews were forbidden to eat the food of non-Jews. A Kes only eats meat he has slaughtered himself, which his hosts then prepare both for him and themselves. Beta Israel who broke these taboos were ostracized and had to undergo a purification process. Purification included fasting for one or more days, eating only uncooked chickpeas provided by the Kes, and ritual purification before entering the village. Unlike other Ethiopians, the Beta Israel do not eat raw meat dishes like kitfo or gored gored.[1]

Calendar and holidays[edit]

The Beta Israel calendar is a lunar calendar of 12 months, each 29 or 30 days alternately. Every four years there has been a leap year which added a full month (30 days). The calendar is a combination of the ancient calendar of Alexandria Jewry, Book of Jubilees, Book of Enoch, Abu Shaker and the Ge'ez calendar.[2] The years are counted according to the Counting of Kushta "1571 to Jesus Christ, 7071 to the Gyptians and 6642 to the Hebrews",[3] according to this counting the year 5771 (Hebrew: ה'תשע"א‎) in the Rabbinical Hebrew calendar is the year 7082 in this calendar.

Holidays in the Haymanot [4] divided into daily, monthly and annually. The annual holiday by month are:

Kahen reading from the Orit.
A Kahen celebrating the holiday of Sigd in Jerusalem, 2008.
  • Nisan: ba'āl lisan (Nisan holiday - New Year) on 1, ṣomä fāsikā (Passover fast) on 14, fāsikā (Passover) between 15 - 21 and gadfat (grow fat) or buho (fermented dough) on 22.
  • Iyar: another fāsikā (Second Passover - Pesach Sheni) between 15 - 21.
  • Sivan: ṣomä mã'rar (Harvest fast) on 11 and mã'rar (Harvest - Shavuot) on 12.
  • Tammuz: ṣomä tomos (Tammuz fast) between 1 - 10.
  • Av: ṣomä ab (Av fast) between 1 - 17.
  • Elul: awd amet (Year rotate) on 1, ṣomä lul (Elul fast) between 1 - 9, anākel astar'i (our atonement) on 10 and asartu wasamantu (eighteenth) on 28.
  • Tishrei: ba'āl Matqe (blowing holiday - Zikhron Trua) on 1, astasreyo (Day of Atonement - Yom Kippur) on 10 and ba'āla maṣallat (Tabernacles holiday - Sukkot) between 15 - 21.
  • Cheshvan: holiday for the day Moses saw the face of God on 1, holiday for the reception of Moses by the Israelites on 10, fast on 12 and měhlělla (Supplication - Sigd) on 29.
  • Kislev: another ṣomä mã'rar and mã'rar on 11 and 12 respectively.
  • Tevet: ṣomä tibt (Tevet fast) between 1 - 10.
  • Shevat: wamashi brobu on 1.
  • Adar: ṣomä astēr (Fast of Esther - Ta'anit Ester) between 11 - 13.

Monthly holidays are mainly memorial days to the annual holiday, these are yačaraqā ba'āl ("new moon festival") [5] on the first day of every month, asärt ("ten") on the tenth day to commemorate Yom Kippur, 'asrã hulat ("twelve") on the twelfth day to commemorate Shavuot, asrã ammest ("fifteen") on the fifteenth day to commemorate Passover and Sukkot, and ṣomä mälěya a fast on the last day of every month.[6] Daily holidays include the ṣomä säňňo (Monday fast), ṣomä amus (Thursday fast), ṣomä 'arb (Friday fast) and the very holy Sanbat (Sabbath).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shelemay, Music, page 42
  2. ^ Quirun, 1992, p. 71
  3. ^ Aešcoly, Book of the Falashas, p. 56
  4. ^ Aešcoly, Book of the Falashas, p. 62-70 (Hebrew); Shelemay, Music, Ritual, and Falasha History, p. 44-57; Leslau, Falasha Anthology, p. xxviii-xxxvi; Quirun, The Evolution of the Ethiopian Jews, p. 146-150
  5. ^ see Rosh Chodesh
  6. ^ see also Yom Kippur Katan