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Long White Procession: Social Order and Liberation in a Religious Ritual

Ashkelon Academic College, Ashkelon 7810000, Israel
Religions 2020, 11(2), 69;
Received: 13 December 2019 / Revised: 26 January 2020 / Accepted: 31 January 2020 / Published: 3 February 2020
The Seged is a pilgrimage holiday celebrated by the Jews of Ethiopia on 29 November. Its purpose is to reconstruct a renewal of the covenant between the Jewish People and God in Jerusalem and at Sinai and to strengthen their religious belief. The research is based on a qualitative research method and uses interviews with religious priests and members of Ethiopian communities. The findings show that normative communitas was created during the Seged, which afforded expression for the solidarity of the Jewish community and strengthened their identity as a minority group in a multi-national culture. The hierarchic structure remained, and I did not find evidence for competition and conflict. The liminality in the Seged encouraged a different reality, of undermined routine, but also continuity of the social structure and control by the elite. The reflectance of the social structure also shows that contrary to the model presented by Victor Turner, the communitas created during the Seged was normative from the onset and did not develop over the course of the holiday.
Keywords: religious priests [kess/kessoch]; ritual; community; Ethiopia; pilgrimage religious priests [kess/kessoch]; ritual; community; Ethiopia; pilgrimage
MDPI and ACS Style

Sharaby, R. Long White Procession: Social Order and Liberation in a Religious Ritual. Religions 2020, 11, 69.

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