he Magic Flute and the Dancing Sheep
Written by: Ilana Zaidman
Illustrated by: Diana Prokopes
As he plays the flute, Or's father tells him about his childhood in Ethiopia, and his yearning for Jerusalem. The family story is part of a rich cultural tapestry of family stories about different lands, prayers, tunes, and memories. Families have come here from East and West, near and far. Each of their stories is part of the Israeli narrative.
The Beta Israel Jews had a tradition of singing prayers of yearning for Jerusalem on the Festival of Sigd:
Seek good and peace for Jerusalem… I have missed Jerusalem, I have missed it…
The ancient prayer is based on chapter 122 of Psalms:
Our feet are standing within thy gates, O Jerusalem … Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may those that love thee prosper
The Magic Flute and the Dancing Sheep invites us to get to know the story of the community, as well as our own family ones, while keeping an ear out for their echoing memories and tunes.
Beta Israel ('The Israel Community') is the Jewish community of Ethiopia. The community members have kept their Jewish faith for generations, living in isolated villages, making a living from agriculture and craftmanship, and dreaming of seeing Jerusalem. Most of them made Aliyah during the 1980s and 1990s on Operations Moses and Solomon, making their dream come true.
Reading together, experiencing together