A Reflection of the Spiritual Leadership’s Status in a Transfer of Ritual Process

Rachel Sharaby


This article presents a phenomenon of ritual dynamics, which Langer et al. (2006) called “transfer of ritual,” and the manner in which it influenced the “transfer of spiritual leadership.” The article focuses on old spiritual leaders (kessoch) of immigrants from Ethiopia in Israel and their role in the Seged ritual. The Seged is a pilgrimage holiday of the Jews of Ethiopia, celebrated on November 29. It is a day of fasting, purification and prayer, during which the spiritual leaders read from the Torah and prayed for redemption. The findings show that since the early 1980s, the kessoch, who were excluded by the religious establishment, were pushed aside from their status in determining the meaning and character of the Seged. Since the 1990s, young social-political leaders, who were the dominant stream in the community, led changes in the Seged. The intergenerational role inversion in conducting the Seged had significant implications for the contents of the ritual, its structure and the kessoch’s status.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v8i3.4823


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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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