Online Lunchbox Lecture: Yared - The only Shared Saint of Jews and Christians in Ethiopia
St. Yared is one of the most renowned local saints of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. He traditionally lived during the reign of the 16th century Ethiopian monarch Gäbrä Mäsqäl and is credited with the composition of numerous elements of Ethiopian Orthodox liturgical music and hymns. The Betä Ǝsraʾel (Ethiopian Jews) identify this holy man as a member of the Betä Ǝsraʾel community. According to both the Ethiopian Orthodox and the Betä Ǝsraʾel religious tradition, he spent the last years of his life in (or near) the Sǝmen Mountains. These mountains were, between the 15th and 17th centuries, partially governed by Betä Ǝsraʾel rulers, and the site of wars waged between the Betä Ǝsraʾel and the Christian Ethiopian Solomonic kingdom. Various sites in these mountains are associated with St. Yared.
This lecture will examine and compare the Ethiopian Orthodox and Betä Ǝsraʾel religious traditions regarding St. Yared. An attempt will be made to identify and pinpoint the various sites in the Sǝmen Mountains dedicated to him, and to determine the role of these sites with regards to both religious communities. In addition it will showcase how to do field reserach in times of a pandemic: Youtube, Facebook, and by e-mails.