Skip to comments.Lost Tribe of Israel Will Return To Zion After Unanimous Vote By Government in Jerusalem
Posted on 11/12/2012 7:27:18 AM PST by Nachum
Israels government has passed a historic decision, one that paves the way for the return of a Lost Tribe of Israel to Zion.
Resolution 5180, which on October 24 received unanimous ministerial approval, will allow 275 members of the Bnei Menashe community of northeastern India to make aliya.
Coming at a time of increasing uncertainty for the Jewish state, this development should infuse us all with some much-needed optimism regarding the future. [The discovery of traces of the tribe was first reported in America by The New York Sun, whose columnist, Hillel Halkin, told their story in the book Across the Sabbath River.]
(Excerpt) Read more at nysun.com ...
Potentially more Jews in India than anywhere in the world...
Interesting story. However, it appears very doubtful as to whether these folks have any actual Jewish ancestry:
One researcher basically said he thought a few of them probably did, but the vast majority don’t.
I thought the whole tribe was given permission to make Aliyah last year.
I thought sometihng like 65% of the world’s Jews live in America?
I first saw stories about this “lost tribe” 10-20 years ago. It has always made sense to me.
Lost tribes in America, Britain, here there everywhere. The claim has been rehashed for over a hundred years and is just as false now as then.
Not if you rely on DNA evidence. There were never more than a few thousand and most of those have gone to Israel. These are a few hundred ‘doubtfuls’ not covered by stricter definitions.
This is a political move to bring in non-Jewish cultures to Israel, just like libs bring in non-Westerners to the USA.
Thanks for the ping. I wonder how well they will be received by the people in Israel, and how they will adjust to living there.
Yes, I think you are correct as most of those communities have died out. Usually is a community and not single families, hence the type population centers we see all over the world in major cities.
The Bnei Menashe (who are from the far eastern Himalayan regions of India) seem to have flaky claims of Jewishness, and I am not aware if any DNA studies have proven conclusive, but the other Jews of India, settled in the western and southern coasts of India are most definitely Jewish. These are people who came over to India as refugees, fleeing Crusader persecution and later on, Islamic persecution.
See footnotes for citable references.
Indian Jews are a religious minority of India. Judaism was one of the first foreign religions to arrive in India in recorded history. The better-established ancient communities have assimilated a large number of local traditions through cultural diffusion. The Jewish population in India is hard to estimate since each Jewish community is distinct with different origins; some arrived during the time of the Kingdom of Judah, others are seen by some as descendants of Israel’s mythical Ten Lost Tribes. Of the total Jewish population in India, about half live in Manipur and Mizoram and a quarter live in the city of Mumbai.
Unlike many parts of the world, Jews have historically lived in India without any instances of antisemitism from the local majority populace, the Hindus. However, Jews were persecuted by the Portuguese during their control of Goa.
The Jews settled in Kodungallur (Cranganore) on the Malabar Coast, where they traded peacefully, until 1524. Jews have held important positions under Indian (Hindu) princes in the past and even after independence from British Rule, have risen to very high positions in government, military and industry. The largest synagogue in Asia outside Israel is in Pune (Ohel David Synagogue).
In addition to Jewish expatriates and recent immigrants, there are five native Jewish communities in India:
The Cochin Jews arrived in India 2,500 years ago and settled down in Kerala as traders.
The Bene Israel arrived in the state of Maharashtra 2,100 years ago.
The Baghdadi Jews arrived in the city Mumbai from Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, and Arab countries about 250 years ago.
The Bnei Menashe are Mizo and Kuki tribesmen in Manipur and Mizoram who are recent converts to Judaism.
The Bene Ephraim (also called “Telugu Jews”) are a small group who speak Telugu; their observance of Judaism dates to 1981.
Southern States - Kerala
Sharon delighted with gift from Kochi
New Delhi Sept. 10. The Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, was very much delighted with a unique gift he received at the banquet hosted by the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, here last night.
The gift contained replicas of the Copper plates from the `Magna Carta’ of the Jews of Kochi, which has the oldest synagogue outside Israel. The gift was presented by the Kerala Tourism Minister, K.V. Thomas.
According to some scholars, the Copper plates given by the then rulers of Kochi during the arrival of the Jews to that place, dated back to the 11th century. But the traditional date according to the Cochin Jews is 379 AD.
It contains the royal order of giving special favours to the Jews led by Joseph Rabban. ``We have granted to Joseph Rabban the village of Anjuvannam together with the 72 proprietary rights, tolls on boats and carts, the revenue and title of Anjuvannam, the lamp of the day, a cloth spread in front to walk on, a palanquin, a parasol, a Vaduga (i.e. Teluge) drum, a trumpet, a gate way, a garland, decoration with festoons, and so forth.
``We have granted him the land tax and weight tax; moreover, we have sanctioned with these Copper plates that he need not pay the dues which the inhabitants of the other cities pay the Royal palace, and that he may enjoy the benefits which they enjoy. To Joseph Rabban the Prince of Anjuvannam and to his descendants sons and daughters and to his nephews, and to the sons-in-law who married his daughters in natural succession. So long as the world and the moon exist, Anjuvannam shall be his hereditary possession. Hail’’.
This has been granted with the knowledge of Govarthan Marthandan—Chief of Venadu, Kodal Chirkandan—Chief of Venapalinadu, Manavepala Manavian—Chief of Eralanadu, Trairan Chathan-Chief of Vallunadu, Kodal Travi—Chief of Nedumpurayurnadu, Moorkan Chathan—Sub-commander of the forces, and Vandalacheri Kandan—the Prime Minister. This is also inscribed on the plates. At present, Kochi has a small Jewish community of less than 100. A large number of Cochin Jews had migrated to Israel.—UNI
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Jewish Copper Plate was a copper plate grant given to Cochin Jews by Kulasekhara (Later Chera dynasty) king Bhaskara Ravi Varman I (962-1019 A.D.), immortalizing himself in Kerala history. This inscription conferred on a “Jewish Chief Joseph Rabban, the rights of the Anjuvannam and 72 other properietary rights.”
During the visit of Ariel Sharon to India in 2003, the then Tourism minister of Kerala, K.V. Thomas presented Sharon with a replica of the copper plate issued by the Bhaskara Ravi Varman II, king of Cochin, to “Ousepp Irabban” (interpreted to be Joseph Rabban, the leader of the Jewish community of Cochin state), with permission to own, inhabit, trade and prosper in an exclusive island on the port of Kodungallur, (referred to as muziris by western authors including Pliny the Elder). The Cochin Jews had a peaceful existence, free from persecution ( the only two notable exceptions being the brief periods of Portuguese and Dutch colonial rule over Cochin) in coastal towns like Kodungallur, Mala, Paravoor (also referred to as North parur, and Jew town near Mattancheri.