‘We’re home’: Descendants of the Lost Tribe arrive in Israel: “For generations, thousands of the ‘Bnei Menashe‘ tribe have been living in northeast India, maintaining Jewish traditions as they see themselves as one of the Ten Lost Tribes; a hundred of them fulfilled their dream and immigrated to Israel over the weekend.”
That is the topic of a recent story in YnetNews.com. According to Wikipedia, “the Bnei Menashe (Hebrew: בני מנשה, “Sons of Menasseh”) are a small group within the indigenous people of India’s North-Eastern border states of Manipur and Mizoram; since the late 20th century, they claim descent from one of the Lost Tribes of Israel and have adopted the practice of Judaism.”
There are more than 3,000 members of the Bnei Menashe tribe already living in Israel, mostly in the Galilee region, with another 7,000 still living in India.
The area of northern India where the Bnei Menashe are from was converted to Christianity in the 19th century.
While believing that Y’shua (Jesus) is the promised messiah for all Israelites, these pioneers in the early 1960s adopted observance of the Jewish Sabbath, holidays, dietary laws and other Jewish customs and traditions which they learned from books. They had no connections with other Jewish groups in the diaspora or in Israel. (emphasis added) Wikipedia
However, after the Bnei Menashe made contact with Jewish groups from Israel and other countries, “they began to practice more traditional rabbinic Judaism in the 1980s and 1990s.” Given that they were eventually allowed to make aliyah to Israel, one can safely assume this means that they dropped their belief in Yeshua as the Messiah.
“In the late 20th century, many of the Bnei Menashe started studying normative Judaism. Hundreds emigrated to Israel, some completing the required formal conversions there to be accepted as Jews” and “in 2005, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel accepted them as Jews due to the devotion displayed by their practice through the decades, but still required formal ritual conversion to be accepted as Jews. Later that year, Israel began to refuse to issue visas to these peoples after India objected to Israeli teams entering the northeast states to perform mass conversions and arrange aliyah.” Wikipedia
No new Bnei Menashe immigrants were allowed to make aliyah from 2007 to 2012, but starting in 2013 immigrants started arriving again, mostly due to the efforts of Rabbi Michael Freund, CEO of Shavei Israel.
The new group of arrivals number about a hundred and is the first wave of what is expected to be as many as 700 this year according to Rabbi Michael Freund.
Read the full article about the Bnei Menashe:
‘We’re home’: Descendants of the Lost Tribe arrive in Israel: Ynet News
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