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jose carp

How is it possible to reconvert a lost tribe in India and so difficult, with the intervention of Shavei Israel, to convert New Christians and Marranos from Portugal who want to become Jewish???

John Sandford

Why are these people (Bnei Menashe of India) being refered to as jews? Surely referring to them in that way is bias and arrogance or ignorance.
They are Yisraelites whose ancestors come from Avraham Yitzchak and Yaachov as do the Yahudites (Jews), ancestor of one of Yaachov's children.
Again we see the apartheidness of the pious Yahudite requiring these peoples conversion to Judaism? They are probably more accurate in their traditions and customs than those whole made aliyah to the land over the past fifty plus years.
Whwre is the Torah love?

Jules Levin

Regarding whether someone from the tribe of Menashe can be a "Yahudi": The term "Yahudi" was generalized first in the book of Esther,
where we read that Mordechai was a "Yahudi" from the tribe of Benjamin. Note also that
the Kohanim and Leviim are also not "Yahudim" in the older sense, which is clearly no longer applicable. Thus we are all now Yahudim--Jews.


I remember shooting a wedding some years ago in which one of the partners was from Benai Menashei & there were maybe 40 or 50 BM at the wedding. They were very nice people & prayed mincha by heart!!
I also once met one at the Western Wall, he was studying at Aish HaTorah & he was just a delightful young man, with beautiful English. I also remember that maybe six American religious guys in the Jers. area married 6 BM young women. I was personally impressed w/them & I'm happy they've come home & wish them well.


Andy Reaume - please don't confuse the readers here with your Christian/European supremacist theories and your incorrect terminology.

The "Jew" does indeed come from the word "Judah" etymologically, but it's a separate word and does not mean the same thing. It refers to members of any of the twelve tribes, and converts, and their descendents (matrilineal, of course). Every Jew knows that those called Jews today come from more than one tribe - in fact the only Jews today who have kept a tradition of which of the twelve they're from are the Levites (including Kohanim)!

When you say "For centuries, Jews have been misled by their religious teachers in believing that all Israelites are Jews," what are you trying to imply? That it's right and proper that Israelites be Christians? That Jews thought it was impossible that the lost tribes could have embraced other false faiths during their exile? Geez, even the tribes who weren't lost have done that! The thing is though, once a Jew always a Jew. One can go through the motions of converting and practicing another religion, but it doesn't affect their spiritual identity. Israelites, be they in Europe, Asia, Africa, or anywhere else, are Jews, even if they don't know it and don't practice Judaism.

So why do we make the Bnei Menashe convert? Because we're simply not certain if they're all really descended matrilineally from Menashe. For any who are, the conversion is redundant.


Grantman - perhaps you don't realize but Mr. Freund is taking some literary liberties when he says that the Bnei Menashe observed the Sabbath, ritual purity laws, etc. These are vast and complex areas of Jewish law, and if they really had been observing them, the case for their Jewish identity would have been much simpler. What they actually did though, is keep them in some form, in some variation, just as many other groups do. You go through the cultures of the world and you'll find all sorts of people doing things that are similar to Jewish practices (and to each other). Ever hear of Christianity, which most of the Bnei Menashe themselves practiced until recently? Many Christian sects are very similar to Judaism, and not just because of substratal influences from converted Jews. I seriously suggest that you read Hillel Halkin's book on the Bnei Menashe, which examines the cases for and against their Jewishness. He's not a rabbi, not even religious, and has no political motivations, but he's skeptical and as dry as your characterization of the rabbinate. Imagine that! (He is more or less convinced by the end of the book, though it's not for any of the reasons Freund has mentioned.)

If you think Judaism is dry because it claims G-d gave us lots of rules, and that we have to apply them seriously and consistently, and not jump to conclusions for emotional reasons, so be it. Though you may equate enthusiasm with authenticity, those of us who take an honest, logical look may find other relevant factors, and if we simply accepted anyone who makes a good impression on us, what we'd be accepting them into would not be Judaism anymore. Judaism tolerates great differences between groups - just look at Yemenites, Lithuanians, Persians, Moroccans - but their are limits, and when a certain group is not accepted, you can bet there's a good reason. And BTW, while Ben Gurion's may be quotable, he's not an accepted halachic authority. If you want to ignore halacha and do things in whatever way seems best to YOU, you can go start your own religion. You wouldn't be the first.




Andy Reaume

Greetings to all,

Here they go again; smearing the European race for the many persecutions endured over the centuries, yet purposely ignoring the many benefits accrued during their sojourn among them.
Brothers are often worst of enemies, and as it was in ancient times, so it is today.
Jews and Europeans have blamed each other for wrongs done, and the time has come for re-conciliation and re-gathering, but not under the banner or battle-cry of the power hungry Sanhedrin or Vatican whore.
They ignore the fact that Ephraim became a multitude of nations, and that all the non-Jewish tribes were blown by an east wind, and are to be found north and west of the land of Israel.
Go figure: the white Caucasian people are the people that crossed the Caucasus mountains from Assyria via the Israel pass on their westward migratory route.
The two sticks of Israel and Judah will be re-united as one stick in the hand of the true Shepherd, and the so-called rabbis will have nothing to say about it; nor will we need to convert to their "Judaism" in order to live in our rightful inheritance, of our portion in the land of Israel.
You so-called rabbis have always twisted the word of Elohim, and continue to this very day to deceive those under your grasp; but we're not all deceived by your wiles and cunning.
Your days are numbered, and the time will soon come when you will not prevent "our" return to the land.
So it is written in the original scriptures.

Revd Chuauthuama

If the Mizo group (the so-called Bnei Menashe) need to be converted it shows they are not real Jews? Can the Israeli Government accept all the Mizo people as Jews? I hope not.

Revd Chuauthuama

Do not think that the bame Barak valleyb in Assam has connection with the BARAK in the Bible? There can be a number of similar woprds or sound in different places. This suggestion that Barak valley and Barak in the Bible has connection is flimsy suggestion.

Tory Burch

I did a bit of research and discovered an interesting, yet largely unknown, little fact: Arab states provide less than 3 percent of the annual budget of UNRWA, the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees throughout the Middle East.

By contrast, Western countries cover some 95 percent of the organization's finances each year.


how dangerous it would be to give the Palestinians a state of their own.

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