martes, 5 de julio de 2016

Chicago rabbi set to become chief of black Jews group
When Rabbi Capers Funnye Jr. enters an unfamiliar synagogue at dawn to join the daily recitation of Hebrew prayers, his presence inevitably prompts questions.
The 63-year-old African-American occasionally shares his story about growing up in the AME church on Chicago's South Side, then discovering Judaism as an adult. Or he makes light of the suggestion that he doesn't belong by telling bemused skeptics he picked up a prayer shawl and skullcap outside and wanted to see how they worked.
Funnye (pronounced fun-AY) knows why people ask, but he wants that to change.
"Unfortunately, by and large, when you see any imagery of Jews in the United States, very seldom do you see members of my community," said Funnye, who lives in Beverly. "But we have African-American Jews, African Jews, Filipino Jews, Mexican Jews, white Jews and biracial Jews. It is really what the Jewish people, in fact, have always looked like. … We have to promote that Jews have always been a global people."
Funnye, the spiritual leader of Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in the Marquette Park neighborhood, soon could have the platform to set the record straight about race and diversity within the American Jewish community.
A cousin to first lady Michelle Obama who spent many a Sunday afternoon with her family while growing up on the South Side, Funnye is poised to become the titular head of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis, which includes black Jews in the U.S., Caribbean, South Africa, Uganda and Nigeria. Just as his cousin by marriage, Barack Obama, has used his platform as commander in chief to address race relations in the U.S., Funnye hopes to use his prominence as chief rabbi to improve race relations in Jewish communities around the world.
The Ethiopian Hebrew movement to which Funnye belongs is one of a few black Jewish movements now under the Israelite umbrella, all of which believe they are Jews of African descent.
But Israelites have remained largely outside the mainstream Jewish community because they often aren't considered Jewish without a traditional Jewish conversion.
"The community is not willing to have anybody dictate our right to practice Torah and have our own community," said Rabbi Baruch Yehudah, international secretary of the Israelite board. "Over the years it has been a teeth-grinding situation."
Rabbi Capers Funnye Jr., the spiritual leader of Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in the Marquette Park neighborhood, soon could have the platform to set the record straight about race and diversity within the American Jewish community.
Funnye entered the Chicago Jewish scene in the mid-1980s, against a backdrop of particular tension between African-Americans and American Jews. The solidarity established during the civil rights era had begun to erode as affirmative action debates unfolded and prominent black leaders blamed the Jewish establishment for oppression. A low point came in 1984 when Democratic presidential candidate the Rev. Jesse Jackson referred to New York as "Hymietown." He later apologized for using the derogatory term.
Jane Ramsey, then-executive director of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, said the council had gone out of its way to galvanize communities around social justice but, until Funnye came along, hadn't considered engaging the African-American Jewish community.
"He's deeply religious and deeply devoted to Judaism and also deeply devoted to creating jobs and housing and addressing racism and anti-Semitism," Ramsey said. "It was very much a shared agenda."
But his leadership and congregants raised eyebrows, Ramsey said.
"The predominately Caucasian community wasn't quite sure what to make of the African-American Jewish congregations in Chicago," she said. "There was a lot of questioning. Are they Jews?"
The same kind of skepticism surfaced when Funnye became the first and only black rabbi to join the Chicago Board of Rabbis in 1997. Rabbi Ira Youdovin, then-executive vice president of the board, said at the time that the board admitted only graduates from the handful of American seminaries that ordained Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist leaders. Funnye had earned his smicha, or ordination, from New York's Israelite Academy.
But he also had earned a reputation for engaging the Jewish community in matters of social justice and opening minds.
"He had made a tremendous mark on the community," Youdovin said. "We had to stretch, and we felt since he was a special person, he would be a good guy to stretch with."
Since then, the number of seminaries whose graduates are admitted to the board has expanded.
Funnye is expected to assume his international duties during a formal installation in Chicago this fall. However, his appointment is not automatic. The dozens of rabbis who make up the board must overwhelmingly approve him as "the rabbi to the rabbis." In fact, the position has been vacant for 16 years.
But over the past year, congregations have had the opportunity to review Funnye's proposed agenda, which many support. He intends to add women to the Israelite board, establish closer ties with the Ethiopian Jews now in Israel and publish a common prayer book that honors victims of the Holocaust as well as the Middle Passage, when millions of Africans were transported cross the Atlantic to become slaves.
Funnye already has traveled to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to press for more acceptance of black Jews around the world.
Although Funnye took what he considered the extra step of converting to Judaism — or reverting, as he prefers to call it — he says that isn't necessary for other Israelites and their rabbis. He had his own reasons.
"I was already a Jew in my heart," he said. "It validated for those around me my degree of sincerity of saying … 'I am a Jew.' "
"What I wanted to do was arrest any fears you have because I have no fears."

With this video the Alevi Map above could be larger
These Alevis could pass for ancient Israelites & even for Arabs
Alevi Tatar women. They don't look like Moslem radicals as ignorant people would say.

Is it a coincidence that there's a city in Sierra Leone called Kabala? The followers of the Jewish Kabbalah could be considered a sect in its own right separated from Orthodox Judaism. The Kabbalah is attributed to Sephardi Jews from an area between Spain and France in the Middle Ages. Kabbalah is a Hebrew word meaning "receiving/tradition". Different scholars affirm that some of the Sephardi Jews that in 1492 left Spain for northern Africa went south into the Sahara & even south into the gulf of Guinea. It’s also said that there were some Israelites sojourning already there. Perhaps a group of Sephardi Kabbalists founded the city of Kabbalah on their way to meet the local Temne Israelites. Nowadays there are some Temnes in Kabala too.

Recently the newspapers were awash with news that the MOSSAD; Israel’s intelligence agency has been contracted by the Nigerian government to help rid the South East, and South South sections of Nigeria, of the menace of kidnappings, which is sending the Igbos into exile.
The MOSSAD is a successful secret service. Its role in enabling beleaguered Israel to survive, and even thrive cannot be over-emphasized. Surely it has a lot to offer Nigeria in terms of security. If Israel with little natural resources, location in deserts and semi deserts, religious and cultural diversities could be secure, Nigeria, with its endowments should.
MOSSAD would help to douse the fire raging currently by helping the Nigeria Police, and our other security agencies to keep abreast of the latest innovations in intelligence and information gathering. Surely this would stem the tide, improve security now, and allow concerned parties to settle down and give the problem a long-term solution. The kidnapping is a symptom of something which needs to be treated. The societies in which kidnapping for ransom has almost become legitimized are largely dysfunctional; with all forms of legitimate authority broken down. And all the institutions that could genuinely help to foster social harmony rendered sterile, and irrelevant.
For long-term solutions; among the Igbos who share a similar culture with the MOSSAD operatives, the Israelis could help by enabling the Igbos to see that their traditional social organization, which has been largely displaced without good reason, and which is presented in the essay A Brief Survey Of Ancient Israel: From The Igbo Perspective and Experience, has the potential of stabilizing the society, reducing crime to the lowest level and also make it easier for the police, and other security agencies to succeed in combating crime, if and when they occur. Criminals thrive in societies that ‘thrive’ on injustice. The Igbo society in its pure form has inbuilt mechanisms that ensure that injustice does not take root. The afore-mentioned study which compared the Igbo and Israelite societies shows that the Republic of Israel which owns the MOSSAD operates a society akin to the traditional Igbo society, and enjoys the consequent social harmony and equilibrium.
If the MOSSAD instructs the Igbos to reduce poverty, and empower more of their people by starting to practice those aspects of their culture which mandate the rich to share their wealth and opportunities with the poorer members of their community, they will have a listening ear, because many Igbos have started to realize that Igbo abandonment of Igbo culture has only led to problems. A look at the mission statements of Igbo groups such as the Igbo Israel Union, the Igbo Origin and Culture Research Platform, and Igbozurume will confirm what I just mentioned.

Information on whether the Alevi Tatars are involved with the Kurds and the PKK
Some of the sources consulted place the Tatars in southeastern Turkey, the home region of the Kurds and the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). However, none of the sources indicates that there is any kind of alliance between the PKK and Alevi Tatars.
About 85 per cent of the Turkish population (50 million) is ethnic Turkish, the rest being Kurds, Arabs, Slavs, Bulgars, Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Gypsies, Circassians, Georgians and others (World Encyclopedia of Political Systems and Parties 1987, 1136). While Encyclopedia of the Third World corroborates this information on the ethnic composition of Turkey, it adds that Crimean Tatars are included among Asian Turks (1992, 1972). The Kurds, with a population of about seven million, are the most important Muslim minority in Turkey (ibid.). Two-thirds of Kurds are Sunni Muslims, while one-third are Shiite or Alevi (ibid.).
An article in the 25 November 1993 issue of The Daily Telegraph states that the government was enlisting the support of tribal leaders in its battle with the "separatist" PKK. According to the source, one of the enlisted tribes was the Tatars, who live in the mainly Kurdish southeast, and that because of their feudal land ownership system, tribal leaders wield considerable influence in the Tatar community (ibid.).
The United Press International (UPI), in its release of 4 May 1992, reports that several thousand Crimean Tatars live in the central Turkish province of Eskisehir. The same source notes that since 1980, Crimean Tatars who moved to Turkey during and after the Second World War have demanded the right to return to the Crimea (ibid.). In an article in its 2 April 1992 issue, The Ottawa Citizen notes that about five million Crimean Tatars live in Turkey, but Moscow News puts the number at about three million (18 Mar. 1992).
According to an official of the Embassy of Turkey in Ottawa, the Tatars are a small ethnic group numbering between 200,000 and 300,000 (16 Dec. 1993). The source states that the Tatars, who are 99 per cent Sunni Muslim, are commonly found in Istanbul and Ankara (ibid.). For more information on the Crimean Tatars, that might provide an insight into Tatars in Turkey, please refer to the attachments.
This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

The Igbos Come from Hebrews & Hebrews Come from Adam, Father of all mankind
Remy Ilona- The ndi Igbo and Jews are ‘blood brothers’. This helps to solve a problem. In the submission that sparked off the debate I saw where the author stated or quoted sources that expressed and implied that Igbo culture and Judaism are not similar. But blood brothers have similar, if not identical cultures. And many of us have found, and proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Igbos and the branch of the Ibri called the Jews are genetically related. So we can consign the submission to where it deserves to belong; the rubbish heap. The malevolent attempt to degrade the magnificent film, and the theory that the Igbos are related to Israel got the reward it deserves; ignominy. Ignominy big time! And presently the film and books talking about Igbo Israelism are climbing the charts, because people want to know………
Any one that reads my latest book; “The Igbos And Israel-An Inter-cultural Study of the Oldest And Largest Jewish Diaspora” will get enough information about the ofo and its place in Jewish culture therein.
Secondly, no Jew runs around Igboland, spending money, to convince Igbos that they are related to each other. If , and as we are related, as can be inferred from Acholonu’s admission that we are related genetically, the need for that does not arise. The Jews that come to Nigeria, and see some Igbos, see those Igbos that have realized the importance of renewing their links with their brethren, and have reached out to their brethren. The Jews that visited the places that Acholonu mentioned in Anambra came at the invitation of some Igbos who wanted them to confirm if Eri the ancestor of a group of Igbos actually inhabited there. Judaism, as Omenana, is a non proselytizing culture/religion. Jews actually block non Jews from joining them, and I can’t imagine ndi Igbo permitting non Igbos to attend and participate in nzuko umu nna of any Igbo community.
Acholonu holds that the Igbos were the first human beings to inhabit the earth, as we can infer from the title of her book, ‘They Lived Before Adam’. Likely she holds that view because some findings indicate that (some) of the oldest fossils of the homo sapiens have been found in Africa-at a point (East Africa to be exact) thousands of miles away from Igboland. She has not proved that what she insists that she discovered is the absolute fact. Objective analysis and assessment of available data yields rather that everybody in the world descended from man.
Acholonu holds that the Jews descended from the Igbos. I think that she holds this view because she has not really extended her research to Jewish history and culture. When you say the ‘Jews’ you are just talking about the branches of Israel that lived in Western and the Middle Eastern lands. An Ethiopian Jew was not known as the Ethiopian Jew until recent times. He was known as the Falasha and as the Beta Israel. The Jews of Somalia are known as the Yibir (mis) pronunciation of Ibri or Hebrew), just as the Jews of Nigeria have been, and are known as the Ebo/Ibo/Igbo-(mis) pronunciations of Ibri or Hebrew).
If we must be frank, Hebrew culture, which both the Jews and the Igbos share, as can be inferred from Acholonu’s admission that ‘both groups are blood brothers’ did not begin to evolve in Igboland. The epicenter of Hebrew, if you like to call it Igbo, if you like call it Jewish, if you like call it Yibir, culture, is eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel). We have enough evidence that the Igbos trekked from there to Igboland thousands of years ago. Igbo language proves it. The Igbo spoken 700 years ago is unmistakably Hebraic, and, and, and once again, it's in Israel, not, not, not Igboland where archaeology has shown that Hebrew was in use more than 3000 years ago. Interested persons can confirm this themselves. Some very old and obscure dialects of Igbo still yield a lot of Hebrew.
Ndi Igbo certainly did not spawn the human race. Ndi Igbo are part of the human race, from the family of Israel. It might salve our vanity to think that we lived before Adam, but actually we didn’t. Adam which means earth or and in some ways ‘man’ in Hebrew spawned the human race, including the Igbos.

Comparing the Igbo and other Nigerian cultures on toilet practices
I would like us to talk about another custom today. How do the Igbo and other Nigerians deal with defecation and human faeces?
When I grew up in Igboland, every Igbo home in Ozubulu had a pit latrine situated some distance away from the main dwellings. I cannot recall any dwelling that did not have toilets or latrines, and when a miscreant child mischievously defecated on the farms or on the roads, what I observed was that the first person that saw the excrement would exclaim, 'anya afuo m aru' (my eyes have beheld an abominable thing), quickly look for an egg, break it, and smear the contents on the eye (our belief is that this is purification), and a search is conducted for the offender who's parents will be fined.
Yesterday in synagogue, as we discussed Omenana Joseph N Igbo recounted what was the older practice in his Orogwe, near Owerri. He said that in the distant past when many Igbos could not afford toilets, that what people did was to head into the wilds with "mbazu"-a spear-like farming implement, and on getting to the wilds-very far from human dwellings, the person in need would dig holes with the implement, relieve himself/herself over the holes, cover the excrement carefully with sand, and return home, fully relieved.
And what does the Igbo (Hebrew) Book of life say?....Deuteronomy 23:13 says.....And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement......
I mentioned in my last post that I have lived in many non Igbo parts of Nigeria. In one part, that is deemed to be the most sophisticated presently, and its people the most civilized, the people defecate in their bedrooms, living rooms, and in all parts of their homes. Fully grown adults retire into their homes with the plastic bowl called 'poo', defecate inside it, and pour the excrement on the streets.
In some other parts people simply defecated on streets, leave the excrement uncovered and walk away.
And in some areas people have the tradition of defecating inside bodies of water.
These are part of my observations...
Unlike · 1 אבן כהן :Defecation is simply defined as act of discharge of feces from the body. Even though is a act purely natural, most people according to their culture does not discharge feces properly. The Igbo for instance responds to this natural call positively by not deficating in their farms, market places, and other designated public or private areas. The reason for doing that in Igbo culture is because feces though regarded as a waste, is not only loathsome but very foul smelling. In other tribes' culture, I have not seen feces properly handled or disposed. Take for instance; I went to a kiosk in a motor park in Lagos to buy some biscuits. On getting there I saw a woman who covered herself, sitting just beside the open door of the kiosk and I asked her if the seller is around to sell some items to me. A man who wanted me to board his vehile came to me and said; "nwa nne! okwa I bu onye Igbo?" And I answered 'yes', then he said; "hapu nwanyi ahu obu nsi ka onanyi." I was shocked and horridly left the scene because I can not imagine a full fledged person defecating openly in the public right there in the business shop! Ever since then, I stopped buying biscuits and other sealed edible things for travel in the park and similar places. Today, it needed the power of task force to stop defecation on the main roads and other public areas, a typical sign how their culture view feces. 
Great differences exist between the Igbo and other Nigerians. Knowing and understanding these differences will help the Igbo to cope. Yorubas do not dig at all. In Lagos what they normally do is connect their toilet pipe to the gotta. That's all. And the same to the Hawusa Fulani.
Sabbatharianism: A Christo-Judaic development in Igbo-Israel.
The Sabbatharian Movement: A Judaeo-Christian development in Igbo-Israel.
Written by Remy Chukwukaodinaka Ilona
The Sabbatharians are the Igbo converts to Christianity who resigned from Christianity in the early twentieth century, and formed a new religion that is known among the Igbos as “Sabbath.”
The Sabbatharians are not easy to categorize. The Sabbatharians could be taken for Jews. They could also be seen as Christians. The Sabbath groups observe Saturday, the day that the Lord commanded the Israelites to rest (as is found in the Bible) as a holy day. The groups observe all the biblical feasts and holydays that the Lord ordered the Israelites to observe. For examples; they commemorate Passover, Sukkot, Atonement, etc, on the days that the worldwide Jewish community, with its headquarters in Eretz Yisrael does. They rigidly abhor all the foods that the Lord commanded the Israelites not to eat (as seen in the Bible). The Sabbatharians believed that keeping the Commandments was a true way to please God. In their early years they maintained and stressed that God was distinct and separate from anybody else. Their belief about God could be said to be unitarian in their early years. In that period the doctrine of the Trinity had not become popular and widely known among the Igbos, because Christianity was still new then. ‘Jah Jehovah’ was their preferred designation for the Supreme Being. I cannot recall that they had a position for anybody else in their worship in those their early years. On the Sabbath day which they called ubosi ezumike (day of rest), and other feast days they dress in white flowing robes, and when they get close to the precincts of their missions, as they address their places of worship they remove their foot wears, as they believe that their places of worship are holy ground. An essential aspect of their worship is ibu amuma (prophesying). They have guilds of prophets known as ndi ozi (the message carriers).
For Bibles they used the Tanakh; known by Christians as the Old Testament and by the People of Israel who received it from God as the Hebrew Bible. As the Bible which they use contains the Christian Bible; the New Testament, we can say they also use it. However one thing was discernible. They generally concentrated on the ‘Old Testament’.
Interestingly their main areas of interest in those years were the first five books of the Bible (Torah), and then the Psalms, and the Prophets. As far as I can remember the Sabbatharians were not particularly curious about the New Testament.
There is no evidence that they ever heard about the Talmud. Also they knew next to nothing about other important Jewish texts. Besides what they gleaned from the Bible about Israel; they knew next to nothing about Jewish history; and the modern Jewish religion.
However the Sabbatharians have a place for Jesus in their belief. But they do not equate him to the Almighty God; the Supreme Being. They see and respect him as a messiah.
And in organizational structure the Sabbath is Christian however. A Sabbath is headed by a person; the founder, who is known as onye isi nchu aja. This term could mean high priest. He is assisted by other persons who are known as ndi ozi. As I had observed ndi ozi could be ‘messengers. But the Sabbatharians see them as prophets. In recent years as the English language continues to gain precedence over Igbo language among the Igbos, and Pentecostal culture continues to permeate the Igbo society, the Sabbatharians have started to call the ndi ozi pastors.
A Sabbath could have branches everywhere as Christian churches. But it is remarkable that unlike Christian churches that they do not proselytize. I will try to explain what I think that inhibits them from proselytizing.
The development of ‘Sabbath’ as this movement is called is in my opinion inspired by some Igbos desire to practice Judaism; the religious culture of Israel. Unfortunately most of the founders of the Sabbaths did not write their personal histories so we do not have first hand information about what they thought about the Igbos descent from Israel. But we can say with certainty that they as most Igbos were aware of the knowledge that the Igbos came from Israel. Thus we can say that they developed the desire to practice Judaism because of this knowledge. But something is puzzling here. From what we know about the founders of the movement they did not know much, if anything about Israel’s religion. Most; especially the earliest founders did not have much Western education. So we can rule out the possibility that they read about Judaism. Even today, in the 21st century most Igbos, including the highly educated ones do not know much about the Jews and Judaism. So we can say quite safely that the Sabbatharian founders did not try to establish Judaic movements because they studied Judaism. Then what happened? Most said that they had visions of God calling on them to establish ‘Sabbath’. I will set out what I think that it happened. The Igbos like almost every other African people were enslaved and colonized by Europeans. The Europeans foisted foreign cultures on the colonized peoples. Initially members of the colonized entities thought that the colonization was beneficial. But with time some of their elites began to realize that colonization could not be beneficial in any way. That its short term gains are more than off-set by its long term disadvantages. The elites of colonized peoples thus always seized the first opportunity they have to throw off the yoke of foreign rule. We saw Herbert Macauley, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela, etc, struggling against foreign rule. Unfortunately historians concentrate only on those that used political methods to achieve certain objectives. Well, we must not allow ourselves to digress. After years of striving and failing to stifle the various anti-colonial movements the colonial powers packed and left. But they did not go with the institutions, and the ideas that they planted in Africa. Principal among such institutions is Christianity. We will now talk very briefly about how some of the various peoples of Nigeria reacted to Christianity. After a few years in the Western versions of Christianity the various peoples of Nigeria began to try to head back to their own religions. Naturally they tried to rediscover their religions through Christianity. Naturally they had to match through Christianity because it was what they had grown up in. The Yorubas came up with the Aladura churches: The Celestial Church of Christ, the Cherubim and Seraphim, Jesu Oyingbo, etc. And Pentecostal variant, which they effectively Yorubanized. A good look at the ‘White garment’ churches as the former are known in Nigeria, Nigerian Pentecostal Christianity, and Yoruba religious culture will show that the Yorubas succeeded very well in indigenizing Christianity. The Igbo effort to do the same threw up the ‘Sabbath’. As the Igbos are Israelite ethnically what they would head back to must have distinctive Jewish features. In my estimation that’s why the Igbos ‘created’ a Judaeo-Christian movement. And the rapid spread of this movement throughout Igboland, and to wherever Igbos have migrated to is very interesting. A prominent Sabbath leader mentioned in 2005 that Sabbatharians number eight millions. They might have numbered up to the mentioned figure in the latter parts of the 20th century. Now they would number a million, because they lost many members to the Yoruba dominated Pentecostal movement.
Some of the Sabbatharians gained the respect and gratitude of the Igbos because of the feats which some of them were believed to have performed. Employing prayers, fasting, holy oil, etc, they tried to cure cancers, insanity and other difficult ailments. Many persons believe that they actually cured those ailments. Also the Sabbatharians were not known to have participated in Igbo intra-ethnic religious-denominational discrimination. This discrimination took the following form: Some groups that operate in Igboland have rules that bar their members from marrying outside their group. The Sabbatharians did not bar their members from marrying fellow Igbos. The groups that contributed to a major problem that is bedeviling the Igbo society today: a glut of Igbo spinsters, and a rising trend in Igbo marital instability. Many persons could not find ideal spouses in their groups, and waited for too long. By the time they realized that they should marry any Igbo with clean family histories they were already old-maids. Also persons that had only very little in common were forced to marry because they found themselves in the same groups. Marital instability resulted in a great many of such arrangements. In addition the intra religious-denominational discrimination forced many Igbos into the traps of non Igbo religious con men who were out to build large congregations by promising everything in the world to vulnerable persons. The Igbos that fell into such people’s traps have turned out to be bitter haters of the Igbo people today, because the con men ensure that they turn them against the core ethos of the Igbos. The Sabbatharians could say with pride that they did not ‘teach’ any Igbo to shun fellow Igbos. Today that the Igbo society is fundamentally divided, and reuniting the Igbos is seemingly impossible many Igbos are beginning to appreciate that groups like the Sabbatharians, and the Anglicans did not join in preaching intra-ethnic religious divisions.
As I have mentioned before, prophesying enjoys preeminence in the Sabbatharian movement, as it did in the ancient version of the religion of Israel. But really there is no basis for comparison. The Israelite prophets were social reformers, and champions of true religious worship par excellence.
And while the Israelite prophet was quite national, and even international in outlook, the Sabbatharian prophet is quite provincial. It is difficult to recall a single Sabbatharian prophet who showed extraordinary concern for the Igbos as a people; as a community. We cannot also say that the poor and defenseless among the Igbos have occupied the attention of the Sabbatharian prophet very much. Nor can we say that they foresaw the dangers that the Igbos would be in as a consequence of their religiously and denominationally induced divisions, and preached against such evils. Almost all were concerned just with the welfare of their communities. Had they seen beyond their own communities they would have with their preeminence in the former years stemmed the collapse of the Igbo society.
However in one respect some of the earliest Sabbatharian prophets resemble the Israelite models. A few railed against Igbos who were trying to import a particularly heinous unIgbo practice: ikpa nsi (poisoning people).
Up till this stage I still can’t find where to place the Sabbatharians. In Christianity or in Judaism? This is because I can’t remember any early Sabbatharian who did not concentrate on ‘Jah Jehovah’ only, as his God, or who did not emphasize the importance of the Laws of God, found in the ‘Old Testament’. I have tried to find the reasons why the Sabbatharians inclined towards an indivisible (Unitarian God) in their early years. I think the reason may be that the prevailing dominant influence rubbed off on them then. Many Igbos as at when the Sabbatharian movement began to rise still retained a memory of only Chukwu as the Supreme Being. In Igbo theology Chukwu (God), was seen as a Person. A single Person. Thus it was easy for the Sabbatharians to revert to a belief on only God (Chukwu Abiama) as God. I think that this factor helped the Sabbatharians to focus only on ‘Jah Jehovah.’
Yet in spite of all the above, particularly their tendency to rigid monotheism, I still cannot bring myself to describe the early Sabbatharians as Jews or Judaists or Israelites in religion. There are features of Israel’s religion as shown in the Bible, which is not manifest in their practices: Oneness for example. From what I have seen of Judaism, or Omenana Igbo, a very important essence of the Jewish way, and the Igbo way, is the perception of the Jewish or the Igbo community, respectively as one. The community’s good is the primary concern of Judaism and Omenana. The Sabbatharians believed in communitarianism too, but they worked towards creating new communities, which were to be distinct from the Igbo community. I know several Sabbatharians who were giants in the Sabbatharian world, but I do not know any who stood out as an Igbo stalwart, as I would expect Jews to stand out in the Israelite world. Also until recent times Israel as a people, as a nation, and as a land was not of particular importance to them, as it is to Jews. I would say that they viewed their communities as kinds of ‘new Israels’.
At this stage I feel like asking some questions. And those questions are:
From what we have shown we can say that there was an effort to go to Judaism; some might call it a teshuvah; to return to keeping the Laws. But that due to dearth of information and other resources perhaps, that the Sabbatharians stopped midway with a new religion. My number one question is: Would the Sabbatharians have developed to become Jews/Judaists /Israelites? Two: Would they have grown if they had been given Torahs and other Jewish texts? Three: Would they have progressed if selfless intellectuals had joined them? Four: Would a Jewish rabbi have made the difference? I ask all these questions because I think that the Sabbatharians thought that they were replicating the Israelite worship.
My answer to these questions is a simple yes!
If they had been given Torahs, teachers; and if selfless intellectuals had joined them, they would have learned how Jews lived, and worshipped God, or how Jews are supposed to live and worship God, and they would have adjusted their practices. They would have seen the similarities between the Igbo and Jewish patterns of living, and they would have started fifty years earlier what many of them are just beginning now.
And just as I can’t call them Jews I can’t call them Christians either. I can’t recall their addressing themselves in those years as Christians, perhaps because in those years, the Igbo identity suffixed for every Igbo; unlike in the present era when the Igbo identity is loosing ground due to the erosion of Igbo culture.
Also their belief that obeying the Commandments (the Laws) of God is enough to earn them salvation clearly makes it difficult to classify them as Christians. This is because central in Christianity is the doctrine that it is Faith, not keeping the Law that saves.
I would still say that the Sabbatharians are Christians transiting to the Igbo religion, which among Jews is called Judaism.
I say this because in recent times, due to more availability of information many Sabbaths have introduced quite a lot of Judaic beliefs, practices and rituals into their practices. Many Sabbatharians have started to dress like Jews. Some wear skull caps, and don tallits while praying. Some have started to learn Hebrew. Many are familiar with elementary Hebrew. A Sabbatharian is likely to greet a friend with ‘shalom’; the customary salutation of peace that Jews are known with. Some have started to use the Jewish Siddurim to pray. And many have acquired Hebrew Bibles designed for synagogue study. And in recent years the biggest Sabbath group formulated a document about burying the dead that its members should be using. In every detail their burial practices would match those of Jews if they implement what they drew up. I will say the following even though it is digressional. If the Sabbath group disseminates the afore-mentioned document widely they would be doing the Igbos a major favor. This is because their document is reminiscent of Igbo burial practices which are Israelite; and which most Igbos have virtually forgotten everything about.
Lastly the Sabbatharians are beginning to become voracious readers of books. And many are beginning to plan to invest in schools and education. As everybody knows the Jews are the people of the Book. I would say that there are many indications that the Sabbatharians are transiting to Judaism.

Linguistic Similarities And while my comparison of Igbo and Ivrit is still in infancy I must reveal that I have observed that both languages share quite an uncommon resemblance; from idiomatic, to similar words having similar meanings in both, etc. An Igbo who is intelligent and compared Igbo and Hebrew as part of her graduate work reached the conclusion that both languages are genetically related. Below is part of the work that I have started to do in the studying of both languages: It is interesting that the Igbo word for house or home is be, and the Hebrew word for house is bes or beth. That an Igbo type of light is urimmu, and six of the lights on the breast-plate of the Israelite chief priest is urim. That the meaning of Israel’s Name for God in Hebrew Yawe, is ‘I am’, and in Igbo Yawu means ‘He is’. That wine in Hebrew is yayin and mmanya in Igbo. Abraham to the Igbo is Abiama. We must admit that Abraham and Abiama are close in spelling and pronunciation. The Creator of the universe to the Igbos is Chukwu Abiama (Great God of Abraham). Omenana is the phrase for the Igbos religion and culture, and Emuna is the Hebrew word for faith. And adam (Hebrew) and madu (Igbo) both mean man (humans). G.T. Basden devoted a large portion of his work to a comparison of Igbo and Israelite traditions, and he started the comparison thus: ‘There are one or two peculiarities of idiom in Ibo similar to some found in Hebrew. The chief parallel is found in the repetition of words to express a single idea and, perhaps to add emphasis. The practice of reduplicating verbs or adding their cognate nouns is characteristic of Ibo- e.g. ‘O galu aga’ = he passed; ‘o jelu ije’ = he went. As a rule, the addition makes little or no appreciable difference to the meaning. There are many verbs which are rarely used without reduplication or with their derived noun either attached or in close proximity, e.g., we have such terms as “murmur a murmur” = “o natamu atamu”, or, as we have in the litany, “those who have erred”= “ndi jefielu ejefie”, and “those who are deceived” = “ndi alaputalu alaputa.” My exploratory work on the idioms, expressions, usages, etc, is set out hereafter. Moses’ call on ‘heaven and earth’ to be his witness that he gave Israel sufficient warning to stay away from idolatry and evil made profound impact on me the first time I read it scholastically (in Deuteronomy 4:26), because it is our (Igbo) fashion when we want to really lay emphasis on a matter in discussion. When the Igbo man says ‘enu igwe na ana nukwa onu m’ (‘may heaven and earth hear my voice’) he is really serious, and does not want to play with the matter that made him to utter those words. An Igbo writer; S.C. Onwuka mentioned that Igbos call upon ‘heaven and earth to witness’ while they are praying. I submit that it is not just coincidental that both languages have such an identical expression, and use it in similar circumstances. Also Dr. J. H. Hertz, a Jewish scholar; had while explaining the nuance in Numbers 14:22, “these ten times” stated that it could stand for a ‘large number of times’. He further explained it to mean: “They had now filled up the measure of their iniquities, and punishment must inevitably come upon them.”7 Dr. Hertz used expressions very close to the Igbo idiom—‘iko ya ejuna’, which means that he has exhausted all his chances, but which can be translated literally to mean ‘his cup or measure is filled up.’ Igbos use this phrase or idiom when an evil doer gets caught and is awaiting punishment. From Hertz’s explanation it is easy to see that the same idea lies behind both the Igbo usage of the expression, and the Israelite usage, as explained by Hertz. Hertz also explains, ‘for they are bread for us’ which is in Numbers 14:9 as meaning that: ‘We shall easily destroy them.’ His explanation is very similar to an Igbo expression nni nracha ka ha wu which literally means (‘they are easy food’), which if employed during a quarrel or fight signifies that the opponent can be defeated easily. Also very interesting is the nearness of words that Jacob and his sons deployed when they were talking about Joseph’s supposed loss, to a wild beast, to the words that Igbos would have used in similar circumstances. The sons reported that an ‘evil beast’ might have devoured their brother. Jacob also referred to the beast as an ‘evil beast.’ Genesis 37:35.9 Ordinarily a beast is either a wild one or a domestic one. But I understand what Jacob and his sons said and why because as an Igbo I know that Igbos will refer to a ferocious or wild beast as ajo anu (evil beast), even though the beast could have equally been tagged anu ofia (wild beast) by the Igbos. One comes across the phrase ‘the anger of the Lord was kindled’,—Numbers 12:9, ‘My wrath shall wax hot’,-Exodus 22:23. If the phrases are translated into Igbo language we will have iwe oku which means hot anger. The Igbos call their anger iwe oku (hot anger) when they are very angry. As I was pointing out in the section that dealt with “evil beast,” is anger supposed to be “hot” or cold? Applying such adjectives in certain cases makes sense to me only when I consider that every language has its own idioms and characteristics. I will make a preliminary conclusion of this section with the words of Basden: “The language (Igbo) also bears several interesting parallels with the Hebrew idiom.” But before making my final comment on this subject which I am just beginning to look at I want to bring up more strikingly similar Igbo and Hebrew words which have identical or near meanings. It is not mere coincidence that makes may-im- hayy-iym “waters of life, living waters,” in Hebrew similar to iyi which is “stream, river” in Igbo language. Also the belt that was part of the Israelite priest’s garment—the ephod or ‘efowd, which is comparable with the Igbo word mfiedo = girdle or belt. In addition the Hebrew nasas /nasah which are “be clear, be pure /shinning”, can be related to the Igbo nso and which can be used for holiness. Aso can also be used for holiness, and in Igbo thought what is nso or aso (holy) is pure. And I also observed that many Igbo words like unyahu, ebe ahu, and nke ahu (yesterday, that place, and that thing) definitely excites one to think of Hebrew names like Eliyahu, Netanyahu, Yeshayahu, etc., because of the ahu endings. It also occurred to me that Igbos would include an u when pronouncing a name like John giving out something like Johnu. I was moved by the following prayer: Barukh atah Adonai….shehekhyanu vekiymanu vehigianu lazman hazeh, because of the nu endings. I find it my favorite prayer in Hebrew. Researchers would find this area very interesting to explore I predict. As I am only beginning an exploration of this section I will not go too far. I will not make definitive assertions on the relationship between the Igbo and Hebrew languages at this stage. However I must say that my observation is that the Igbo spoken fifty years ago was not very dissimilar in aspects like sound, pronunciation, etc, with ancient Ivrit. Shortly I will resume a comparison of both languages with Avraham Phil van Riper; an American Jewish scholar.
Igbo language has a lot of similarities and ties with the language of the Jews.

The Lost Tribe that Found Elijah
Benjamin Simon Joseph Dandekar (friends call him "Benny"), has served as the Hazzan, or Jewish prayer leader, of Bene Israel ("Children of Israel") communities in and around Bombay, India, for over 25 years. Benny is a celebrity among the approximately 5,000 Jews who live in Bombay and the surrounding towns and villages of India's Maharashtra Province.
The Jewish community watches as two young Bene Israel siblings marry arranged Bene Israel partners on the same day at Thane’s Magen Hassidim Synagogue, India’s largest congregation. Chazzan Benny Dandekar made both matches. As children, the brides and grooms studied Hebrew prayers with Benny, and he remained close to their families. “Many people used to do the job of matchmaking,” Benny recalls. He considers himself blessed to be one of the few left in this role: “The chosen man from the chosen people!” Benny is fond of saying.
Benny teaches all Bene Israel youth the traditional Jewish prayers, but also schools international Jewish tourists in the unique history of the Bene Israel. He says the progenitors of the modern community were exiled from the Land of Israel hundreds of years before the Common Era. They shipwrecked off the palm-bedecked Konkan Coast, south of what is today Bombay, and only seven couples made it ashore alive.
Thousands of years later, many Bene Israel remain in India though they constitute at best 0.000005% of the country's billion-plus population. Despite the Bene Israel's relatively small numbers, across the centuries, they never fully assimilated, even as they adopted Indian dress and the local Marathi language. The community always remembered its Shema vow of loyalty to one G-d, guarded Kosher laws and rested on Saturdays.
Bombay bustles past the gate of the 140 year-old Mogen David Synagogue, the largest of the city’s six remaining synagogues, tucked in a courtyard off a major thoroughfare. Several times a week, exactly ten, poor, elderly men – nine of them Bene Israel – enter this Mogen David gate to constitute Bombay’s only weekday morning minyan. In return for keeping the minyan active, the Bombay community gives the men breakfast, and for Shabbat, a kosher chicken killed by Bombay’s only kosher ritual slaughterer (shochet) in Mogen David’s gravelly yard.
When Jewish traders from Baghdad, Iraq arrived in India in the late 18th Century, they recognized the Bene Israel as coreligionists. The Baghdadis constructed grandiose new synagogues, into which they welcomed the Bene Israel, teaching the Indians contemporary Jewish practices.
After the modern State of Israel's establishment in 1948, nearly all of the Baghdadi Jews (and many Bene Israel) made Aliyah from India to Israel. The Baghdadis' leadership mantle has been largely assumed by the remaining Bene Israel. The former Bene Israel learners, like Benny, are now the instructors.
Though the pictured Alibag synagogue dates from 1848, some say that for at least 800 years, the Bene Israel have prayed to the Jewish G-d in this village, three hours south of Bombay on the palm-bedecked Konkan Coast. The benches creak and the air hangs heavy in the mildewed Magen Aboth sanctuary. Nonetheless, each day, the old community members gather for prayers, and on Shabbat collect a minyan from the 8-10 Jewish families left in town.
The Baghdadis' influence did not overwhelm every element of the Bene Israel's hybrid, Jewish-Indian culture. The Bene Israel have maintained what was the cornerstone of their unique heritage: a special reverence for Elijah the Prophet (Eliahu Ha'Navi).
Ben Zion Gosalkar, the Bene Israel caretaker (Shamash) of massive Knesseth Eliyahoo synagogue in Bombay, prays during the afternoon service (Mincha). The 19th century temple once housed India’s wealthy Baghdadi Jewish community, but today the prayer leader (Chazzan) and most congregants are Bene Israel. Ben Zion has tears in his eyes before the service remembering his synagogue 50 years ago, before the vast majority of India’s Jews emigrated to Israel. “There were 15,000 Jews in Bombay –people would sleep next door to walk to synagogue on holidays. We needed extra services in the Sassoon Library across the street because there wasn’t room for everyone.” Scanning nostalgically from the rows of empty benches to the unused women’s gallery, he sighs, “Today, even on Yom Kippur there are only 25 people.”
Ever since Bene Israel villagers encountered Elijah incarnate 2000 years ago, touching down his chariot along the Indian coast, the community has celebrated, given thanks and made wishes invoking his name. Their "Malida" ceremony, in particular, consists of offering prayers, songs and bowls of fruits and flowers to the Prophet Elijah.
Though no one is certain exactly where and when the Malida originated, Benny suggests it has roots in antiquity, created to prevent Jews from mixing with the local Hindu population. "The Hindus did their ceremony to their gods, with fruits, singing and flowers," says Benny. "Our kids would go and have a good time mixing with the Hindus. So to compete, we came up with the joyous Malida honoring Eliahu."
Dayan Samson Penkar stands at the doorway to Beth Ha Elohim, the 130 year-old synagogue in Pen, a village two hours southeast of Bombay. Bene Israel historians tell that when seven, exiled Jewish couples first shipwrecked on the Konkan Coast nearly 2000 years ago, they believed they would not stay long. As they scattered to villages, they took their father’s (or, if married women, their husband’s) names as second names (e.g., in Dayan’s case, Samson). They assigned surnames (e.g, Penkar) with the name of their village (in this case, Pen) and the suffix “-kar,” meaning in the local language, "a sojourner." Centuries later, nearly all of the Bene Israel – like most of their non-Jewish, Maharashtrian neighbors, have surnames ending in ‘-kar.’ Today, fewer than 10 Bene Israel families live in Pen, most with the last name “Penkar.”
Though the Malida and certain other Bene Israel customs may have Indian roots, Benny credits the Bene Israel parents for keeping the community from idol worship. "My father died when I was ten years old but not before he heard me singing the Eliahu Ha'Navi prayer." With Hazzan Dandekar's passionate teaching, the Bene Israel community's future will be secured for generations to come.
Bryan Schwartz and Sandy Carter visited the Bene Israel community of India's Maharashtra Province in 2000 and will present its members in vivid text and photographs in their book with Jay Sand, Scattered Among the Nations.

Ending the Axis of Evil
While totalitarianism found itself rising most tragically during the 20 century even Islamism is now undergoing comprehensive global self-discreditization; indeed historically like all the other totalitarian ideologies before it. The evil gods of totalitarianism have not only lost their power & appeal, they have been conclusively & finally killed, indeed fully exterminated by freedom.
However, four hideouts of totalitarianism still remain where most brutal totalitarian terror still rules indisputed and these are North Korea, Eritrea, the Islamic State Caliphate and the al Qaida State in northern Syria. Al Qaida of course still controls a few other enclaves here and there around the world. The leadership of Iran is now abandoning totalitarianism much as have the leaderships of most nominally Communist states already done.
However, the Axis of Evil and its four remaining states are still in place although under increasing internal and external pressure. North Korea is approaching comprehensive state collapse while all four remaining totalitarian states increasingly face an overwhelming internal collapse of ideological credibility. The Islamic State and the al Qaida State find themselves under increasing military pressure by Israel’s allies such as Syria and Kurdistan. Turkey as still under some control of the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist regime finds itself on the brink of an urban popular revolution, despite still retaining significant popular support outside of the major metropolitan regions.
However, the strategic threat of totalitarianism must not be underestimated and the strategic cooperation between the four remaining totalitarian states poses a profound threat to global security despite ideological differences between the four. However, they certainly have more in common than dividing them as totalitarian forms of governance are quite similar irrespective of nominal ideology. North Korea is thus a Communist state with a Neo-Nazi (“Juche”) state ideology advocating national racial purity of blood and practicing serial monarchic succession within the same ruling family. While there are certainly differences between the al Qaida state in Syria and the Islamic State Caliphate, the ideological and religious similarities are overwhelming indeed. Eritrea remains a totalitarian anomaly in Africa bizarrely practicing 25 years of compulsory military service for men.
The increasing strategic coordination between the four remaining members of the Axis of Evil however do still pose a significant threat as there are increasing extremely credible indications that the increasingly desperate Axis of Evil is planning significant global escalation, including mass terrorism with weapons of mass destruction. As their evil gods are now dead and have indeed been all been finally liquidated by the tremendous, indeed completely overwhelming Power of Freedom, the leaderships of the four remaining totalitarian regimes now face the strategic choice between abandoning totalitarianism and facing the strategic reality of increasingly imminent comprehensive regime collapse.,_Iraqi,_and_Lebanese_insurgencies.png
The Al Qaida State in Syria in white and the Islamic State Caliphate in gray as of June 3, 2016.
Indeed the four remaining still ideologically believing totalitarian states must make the strategic decision of abandoning totalitarianism once and for all or face the painful reality of total war by means of the US military doctrine of Rapid Dominance, also known as Shock and Awe. There can be no more tolerance for totalitarianism in the community of nations and so the four remaining members of the Axis of Evil will face complete collapse unless they speedily make the choice of abandoning totalitarianism. The remaining strategic threat as posed by the Axis of Evil is tremendous and so the Axis of Evil must end or be ended by all legitimate means, inclueeding Total War.
North Korea’s strategic cooperation with the Islamic State Caliphate and the al Qaida state in error Syria has increasingly deepened in recent years despite the seemingly nominally insurmountable ideological dissimilarities between North Korea on the one hand and the Islamic State Caliphate and the al Qaida state on the other. Political misalliances are however nothing new in political history such as the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between totalitarian dictators Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union and Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany and which indeed directly commenced WW2.
The Axis of Evil would be most ill-advised to underestimate the tremendous political resolve and immense military power of the community of nations to end the scourge of totalitarianism once and for all. North Korean plans for attacking major US cities with nuclear weapons are simply intolerable to say the least as are the completely intolerable genocidal threat posed against the peaceloving & prodemocratic Kurdish people by the Islamic State Caliphate and its weapons of mass destruction as are indeed al Qaida’s apparent plans for unprecedented global terrorism, including the use of weapons of mass destruction against major cities around the world.
The Axis of Evil must face the reality that they stand no chance of surviving neither politically nor militarily and that their only choice is between voluntarily leaving totalitarianism or going down in blood. Indeed the Axis of Evil would be particularly well advised to act rationally or else face the Overwhelming Power & Wrath of Freedom. Indeed, North Korea and Eritrea are certainly more predisposed to act rationally in this regard than the twin lunatic Salafist states of al Qaida in Syria and the Islamic State Caliphate. However, human beings are certainly predisposed with ability for reasoning and so the four remaining members of the Axis of Evil are therefore advised to end the lunacy of their respective regimes and behave rationally now that their evil gods are all dead and gone forever.

Steps to Redemption of the Igbos
Any person that uses the brain will be depressed by 'Nigeria', and an Igbo, more so, because if the Igbos had gotten things right, Igboland, and the Igbo community would have been an oasis in the actual hell that sub-Saharan Africa has turned into. Before we decided to become like others we were ahead; far ahead. Even colonial officers who declared their hatred for us stated so loud and clear. R. Collis said that we hadn't malnutrition-because we ate green vegetables (unlike the others, including the Yoruba whom the Igbos worship today because they take them to, and teach them about Christ). My book The Igbos: Jews In Africa carefully laid out these, and more. Nwanne Chukwu has given us enough tools to free ourselves. Didn't He empower people, including our son Emeagwali to make the Internet, and make it available in our time? So that we would use it to look back, look at the present, and march into the future with knowledge and wisdom! However we must decide to be free. And we must decide to be holy, because we are the seed of the only people who entered a covenant with Him. We were at Sinai. Remember His warning through Prophet Amos if I recall correctly,' Israel, ye alone have I known among the nations, (be careful because), I 'll look into all your transgressions). The child we love we must reprove! Nothing wrong with loving money (other Nigerians love it even more than Igbos). I proved that in The Igbos: Jews In Africa, but as Igbo wisdom (the Igbo sense) has gone, Igbos do everything crassly. The same colonialists said that they didn't see prostitution as a commercial venture among the Igbos, but today all the brothels in Nigeria have more Igbo girls, than girls from the other groups in Nigeria. the Igbos: Jews In Africa provided facts and figures that showed that ndi Igbo wu o muta ogbakaria-the amateur who out-dances the professionals.The 'genocide' was a consequence of a crime! High treason! Committed by the Igbos! I'll try to forward to you my article which was published in the National Times newspaper. I don't know why Igbos refuse to see what should be obvious. I don't know why Igbos refuse to understand what 'Biafra' really stands for: Well I shouldn't be surprised> Didn't Moses say that one of the consequences of idolatry would be lack of discernment and wisdom? I told you in one of my last letters that as Igbos withdraw from Omenana/Laws of the God of Israel, that their wisdom, power, etc, will be reducing. Okpara and co were prophets if compared to contemporary Igbos, but midgets when compared to Joshua, David, Elijah, Isaiah, Equiano, the type that Okonkwo of Things Fall Apart is the prototype of, and their other ancestors. Igbos can only begin to think about redemption of any kind when a sizable number of Igbos break free from the yoke of idolatry. This is easy to achieve. If the Igbos know what is Omenana, and begin to practice it, they will break free of idolatry. It’s not easy for me to say the following as I could be misunderstood, and viewed as indulging in self-adulation. But as we are dialoguing I'll talk. With God's help I have been able to excavate the true history of the Igbos, and have also found the true Igbo culture. It is Omenana, and I found evidence that it is the culture of Israel, and that it remains pure, even while the Igbos regressed, and degenerated. Presently a group of Igbo academics, professionals, and artists, based in Nigeria, and abroad, who have read some of my books have been assembling with the objective of rebuilding the Igbo people with what they found in the books. In the words of the facilitator, and the chairman of the 'Platform, 'we have read many Igbo texts, but The Igbos: Jews In Africa' gave us a key which we had not known about previously'. And in the words of a leader of the group based abroad, 'after reading the book, it was no longer gloom and doom, as I began to see light at the end of the tunnel'. If you read some of them you'll have the same feelings, and will begin to think of how to make sure that many if not all Igbos begin to read them, and begin to study about the Igbos. And who made it possible for us to have what is actually the base of Igbo Studies? It's the Jews! Today a Jewish company is working to publish' From Ibri To Igbo-Forty Million More Jews In West Africa' beside which the books which kick-started the afore-mentioned group pales into insignificance. More on that later, but I'll drop this before I sign off now, to restart later. If the Igbos begin to study the Jews, as they study the Igbos, redemption will come in no time.
Note: The treason wasn't against Nigeria, but against the God of our forefathers. A close reading of Deut 28 will convince you that we benefited from the blessings when we recognized Him alone as our God, and tried to keep His commandments, and that the Igbos are reaping the curses presently, because the Igbos have turned to another god, whom their fathers did not know.
What are responsible for Igbo and Jewish higher intelligence?
What are responsible for Igbo and Jewish higher intelligence?
I would aver that the Jewish people have exhibited remarkable intelligence in many more areas of endeavor; more than any other group of people in our world.
On the position that the Jewish people have demonstrated what I chose to identify as higher intelligence, some other persons seem to have an opinion similar to mine. The Economist of 4th June, 2005, has a story that presents the Jews of Eastern and Northern Europe (the Ashkenazi) as having shown more intelligence than their peers (the non Jewish population), on the average.
Quoting the story briefly would help: ‘Ashkenazim generally do well in 1Q tests, scoring 12—15 points above the mean value of 100, and have contributed disproportionately to the intellectual and cultural life of the West, as the careers of Freud, Einstein and Mahler-affirm.’
The above is part of a study by Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy and Henry Harpending of the University of Utah; in which they sought to prove not only that some ethnic groups are more intelligent than others, but the process through which that become possible.
In the story the scholars averred that while the Jews generally succeeded by using their brains, their non Jewish peers generally achieved success by engaging in activities like conquests and colonization of other peoples, brigandage, and wars, etc.
Thomas Cahill, Christian scholar, and author of The Gifts of the Jews sums up the mental acuity of the Jews with the following words: ‘The Jews started it all-and by “it” I mean many of the things we care about, the underlying values that make all of us, Jew and gentile, believer and atheist, tick’.
I am interested in studying the possible reasons why the Ashkenazi (Jews), and peoples akin to the Jews have shown more intelligence than their peers.
According to the above-mentioned authors, ‘persecution and marginalization’ of the Jews in Europe; might have enabled the Ashkenazi Jews to become conspicuously intelligent.
I will try to find out if what the above-mentioned authors listed can contribute to higher intelligence; by discussing Jewish and Igbo intelligence, and comparing both from the prism of their experiences, and other variables. The Igbos who are also widely seen as ‘Jews’ are observed to be a very intelligent people too. I will look at other things which I feel that they could be possible contributors to higher intelligence. Things like ‘culture’. I feel that culture, and other factors, may even have been more crucial in making the Jews formidable; perhaps more than ‘persecution and marginalization’.
Before continuing I would like to show some statistics which depict the Jews as an intelligent and brilliant people: Though the global Jewish population is approximately only Fourteen millions (14,000,000m) i.e, about 0.02% of the world population, yet, from 1910 to 2000 the Jews won the following Nobel Prizes: Literature:1910 - Paul Heyse1927 - Henri Bergson1958 - Boris Pasternak1966 -Shmuel Yosef Agnon1966 - Nelly Sachs1976 - Saul Bellow1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer1981 - Elias Canetti1987 -Joseph Brodsky1991 - Nadine Gordimer World Peace:1911 - Alfred Fried1911 -Tobias Michael Carel Asser1968 - Rene Cassin1973 - Henry Kissinger1978 -Menachem Begin1986 - Elie Wiesel1994 -Shimon Peres1994 - Yitzhak Rabin Physics:1905 - Adolph Von Baeyer1906 -Henri Moissan1910 - Otto Wallach1915 -Richard Willstaetter1918 - Fritz Haber1943 - George Charles de Hevesy1961 - Melvin Calvin1962 - Max Ferdinand Perutz1972 -William Howard Stein1977 - Ilya Prigogine1979 - Herbert Charles Brown1980 - Paul Berg1980 - Walter Gilbert1981 - Roald Hoffmann1982 - Aaron Klug1985 - Albert A. Hauptman1985 -Jerome Karle1986 - Dudley R. Herschbach1988 - Robert Huber1989 -Sidney Altman1992 - Rudolph Marcus2000 - Alan J. Heeger Economics:1970 - Paul Anthony Samuelson1971 - Simon Kuznets1972 - Kenneth Joseph Arrow1975 - Leonid Kantorovich1976 - Milton Friedman1978 - Herbert A. Simon1980 -Lawrence Robert Klein1985 - Franco Modigliani1987 - Robert M. Solow1990 -Harry Markowitz1990 - Merton Miller1992 - Gary Becker1993 - Robert Fogel Medicine:1908 - Elie Metchnikoff1908 -Paul Erlich1914 - Robert Barany1922 - Otto Meyerhof1930 - Karl Landsteiner1931 -Otto Warburg1936 - Otto Loewi1944 -Joseph Erlanger1944 - Herbert Spencer Gasser1945 - Ernst Boris Chain1946 -Hermann Joseph Muller1950 - Tadeus Reichstein1952 - Selman Abraham Waksman1953 - Hans Krebs1953 - Fritz Albert Lipmann1958 - Joshua Lederberg1959 - Arthur Kornberg1964 -Konrad Bloch1965 - Francois Jacob1965 -Andre Lwoff1967 - George Wald1968 -Marshall W. Nirenberg1969 - Salvador Luria1970 - Julius Axelrod1970 - Sir Bernard Katz1972 - Gerald Maurice Edelman1975 - Howard Martin Temin1976 - Baruch S. Blumberg1977 - Roselyn Sussman Yalow1978 - Daniel Nathans1980 - Baruj Benacerraf1984 - Cesar Milstein1985 - Michael Stuart Brown1985 -Joseph L. Goldstein1986 - Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]1988 - Gertrude Elion1989 - Harold Varmus1991 - Erwin Neher1991 - Bert Sakmann1993 - Richard J. Roberts1993 - Phillip Sharp1994 - Alfred Gilman1995 - Edward B. Lewis Physics:1907 - Albert Abraham Michelson1908 - Gabriel Lippmann1921 -Albert Einstein1922 - Niels Bohr1925 -James Franck1925 - Gustav Hertz1943 -Gustav Stern1944 - Isidor Isaac Rabi1952 -Felix Bloch1954 - Max Born1958 - Igor Tamm1959 - Emilio Segre1960 - Donald A. Glaser1961 - Robert Hofstadter1962 - Lev Davidovich Landau1965 - Richard Phillips Feynman1965 - Julian Schwinger1969 -Murray Gell-Mann1971 - Dennis Gabor1973 - Brian David Josephson1975 -Benjamin Mottleson1976 - Burton Richter1978 - Arno Allan Penzias1978 -Peter L Kapitza1979 - Stephen Weinberg1979 - Sheldon Glashow1988 -Leon Lederman1988 - Melvin Schwartz1988 - Jack Steinberger1990 -Jerome Friedman1995 - Martin Perl
Even though we know that certain people who have shown exceptional intelligence have not been awarded the Nobel Prize, we can still say that the Prize is more or less won by people who demonstrate above average brilliance, intelligence and achievement.
Discussing Igbo Intelligence The Igbos were observed to be on the average; exceptionally intelligent. Nigerians have recognized the uncommon and unusual Igbo intelligence in the coinage “Igbo sense”. In the recent past if a person in Nigeria displayed uncommon intelligence he was said to have Igbo sense. A witty Bini (non Igbo Nigerian) musician; Joseph Osayomore; had in his album entitled ‘Igbo no be beggars’ rhetorically questioned why there is no Yoruba or Hausa sense. The Yoruba and Hausa peoples are the other big nations that are in Nigeria.
The Igbos have been observed to have a certain genius which is not common. I will try to elaborate with the following illustration. Between 1999 and 2007 Nigeria’s president was Olusegun Obasanjo. This man took over from the military who had ruled the country for many years, and had in the estimation of many Nigerians ran the country aground. When Obasanjo came there was a sort of consensus to rebuild the country. Many of the ‘best’ Nigerian brains were sought out and invited to come and man strategic places in the country. Without fear that I would be contradicted, I would say that most of the Igbos that were invited stood out. They introduced and implemented revolutionary and successful changes in their various domains. A young Igbo, Chukwuma Soludo became the Central Bank governor, and stabilized the Nigerian banking industry which had been in shambles. It is generally agreed that if Soludo had not stabilized the Nigerian banking sector, that the Nigerian economy would have collapsed completely when the global economic malaise started. Another, Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, a young woman called back from the World Bank became Nigeria’s Finance Minister. While in that position she devised strategies that enabled Nigeria to get debt relief. Before Iweala came and presented an articulate Nigerian position on the need for debt relief Western donors had shunned all entreaties for Nigeria to get relief. Another, Dora Akunyili tamed the menace of fake drugs manufacturing and importation into Nigeria. Before Akunyili a Nigerian suffering from diarrhea would more likely than not get talcum powder as ampicillin from many of Nigeria’s pharmacies and hospitals. Still another, Ngozi Ezekwesili was able to introduce ‘due process’ which is an euphemism for orderliness and discipline, into the Nigerian government business. Remarkably before these Igbos stepped into the positions from which they did so well, Nigerians from other Nigerian nations with equivalent formal education have been in the positions, but as we say in Nigeria they ‘didn’t perform’.
A British colonial officer, Robert Collis, was clear in his comparative study of Nigeria’s peoples that the Igbos had sufficient nutritious food in the era when whole populations starved to death due to inadequate knowledge of farming techniques and occasional droughts. That the Igbos achieved the feat of self-sufficiency in food production, and knew the right and proper things to eat in the period that Africa was described by outsiders as the ‘Dark Continent ‘(which Africans have not risen to deny) are in themselves evidence of high intelligence.
The same Robert Collis, the author of Nigeria In Conflict, was clearly hostile to the Igbos in his book. In fact because of his clearly demonstrated hatred for the Igbos I drew close to labeling him an anti-Semite in another write-up of mine: The Igbos: Jews In Africa. It is interesting that even though he couldn’t hide his hatred for the Igbos, yet he mentioned the following repeatedly:
‘(The Igbos) Being more hardworking and energetic by nature than the other Nigerians………But there is no doubt that Ibo men are the hardest workers in Nigeria, and their women among the most charming and the most intelligent. They are neither mentally nor physically lazy, and have shown themselves to have IQs as high as any race or group anywhere in the world’………..Many expatriates have found the Ibos easier to work with than the men of other tribes in Nigeria. I, myself, found them very pleasant work companions. They had a greater capacity for hard work than most and could grasp the significance of what they were doing very quickly. They often made first-class research workers’.
The author was British and quite hostile I repeat. So his opinion can be relied upon.
Also, after the British left Nigeria, the Igbos, still new to Western methods of life, were still able to set up the rudiments of a modern state in their Eastern Region in Nigeria. This Eastern Region’s economy was the fastest growing economy in the world in the period- 1950-1966. And during the Nigeria-Biafra War-1967-1970, in which the Igbos as the Biafrans tried to protest against genocide by attempting to secede from Nigeria, they achieved unimaginable feats; scientific and otherwise. Even though there was clear evidence that genocide was attempted and carried out against them, the whole world with the exception of four African states and Haiti turned their backs on them. Blockaded by Cameroun and other neighbors, and isolated, while their foes were supported by most of the World powers, they fell back on their intelligence, and so acquitted themselves that they were variously described as the Israel and the Japan of Africa, because of their ingenuity and resilience. During the ‘War the Igbos were able to conquer science and technology; the bogey-man of Africa.
In support of the foregoing are other evidences that the Igbos are a highly intelligent people:
One of their own, Chinua Achebe, the author of Things Fall Apart is definitely always mentioned as one of the icons of literature for all times. His book is listed by the British Broadcasting Corporation as one of the greatest one hundred books of the twentieth century. He is acknowledged to be the ‘Father of African literature’. Many believe that his greatest contribution to the peoples of Africa and the rest of mankind in extension, is that he first saw that political independence, not coupled with cultural independence for Africa’s peoples, amounts to nothing. In other words that the resources, human, material, aid, etc that is available in Africa will not improve the lot of the African peoples until the people look inwards; at their own history, and culture, and from them fashion out the systems and institutions that will work for them.
Another one of them Philip Emeagwali is referred to as the ‘Father of the Internet’, because of the revolutionary work he did in that field.
Also recent research is revealing that an Igbo, Olaudah Equiano, was one of the real beginners of the anti-slave trade movement (the Abolitionist movement). Now what he did may seem quite common-place and ordinary, but when he did it, it was quite revolutionary. It can be averred that he used his brains well by initiating the battle to eradicate an aberration like slavery which I can make a case that the average person in the middle of the 18th century might have thought of as natural.
While all that I have enumerated above may show that the Igbos are a brilliant people, they may not prove that the Igbos have shown as much intelligence as the Jews. My opinion is that expecting the Igbos to have achieved as much as the Jews would be unfair, because of the following reasons: While the Jews in discussion live in Europe-the continent that has moved the world more than any other since at least the last five hundred years-the Igbos live in Africa-the continent that has been most upset and moved by the Europeans. In addition the Jews in discussion have never lost control of their affairs to the extent that the Igbos have. Since the advent of the Europeans in West Africa the Igbos have lost control of their affairs to the extent that even the educational curriculum available to the Igbos was not designed by the Igbos. An Igbo has to give more attention to learning English language, than his own language-Igbo. European history and culture have been presented to the Igbos as more important to the Igbos than Omenana-the Igbos culture. Yet in spite of all these the Igbos have managed to find meanings in things that are strange, and to thrive. But the people’s best can’t be expected to come out, because much of their time and resources is spent in trying to understand things that really shouldn’t be important to them. From all the foregoing we can see that the Igbos have used their brains well, even though they haven’t done as well as the Jews. Now as to what could have contributed to the intelligence of the Jews and the Igbos: The above-mentioned Economist report suggests persecution and marginalization for the Jewish case. We have overwhelming evidence that Europe mistreated the Jews of Europe for centuries, and that the Arabs though not as cruel as the Europeans, were nevertheless not paragons of tolerance to the minority Hebrews in their midst. Because of some factors which I will talk about soon I can accept, though with reservations that persecution and marginalization contributed to Jewish intelligence. With reservation; because it could be argued that the intelligence existed before the persecution and marginalization. That in fact the intelligence of the Jews helped to make the conditions that aroused the jealousy of their neighbors. We can argue that the persecutors and marginalizers of the Jews were plainly evil men and women who were out to loot a vulnerable minority community. We can also argue that the Jews would not have been singled out for special persecution and marginalization if they had behaved like, and had believed in what their neighbors believed in. We can argue that clearly they were different, and they had a higher (more decent standard/not necessarily materially) standard of living which they were ready to fight to preserve, so they were perceived as a threat that had to be checked. We can argue that the checking was the ‘persecution and marginalization’. All the foregoing hints that the Jewish way of life was unique, better and superior. And what, if it is not higher intelligence that would have enabled the Jews to have a better way of life? And that it is the Jewish way of life that created the condition that excited their neighbors jealousy. And that their neighbors paid them back with persecution and marginalization. From this point we can go on and aver that the persecution and marginalization helped to sharpen the already existing unique intelligence of the Ashkenazim.
Evidence that may be regarded as ‘empirical’ has not been thrown up that the Igbos suffered extraordinary persecution before their contact with Europeans, to the extent that the Jews of Europe suffered. Perhaps this is because very little is known about the Igbos prior to their contact with Europeans. But there is evidence that they suffered more persecution and suffering than their neighbors since they made contact with Europeans. Their odyssey during the trans-Atlantic stave trade was quite harrowing. The following taken from A Hundred Years of the Catholic Church in Eastern Nigeria, 1885-1985, more than illustrates the extent of suffering that befell the Igbos during the trans-Atlantic slave trade: ‘…… it is strange and humiliating that West Africa received the true Faith in the context of colonization and a dehumanizing phenomenon like the slave trade ……The inhuman trafficking in human lives went on for over three hundred years during which a large population of black Africans was transported into Europe, the United States and Central and South America. At the end of the 18th century, Eastern Nigeria alone supplied 20,000 slaves a year. It is equally on record that the Igbo as a race, suffered most during the slave trade’. And F.K. Buah noted on page 138-9, of his History of West Africa that:
“….Iboland and the states in the Niger Delta suffered more from the slave trade than did many other West African states. Every year thousands of able men and women were carried away across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. Bon-ny became the chief port for this inhuman trade. At the peak of the trade no fe-wer than 20,000 slaves were sold in Bonny every year for transportation to the Americas. Of these more than three-quarters were taken from Iboland. In a mat-ter of twenty years, over a quarter of a million people passed through the port of Bonny”. And on how they were treated Buah noted: “When the slaves were captured, they were put in chains and dragged along down to the coast, to start their journey in misery to the unknown world. As well as being chained, the slaves had to carry heavy loads of other goods which the agents had bought for re-sale to the European merchants. This made their journey more unbearable. Special overseers, who treated the slaves very harshly, were employed to bring the captured slaves down to the coast”. Writing about his travel in West Africa in search of the true course of the Niger, Mungo Park described the sad scene of a slave caravan in these words: “The slaves greatly fear a journey toward the coast, for the slave traders keep them always fastened together and watch them very closely to prevent their escape. They are commonly fastened by the right leg of one to the left leg of another. They can walk, though very slowly. Every four slaves are also fastened by the neck with a strong rope. In the night their hands too are tied up. Those who complain have fastened to one leg a heavy piece of wood three feet long. And how much were they sold for? In most cases not more than a mere £20! But the hardship which these poor people suffered on the journey from their homes to the coast was slight in comparison with the hardships which lay ahead. While awaiting shipment, they were kept in dark dungeons in a castle built specially for this purpose. They could see very little or no light, and were given just enough food to keep alive. When the ships arrived, the slaves were packed on board so that no space was wasted. Under such hardship, thousands of them died on the voyage before the slaves ship arrived in the New World. In the plantations, the slaves were sold by auction. Then their dismal life of hard work started. They were forced to work on the plantations and in the mines from morning until dusk, and were allowed just enough food to keep alive. They looked forward to death –the end of their miserable lives. In their misery, they found some solace in what is now called ‘Negro spirituals’. They were songs with religious theme, and were often sung by the slaves as they worked. This explains why most of these songs are so heart-rending”.
We have gotten a taste of what the primary victims; the captured, passed through. Horrible! is the softest word that we can find to describe what happened. History is yet to beam its search-lights on the situation in the lands where the primary victims were captured from. Where the slave raiding wars, the kidnappings, etc, took place, for over three hundred years.
Also even though history has not really seen Africa as very important, and has accordingly not given some events the attention they deserved, yet we have manifest evidence that the Igbos were among the groups that bore the real brunt of British imperialism and colonialism, because they were among the few groups that challenged the imperialists for extended periods, some say, due to religious reasons.
In addition the Nigeria/Biafra war was pure agony for the Igbo people. Millions died slow agonizing deaths because of starvation. Millions more mourned painfully.
Also after the war, just like before it, the people have been killed needlessly in ethnic cum religious conflicts that legally and morally should not have affected them.
Lastly, to use the softer term; marginalization: the Nigerian state’s marginalization of the Igbos has brought suffering and deprivation too.
So we can say that Igbos have suffered more than their peers. But can suffering release the juice of intelligence? My mother ’Amaka Ilona, nee Nwosu; used to say that ‘afufu na eme ka mmadu mar’ ife’ (that suffering induces people to become sensible). Suffering can actually lead to innovativeness, to a bursting of the barriers. Certain types of suffering can lead to inventiveness. Here I will still rehash what I mentioned before. There are subtle suggestions that the Igbos were targeted. Why? The answer is that they were unique. Higher intelligence made them unique. The uniqueness aroused the ire of their neighbors, and antagonists.
At the end of the day one may be wrong to just dismiss the argument that persecution, marginalization and oppression may release the juices that give rise to high intelligence. However one would in my opinion be on surer ground if one also looks at other variables that could give rise to higher intelligence. In my opinion ‘culture’ is one such variable.
At this point I will like to bring in a story that will help to buttress my argument that culture is a major contributor to higher intelligence. The Igbo intelligence which I have talked about for a while in this write-up; from my observation; was more manifest when the Igbos were more traditional, i.e, when they lived more like Igbos. In the present era most Igbos have in pursuit of ‘modernity’ became ‘over modern’, and the higher intelligence is not noticed in most Igbos presently. The term ‘Igbo sense’ is hardly mentioned in Nigeria again, because most contemporary Igbos do not display the type of intelligence that moved people to realize that the Igbo intelligence was unusual. And when this higher intelligence rises in this contemporary period it has been noticed that it is in those Igbos who stay close to, and have sympathy for the culture of the Igbos. In other words, there is reason to look into the Igbos culture and traditions (Omenana) as a major contributor to their high intelligence. I can throw more light on my points by relating my experiences with four Igbos who have sympathy for, and are positively interested in Igbo culture, and also by talking about Igbo music. I ran into some Igbo professors recently. Our discussions were based essentially on Igbo culture, the society, its problems, and its prospects. I observed that the gentlemen were interested in Igbo culture and language. In our discussions about the Igbo people they all brought out suggestions which if implemented they will go a long way toward the improvement of the Igbos situation. They were observant enough to see that the Igbos could come together, and be healed when and if they value what they have in common; their language and culture. Truly many an Igbo who is not interested in Omenana would not know that Igbos would not be able to find unity unless and until they treasure their binding instruments: their language and culture. And on the music: Igbo music was extremely fascinating when the Igbos had not absorbed so much foreign customs, and dropped their own. G.T.Basden; an European scholar made the following observation about Igbo music in the early 19th century:
‘Whether the Ibo trace their ancestry back to Jubal-Cain it is not my purpose to discuss, but they certainly have inherited a fair share of the art originated by the “Father of Music”…..The more one listens to native music, the more one is conscious of its vital power. It touches the chords of man’s inmost being, and stirs his primal instincts. It demands the performers whole attention and so sways the individual as almost to divide asunder, for the time being, mind and body. It is intensely passionate, and no great effort of the imagination is required to realize that such music could only have originated from the son of Cain! Under its influence, and that of the accompanying dance, one has seen men and women pass into a completely dazed condition, oblivious and apparently unconscious of the world around them………it lifts men and women out of themselves’
We have a few Igbo musicians like Show Promoter, Ozoemena Nsugbe, Afam Ogbuoto who stayed traditional. They made intelligent music, which has stood the test of time. We cannot say the same about many Igbo musicians of the present era, and we can’t say the same about those that became ashamed of playing music in Igbo language. Presently the majority of those in the earlier category that sing in Igbo language would starve if they don’t praise-sing. And those that sing in English merely imitate American gutter music.
The case we have made about Igbo music, we can also make about every other field of endeavor. In this contemporary period that only very few Igbos still try to live according to Omenana (Igbo culture); fewer and fewer Igbos exhibit the uncommon, the awe inspiring Igbo intelligence and genius. As I have mentioned before, most Nigerians do not mention ‘Igbo sense’ again because most Igbos do not show extra-ordinary intelligence again. So we can say that Igbo culture is a contributor, or contributes to Igbo intelligence.
On what Jewish culture may have contributed to Jewish intelligence I am seriously thinking about what an Igbo scholar; Patrick Ugwuanyi, said about the Jews and Monotheism; the type favored by the Israelites; the imageless type. ‘The Israelites with their practice of focusing their concentration on an unseen, an abstract imageless Deity definitely had higher chances of reasoning and thinking above the ordinary and the mundane, than their peers who could only think of a deity that had physical form’. I still have a lot of ground to cover on the area of what culture contributes to intelligence, but for now I will sum up by saying that I feel strongly that Jewish culture and Omenana contributed to the Ashkenazi, and to the Igbo intelligence, more than oppression and persecution. And I hope that I have presented convincing argument in support.
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NWAEKEMPI October 12, 2009 at 11:58 AM
Needless to say that the giant head of earth is in the image and likeness of chiukwu , the great chi in igbo cosmology glorious spiritual being as reported in WWW.UMUEKEMPI.COM.
The present Igbo-Israelites, entrapped in the present day Nigeria, are still labelled "Igbo sense," but used against them in actions rather than in spoken scornful words. The hate and the jealousy are still extreme from their negbours.
Be aware that the word, "Igbo," is actually an adultrated form of the word, "Hebrew." Oral tradition of the Igbo has that on their journey to their present home, they told clans they encountered as being "Hebrews" passing through. Many of these clans and tribes interpreted the "Hebrew" name as sounded right into their ears, such as: Eebroos, Eboos, Hebroos, Ibroos,etc. Even the Europeans, who were/are not able to pronounce "Igbo," still refer to them today as "Ibo."

Lectures on how Igbo-Israel treated twins
Nna ochie,
Authentic Omenana calls for a cow to be slaughtered for a major oriri (feast) if a lady delivers twins-if the husband can afford a cow. The problem is that our people are afraid to look at our past, because the missionaries who laid the foundation of our 'education' told impressionable lads and lasses that our past was barbaric, savage, and not worth looking at. And those kids naturally transfered what they learnt to succeeding generations. And today we have Igbos who know nothing about Igbo culture and religion, yet hate them with passion.
And because we are afraid to look at our past we keep on bludering in the present, and into the future. I hope that many more Igbos will begin to ask questions. Actually persons like you make it worthwhile for persons like me to remain on Igbo fora.
Ilona, R.C.
As the intermingling continued, and the ha Ibri clans continued to assimilate the cultural practices and the words of their neighbors, they began to loose theirs. They entered the forests as ha Ibri. With time they became Ibo. It is possible that it is their neighbors that helped them to change ‘ha Ibri’ to ‘Ibo’. I say this because I have observed one thing about the Igbos. Many of the things that the Igbos believe about themselves presently, especially those ones that are not part of their cultural heritage, are what foreigners told them. For example; the Europeans who came to buy slaves observed human sacrifices in some of the forest kingdoms in West Africa. The kings of those kingdoms on dying were buried with live slaves. When the Europeans started to write about the Igbos they simply wrote that the Igbos sacrificed humans too, as their neighbors, even though such did not happen because the Igbos did not even have the kings in the first place. Another good example is the issue of killing twins. A people that live to the south of the Igbos used to kill their twins. They indulged in this practice till a Scottish woman, Mary Slessor, educated them that it was wrong to kill twins. The people have honored her memory by erecting a statue of her in their land. And are about to release a film about her exploits among them. It is possible that some Ibos that live near to the neighboring people, and others that interacted with them might have assimilated the practice. It is also very possible that they never did. Nobody has said that he has seen the remains, such as the skeletons of infant twins in any part of Igbo territory. Nobody, not even Igbo renegades who seek to be relevant by distorting and fighting Igbo history, culture and traditions have shown a shred of evidence that killing of twins was a general and an accepted practice among the Igbos. What most Igbos can swear to is that they heard that Igbos killed twins. Nobody has been able to give strong evidence that it was an Igbo practice. Caliben Ike Okonkwo, a specialist surgeon; the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Igbo-Israel Union; one of the most important Igbo cultural organizations, had a grandmother who was a twin. The grandmother and her twin died in their nineties. They were not killed. And Caliben says that there is no story that there were attempts to kill them. Interestingly they were born during the period that killing of twins is speculated to be at its zenith among the Igbos. Yet today the Igbos, as the people that have been known as ha Ibri, and Ibo, are now known, believe without any reservation that the Igbos were killing twins. Very likely the Igbos heard from the colonialists that the Igbos killed twins, and accepted, and internalized the story, because they had gradually degenerated to believing that whatever the colonialists said was sacred. So the by then ‘Ibos’ continued to assimilate some of the cultural practices and the stories of their neighbors. Inevitably they began to grow weaker because what they were copying was strange to them, and were mostly evil practices. The borrowed customs also began to bring divisions between them. Disaster was not long in common. Some of them; interestingly from a clan on one of their borders brought the Europeans into their territory to buy slaves. Perhaps they thought that they could just make a little money, and control the trade. But they were mistaken. The slave trade got out of hand. The following are just some of the things it resulted in for them. According to F.K Buah17: ‘Another evil result of the slave trade was that it encouraged divisions among the various kingdoms in Africa , and brought about permanent mistrust and hatred among different peoples. Peoples were constantly at war with one another in order to gain more slaves. Cities, towns and villages were destroyed, and progress was halted. The arts and culture were also neglected. Life became so uncertain that no man thought it worth his while to try to improve his lot. Lastly, it must be added that for many years the trade in slaves made the Africans feel that they were inferior to the Europeans. Nothing can be truer than the above. Sub Saharan Africa is in ruins. The standard of living of most of its people is unbelievably low. The people seem to be incapable of governing themselves. Many sub-Saharan Africans, especially Nigerians, even ‘well educated’ ones spend their lives aping Europeans by bleaching their skins, and trying to speak like Americans. On the Igbos and the slave trade; Celestine A. Obi, an Igbo Catholic clergyman, Vincent A. Nwosu, Casmir Eke, K. B. C. Onwubiko and F.E. Okon, had while quoting Roland Oliver and Anthony Atmore in Africa Since 1800 (London 1978) and Thomas Hodgkin in Nigerian Perspectives (London 1965), written thus: ‘It is strange and humiliating that West Africa received the true Faith in the context of colonization and a dehumanizing phenomenon like the slave trade. Many of these slaves died en route due to the merciless torture, starvation and exposure to the asperities of the weather. A large number of them however survived in the new world’.18 And G.T. Basden wrote thus: ‘In earlier days great numbers of these people were transported to America , the West Indies , and to other places, and traces of their language and custom are said still to survive amongst the Negroes in those countries. Many Sierra Leoneans are descendants of Ibo stock.