miércoles, 26 de marzo de 2014

There are plenty of Jewish Roots in Africa I

Although there was much sympathy in Europe and elsewhere, only five countries (Tanzania, Gabon, Côte d'Ivoire, Zambia and Haiti) officially recognised the new republic.

These are important west African cities that had Jewish influence: aGaDez (GaD), KaNo (CaNaan) ibaDaN (DaN)...not to talk about the Senegalese JuDdala which is clearly related to JuDah.

There are many African ethnic groups with interesting pre-Christian beliefs, many of them being monotheistic. Some have pre-Christian beliefs in a great flood like Noah's.

The Baoule are aKaN (CaNaan) & believe in one god called Nyamien, similar to Yaweh as several scholars pointe before. The name Akan might come from Canaan, their land of origin.

The Balanta Council of Elders takes all important decisions. That the Balanta have a Council of Elders (including the importance given to this council) & that they have "sacred woods" resemble the ancient Israelites.

The KaDaru are 10000 thousand people. Are they GaDites?

The Ivorian department of Rubino may have taken its name from the tribe of Reuben. Other interesting toponyms are Lakota, like the Amerindian land in the USA & SiKensi, that bears the consonants of iSaaC.

Does the Sout Sudanese GoLlo people receive its name from GaLut, diaspora in Hebrew?

The name of the African country Gabon is strikingly similar to Gabaon, a biblical Israelite city.

It's interesting that even the Wikipedia affirms the Orons are Israelites, being reinforced by the same wikipedia when it quotes their language as to have Holy Land influence. It's not coincidental either that the two "Oron" (toponyms) in the world are found in Nigeria & Israel.

Mwari, the only Lemba godm, is strikingly similar to the Aramean word Mari, meaning "My God".

Awlad Mana is a people in Sudan. Their name means something like "Mana people". Is this the "people of the manna", or in other words "the Israelite people that bwere fed with manna"? Are the KaLigi & the KaLiko (or KaLiko) Israelites of the GaLut?

Would there be a day that world Jewry would talk about Afriki... as today they talk about Ashkenazi, Sephardi? 

Are the Pari people related to the Parisi Israelites? Are the Ruweng Reubenites? It's interesting that both peoples are in Sudan close to each other as theoritically the Parisi & the Reubenites are.

The Sara Gambai bear the name of Sarah, the matriarch. The Selim bear the Semitic root for peace. The CaNing have CaNaan's name as part of their name. 

The Shatts may have the origin in an Arab or in a Jewish last name. The Sinyar people may have originated from the hamlet of Ein-Sinya, next to Shilo, Israel. 

Have the sunGoR Israelite origin in the GoLa, diaspora? Are the taGaLe part of the diaspora too? Do they have any relation with the taGaLa people of the Philippines? The TiNGaL might be the diaspora of DaN, according to their possible meaning. 

The TuNjur or TuNGuR might be DaN's diaspora too. The TuNGuRahua Ecuadorean volcano would come from the same roots too. Do the Tumma come from the Hebrew Tumah & taharah meaning "impurity & purity"?

Does the Rubatab tribe come from the tribe of Reuben? Are the Manasirs from Manasseh?

There are countless of oral traditions of countless of ethnic groups all over Africa describing an origin in Egypt, Ethiopia, Arabia, Israel... I think there are too many testimonies to deny these origins. Many of these ancient peoples were Israelites running away from their dwelling lands. There are many reasons why they ran away from these & other areas: conquests, pogroms, antisemite decrees, trade... No wonder why there are so many peoples in Africa (& all over the world) claiming Israelite ancestry. Many people, especially in western countries don't even conceive the idea of the existence of black Israelites despite the many undeniable facts supporting it. They're used to two kinds of Jews: Europeans & Middle Easterners. Both being two hues of the same white skin. I would say that their Judaism or Israelism is rather different from the normative one because of their long isolation from their fellow Israelites.

Is madagaSCaR an iSsaChaRite area or simply Israelite from iSaaC?

Does makGaDiGaDi (in Botswana, close to the Zimbabwean border), have GaDite roots?

Moxico, is in anGoLa. If México comes from Meshiah, then Moxico would come from Mosiach, another name for Mesiah.

Is it a coincidence that diaspora in Hebrew is Galut & in Haiti , the eastern coast of the USA … some black people speak a language called GuLlah? To me it sounds as they are part of the Israelite diaspora. Under the Hebrew rule of vowelization it doesn’t mind what the vowels are.

BeN is son in Hebrew. Other names with BeN: BeNin (son of Nun like Joshua?) BenGaL (son of the diaspora), BaNgladesh, BeNi, BeNimámet, BeNidorm, BeNicàssim, BeNicarló, BeNifaió, VaNuatu, VeNice, VeNezuela, VeNeto, BeNjamin, BeNson (son in Hebrew & in Indoeuropean), BaNdung, caBiNda, masViNgo, BiNga, inhamBaNe, BeNguela, LuBaNgo.

Senghor, former Senegalese president, admitted his Jewish origins. There were also Jews among the Ibadyah (the d & the r are very close in some languages, so Ibadyah could give iBaRya, or iBeRia, or Hebrew land, or simply iBRi, Hebrew), Wolof & Mandingos. It's also interesting that seneGaL & senGhoR have the consonants gl-gr of diasporain Hebrew & sen, seine, sene, sena was also an Israelite name. The river Seine (the one that splits Paris), originally Sena, has also this origin.

The fact that certain inscriptions in Carthage indicate origin in the Israelite tribes of Asher & Zebulun gives further weight to the conclusions afirming the Israelite origin of many, if not most, of the colonists of Phoenician & Carthagenean empires. 

Are the GuLle & GuLud Israelites of the GoLa (diaspora)?

There are claims of a historic presence of Jewish communities in certain regions of Africa ... such as the Malinke, Peul/Foulani, Mossi, Fanti.

Do Bozos have any relation from the Buzi Israelite priest?They, the Bozo people as well, have the exact consonants of Booz (also known as Boaz), husband of Ruth & ancestor of kings David, Solomon, Jesús Christ...Is it a coincidence? Maybe the Bozos come from Boaz, one of the columns of the Temple of Solomon, the other being Jachin.

 Are the Evalue, Akans from Ghana, an Israelite people? Is Evalue a corrupted way of Ivri? Is Ebrié (part of the Akan people) a corrupted way for Hebrew? Are the Mosse (or Mossi) people of Moses, (Moshe in Hebrew)? Is the Yerwa people called this way as People of Yehowa?

The Hidden History Of The Biblical Jews Of The Kingdom of Cacongo. Kingdom of Cabinda or En-Goy.

Goy, as seen above in En-Goy, is a Hebrew word meaning people.

A fact worthy the attention of travelers is, that, according to Oldendorp, The kingdom of Loango contains black Jews, scattered throughout the country ; they are despised by the Negroes who do not even deign to eat with them ; they are occupied in trade, and keep the sabbath so strictly that they do not even converse on that day; they have a separate burying ground, very far from any habitation. The tombs are constructed with masonry, and ornamented with Hebrew inscriptions; the singularity of which excites the laughter of the negroes, who discern in them only serpents, lizards, and other reptiles. M. Ehrrinann, finding it impossible to explain the origin of these Jews, doubts the reality of the fact

Busching, however, Michaelis, and Zimmermann, do not hesitate to admit their existence; Bruns considers them the descendants of the Falashes of Habesch, or Abyssinia, and Sprengel wishes them to be considered as the descendants of Portuguese Jews, who, having quitted their country, are no longer afraid to profess openly the religion of their fathers. Five leagues to the north of Loango is Quilonga, a river of very difficult access, whither trading vessels sometimes go.

Are the Kalanga, Venda and Lemba Related?

In a 1905 a report prepared for the General Staff of the War Office in London titled the Native Tribes of the Transvaal, by Major R. H. Massie, General Commanding-in-Chief, South Africa, we read the following concerning the Kalanga-Venda-Lemba relationship:

The BaVenda people, apart from the ruling families, are believed to have crossed to the south of the Limpopo about 1700 A.D, and to have originally come from the valley of the Congo. 

Before entering the Transvaal they probably made a long stay in Mashonaland, the country of the “Makalanga,” and while there, seem to have come in contact with people of Arab extraction or other Semitic stock, for many individuals of the tribe at the present day show a strain of Semitic blood in their features.

The language of the BaVenda, which is called Sivenda, is not easily understood by other tribes, but appears to be a mixture of some form of Sesuto with Lukalanga, the speech of the Makalanga people.

It is said that a tribe now living on the Congo speaks a very similar dialect. There are remnants of a tribe called BaLemba among the BaVenda. These people are chiefly found in the Shivasa district; they have no chiefs of their own, but have distinct customs, which point to Semitic origin, e.g., they do not eat pork or the flesh of any animal killed by people of other tribes.

They speak the Lukalanga language. From The Rebirth of Bukalanga: A Manifesto for the Liberation of a Great People with a Proud History. To be released soon.

The Yorubas and other Canaanite/Israelites of Nigeria

Yorubas and the neighbouring nationalities located in Nigeria have this oral tradition of an origin extraneous to West Africa.

Hugh Clapperton in 1820s reported a work by Sultan Bello, the Caliph of the Sokoto Caliphate, where he asserted that the Yorubas were descended from Canaanite tribe from Palestine.

Around the 1880s Samuel Johnson a Yoruba christian also wrote a book that made similar claims for Yoruba origins as Sultan Bello’s. In 1880, Johson naively sent this work to the Church Missionary Society in England for review and publication. 

The Church Missionary Society suppressed the manuscript upon realizing the explosive information it contained. The Society declared the book lost. It was not until 1923 that Johson’s brother was able to publish an edited copy of this work. Johnson’s thesis was that the Yorubas were descended from Lamurudu (Nimrod) the first King of Mesopotamia. Johnson died in 1901.

1955 S.O. Obiaku, a Nigerian historian and scholar claimed a Meroite origin (Sudan/ancient Ethiopia-Kush) for the Yorubas. Emmanuel Uguhulu another respected Nigerian scholar claimed a Hebrew origin for the Esan tribe. Esan is part of the greater Edo nation, which is related to the Yoruba nation of Nigeria.

Efik traditions claim that the Efiks originated in Palestine, crossed the Sahara and arrived Nigeria via Sudan. The Efiks are located in the south-eastern corner of Nigeria.

Iberian Jews of Yoruba Nationality

The Bnai Ephraim (”Children of Ephraim”) from Nigeria, live among the Yoruba nationalities. Their oral history tells that the Bnai Ephraim people came from Morocco after the Jews were banished from the Iberian Pennisula sometime after 1492. 

They speak a dialect that is a mixture of Moroccan Arabic, Yoruba, and Aramaic. They are known by the Yoruba people as the “Emo Yo Quaim”, or “strange people”. Unlike other African Israelite communities in Nigeria, the Bnai Ephraim have the Torah, portions of which they keep in their sanctuaries. 

The name Lagos borne by the former capital of Nigeria is a Portugese/Iberian name meaning the lake. Lagos is an Island carved up by lagoons, swamps and lakes. Its traditional Nigerian name is Eko. 

Thousands of black refugee Jews of Iberia re-settled in the environs of Lagos and Porto Novo (as well as in Cape Verde, Guinea Buissa, and in Sao Tome either as slaves or outlaws). Some groups eventually made it deeper inland and became assimilated into one nationality or the other. 

The Bnai Ephraim provides a living and irrefutable proof of this barely known history of mass Jewish re-settlement in West Africa, between 1492 and 1692, a 200 year non-stop return of Jews to Africa. This set of Moorish refugees are not to be confused with more ancient Hebrew and Canaanite tribes that had been living in Nigeria and other African countries for thousands of years. The Black Jew series on Rasta Livewire deals with the relatively more ancient Hebrews of Africa.

The Bnai Ephraim did not settle with the Yorubas by accident or chance. They recalled that a body of their people had depart Canaan in the ancient times and had settled in the present day Yoruba areas of Nigeria, just like their own group – Bnai Ephraim – had settled in Iberia (Spain and Portugal). 

So, when it happened they had to leave Iberia in a hurry to protect their lives and freedom, those Moorish Iberian Jews sailed on their network of ships to Nigeria Africa, near Lagos amongst the Yorubas, their relation by blood, their greater nationality.

The DoNgoTono or donGoTona

The DoNgoTono receive their name from the neighboring mountains, but they have the consonants TN & DN of DaN. They might also be GaDites: donGoTono. The fact that one of their main town, iSoKe, has the SK consonants of iSaaK may reinforce their Israelite origin.

There is & there was in Sudan & South Sudan a Jihad from the Arab Muslims against Black Africans depicted as Christians & Animists. Many of the Animists in reality were practicing the Israelite religion. In a great degree both Black African religious groups were of Israelite origin, therefore this war was one of the uncountable antisemitic persecutions against the people of Israel.

Are the Tutsis, the Himas & the Toubous Israelites?

KaRisimbi & kiGaLi, are toponyms found in Rwanda, a country considered to have Israelite DaNites. The KL GL sounds bear the consonants of Gola GaLut (diaspora in Hebrew), pointing at an Israelite diaspora in this country. I'm aware that the current meaning of these & other toponyms might be outright different in the local current languages.

Tutsi Jews of Rwanda

The Tutsi or sometimes called Watusi tribe of Rwandan and Burundi believe themselves to be Jews/Hebrews who came from (Kush/Cush) Ethiopia. Before the Hutu-Tutsi war which was a genocide of the Tutsi’s which was akin to the Holocaust; the Tutsi’s were a wealthy entrepreneurial people, like Jewish business men of the West. Some early Europeans who had made contact with them concluded due to their physical features, that they had Caucasian or European ancestry. 

                                                           Intore, a typical Tutsi war dance

The Tutsi, like the Falasha and Lemba claim to share the story of their beginnings in which King Solomon had a liaison with the Queen of Sheba who converted to Judaism and was sent her back with their child, Levitical priests, Jewish and Hebrew servants as well as an exact copy of the Ark of the Covenant thus making the Tutsi; Jews, Levites and Danites. 

The "Bantu" paradigm has appeared to be the most irrational but succesful forgery of the 20th century

Serious scientists in America have established the irrelevance of the "Bantu" concept in Social Sciences as applying to African studies. The reason is that the "Bantu" paradigm has appeared to be the most irrational but succesful forgery of the 20th century, only second to the infamous "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" which were popularized almost at the same time (1920). It was segado we'd & satanized by the "Pan-African" ideology which a a coded version of "African Communism". It was a cover-up that few African leaders understood clearly (one of them being Emperor Haile Selasie in person who was both Founding Father of the most powerful Pan-Africanist club in 1963 and was to be the most unexpected victim of the "African Communism" that he had supported with his imperial world prestige.1974). The "Bantu” as a language or as a population is a myth and a fiction. Here is the story. The “Bantu” concept was made up the first time by pastor Wilhelm Bleek as a poorly articulated linguistic hypothesis (1850).

It was emphasized later as a Myth through a publication by Jesuit J. Torrend, Chamites et Bantous" (1891). The Myth was transplanted in Africa by a colonial officer of Protestant Church background, Rev. Paul Salkin in his book "Etudes Africaines", 1920. It was smuggled into politics by Georges van der Kerken: "Les Sociétés Bantoues du Congo Belge et les problèmes de la politiquè indigène". "Etude de la Politique coloniale adoptée au Congo Belge et de ses problèmes dans l'ordre sociologique, politique et économique", 1920. Belgian Franciscan Monk Ploacide Tempels expanded the Bantu mythology into a pseudo-philosophical crafting called "bantu philosophy". It was based on the concept of "Vital Force" (a popular Nazi concept of the time).

His book "La Philosophy Bantoue" was published in 1945 and translated in English in 1959 (Bantu Philosophy). The Bantu Myth was set as an international institution the first time through an organization called "Bantu Welfare Trust"founded in South Africa by the retired Colonel James Donaldson in 1936. He was interested in providing the "backward Negroes" of South Africa with the basic education they need to access the benefits of the "Civilization Mission". The scale model was the so succesful Black American NAACP "National Association for the Advancement of Colored People" and the famous "Tuskegee Institute" by Booker T. Washington. Later on, in 1983, the Bantu Myth was transformed in an international diplomatic body through the organization called CICIBA (International Center for Bantu Civilization), founded in Libreville/Gabon under the auspices of Sheikh Omar Bongo, President of the Republic of Gabon. Burundi under Tutsi Jewish leadership has never been part of the CICIBA.

What happened since 2005 is another story. A successful myth, a delirious fiction which led to the de-legitimization of the Tutsi Jews, the denial of their basic rights on their ancestral land estates, their expulsion from their homeland, and their annihilation as a people and as Jews. The whole program was implemented with the help of the so-called Bantu nations, including the post-Apartheid South Africa, Gabon, Cameroun, Zaire, and Tanzania. The money came from the Islamic countries like Sudan, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Palestinian organization providing with military training and intelligence networking. Some European organizations and nations under Christian influence provided with the diplomatic and logistic assistance to the political accreditation of the “Bantu” Myth at the international level. The outcome was the Holocaust we know which is still ongoing. See KIm Byham: "Anglican Complicity in the Genocide in Rwanda...".

Hema people

The Hema, or Hima, are an ethnic group with about 160,000 members located in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular the Ituri region and Orientale Province, as well as parts of Uganda and Rwanda. The Hema are pastoralists and the preferential treatment given to them by Ugandan officials is blamed for igniting the recent Ituri conflict.

The northern Hema speak Lendu, the language of the neighbouring Lendu people. The southern Hema still speak Hema, a Bantu language, and the closely related Hima dialect of Nyankore of western Uganda, which are also related are such languages as Luganda and Lusoga. Most Hema are Christians

The Wahuma/Tutsi, have a great physical likeness to the Fulani

The Wahuma/Tutsi, who have a great physical likeness to the Fulani, are often strikingly handsome and extremely intelligent. That the Wahuma should have descended upon East Africa from the Valley of the Nile is not surprising. Of both races, Fulani and Wahuma alike, it can at least be said that they so far support the theory of a common origin in the Hyksos, as to have maintained through all their history, in the diverse countries in which they are to be found, the ancient position of Shepherd Kings”

The Hima People of Eastern Africa

The Hima (Hema) name is associated with various peoples and political entities in the Great Lakes are of Eastern Africa.  In recent history the name Hima indicates a sub-group of the Tutsi, originally a Cushite group from the Ethiopian highlands, who entered the area perhaps in the 1300s.

There was a king of Rwanda (a Tutsi Kingdom) named Gahima (1500).

Some writers think the name Hima is also associated with a Nilotic people who came down from the Sudan along the Nile through Uganda.  They conquered the Bantu people in what is now southwest Uganda and the neighboring portion of Zaire.

They were absorbed by the Bantu people and took up the local Bantu language.  Their name in the language is the primary identification of their origin.

One tribe (or social group) of people in Ankole, Uganda, are called Hima (Bahima).  The Hima speech is classified in the Ethnologue as a dialect of Nyankore (Nkore/Nkole).  The Ethnologue notes, however, that this speech form "may be a separate language."

The relationship of those speaking Hima and other varieties of Nyankore would likely be the same as with the dialects of the Cushite Tutsis and Bantu Hutus speaking Rundi/Rwanda.

There is no listing for the Hima in Tanzania.  It appears the Hima are limited fairly much to their original settlement area.

Hima and Tutsi
The general view of the Tutsi is that they have come from a Cushite background in northeastern Africa.  Some scholars have seen connections with Nilotes.  Over the centuries the similarities in the situations of the Nilotic and Cushite upper class possibly led them to be more closely associated.

One Somali correspndent had some thoughts to contribute on this connection.

    "I am Somali who has a limited knowledge about Hima people in central Africa.  There is a Somali clan of Gaaljecel, whom others call Xima or Hima or Xiimaay Hima.  This clan is very nomadic and traditional people.  I bet the name is same origin [Abdir, Fort Mcmurray, AB Canada]."

In modern times, the Tutsi-Hima appear to be so closely associated that they can be considered one general class across the variety of speech in the various political divisions of the Lakes Region.  Their Bantu speech forms are very similar.

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is a member of the Hima group of Uganda.  He has even been the target of charges that he is part of a broad Tutsi-Hima plot to conquer the region.  In current discussions of this matter, the Hima are commonly considered a sub–group of the Tutsi.  In Uganda, a comparable tribe, or social group, to the Hutu are the Iru (Bairu).

Language References
I find no listing for a language or dialect of Hima or Kiga in Tanzania, but Holoholo is related, and stated in the Ethnologue to be also in Zaire, but interestingly enough, not in Rwanda or Uganda!

Nyankore and the speech of the Hima is related to Kiga (also spelled Kyiga, Chiga, pronounced Chiga), a language group of Southern Uganda related to Kinyarwanda.  I note in the Ethnologue that one dialect of Rwanda is called Tshiga.  This would be the same language group.

The degree of lexical similarity of Nyankore to Kiga is in the range of the Ethnologue’s classification for one language (normally 90-95%).  I note in the listing for Kiga ("Chiga") (Uganda), however, that mutual intelligibility is shown as only 72%, which would be low.

Speech and Politics
Note that what are classified as "dialects" are often political designations.  Thus speakers of the Tshiga dialect are most likely simply members of the same language/ethnic group called Kiga in Uganda who just were on the wrong side of the border when the Germans and English drew it!

This is a problem we must watch for all over Africa, even being aware that when we say, for instance, the "Zambia Tonga" and the "Zimbabwe Tonga," etc., that we are probably indicating political distinctions, not true people group distinctions.

One factor that complicates the matter, however, is that ethnicities change,a nd when two divisions of a people get separated by flood, war, empire boundaries, etc, they can in fact grow different and become different peoples. That is one way that ethnicities develop.

The Tutsis and the Toubous

The Tutsi and the Toubous share the same origins as their cousins, the Jews of Ethiopia, tracing their common ancestry from King Solomon and Queen of Sheba. Israeli Chief Rabbis Avraham Ytzchak Kook and Ovadia Yosef, and US Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, would have included the Tutsi and the Toubous as descendents of Dan, following the 1500s responsum of a renowned Orthodox Rabbi, Rbadaz, Rabbi David ibn Zimrah. In fact, numerous branches of the Tutsi elite belong to the Judah lineage. The Tutsi Jewishness was obstructed by the Christian Inquisition that took place since the 1920s, and was never addressed until the late 20th Century. At that time, Havila Institute in Brussels dedicated huge efforts to enhance the re-connection of the Tutsi people to their Jewish heritage, and helped raise awareness among concerned Jewish institutions.

The Toubous face a similar but more ancient case of obstruction. They were forcibly converted to Islam centuries ago by the successive Jihads that took place in Northern Africa from the Arabian Peninsula, but they kept the remembrance of their Israelite origins.

Today, Tutsis in increasing numbers are seeking t’shuvah, return. Like the Western Jews, they envision ge’ulah, redemption. They deserve pro-active support and monitoring from concerned Jewish organizations and networks. Like the Western Jewish Diaspora, the Tutsi Jews, some parts of which have been forcibly converted to Christianity and forbidden to practice the ways of Y’’H, are People of Israel, no less than the Falasha Mura of Ethiopia.

The Tutsi Jews of Burundi and the Great Lakes profess strictly mosaic faith

Burundi is known by the ancients as a shorthand for “the land of milk and honey” or in the Judeo-Kushitic national tongue: “Igihugu c’Amata n’Ubuki”. Travelers, merchants and military conquerors refer to the country as an unconquerable ‘Eagle Nest’, where highly skilled patriarchal tribes called ‘Watutsi’ or ‘Tutsi’ dwell, in the midst of their unbelievable herds of militarized cattle and sheep.

The Tutsi Jews of Burundi and the Great Lakes profess strictly mosaic faith from fathers to sons since the very remote biblical times. After several cuts in size throughout history of wars won and lost, the country, originally part of a gigantic empire called KUSH in the Bible, is now a portion of land equating the size of the modern Israel. The word ‘Burundi’ means literally ‘the land without border’, thus referring to the status of the people the land belongs to as a world-connected people (or ‘Diaspora’: Is 11:11-12). The Tutsi Jews, owners of the land, are actually one of the many groups of Jews scattered on the planet since the destruction of the Temple and even before. With the shape of a heart, Burundi seems to stand in the geometrical center of the African continent encompassing the southern sources of the biblical Pishon (Nile). Places, people, and species still bear the names they were given since remote times. For example: the country is protected by the imposing volcanoes which include the majestic Mikeno (Malkenou), the master mountain Nyamuragira (an acronym for ‘nih yeh am regel’…as a remembrance of the ‘Alyah le Regel’…), and the biblically renamed mountain of blessings Karisimbi (Gerizim). The Mountains of the Moon are a critical landmark where the most ancient origins of the Maths on the Simliki River are found, at this very place visited several times by Rabbi Marinus of Tyre, the master of the Greek geographer Ptolemy.

Burundi holds a key position on the course of the ‘Rift Valley’ corridor that connects the Jordan River on the Northern top to the Limpopo River on the Southern bottom of the geo-tectonic entity, through the Tanganyika Lake that makes the country a precious shore on the course of a natural corridor of rivers and lakes that run from the Mediterranean Sea to the Nyassa Lake. The Tanganyika Lake is the most gigantic water depth on the planet only second to the Baikal Lake. The land of Burundi and the surrounding area is called the ‘Great Lakes’, or Havila (Treasury of Midrashim. Second Story. Book of Eldad Hadani). It has been inherited since about 3,500 years by a fraction of the most ancient Jewish nation of Africa tracing its ancestry back to the classic time of the Temple up to earlier period of the Sinai revelation (with Moshe Rabenou) and even much earlier, to the Patriarchal era epitomized by Joseph and his brethren, when the Tribes were masters of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt and enjoyed the cattle and sheep grazing land of Goshen (Gisha/Gishora). One understands easily that there can’t be any beginning of reliable claim that could deprive the Tutsi Jews from the rights of ownership over that grazing and militarized land which names, peopling, civilization and faith is inscribed in the sacred collection of books called the ‘Torah’ and the ‘Tanakh’. The Great Lakes (Havila) are definitely the land of the Tutsi Jews and their Cattle (in the local Judeo-Kushitic idiom: ‘Imiyonga y’Inka’).

Burundi was clearly renowned as the southern part of the tactically renamed “Kingdom of Priest John” in replacement of its genuine status as the Jewish Kingdom that was described in colorful details by the Tutsi scholar, Eldad Hadani in 883 AD.

The annual Background Note on Burundi issued by the Department of States on February 10, 2011 says something that confirms the characteristics of the country that Jewish scholars of the past and the present already looked at as the genuine King Solomon’s Mines, the Biblical land of “Havila”.

According to numerous biblical and rabbinical records, along with local tutsi traditions, the Tutsi Jewish kingdoms became the realms of the tribesmen of Juda descent in straight line, living in harmony with descendants of the tribe of Shimon, Levy and Dan. Elda ha Dani, the Tutsi scholar of the 9th century AD, is one among many Tutsi scholars who carries evidence of the Tutsi regular update conferences with brethren of the diaspora in Kairouan and in Babylonia when the routes of interconnection were still available.

‘Uvira’ is the name of a city on the western bank of the Tanganyika Lake that kept the same name from biblical time up to this day. “Ophir” is described as the land where King Solomon’s fleets were sent to bring back tons of gold for the Temple. Peters stated that ‘Ophir’ was actually located in the area extending between the current Victoria Lake and the Limpopo (1Kings 7:28; 1Kings22:49). As a result the ‘Kivu’ (with “Uvira”/ “Ophir” as capital city), along with Burundi, Rwanda, Ankole, Toro, Bushi, Buha, Shaba and Kasai, are known as the world “GEOLOGICAL SCANDALS” ever. Until the 1910 French-British deals, these entities were still under Tutsi Israelite overall control. Neither the Berlin Conference, nor the Treaty of Heligoland (1890) succeeded to physically deprive the Jews from the control of their Western realms around the Mikeno/Melkanu Volcanoe’s landmark (The King Solomon’s Volcanoes).

The Tutsi Jews are the guardians of this huge South-Western border country of the ‘Great Israel’ (from the Nile to the Euphrates); they were never confused about their prophetic mission. The reason they hardly allowed unclean or idol worshiping people to settle safely in the land. A goy could hardly access the proselyte status (‘Ger Tsdek’); only the status of ‘Ger Toshav’ (resident under the condition to submit to the ‘Noachid laws’) was tolerated. The Tutsi Jews kept fighting against all historical world raw powers, including Persia, Rome, then the Islamic Jihad, and finally against the Church Crusaders instead of submitting to conversion or assimilation. And they did well. After a costly endless confrontation, a branch of them survived all these assaults, the one that is found in the last autonomous realm of Burundi, Rwanda, Mulenge, Ankole and Toro kingdoms; most of them were dismantled in the mid-1960s. Even then, the Tutsi sections of Burundi kept resisting, on the model of the courageous Hasmoneans. The latest figure of a resistant is a leader called BAGAZA (meaning “and GAZA”), who is still alive. When everything was falling apart under Church assaults, he decided to desperately confront the besieging garrisons of Rome in the late 1980s.

The geographical location of Burundi, in the center of the mineral and natural resources and wealth of the unconquerable highlands of Great Lakes, is a golden gift to the geostrategic interests of the Vatican proxy that is Iran, with regards to the program of ultra-islamicisation of the whole Africa. Everybody remembers the very simple equation expressed by the then Prime Minister of China, Chu En Lai, while visiting Burundi in 1965: “Whoever controls Burundi controls the East-Congo, and whoever controls the East-Congo controls the whole Africa”.

Prior to his escape for the ultimate exile following several attempts by the Church and proxies to kill him, the Tutsi Jewish King of Burundi, Mwambutsa IV, was very committed to join the vibrant ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the State of Israel in 1958.

The world Jewish press reported that the King was the first Royal Head of State to put his foot on the Promised Land, and that He was welcomed as a special “Citizen of Israel”. King Mwambutsa IV met with top- Zionist leaders of the time and pledged to dedicate his authority and his wisdom for the highest safety and welfare of the State of Israel that was seen by the Tutsi Jewish nationals as their miraculous “Reshit tsemihat g’ulatenu”.

Later on, the King made a second visit in 1963 with the aim to try completing the formal bringing together of the 2 Jewish states in one virtual entity, the next steps being, as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon put it once, addressing the issue of “territory discontinuity” of the Great Israel. The King was not enough lucky to enjoy the opportunity of moving further towards that prophetic vision; yet he managed to launch specific deals that he intended to put the huge mineral potentials and wealth of Burundi in the hands of the smartest Jewish teams of industrials and bankers that the Ben Gourion cabinet could consider to be fitting the challenge. He seems also to have returned home with a virtual passport of a “citizen of Israel” as the Canadian Jewish Chronicles put it. The current design of the flag of Burundi displaying the 3 Maggen David was discussed in Israel at that time. According to records provided by the King’s cabinet, the 3 stars of David on the Tutsi Burundian flag represent the 3 Jewish Kingdoms that came to existence after the shattering of the Kingdom of Israel that followed Shlomo ha Meleh’s death.

According to Wikipedia in French under the title "Star of David": : “The flag of Burundi has in its center three stars of David symbolizing the Jewish ancestry of the Tutsi people and the three Jewish kingdoms which existed following the death of Solomon (The Kingdom of Israel, the Kingdom of Judea and the Kingdom of Kush)”]. Thus, the concept of the 2 blue lines on the current Israeli flag would bear their full meaning: the symbols of the borders of biblical Israel, extending from the Nile to the Euphrates (Gen 15:18). For those who didn’t learn the fact, the southern sources of the Nile (Pishon) are exactly located in Burundi, at thesite called KASUMO.

It’s worth recalling that the children of Israel in Burundi and in the Great Lakes are experiencing the worst period of their existence ever: massively killed, burned alive, regularly kidnapped and sold, massively deported, rounded up and tortured, systematically put to shame and humiliated, taken in captivity for all kinds of evil businesses, etc. It is true also that as the Church-controlled government of Burundi prepares to inaugurate the new nuclear era, hands in hands with the jihadist Iran, the 3 Maggen David on the flag are more endangered than ever. Every day, a bishop, a fighting monk or an angry mullah stare at the stars with gnashing of teeth. Several attempts to outlaw the Tutsi Jewish flag have been implemented since 1993. A recent article in the Church press points its finger on the Tutsi Jewish stars as “institutional traumatizing symbols”

The Hutu see the Burundi flag as a permanent questioning item that needs to be removed from the public areas. More than once a Tutsi Jewish organization that cares at Zionist symbols in Burundi has raised its voice, after threatening attempts were made by the Church proxies to ultimately remove these Jewish reminders of Zion. An imminent revision of the Constitution is scheduled to deal with such ‘traumatizing issue’ once for all. Electronic records show out that the protests from Tutsi Zionist organizations were heard in high pleas, at such an extent that Israel itself took the lead towards the mitzvah of securing the 3 Tutsi Maggen David of Burundi that strongly testify not only for a permanent Jewish heritage, but also for the hope of the highly expected renaissance of a Jewish nation in the southern border country of the biblical Israel in Africa.

It's interesting to notice that the Three Stars of David of the Tutsi Jewish flag of Burundi were added to the flag the same year Jerusalem was controlled by the Jewish State of Israel: 1967.

As far as genetics goes the Jews are Northern Semites. The Jews' closest relatives are the Kurds, followed by the Turks and I think the Iraqis. This is true for Ashkenazim, Sephardim, and Mizrachim. Check the Kulanu website under genetics. Linguistically, (Hebrew) we are closest to the Arabs. It should be noted that genetically the Pashtuns are closely related to the Kurds and hence to us. This is also why the Khazar conversion does not show up in the Jewish gene pool because as Turkic people they would be closely related to the Jews anyway.

I would like to offer my own explanation about the Judaic link of the Tutsi. There is a Midrash that says, that when the Jews left Egypt there was a group of Jews that refused to leave and stayed behind in Egypt. When we pray for the final redemption on major holidays, we pray for the return of those lost in Assyria and those cast out in Egypt. So we have a historical awareness of such a group. What if one group of Jews left and went on to Israel and another group stayed and later moved down to Africa? There is also a legend that the Tutsi are descendents of the guards of King Solomon’s mines. The following may sound strange, but it’s possible. I have friends in the Yemenite community and most of them are fine boned and short. However, there are also some that are very tall. Maybe there is a genetic connection between the tall Yemenites and the Tutsi?

Furthermore, maybe it’s a sign of the final redemption that all these groups are waking up and discovering their Jewish roots. The Jewish view of Messianic times is different than that of Christians. Most Jews view it as a historical process that until the end (the rising of the dead) will follow natural laws. There is also a legend among Sephardim that the Messiah will come from the direction of Yemen or North Africa.

During the Gulf war one of the Chabad rabbis in Paris said that we are living in miraculous times but because we see it on TV and read it in the papers we are not aware of their miraculous nature. Maybe the Jewish awaking in Africa is miraculous.

Empire of Kitara

The Empire of Kitara (Rwanda) (also known as Bachwezi, Bacwezi, or Chwezi empire) is a strong part of oral tradition in the area of the Great Lakes of Africa, including the modern countries of Uganda, northern Tanzania, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.

In the oral tradition, Kitara (Rwanda) was a kingdom which, at the height of its power in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, included much of Uganda, northern Tanzania and eastern Congo (DRC), ruled by a dynasty known as the Bachwezi (or Chwezi) who were the successors of the Batembuzi Dynasty.

According to the story, the Kitara Empire (Rwanda) lasted until the 16th century, when it was invaded by Luo people, who came from the present-day South Sudan and established the kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara. However, this hypothesis has been questioned by scholars on whether the invasion really took place. There is no historical record that confirms this theory, and to be sure, there is no linguistic connection of the modern day Banyoro, Baganda, Banyankole and Batusi with any of the Luo dialects but relics of the Chwezi empire exists in parts of central Uganda,Rwanda and Burundi. The Chwezi were purportedly a pastoral (nomadic) people, implying that some of the dense forested area of central Uganda would have not been conducive to their lifestyle also part of the reason why they may have left so soon to other areas in the south of the rift valley.

Batembuzi and Bachwezi dynasties

The Empire of Kitara (Rwanda) was founded by the Batembuzi Dynasty, who were succeeded by Bachwezi Dynasty. Little is known about the Batembuzi and Bachwezi, or when they established Kitara. Much of what is known is based on mythology and oral tradition. A number of current Great Lakes kingdoms claim inheritance from the ancient Kitara empire, ruled by a dynasty known as the Bachwezi. The reign of the Bachwezi is shrouded in mystery and legend, so much so that many traditional gods in Toro, Bunyoro and Buganda have names associated with the Bachwezi kings.

Archaeological discoveries made at Bigo bya Mugenyi, the capital of the empire, and Ntusi located in present day Mubende District of Uganda, reveal rich deposits of an urban centre which represented a highly organized society. They are thought to have arrived in the western parts of Uganda, around 500 B.C., from the North planting seeds of leaders and introducing a more organised Kingdoms in the great lakes region of East Africa. They took over Bunyoro Kitara from the Batembuzi and later their bloodlines went on to form kingdoms of Buganda, Ankole, Toro, Rwanda, Karagwe, Burundi and the lost kingdoms of Zanj.

Babiito dynasty

The Kitara Empire(Rwanda) finally broke up during the 16th century with the advent of the invading Luo people from the north (Nilotic expansion). A people known as the Biito, led by a Chief called Labongo, invaded Bunyoro, the northernmost province of Kitara, from where the empire was ruled and would later settle large areas of northern Uganda, and around the north-eastern shores of Lake Victoria. Labongo established his rule in what was now Bunyoro-Kitara, becoming Isingoma Mpuga Rukidi, the first in line of the Babiito kings which provided the dynasties that also ruled in the kingdoms of Toro, Kooki, and some chiefdoms of Busoga.

For almost a century, from the advent of direct European contact in the later 19th century to the latter 20th century, much of scholarship treated the tales as a representation of historical fact, but more recently the scholarship, led by University of Paris scholar Jean-Pierre Chrétien, has cast doubt on the historical reliability of the stories, interpreting them as a myth.

The Tutsi Jews and the Pan-Kush Hebrew Diaspora

Ninety years ago, my ancestors, the renowned Pastoralist Watutsi/Tutsi Israelites of Kush — in Burundi, Rwanda, Eastern Congo, Uganda, Northern Tanzania — wore tzitzit and head tefillin. Today the survivors wear fear, humiliation, and despair. Millions of Tutsi have been killed and the ongoing Holocaust is an endless tragedy of “Again and Again.”

The Tutsi and the Toubous share the same origins as their cousins, the Jews of Ethiopia, tracing their common ancestry from King Solomon and Queen of Sheba. Israeli Chief Rabbis Avraham Ytzchak Kook and Ovadia Yosef, and US Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, would have included the Tutsi and the Toubous as descendents of Dan, following the 1500s responsum of a renowned Orthodox Rabbi, Rbadaz, Rabbi David ibn Zimrah. In fact, numerous branches of the Tutsi elite belong to the Judah lineage. The Tutsi Jewishness was obstructed by the Christian Inquisition that took place since the 1920s, and was never addressed until the late 20th Century. At that time, Havila Institute in Brussels dedicated huge efforts to enhance the re-connection of the Tutsi people to their Jewish heritage, and helped raise awareness among concerned Jewish institutions.

The Toubous face a similar but more ancient case of obstruction. They were forcibly converted to Islam centuries ago by the successive Jihads that took place in Northern Africa from the Arabian Peninsula, but they kept the remembrance of their Israelite origins.

Like the Western Jewish Diaspora, the Tutsi Jews, some parts of which have been forcibly converted to Christianity and forbidden to practice the ways of Y’’H, are People of Israel, no less than the Falasha Mura of Ethiopia.

The Maa languages and its peoples

The Maa languages are a group of closely related Eastern Nilotic languages (or from a linguistic perspective, dialects, as they appear to be mutually intelligible) spoken in parts of Kenya and Tanzania by more than a million speakers altogether. They are subdivided into North and South Maa. The Maa languages are related to the Lotuko languages spoken in South Sudan.

In the past, several peoples have abandoned their language in favor of a Maa language, usually following a period of intensive cultural and economic contact. Among peoples that have assimilated to Maa peoples are the Aasáx (Asa) and the Elmolo, former hunter-gatherers who spoke Cushitic languages, and the Mukogodo-Maasai (Yaaku), former bee-keepers and hunter-gatherers (Eastern Cushitic). The Akiek of northern Tanzania, speakers of a Southern Nilotic Kalenjin tongue, are under heavy influence from Maasai.

Northern Maa

Samburu (spoken by the Samburu people)

Camus (or il-Chamus, the preferred autonym; sometimes considered a dialect of Samburu) The Ilchamus are a Maa people living south and southeast of Lake Baringo, Kenya. They are 35,000 people.

Southern Maa

Maasai (spoken by the Maasai peoples)

Ngasa or Ongamo (extinct or at least endangered; most speakers have shifted to Chaga)

Another Kenyan Maa variety once existed, Kore. After being defeated by the Purko Maasai in the 1870s, the Kore fled to north-eastern Kenya where they were taken captive by Somali people. After functioning for years as clients or slaves in Somali households, they were set free by British imperial forces around the end of the 19th century. They have lost their own language and speak Somali. Loss of cattle brought them to Lamu island in the second half of the 20th century, where they live nowadays.

The Ngasa are an ethnic and linguistic group based on the eastern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. In 2000 the ethnic Ngasa population was estimated to number 4,285.

The Ariaal are northern Kenyan pastoralists. They claim descent from cattle-owning Samburu who captured significant herds of camels and learned how to manage them from their eastern neighbours, the Rendille. This led them to adopt the Rendille culture, language, and other Rendille practices, such as monogamy. Before Kenya independence, the separation between the cattle and camel economies was vividly reflected in the division between an Ariaal elder’s senior wife, whose family would be reared as Ariaal, and his junior wives who lived with his cattle as Samburu. In effect, such elders continued to straddle the boundary between monogamous camel-owning Ariaal and polygynous cattle-owning Samburu, speaking both languages and participating in both cultures.

The majority of the Oromo are Muslim & Christian; however, their traditional religion is still practiced by a minority of the population. These ethnic religionists worship a supreme being named Waqa.

The so-called KAMATUSA is an acronym for Kalenjin, Maasai, Turkana and Samburu  tribes.

The Samburu are monotheistic.

Are the KaLenjin (GaLenjin) part of the Israelite diaspora (GaLut)?

It is said that tartans originated in the Caucasus Mountains of Southern Russia, and migrated through Europe and central Asia. These are people who worship a volcano, live in constant fear of evil spirits, throw milk at the sky to thank the spirit God, make animal sacrifices at the base of a fig tree.

The Maasai must be Israelites

Historically and spiritually, the Maasai have long considered themselves one of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, or Israelites. In fact the name Maasai already appears in Chronicles I Chapter 9 verse 12 : " Adaiah son of Jeroham, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malkijah; and Maasai son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer."The Maasai themselves say in their oral histories that they came from a crater or deep valley somewhere to the north, at a place called Endikir-e-Kerio (the scarp of Kerio).Whatever the exact location of this mythical crater/valley, their migration southward is beyond doubt, and occurred after a dry spell.

They reached their present-day territories in Kenya and Tanzania around the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries. The Maasai believe in one god, whom they call Ngai (also spelled 'Ngai, En-kai, Enkai, Engai, Eng-ai). Ngai is neither male nor female, but seems to have several different aspects. For instance, there is the saying Naamoni aiyai, which means "The She to whom I pray". There are two main manifestations of Ngai: Ngai Narok which is good and benevolent and is black; and Ngai Na-nyokie, which is angry and red (like the British). Ngai is the creator of everything. In the beginning, Ngai (which also means sky) was one with the earth, and owned all the cattle that lived on it. But one day the earth and sky separated, so that Ngai was no longer among men. The cattle, though, needed the material sustenance of grass from the earth, so to prevent them dying Ngai sent down the cattle to the Maasai by means of the aerial roots of the sacred wild fig tree, and told them to look after them. This they do to this day, quite literally taking the story as an excuse to relieve neighbouring tribes of their own livestock.

One of the items and customs that the Jews and Maasai seem to share in common is the use of the Shofar. The Shofar, usually made of a Ram's horn is blown on special occasions, mainly celebrations, wars and yes, Jubilees. The Massai also do not mix milk and meat. Neither do they eat the sciatic nerve per the commandment prescribed in Genesis 32, 26-33.

Though now Christians, mostly pentecostal, Israel is always in the Maasai's daily prayers. They bless Israel at every service and at any opportunity. Always.

On one of my visits to their communities, I spent the night in the same room with two elderly Maasai ladies. At the break of dawn, I was awakened by their soft, sweet voices of their melodious prayers. I do not speak Maasai but three words that I heard over and over again clearly explained to me the nature of their utterances: Yesu, Israel, Maasai. They were praying to their messiah asking him to keep Israel and the Maasai safe and strong.

Dembia or Dembiya in Ethiopia 

Dembiya (Ge'ez ደምቢያ dembīyā; also transliterated Dembea, Dambya, Dembya, Dambiya, etc.) is a historic region of Ethiopia, intimately linked with Lake Tana. According to the account of Manuel de Almeida, Dembiya was "bounded on East by Begemder, on South by Gojjam, on West by Agaws of Achefer and Tangha. Lake Tsana, formerly called Dambaya, is in this region." Alexander Murray, in his preface to the third volume of Bruce's account, further describes it as "on the east it includes Foggora, Dara, and Alata; on the north-east Gondar, the metropolis, and the rich district beneath it; on the southwest, the district of Bed (the plain barren country) and, on the west, the lands around Waindaga and Dingleber."

Children studying in Dembia woreda & Lake Tana (Hayk' T'ana).

Dembiya was incorporated into the Begemder province (which previously only included lands to the east of Lake Tana) during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie, and in 1996 became a woreda of the Amhara Region. Dembiya is one of the woredas in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. It is named for the former province of Dembiya, which was located roughly in the same location. Part of the Semien Gondar Zone, Dembiya is bordered on the south by Lake Tana, on the southwest by Takusa, on the west by Chilga, on the north by Lay Armachiho, and on the east by Gondar Zuria. Towns in Dembiya include Aymiba, Chuahit, Gorgora and Koladiba.

Dembia is considered to host Israelite peoples, but without specifying their ethnicity's name. Judging from the area where Dembia is placed, the Israelites must be the Qemant & the other ethnic group of Israelite origin: the Beta Israel & Falashmuras. Nowadays the Falashmuras name themselves Beta Abraham.

Eritrean Israelites: People from Serai (also known as Serae & Seraye), Eritrea

Apparently the people from the former Serai (also known as Serae & Seraye) province in Eritrea have Israelite origin. Nowadays this province doesn't exist & it's part of the Debub (or Southern) region. The main ethnic groups are the Tigrinya & the Saho or Soho.The majority of the Tigrinya-speaking population in Seraye, claims descent from the two brother-ancestors of Adkeme and Melega, and the rest from a third ancestor called Tesfa, all of whom would come from king Meroni, who comes from the tribe of Benjamin. 

Meroni is believed to have founded the provinces of Hamsien, Serai and Akeluguzay. The name of this former province of Eritrea may have been a corruption of Sarai (or Sarah), wife of Abraham & therefore one of the matriarchs of the People of Israel. One of the districts of this former region was called Kohain, the very name of the Jewish priest. Liban is also found there & is synonym with Lebanon" which is derived from a root "Leban" meaning "white". It's also the name of the country bordering Israel.

It's interesting also that there's a Keren not far from Seray area, the area of the Eritrean Israelites. Keren is horn in Hebrew & it's found as a toponym in Britain & as related to the Karens & Karennis, Burman Israelites.

Myth of Origin: Hamasien, Akele-Guzay, and Seraye

Rural, highland Eritreans claim descent from the Amhara regions of Gonder and Wello during the fourteenth century.

From the book Mai Weini, A Highland Village in Eritrea by Kjetil Tronvoll (1998) "It is commonly believed among the villagers of Mai Weini that they - that is the Tigrinya speaking people in Akele-Guzai and Hamasien - trace their descent to a common mythical ancestor called King Meroni. The myth claims that he was originally from Dembea in Gonder, the region of Amhara, before he settled down in Hamasien. Longrigg, who believes that Meroni may in part be historical, notes that this event might have taken place about the year 1350."

"Meroni had three sons - Chaluk, Maluk, and Faluk - to whom most of the present kebessa population trace their origin. Faluk is the ancestor of Hamasien, and Maluk's descendants are to be found in the district of Mereta Sebene in Segeneiti sub-province. The majority of the Tigrinya-speaking population in Seraye, on the other hand, claims descent from the two brother-ancestors of Adkeme and Melega, and the rest from a third ancestor called Tesfa. They all originate from the ancient Ethiopian kingdom of Lasta." (Lasta is located in Wello province and inhabited by Amharic-speakers)

"The myth of origin in Akele-Guzai names two descendants of Chaluk, Akele and Guzai, as the ancestors of the greater part of the population in the land now bearing their name. Some claim they were brothers, others believe that they were uncle and nephew. The firm opinion of the shimagles in Mai Weini today is that Guzai was the son of Saile, Akele's brother. His descendants occupy the Maisera area in the southern part of the province, whereas the descendants of Akele live in the central part."

"It is believed that Akele had three sons: Tsenai, Digna, and Hadgai. Tesenai is the founding father of Tsenadegle district (woreda), Digna of Dekki Digna, and Hadgai is the ancestor of the people belonging to Hadegti district." 

It seems that Meroni is a descendant of the hebrew tribe called Biniam which is one of the 12 tribes of Israel, and that his ancestor was the command in chief of the troops of Menelik I the son of queen of Sheba and king Solomon.

Tutsi conspiracies like Jewish conspiracies?, no way!

The Tutsis are too proud, too wealthy, too self-centered, and too unwilling to marry centered, and too unwilling to marry those outside of their culture and rel those outside of their culture and religious traditions. The Tutsis own too much land in a country that has too little. The Tutsis are powerful but evil, even sharing the power of the evil eye with their Falasha kindred hundreds of miles down the course of the Nile River.

I stress our responsibility especially because we as Jews have sworn never to forget. I stress our responsibility not only because the Tutsis of Burundi share in our heritage as people of Israel but because they are, like all human beings everywhere, children of God. I belabor our responsibility because Havila, an organization of Tutsis in exile in Europe that seeks the return and redemption and above all the survival of the Tutsi people, wants to know what genocide of Tutsis in Burundi means to Western Jews. 

Bilad al-Sudan

Jews of the Bilad al-Sudan (אַהַל יַהוּדּ בִּלַדּ אַל סוּדָּן, Judeo-Arabic) describes West African Jewish communities who were connected to known Jewish communities from the Middle East, North Africa, or Spain and Portugal. Various historical records attest to their presence at one time in the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai empires, then called the Bilad as-Sudan from the Arabic meaning Land of the Blacks.

According to most accounts, the earliest Jewish settlements in Africa were in places such as Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. Jews had settled along the Upper Nile at Elephantine in Egypt. These communities were augmented by subsequent arrivals of Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, when 30,000 Jewish slaves were settled throughout Carthage by the Roman emperor Titus.

Africa is identified in various Jewish sources in connection with Tarshish and Ophir. The Septuagint, and Jerome, who was taught by Jews, and very often the Aramaic Targum on the Prophets, identify the Biblical Tarshish with Carthage, which was the birthplace of a number of rabbis mentioned in the Talmud. Africa, in the broader sense, is clearly indicated where mention is made of the Ten Tribes having been driven into exile by the Assyrians and having journeyed into Africa. Connected with this is the idea that the river Sambation is

As early as Roman times, Moroccan Jews had begun to travel inland to trade with groups of Berbers, most of whom were nomads who dwelt in remote areas of the Atlas Mountains. Jews lived side by side with Berbers, forging both economic and cultural ties ;some Berbers even began to practice Judaism. In response, Berber spirituality transformed Jewish ritual, painting it with a belief in the power of demons and saints.

In the 10th century, as the social and political environment in Baghdad became increasingly hostile to Jews, many Jewish traders there left for the Maghreb, Tunisia in particular. Over the following two to three centuries, a distinctive social group of traders throughout the Mediterranean world became known as the Maghrebi, passing on this identification from father to son.

According to certain local Malian legends a mention in the Tarikh al-Sudan may have recorded the first Jewish presence in West Africa with the arrival of the first Zuwa ruler of Koukiya and his brother, located near the Niger River. He was known only as Za/Zuwa Alayman (meaning "He comes from Yemen"). Some local legends state that Zuwa Alayman was a member of one of the Jewish communities that were either transported or voluntarily moved from Yemen by the Ethiopians in the 6th century C.E. after the defeat of Dhu Nuwas. The Tarikh al-Sudan, states that there were 14 Zuwa rulers of Kukiya after Zuwa Alyaman before the rise of Islam in the region.

Manuscript C of the Tarikh al-fattash describes a community called the Bani Israel that in 1402 CE existed in Tirdirma, possessed 333 wells, and had seven leaders: Jabroot bin-Hashim, Thoelyaman bin-Abdel Hakim, Zeor bin-Salam, Abdel-latif bin-Solayman, Malik bin-Ayoob, Fadil bin-Mzar & Shaleb bin-Yousef. It is also stated that they had an army of 1500 men.

There seems to be little doubt that Jewish have largely been mixed with Berbers living in the Moroccan and Algerian Sahara. It is believed that some Berber clans may have been at one time Jews and according to another tradition they are descended from the Philistines driven out of Canaan. There is a tradition that Moses was buried in Tlemçen, and the presence of a large number of Jews in that part of Africa is attested to, not only by the many sacred places and shrines bearing Biblical names which are holy to Muslims as well as to Jews, but also by the presence there of a large number of Jewish sagas. L. Rinn says: "Certain Berber tribes were for a long time of the Jewish religion, especially in Amès; and to-day, even, we see among the Hanensha of Sukahras (Algeria) a semi-nomad tribe of Israelites devoted entirely to agriculture".

Rabbi Mordechai Abi Serour, with his brother Yitzhaq, came from Morocco in 1859 to be a trader in Timbuktu. At the time of Rabbi Serour's bold enterprise, direct trade relations with the interior of west Africa (then known to them as Sudan) were monopolized by Muslim merchants. Non-Muslims were precluded from this trade because Arab merchants were determined to forestall encroachments upon their lucrative business.As a man of cosmopolitan experience, he was well suited to be a merchant in that time and place. He was clever, shrewd, articulate, audacious, and most important he knew Koranic law as well as most learned Muslims. Throughout his travels to Timbuktu Rabbi Serour preferred to have most of his merchandise transported across the Sahara by bejaoui. The term, bejaoui, refers to single or small groups of camels that carried travelers sometimes without merchandise or baggage, and were accompanied by indigenous guides.

As a Jew, he couldn't set up his trading business, so he appealed to the regional ruler, who at that time was a Fulani Emir, and negotiated dhimmi, or protected people status. Between 1860 to 1862 Rabbi Serour and his brother Yitzhaq were able to become successful and they became well known in the area. After earning a small fortune, Rabbi Serour returned to Morocco in 1863.He gave his father a large sum of money and talked his other brothers into joining him on his next venture to Timbuktu. In 1864, the Jewish colony in Timbuktu had reason to rejoice since by the end of the year they had eleven adult male Jews in residence. This was significant since it meant that they could form a minyan and establish a synagogue.

Records of the Jewish history of Mali can still be found in the Kati Andalusi library. Ismael Diadie Haidara, a historian from Timbuktu, possesses old Arabic and Hebrew texts among the city's historical records.He has also researched his own past and discovered that he is descended from the Moroccan Jewish traders of the Abana family.Recently there has come to light the personal library of the first Mahmoud Kati, which was handed down through his descendants and added to through at least the mid-17th century. This extraordinary "discovery" was made a by a young Malian historian, Ismaël Diadié Haïdara, a member of the Kati clan, and author of several books. The trading documents referred to three families in particular: the Kehath family (Ka'ti) that came from southern Morocco and converted with the rest of the population in 1492; the Cohen family descended from the Moroccan Jewish trader al-Hajj Abd al-Salam al Kuhin, who arrived in the Timbuktu area in the 18th century; and the Abana family, which came in the first half of the 19th century.

The Lemba/Varemba/Mwenye

The Lemba/varemba/Mwenye have a sacred prayer language which is a mixture of Hebrew and Arabic, pointing to their roots in Israel and Yemen. In Zimbabwe and South Africa, the people prefer the name Mwenye.The name "Lemba" may originate in chilemba, a Swahili word for turbans worn by East Africans, or lembi, a Bantu word meaning "non-African" or "respected foreigner".Magdel le Roux says that the name BaRemba may be translated as "the people who refuse" – probably in the context of "not eating with others".

THE 12 LEMBA CLANS: Tovakare, Bubha, Seleman, Tsadik, Sarif, Hamis, Bakar, Mani, Usingarimi, Hadji, Ngavi. Location: In Mozambique (Bordering áreas with South Africa & Zimbabwe). In South Africa (in northern Transvaal, although they're found diseminated from Soweto, in the South to Messina, in the north of the country. In Zimbabwe : In the South eastern area of the country, along the border with South Africa

Our greatest fear is assimilation, the fear of being gobbled up by the larger ethnic groups in Zimbabwe and to be lost forever as a distinct people. To guard against this threat, Lemba Elders long ago forbade intermarriage. They prescribed that Lembas must marry fellow Lembas. In total there are 12 Lemba clans in Zimbabwe, and a Lemba was permitted to marry into any one of them. Marriage outside this circle was forbidden. 

Long ago it was taboo for Lemba-Jewish daughters to marry non-Lembas. The punishment for marrying a non-Lemba man was excommunication. A great aunt of mine was disowned by my great grandfather because she married a non-Lemba. For 40 years, my great aunt was not able to set foot in our village, not even to attend her mother’s funeral. She was allowed to return to the village only after the death of my great grandfather. It was only then that my grandfather relented and readmitted her into the community. But not her children. Such was the severity of the punishment.

Israelite King Solomon who traveled to Ophir (Zimbabwe) in search of gold. The Lemba allege that when Solomon returned, some of his men remained, teaching the Africans to worship "Mwali," a single God and spreading their traditions throughout the region. Are the Lemba direct descendants of Jews from King Solomon’s court? Are they Africans who developed seemingly Judaic practices through contact with Muslim and Christian proselytizers?

What is certain is that the Lemba are emphatic about being Jewish. "I love my people," a Lemba woman told Parfitt, "we came from the Israelites, we came from Sena, we crossed the sea . . . We were so beautiful with beautiful long, Jewish noses and so proud of our facial structure. We no way wanted to spoil our structure by carelessness, eating pig or marrying non-Lemba gentiles." The Lemba maintain that their traditions are of Jewish origin. Their flag features a Star of David and the Elephant of Judah. They practice circumcision. They bury their dead in accordance with Jewish traditions. They hold the first day of the new moon sacred, shaving their heads to commemorate it. The Lemba do not eat meat from pigs; only circumcised men may sacrifice animals for food. Women must purify themselves ritually after menstruating or giving birth. Though non-Lemba women are allowed to marry into the tribe, Lemba men face expulsion if they marry gentiles.

In part, Havila arises from a refusal from the Tutsi Jewish leadership to die as an anonymous population

According to various sources from both common and scholarly records, including Wikipedia, as well as Havila Institute multi-faceted expertise, and the so documented. In addition to the facts mentioned above, the regular conscription of the youth, males and females alike in the political, judiciary, theological and military academies (following the leading military traditions brought ahead by Devorah), make it clearer that the Tutsi Jews perpetuated the way of life of the Patriarchs in the biblical land of Goshen. See: Lactose intolerance (Reference to Prof. Sarah Tishkoff’ master studies in Genetics based on the Lactase Tolerance/Intolerance in the world, the Tutsi being second in rank after the Swedish), in Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium. This is a miraculous result of the efforts of the Havila Institute (l’Institut de Havila) and its founder and director Yochanan Bwejeri, originally from Burundi and now, like many Tutsis, living in exile. In part, Havila arises from a refusal from the Tutsi Jewish leadership to die as an anonymous population, and at least from a basically ancestors’ claim to stand as a people with a specific mission in the world, and in part it is, simply, the awakening of the Jewish soul in Central Africa. Under the leadership of Prof. Yochanan Bwejeri working with highly committed Tutsi leaders and scholars, more and more Batutsi Jews seek a means for joining the best of the Jewish communities programs and visions for the future (t’shuvah) and look forward to redemption (g’ulah), just like any Jewish community or nation among the diverse and colorful branches of the People of Israel, in their central-African Jewish biotope and worldwide.

Jewish Roots in Africa

Claims of a historic presence of Jewish communities in certain regions of Africa, notably West and Southern Africa, seem esoteric when first mentioned. This presence goes back not just centuries, but even to biblical times.

Of course in two areas such a communal presence on the African continent remains a firmly acknowledged part of Jewish history and experience (North Africa and Egypt/Ethiopia). A Jewish presence in Egypt and the former Kingdom of Kush are described in the Book of Exodus. Yet even after their exodus from Egypt and their settlement in the land of Israel, the Jewish tribes retained certain nomadic characteristics which are reflected throughout their history.

For example, in the 10th and 9th centuries B.C.E. Kings David and Solomon sought to expand Jewish influence and trade throughout the Mediterranean, including North Africa, Egypt, the Arab Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, as well as Persia. Often such trade promotion and colonizing drives were arranged in cooperation with the Cananites and the neighboring Kingdom of Tyre.

These kingdoms often lent their military backing to these colonizing efforts, which led to the establishment of numerous settlements by Jewish artisans and traders throughout these regions. But the subsequent scattering of a Jewish presence and influence teaching deep into the African continent is less widely acknowledged. Pressed under sweeping regional conflicts, Jews settled as traders and warriors in Yemen, the Horn of Africa, Egypt, the Kingdom of Kush and Nubia, North African Punic settlements (Carthage and Velubilis), and areas now covered by Mauritania.

More emigrants followed these early Jewish settlers to Northern Africa following the Assyrian conquest of the Israelites in the 8th century B.C.E., and again 200 years later, when Jerusalem was conquered by the Babylonians, leading to the destruction of the First Temple.

This catastrophic event not only drove many Jews into exile in Babylon, but also led to the establishment of exile communities around the Mediterranean, including North Africa. Then, with Israel coming under Greek, Persian and later Roman rule and dependence, renewed waves of Jewish traders and artisans began to set up communities in Egypt, Cyrenaica, Nubia and the Punic Empire, notably in Carthage, whence they began to scatter into various newly emerging communities south of the Atlas mountains. Several Jewish nomadic groups also started to come across the Sahara from Nubia and the ancient kingdom of Kush.

The Jewish presence in Africa began to expand significantly in the second and third centuries of the Christian era, extending not only into the Sahara desert, but also reaching down along the West African coast, and possibly also to some Bantu tribes of Southern Africa (where some 40,000 members of the Lemba tribe still claim Jewish roots). The names of old Jewish communities south of the Atlas mountains, many of which existed well into Renaissance times, can be found in documents in synagogue archives in Cairo.

In addition, Jewish, Arab and Christian accounts cite the existence of Jewish rulers of certain tribal groups and clans identifying themselves as Jewish scattered throughout Mauritania, Senegal, the Western Sudan, Nigeria, and Ghana. Among notable Arab historians referring to their existence are Ibn Khaldun, who lived in the 13th century, a respected authority on Berber history; the famous geographer al-Idrisi, born in Ceuta, Spain in the 12th century, who wrote about Jewish Negroes in the western Sudan; and the 16th century historian and traveler Leon Africanus, a Moslem from Spain who was raised by a Jewish woman working in his family's household, who is said to have taught him Hebrew and emigrated with the family to Morocco in 1492. A related story about surviving memories of Jewish roots in West Africa was told to me around 1976 by former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres. He had just returned from a meeting of the Socialist International, during which he had met with then president Leopold Senghor of Senegal. In the course of their discussion about the possibility of normalizing Senegalese-Israeli relations, Senghor had told him that he too had Jewish ancestors. At that time we both smiled somewhat incredulously.

Yet, indeed, there are a number of historical records of small Jewish kingdoms and tribal groups known as Beni Israel that were part of the Wolof and Mandinge communities. These existed in Senegal from the early Middle Ages up to the 18th century, when they were forced to convert to Islam. Some of these claimed to be descendants of the tribe of Dan, the traditional tribe of Jewish gold and metal artisans, who are also said to have built the "Golden Calf".

Jewish presence is said to have been introduced into Senegal, Mauritania and numerous other West African countries south of the Sahara in part through the migration of Jewish Berber groups and later through some exiles who had been expelled from Spain, had first settled in North Africa, and had then crossed the Atlas mountains. Other even earlier arrivals are said to have come from Cyrenaica (now part of Libya, Egypt, the Sudan and Ethiopia), having crossed the Sahara to West Africa and eventually also moved further south. In addition to the Jewish tribal groups in Senegal who claim to be descendants of the tribe of Dan, the Ethiopian Jews also trace their ancestry to the tribe of Dan.

Some of these transmigrants established communities in such still renowned places as Gao, Timbuktu (where UNESCO still maintains notable archives containing records of its old Jewish community), Bamako, Agadez, Kano and Ibadan. A notable number of Berber and African nomad tribal groups joined up with the Jewish communal groups trying to resist aggressiqve Arab Islamic efforts or as bulwark against Christian proselytizing, sometimes going so far as to convert to Judaism. Notable among these were some Tuareg, Peul and Ibadiya groups. To this day it is said that the Ashanti words for numbers relate to those in Parsi, the language of Persia. Under the impact of this Jewish influence a number of ruling families in Ghana converted to Judaism, and for nearly 200 years the Kingdom of Ghana, which extended at that time far north into western Sudan, was ruled by Jewish kings. Because of their skills, abilities, and multilingual knowledge, Jews became important intermediaries in regional trade relations and as artisans grouping together as craft guilds. They are said to have formed the roots of a powerful craft tradition among the still- renowned Senegalese goldsmiths, jewelers and other metal artisans. The name of an old Senegalese province called "Juddala" is said to attest to the notable impact Jews made in this part of the world.

Jewish presence is also confirmed by numerous surviving accounts of Portuguese and other European visitors in the 14th and 15th centuries, as well as North African and Arab historical records. Gradually most of these communities disappeared. Since they existed largely in isolation, there was a good deal of intermarriage which for a while reinforced their influence and expansion. As a result they were increasingly viewed as a threat by Muslim rulers, and most of the Jewish communities and nomad groups south of the Atlas mountains were either forced to convert to Islam or massacred; the remainder fled to North Africa, Egypt or the Sudan, and a few also to Cameroon and Southern Africa.

Reviewing the various Jewish and non-Jewish sources on the origins of these Jewish communities involves complicated and at times seemingly contradictory stories about tribal and religious wars and resultant alliances and transformations. These originated with the Roman and Byzantine persecutions of Jews and the promotion of Christianity beginning under the emperors Diocletian and Constantine.

There was also a wave of Jewish proselytizing and conversions of nations and tribal groups to Judaism. For instance, the people of Yemen converted to Judaism in the fifth century under King Du-Nuas, as did a major Berber tribal group under their Queen Kahina in the seventh century. These were followed by additional forced conversions of Jewish communities to Christianity and later to Islam, but with some Jewish consciousness and traditions surviving.

These conflicting references to biblical sources by Jewish, Muslim, Berber and Christian sources survive not only to legitimize their respective spiritual claims but also as indicators of their transitions through a common past.

There has been a historical Jewish ambivalence about legitimizing mass conversions to Judaism and to look askance at those who do not "look Jewish". In part such attitudes are reinforced by the fact that certain Jewish communities, for historical reasons or due to prolonged isolation, had evolved ritual and ceremonial standards linked to older sources and traditions, thus becoming somewhat differentiated from those authorized by the dominant rabbinical authorities. These differences may involve such questions as acceptance of talmudic interpretation. This had placed into question at times even the authority of so prominent a Jewish sage as Moses Maimonides.

Even before Maimonides these issues had led to the by now virtually forgotten split by the Karaites, who rejected the Talmud as divine law as well as the hierarchical authority of the rabbinate. Yet, despite their current obscurity, the Karaites played a significant historical role in the expansion of Judaism and also as advocates of a greater religious role for women. Karaite influence extended to Judeo-Berber communities and West African tribal communities such as the Malinke, Peul, Foulani, Mossi, Fanti, Songhay, Yoruba and Hausa.

Hebrews became a mixed people

The bible doesn't say anything bout shem and Japheth mixing, but history does. assur mixed with Aryans in Assyria, and the Chaldeans mixed with aryans in Babylon.

The Hebrews were a mixed Shemite/Hamite people, who clustered racially and culturally with hamites; smoke a hamitic language, lived among hamites, and worshipped Hamitic gods.

We have the most common y-haplogroups among 'Jews'; J (Shem), and E (Ham or African).

It does make sense...Hebrew scripture clearly tells us who the hebrews were - semi-hamites.

Kotoko people

The Kotoko people , also called Mser, Moria, Bara and Makari, are an ethnic group located in northern CameroonChad and Nigeria. The Kotoko population is composed of 49,071 people, the majority of which, 40,904 people live in Cameroon. The Kotoko form part of the Chadic people. The mother tongue is Lagwan - (kot). Most of Kotoko are Muslims, forming sects like Ibadhi, Ahmadi, Alevi, Yazidi, Druze and Khariji. Only slightly more than 10% of the population is Evangelical. They founded the Kotoko kingdom in the 15th century.

North Africa/Maghreb

The largest influx of Jews to Africa came after the Spanish Inquisition after the Fall of Granada and the end of Islamic Spain. The mass exodus and expulsion of the Iberian Jews began in 1492, Sicilian Jews were affected soon afterwards. Many of these Sephardic Jews settled in North Africa under Muslim and Ottoman patronage. Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt became home to significant Jewish communities. These communities were later incorporated into the Ottoman millet system as Africanized Ottoman Jews, bound by the laws of the Talmud and Torah but with allegiance to the Caliph of Constantinople.

Modern communities of European descent

South Africa has a substantial, mostly Ashkenazimc Jewish community. They and their ancestors arrived immigrated mostly from Lithuania prior to World War II, although some immigrated from Britain, Germany, and Eastern Europe. To a lesser extent, Sephardic Jews, primarily originating from the Island of Rhodes, also settled in sub-Saharan Africa, in territories such as the Belgian Congo. Subsequently, members of these Jewish communities migrated to South Africa.

Small European Jewish communities developed historically during the colonial years in Namibia (South West Africa), Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia), Lesotho (Basutuland), Swaziland, Botswana (Bechuanaland), Zaire (Belgian Congo, mostly Sephardim), Kenya, Malawi (Nyasaland), and Zambia (Northern Rhodesia). The communities, usually based in the capitals of these countries, established synagogues and often formal Jewish schools.

There was a Jewish community in Maputo, Mozambique but, after the independence of the country, most left. The government has officially returned the Maputo synagogue to the Jewish community, but "little or no Jewish community remains to reclaim it."

Hebrew Tribes of Africa

Proto-Hebrew tribes and historical Jewish communities have existed in Africa over thousands of years. This series of essays on Africa's Black Jewish communities has been written to highlight a part of Africa`s heritage that is rarely if ever acknowledged by the stage managed account of history promoted by the mafia-like western educational establishemnts which control the institutions of learning and research.

That the roots of the Hebrews lie in Africa is attested to by this famous saying in Numbers Chapter 22 verse 5 (often distorted beyond recognition) to wit: “There is a people comeout from Egypt: behold they cover the face of the earth…” Another biblical verse goes: “When Israel was a child, then I loved him and called him out of Egypt”. Hosea Chapter 11 verse 1.

During the sojourn of Abraham (the pilgrim from Chaldees) to Kushitic North Africa, the book of Genesis Chapter 13 verse 1 suggested that Abram left Egypt and headed south (which geographically speaking points into Africa) towards the place of “his original tent” (a term which indicates original home land). This verse appears to propose that Chaldeans were originally from the land of Africa, and Abram seemed to have made somesort of pilgrimage into the land of his origin.
This should not be too confusing if one recalls that the first King of Mesopotamia was Nimrod the great, acknowledged in the bible and the Quoran as a black man from Africa. Nimrod famously laid the foundations of one of the earliest civilizations of man known as Sumeria or Shinar in the bible. Nimrod’s black African kingdom later morphed into the kingdom of the Chaldees, from where Abraham is said to have commenced his many journeys. See Genesis Chapter 10 verse 8 – 11.

Thus the first geographical location where one encounters the tribe of the Israelites as a nation or a nationalistic expression was in Egypt, Africa. The traditions of the ancient Israelites who supposedly left Egypt for the land of Caanan were a codified strain of the ancient traditions of the Egyptians who had maintained the ways of their first ancestors who lived inside Africa, around the head waters of River Nile. Moses was reputedly very learned in Kemitic science, arts and traditions as noted in Acts Chapter 7 verse 22.

After the so called exodus from Egypt and their settlement in the land of Israel, the Israelite tribes retained certain numerous thriving communities throughout Africa including the ones mentioned in the varous books of the bible such as Exodus, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc.

Moses’s father in law Jethro the Midianite whom traditions regard as an Ethiopian appears as the real founder intellectual and spiritual founder of the Israelites. He thought Moses and inspired him to fight for the freedom of his people.

As well, many Israelites refused to leave Egypt with Moses whereas many others returned back to their African food basket as they quickly tired of the rigours of frontier life on the edges of the Sinai desert. There were also those who had ideological disagreements with Moses, some of who were among the many implicated in the carving of the golden calf (i.e. Horus).

Potentates sought to use this network to further their interest. Kings David and Solomon purportedly sought to utilize this network of different communities to further the trading interests of the Israelite state. Often, in joint venture with the Caananites (i.e. Phoenicians) trade contacts were opened or consolidated in Africa through the mediation of some of those old African Hebrew communities. In addition to this older segment, many relatively recent Israelite immigrants settled in communities found throughout Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Southern Africa.

These settlements were intermittenly augmented with new influx of migrant refugees from the so-called holy land driven by insecurity, famine and regional conflicts. Following the conquest of Israel in the 8th century B.C.E. by the Assyrians, and the 6th century destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, even more Jewish refugees fled into their older communities in Africa. At this time, black Kingdoms in and around Africa were overflowing with migrant Jews. Kingdoms like Yemen, Ethiopia, and the North African Punic Kingdoms up to Mauritania had substantial Jewish settlement.

If one were to pause and ask at this point: What ethnicity were those refugee Jews and why flee to Africa of all places? The response to these queries immediately underline the deep roots of Africa relative to the Hebrew tribes. Those fleeing Jews of the 8th and the 6th century B.C.E. were clearly depicted as Black African men and women with tight curly hair (the hair type of a typical west African) in the Assyrian and Babylonian bas-reliefs commemorating the respective conquests. For example, a sculptured wall relief excavated at ancient Nineveh illustrates the fall of Lachish by the army of king Sennacherib of Assyria. The Hebrews depicted therein were all black men.

Salman Rushdie citing Indian history books claims in a book Last Sigh of Moor published in 1995, that three waves of Jewish refugees has landed in India in the past. The first Jewish refugees, that had settled in India, arrived after Nabuchadonezer, king of Babylon conquered their land in the 6th century BC and expelled some and enslaved the others. They were dark skinned people, probably of the AFROCOIDAL RACE. It then becomes clear why segments of that population would seek refugee in Africa…because that was the home land…the motherland…the baseline. It was only within the protective embrace of the African motherland that the harried Jew could be safe from the Babylonian depredations. As an aside, the significance of this epoch must be recognized. This was the first group of Black people in history ever taken and sold into chattel slavery outside their territory.

Jews Of Nigeria, Senegal and Congo

Moreover,with Israel coming under Greek, Persian and later Roman rule and dependency, renewed waves of Jewish refugees including traders and artisans began to set up more communities in Egypt, Cyrenaica, Nubia and the Punic Empire, notably in Carthage. From Carthage they began to scatter into various historically established, as well as newly emerging Jewish communities south of the Atlas mountains nearer to the modern day Mauritania, Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon and Congo. Several Jewish nomadic groups also moved across the Sahara from Nubia and the ancient kingdom of Kush towards west Africa.

Various East and West African ethinic nations lay verifiable claim to their Jewish ancestral heritage. The Falashas, the most famous of those Black Jews have been validated. Close to three hundred thousand of those black Falasha Jews live in the modern State of Israel as practising Jews.

The Lembas of South Africa, another so-called Bantu tribe have a cogent and valid claim to Jewish ancestry heritage backed by solid genetic evidence i.e. the prevalence of the so-called Cohen modal J haplogroup.

The names of old Jewish communities south of the Atlas mountains (around the regions of modern Niger, Nigeria), many of which existed well into Renaissance times, can be found in documents in synagogue archivesin Cairo. See “George E. Lichtblau” Jewish and Islamic chronicles cite the existence of Jewish rulers of certain Jewish tribal groups and clans (self identifying as Jewish) scattered throughout Mauritania, Senegal, the Western Sudan, Nigeria, and Ghana.

According to the Tarikh es Soudan recorded by Abderrahman ben Abdallah es-Sadi (translated by O.Houdas) a Jewish community was formed by a group of Egyptian Jews, who had travelled to the West Africa through Chad. See also: al-Kati M., “Tarikh al-Fattash, 1600″.

Another such community was located near the Niger River by the name of Koukiya led by a ruler known as Dia or Dji, a shortened form of “Dia min al Yaman” or Diallaiman (meaning he who comes from Yemen). According to local traditions, Diallaiman was a member of one of the Ethiopian-Jewish colonies transplanted.

A 9th century Jewish traveller Eldad ben-Mahli (also known as Eldad the Danite) related accounts about the location of some of the lost tribes of the House of Israel. According to this account, the tribe of Dan had migrated from Palestine so as not to take part in the internecine civil wars at the time of Yeroboam’s succession. It was reported that this section was residing in the land of Havila beyond the waters of Ethiopia where there was much gold i.e. West Africa. It was further reported that three other tribes had joined the tribe of Dan namely Naphtali, Gad, Asher. Those joined up with Dan in the land of Havila in the times of Sennacherib. They had an entire body of scriptures barring Esther and Lamentations. They neither used the Talmud nor the Mishna, but they had a Talmud of their own in which all the laws were cited in the name of Joshua the son of Nun. See Nahum Slouschz, “Travels in North Africa” Philadelphia 1927, p.227.

Ibn Khaldun, who lived in the 13th century, a respected authority on Berber history testified about the Black Jews of Western Sudan with whom he personally interacted. The famous muslim geographer al-Idrisi, born in Ceuta, Spain in the 12th century, wrote extensively about Jewish Negroes in the Western Sudan.

Black Jews were fully integrated and achieved pre-eminence in many West African kingdoms. For instance Jews were believed to have settled in great West African empires such as Songhai, Mali, Ghana and Kanem-Bornu empires. According to numerous accounts of contemporary visitors to the region several rulers, and administrators of the Songhai empire were of Jewish origins until Askia Muhammad came to power in 1492 and decreed that all Jews either convert to Islam or leave the region. See Ismael Diadie Haidara, “Les Juifs a` Timbouctou”, Recueil de sources relatives au commerce juif a Timbouctou au XIXe siecle, Editions Donniya, Bamako, 1999.

The 16th century historian and traveler Leon Africanus, was a Hebrew-speaking Jewish convert to Islam, raised in a Jewish household by Jewish parents of Moroccan descent. Leon Africanus travelled extensively in Africa south of the Sahara where he encountered innumerable Black African Jewish communities. Leon later converted to Catholicism but remained interested in Jewish communities he encountered throughout his travels in West Africa. See Leo Africanus (al-Hassan b. al -Wazzan al-Zayyati), Della discrittione dell’Africa per Giovanni Leoni Africano, Settima Parte, in G.B. Ramusio, Delle navigationi e viaggi. Venice 1550, I, ff.78-81r. Additional evidence is provided by surviving oral traditions of numerous African ethnic groups, including links to biblical ancestors, names of localities, and ceremonies with affinities to Jewish ritual practices. Moreover, the writings of several modern West African historians indicate that the memories of Jewish roots historical in West Africa continue to survive.

For instance, there are a number of historical records of small Jewish kingdoms and tribal groups known as Beni Israel that were part of the Wolof and Mandinge communities. These existed in Senegal from the early Middle Ages up to the 18th century, when they were forced to convert to Islam. Some of these claimed to be descendants of the tribe of Dan, the traditional tribe of Jewish gold and metal artisans, who are also said to have built the “Golden Calf”.

Black Jews are said to have formed the roots of a powerful craft tradition among the still-renowned Senegalese goldsmiths, jewelers and other metal artisans. The name of an old Senegalese province called “Juddala” is said to attest to the notable impact Jews made in this part of the world. In addition to the Jewish tribal groups in Senegal who claim to be descendants of the tribe of Dan, the Ethiopian Jews also trace their ancestry to the tribe of Dan.

Additionally, Mr. Bubu Hama, a former president of the National Assembly in Niger and a prolific writer on African history has argued in many treatise as well as lecture tours that the Tuaregs had a Jewish queen in early medieval times, and that some Jewish Tuareg clans had preserved their adherence to that faith, in defiance of both Islamic and Christian missionary pressure, until the 18th century. In several of his books Hama cites the genealogies of Jewish rulers of the Tuareg and Hausa kingdoms. See “Lichtblau”.

Some accounts place some West African Jewish community in the Ondo forest of Nigeria, south of Timbouctou. This community maintained a Torah Scroll as late as 1930s, written in Aramaic that had been burnt into parchment with a hot iron instead of ink so it could not be changed. See Gonen Rivaka, “The Quest for the Ten Lost tribes of israel: To the Ends of the Earth”, Jason Aronson Inc., Northville, NJ., 2002 at pages 180-181. The Igbos of Nigeria, one of the bigger nations that comprise Nigeria lay a strong claim to Jewish ancestry as borne out by their mores, laws, rituals and idioms which have a heavily accented old testament Hebrew flavour. See Ilona R, “The Ibos: Jews of Nigeria,” volume 1, Research Findings Historical Links, Commentaries, Narratives,” 2004, Mega Press Limited, Abuja, Nigeria.

Some of the established Jewish communities existed in such still renowned places as Gao, Timbuktu,  Bamako, Agadez, and Kano. In Timbucktu, the UNESCO still maintains notable archives containing records of the old Jewish community of Mali and the Hausa states of Nigeria.

Roman historian Tacitus wrote that many of his time believed that the Jews “were a race of Ethiopian origin.” The Bible classifies the Ethiopians & Jews together, “Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the Lord.” (Amos 9:7)

Persia and Ashanti

It has also been speculated that the Jewish presence and influence was greatly helped by the ancient gold trade between Persia and Africa. Jews were the main intermediaries of this trade in the medieval ages since most Muslims (due to Islamic laws prohibition on usury) were wary of its usurious dimensions.

These Jewish itinerant traders came to rely on contacts with the various Jewish communities of West African who proved no mean help in sourcing the scarce commodity. Thus, for instance, the silk of the Royal Kente cloths of the Ashanti reputedly came from China.

Various historical accounts claim that Jewish travelers from Persia had organized exchanges of Chinese silk for gold in the Kingdom of Ghana; the Ashanti needed the silk for weaving Kente cloth and the Jews need gold for their intrinsic and fiscal value. It is said that the Ashanti words for numbers relate to those in Parsi, the language of Persia. See Lichtblau.

The E3b haplogroup has been observed in all Jewish groups world wide. It is considered to be the 2nd most prevalent haplogroup amoung the Jewish population. All the major studies agree that E-M35 is the second highest in prevalence next to J, for “Founding Jewish Lineages.” It is found in moderate amounts in all Jewish populations, from Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Kurdish, Yemen, Samaritan and even among Djerba Jewish groups. The scientific consensus is that Haplogroup E3b (M35) appears to have originated in East Africa, but has been carried from there to the Near East and then on to North Africa and Europe. Today it is most common in East Africa, North Africa, the Near East and around the Mediterranean.

Haplogroup J (previously known as HG9 or Eu9/Eu10) is a Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup  is subdivided into two subclades: haplogroup J2, defined by the M172 marker, and haplogroup J1, defined by the M267 marker.

Of special interest are maps that show the geographical spread of the J haplogroup. J1 and J2 are both common in southern Europe, central Europe, the Mediterranean region, and Africa. The J haplogroup is considered to be a signature gene of Jewish ancestry and the cohen modal gene happens to be a subgroup of J. In fact, the highest frequencies of J1 (M267) are seen in the Middle East, north Africa, and Ethiopia. See (Thomas et al. 1999). J2 (M172) also exists in significant proportions across Africa especially among the semitic speaking peoples of Tigriniya, Amhara, and Oromiya.

The presence among the Lemba of a disproportionate number of men carrying a particular polymorphism on the Y chromosome known as the Cohen modal haplotype suggests an ancestral link to the Jewish population. One sub-clan within the Lemba, the Buba clan, is considered by the Lemba to be their priestly clan. Among a small sample of the Buba, fifty-two percent of males were found to carry the Cohen modal haplotype CMH, which is generally suggestive of Y-DNA haplogroup J, but notably prevalent among Jewish Kohanim, or priests.

A descendant of one of the priestly Jewish families of North Africa, Kahina led the nationalist resistance against the muslim invasion until her defeat at the hands of Hassan Ibn Numan. See Margolis, “History of Jewish people”, 1927 pages 278-279.

Amidst this tumult, the Jews of Northern and West Africa were given a choice of conversion or emigration. Many left for the deeper forest recesses of West Africa seeking the peace and tranquility that appeared to elude them in each generation. The late incursions by the colonialist christian elements of Europe did not make matters any better. There seems to have been a direct link between the incursion of relatively modern religions in Africa and the decline of the ancient practise of the Hebrews which had a pride of place in Africa, its mother land. For instance the Jewish enclaves of Qamnurya or Naghira in the area of modern Senegal was destroyed completely in the wake of sectarian unrest. Similarly, Al-Maghili a prominent black Muslim noble not only Lichtblau speculates that: although “…Jewish presence is also confirmed by numerous surviving accounts of Portuguese and other European visitors in the 14th and 15th centuries, as well as North African and Arab historical records… gradually most of these communities disappeared. Since they existed largely in isolation, there was a good deal of intermarriage which for a while reinforced their influence and expansion. As a result they were increasingly viewed as a threat by Muslim rulers, and most of the Jewish communities and nomad groups south of the Atlas mountains were either forced to convert to Islam or massacred; the remainder fled to North Africa, Egypt or the Sudan, and a few also to Cameroon and Southern Africa.”

I am currently researching some of the Igbo descendants from the tribe of Ephraim. These were Moorish Igbo who at one time lived in Morocco. Some of them are found in the Imo State. They were originally ruled by a King named Abraham Ha- Ephrati. Have you heard of any Igbo person,town or village bearing the name Ephrati or a variant thereof?

There is an old reference from 1930 which reported an Israelite Community in the Ondo district of Southwest Nigeria (Yorubaland). It states that the Yoruba call them Emo Yo Qaim. They call themselves Bnai-Ephraim. They claimed to have originated in Morocco. What became of this group? Chima Onyeolo of the Imo state petitioned the Israeli court under the very same history and claim of being of the tribe of Ephraim.I met Chima in Israel but have since lost contact with him. He seemed to be under some kind of GAG ORDER and was not revealing too much about his claim. I have discovered the history of the Ephraimite community in Morocco. Is there any connection between the Ephraimites of Ondo and those of Imo? The Hebrew word for israelite woman “Baara” may be seen In the old Igbo word for woman “Agbara ‘

Israelites and Jews have always had some black mixture but have not been predominantly black. Israel is in a central geographical where some sub-saharan Africans have arrived, many European groups arrived, Semitic groups are there, so mixture of different elements even in ancient times was natural.

A House of David can be traced to the Kogi State in Nigeria today if the doubters can believe this – although many of them may have migrated to parts of Igboland today. Thank God that there is some evidence. First of all, the City of Idah (Judah) in Igala (Igal) in Kogi State is the only City of Judah established anywhere on earth outside of Cannaan by a descendant of King David whose name is Asadu (Asa still lives). Ida is the true rendering of Judah and Igala is the true rendering of Igal. If one types in “Igal in Judah” in the internet, the chapter and verse in the Bible, especially in the Book of the Chronocles will show up. Asa is also a descendant of David and king of Judah. So, what we have here is not a strange name but a name that can be found in the lineage of king David (Deweudo or Keep the peace).

Islamicized African Hebraic Tribes

There are many other African Tribes and countries who once were Jewish, came from a Hebrew/Israelite linage or had Jewish populations, but after the Muslim religious invasions of such places since the 2nd World War many of these tribes have converted to Islam, two such tribes that has been recently brought to my attention that may have Hebraic roots is the Maasai tribe from Tanzania who reside near Mount Kilimanjaro and the Kurya tribe who practice circumcision. 

David Saks writes on this phenomenon:   

“As the bare statistics amply demonstrate, the story of Jewish life on the African continent since the last World War has been one of steady decline, to the point that many once active communities are now defunct, or at best operating on a significantly scaled down level. There are fewer than fifty Jews left in Zambia, once home to a community of between 1000-1200 in the mid-1950s with a viable presence in eight different centres. Namibia, at its peak numbering over 400 souls, has likewise dwindled to a few dozen. Organised Jewish life in Mozambique, such as it was, all but disappeared following the demise of Portuguese rule and the onset of a ruinous civil war in the early 1970s. A trickle of individuals have since made their way back to the country, but there is some way to go before establishing a Jewish community on any formal, organised basis will be possible. About a hundred remain in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, down from over two thousand in the days of Belgian colonial rule, and the Jewish community in Kenya, while still reasonably viable is, at around 260 souls, only half the size it was at its height.

The story of the rise and rapid decline of the Sub-Saharan African Jewish communities, as one would expect, mirrors the rise and decline of European settlement in these countries in the post-independence era. Jews arrived with the European settlers – in the case of Southern and Northern Rhodesia (today’s Zimbabwe and Zambia) they were amongst the very first such settlers – and by and large departed with them. Taken as a whole, and leaving aside South Africa for the time being, the historical verdict on Jewish settlement in Southern Africa would seem to be that it was both a comparatively recent, and a temporary phenomenon, lasting less than a century. This verdict may change in the event of their being a renewed wave of Jewish immigration to the countries concerned, but this is certainly not on the cards in the short term.

Even swifter was the demise of the vastly more numerous and far longer-established North African Jewish communities, the combined result of the desire to make aliyah and the wave of persecution that followed the establishment of Israel in 1948 and also (especially in the case of Algeria) political instability. In all, close to 600 000 Jews emigrated during the first two decades after World War II, about two-thirds of these to Israel and most of the balance to France. Just prior to this Morocco (300 000) and Algeria (140 000) both had Jewish communities well in excess of South Africa’s at the time while Tunisia’s, at 110 000, was at least as large. Outright persecution was primarily behind the swift demise of the Jewish communities of Libya (38 000) and Egypt (75 000) Today Morocco, with 5600 Jews in 2001, is home to the continent’s second largest Jewish community while Tunisia, with 1500, is the only other African country whose Jewish population exceeds a thousand. 

Ethiopia, too, has at most only a few hundred remaining Jews, but the demise of this particular community, one of the oldest in Africa, took place under far more inspiring circumstances. In 1991, in the famed ‘Operation Solomon’ initiative, virtually the entire Ethiopian Jewish population of 20 000 was airlifted to Israel. Over the next decade, another 20 000 Ethiopians came to Israel, the majority of them being non-Jewish relatives seeking reunification with their Jewish families…even South African Jewry, estimated at 75 000, having declined by more than a third since 1980...”

Thus there are many African tribes who may be a part of the 10 lost tribes of Israel, but due to war, persecution and Islamic conversion, they have dwindled to and are becoming harder to find. 

The Century Old Abayudaya Community

This increasingly famous community (the Abayudayas) of more than 800 people has been practicing Judaism for 90 years in rural Uganda. In 2002, more than 300 members of the community formally affirmed their Judaism under a beit din of Conservative rabbis. In addition, one of the Abayudaya leaders, Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, this year became the first African rabbi ordained by a liberal American rabbinical school.

The Abayudaya's Rabbi Sizomu envisions the creation of an African Judaism. There are certain values and experiences that unify Africans and that should find expression in a way of being Jewish which is a better fit for Africans than any Western Jewish movement. This is what is most promising about Alex learning with the Abayudaya: the teachers and the student will have so much in common. Like the Ghanaian Jews, the Abayudaya know the feeling of relying on farming to make a living. They live in large extended families. They rely less on Western technology. They are used to negotiating relations with practitioners of Christianity and traditional African religions.

Israelites all over Africa

Many books talk about the presence of the Israelites in this region before the arrival of the Islam. The most important of these books is entitled L'Arabie avant Islam (1994). This book justifies the presence of Jewish names that are found in this region. 

Let us begin with certain names in Ancient Arabia that give an indication of a link with Israel . 

MECCA is the great pilgrimage destination of Muslims that is located in Saudi Arabia . The name MECCA is derived from MAACA, a Portuguese word that is used to refer to the holy city or the ancient Jewish holy city before the Islamic domination that turned this city into what it is today. MECCA in Hebrew is Ma‘akah (mah-ak-aw') or Ma‘akath (mah-ak-awth')( Joshua 13:13), hkem, or tkem Û which means the city where King Solomon stationed his son Deker as his steward ( 1Kings 4: 7-9). It is also the name of Solomon's mother ( 2 Samuel 3: 3). 

KABA is a place of pilgrimage for the Jews in Arabia before Islam. It became a place of pilgrimage for Muslims. This was discovered under the name Kamba among the priests who belong to the order that worships the only God; a Bantu religion that combines Judaism of ancient times and the Christianity of the very early centuries called Kimbaguism. 

MEDINA : This is a city that used to be called YATHRIB before the arrival of Islam in Arabia. It was bordered in the north by the Kingdom of Shaba and in the south by the city of Mecca (cf. Arabia before Islam) YATHRIB Û YARIB in the Hebrew language means byry ''God fights or intercedes''. In Israel , the word was used as JARIB to refer to: 

1. Son of Simon (1 Chronicles 4:24); 

2. Sacrificer (Ezra 10:18) 

DJEDDA was a commercial port in Arabia, situated on the Red Sea opposite Sudan. It's real name was JUDA which corresponds to the Hebrew name Yahuwdah (yeh-hoo-daw'), hdwhy, a name that was used for this region before the Christian era. In one of the reports written by the Portuguese in the 15 th century AD this name was mentioned as the same name in southern Sudan during the medieval era. (Cf. Figures 4 and 4B). 

YEMEN comes from the Hebrew word YIMNA, Yimna (yim-naw') enmy (God will withhold). This name in Israel , YIMNA, was also used to refer to the descendants of Aser, one of the sons of Helem (1 Chronicles 7: 35)

SANAA is a city of Yemen. The name is derived from the Hebrew word SAN-SANNA (keer-yath' san-naw') or Qiryath Cepher (keer-yath' say-fer) hno tyrq or rpo tyrq and which means the city of Judah (Joshua 15: 31). 

MAKAL is derived from the Hebrew word Ma'akah (mah-ak-aw') or Ma'akath. 

(Mah-ak-awth'), Joshua 13:13 hkem ou tkem or MAQUELOTH (Assembly). This means an encampment of the Israelites in the desert. This same name exists in Yemen as Makalla, in Sudan as Makala, in Angola as Makela and in Zaire as Makala. 

MARI'B comes from the Hebrew word MERIBA Mariybah (mer-ee-baw') byry (Exodus17, Joshua 14: 6-7, Numbers 20: 3, Ezechiel 47: 19). Marib was a water dam of the Jews in Yemen before the fall of Himyar to the Sabeans. This word was in Zaire (Maribu, Malebo, Mari'b, meaning a village). 

HIMYAR (people and kingdom) 

HIMYAR originates from the Hebrew word HIMYAR (God resists), Yimrah (yim-raw'), and hrmy. A descendant of Aser, son of Tsophah (1 Chronicles 7:36-37). The Sabeans overthrew this Jewish kingdom in the 7 th century AD; it was the birth of Hima-Tutsi that was founded by the Sabeans and of Himana that was founded by the Bantus. Himana (God) is Rwanda, Zaire, Central African Republic and in Congo Brazzaville. However, the division between these two Himas is so obvious in Rwanda and Burundi between the HUTUS and TUTSIS. 

Considering the fact that we are aware that the Jews left Jerusalem because of the assaults from the north and the east and that, at this time, Solomon had ships at Ethion on the Red Sea, all these probabilities should not leave us in a state of indifference. A very heavy Jewish presence therefore had to supervise this navigation. The fall of this empire gave rise to a wave of migration from the peninsula towards Ethiopia and Sudan . 

Nyamey or Niamey comes from the Hebrew word YAMAI or YAHMAI, Yachmay (yakh-mah'-ee) ymxy , prince of Isaac, from the family of Tola (1 Chronicles 7:2). It is doubtful that this word could be related to Yabnéel (the Eternal One constructs). To the North of Congo (Zaire), it is pronounced Nyambé or Nyamé ; in the South and the East, it is Njambé, Nzambé, Njabné(invisible God). 

Tahoua originates from the Hebrew word TAPPOUAH, Tappuwach (tap-poo'-akh) xwpt , full of Judah ( Jos.15:34 ), Ephraim's town ( Jos. 16:8; 17:7-8 ), son of Hebron ( 1Chr. 2:43 ). The same name is found in Congo, North of Katanga in the tribe of BATATOUBAS ( Ben Taboua ).. 

Agade is coined from the Hebrew word GAD (gawd) dg ( Genesis 33:10; 49:19). 

Difa is derived from the Hebrew word DIPHAT or Riyphath (ree-fath') or (probably by a spelling mistake) Diyphath (dee-fath') tpyr or tpyd (1Chr. 1:6). 

Maradi comes from the Hebrew words MARA+RADI , Mara (water of) or Marah (maw-raw') hrm ( Exo. 15:23, 25; N o b. 33:8-9 ). Nehemiah's nickname ( Ruth 1:20 ). RADI originates from RADDAI , son of Isaachar , brother of David Radday (rad-dah'-ee) ydr (1Chr. 2:14). 

Dosso is derived from the Hebrew words DOE+SO: Do'eg (do-ayg') or (complete) Dow'eg (do-ayg' gad or gwd ), sacerdotal locality where Saul massacred the people and the animals ( 1 Sam.22:7-23 ). 


The name Chad comes from the Hebrew word TSADO or TSADOQT, sadowq (tsaw-doke') qwdu , which means ''fair'',''upright''. Eliezer, son of Aaron ( 1Chr. 24:3 ); son of Ahitoub ( 2 Sam 8:17 ). This name means ''the only God''. 

N'Djamena (Capital of Chad) is coined from the Hebrew word YAMINA or YAMIN , Yamiyn (yaw-meen') Nymy ; right hand, son of Simon, founder of a clan ( Gen.46:10; Exo. 6:15; Nob . 26:12 ). It also means man of Judah from the family of YERAHMEEL ( 1 Chro. 2:27 ). 

Massenya originates from the Hebrew word MARSENA or Marc@na,'(mar-sen-aw'), anorm , meaning one of the seven princes of Persia who had the permission to see the king ( Ezra 1:14 ). 

Guer is derived from the Hebrew word GUERA, Gera'(gay-raw') arg grandson of Benjamin ( Gen. 46:21; 1 Chr.8:3; Ju. 3:15 ) 

Salamat comes from the Hebrew word SALMA or SALA , Salma'(sal-maw') amlv , father of BOOZ or BOAZ, the husband of Ruth the Moabite, of the tribe of Judah (Rut.4:18-21). Descendant of Caleb ( 1Chr.2:51 ) 


The word UGANDA is derived from the Hebrew word HOR – GUIDGD or GOUDGANDA, dgdgh rx ,(encampment) in the Bambala language in RDC. Gouganda also means encampment, to enclose or to pile up. The Bantus call Nganda their place of encampment. GOUDGANDA stands for the encampment of Israel in the desert (Numbers 33:32 ; Deuteronomy 10:6-7) 

Kampala is derived from the Hebrew word PALAL, Palal (paw-lawl) llp meaning 'God has judged'. This was the name of the son of Ouzai who contributed to the reconstruction of the city walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3:25) 

Ishasha, South-western town, as the case is in KINSHASA 


AGANDA is derived from the Hebrew word GOUGANDA. This word was used in Germany to refer to the Jews and was attributed to Hitler's concentration camp and that of Stalin in Kazahkstan: KAR-AGANDA (ref. Déportées à Ravensbruck, Seuil, Paris VII 


RWANDA is derived from the Hebrew word YOADDA, hdewhy , Y@how 'addah,(yeh-ho-ad-daw) meaning ''God has adorned and revealed'' or ''God be praised''. Juda also bears the same name (as Luanda in Angola ), son of Saul (1 Chronicles 8:36; Daniel 9:42). 

KIGALI comes from the Hebrew word Gilgal (ghil-gawl) lglg , meaning the act of rolling as illustrated in Joshua 4:19 . In Rwanda Gilgal or Kigali was a city of Hutu priests who belonged to the kingdom of Buzi Houra . In Jewish history, Gilgal was the place of the first encampment after crossing the river Jordan . It was also the general community of the Israelites during the conquest of Canaan . Twelve (12) stones that were taken from the bed of River Jordan were erected at Gilgal (Joshua 4:19-24) 

Using a play on words, the word Guilgal (roll, remove) calls to mind the removal of shame in Egypt , as a result of circumcision (Joshua 5:7-9). The camp was set up between Jordan and Jericho . Later, a town developed in this area towards the northern banks of the Jordan (15:7). It is not clear whether the community of Samuel, the judge, encompassed this Gilgal or another place that bore this name (1 Samuel 7:16). Apparently, this was where the royal proclamation and confirmation of Saul took place (11:15).

It was at Gilgal, in the valley of Jordan that the Israelites assembled to resist the Philistines, their oppressors. Saul could not restrain his men who became impatient because of the delay of Samuel to offer sacrifices and so he decided to offer the sacrifices himself (13:4-15). As a result of this disobedience, Saul could not have the privilege of founding a dynasty (v. 13-14). It was also in Gilgal that the king, Saul, having contravened divine instruction and chosen to spare Agag, was stripped of his kingship; it was over there, in Gilgal, that the spirit of God left him (15:20-23; 16:14) 

It was also at Gilgal that the representatives of the tribe of Juda came to welcome David, after the death of Absalom (2 Samuel 19:16,41). Under the monarchs that succeeded Jeroboam, Gilgal became, as other sacred places, a home of idol worship and so the prophets stigmatized it (Ho 4:15; 9:15; 12:12); (Am 4:4; 5:5). Beth-Gilgal (or the home of Gilgal) which was mentioned after the captivity was also probably the same place (Ne. 12:29). The location of Khirbet al' Athlah, 2 kilometers to the East of Jericho, corresponds to the Biblical data and to the tradition of J. Mulenberg who proposes another site to the Northeastern side of Jericho, very near to Khirbet el Mefjir, two (2) villages from which Eli and Elise descended to Bethel (Deuteronomy11.30; 2 Kings 2:1-4; probably 4:38 also ). Probably it is possible to place it where Djildjilia is currently located, more than 11 km to the North of Bethel. The town is mentioned alongside Dor and Tirsta in Joshua 12.23 . Djildjulieh is a bit to the North of the torrent of Kanah which is 8 kilometers to the North-East of Antipatris at the fringes of the plain of Saron (ref. Bible Dictionary).

It is also a place of illicit worship and an abode for the prophets, at the Northern part of Israel , about 7 kilometers from Shiloh and Bethel . These Hutu priests were exterminated by the right wing German militants during the 19 th century and probably with the help of the Catholic church which together with the Tutsis (the Hamite nomads), at the time, had to put an end to any Judaistic practice on the hill. 

GISENI comes from the Hebrew word GUÉCHAN, Geyshan (gay-shawn) Nvyg which means heavy, massive, mass; man of Judah, son of Yahdai (1 Chronicles 2:47)

NZADI is derived from the Hebrew word 'ZABDI'– ydbz which, in Hebrew, means : God has given or the gift of God. 

Man of Judah from the family of Zerach, founder of a patriarchal family (Joshua 7:1) 

Man of Shepham, proposed under King David for the management of the wine reserves in the vineyards. 

                                                                 Vineyard of Naboth

Kinshasa the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo is a city that was set up by a colony of Levites who came from Zimbabwe (the Lemba people). The real name of this sacerdotal town is Banza-Lemba, which still exists at the foot of the hill on which the University of Kinshasa was built ( eg . Université Lovanium). 

Just as with other Jewish sacerdotal towns, the legend of Kinshasa is in consonance with what the Biblical Dictionary says about Kuschaja (the pronunciation in the local language): a Levite of great stature. 

This name, Kinshasa,(the capital of Congo) was used in Uganda as Ishasa. It is derived from KUSCHAJA whyvwq which was a Levite of the family of Merari:(1 Chronicles 15:17). 

This town is also called MALEBO which comes from MERIBA or Marib. It is a city that is made up of twenty-four municipalities or communes, each of which has a Jewish name. These names could also be found in the communities and avenues of this town. 

From the East to the West of the city of Kinshasa 

MALUKU – MALUK or MELIKU – Kwlm ou ykwlm : Levite: leader of the sacrificial squad that came back with ZEROBABEL (Ne. 12:2; Esd. 10:29-32). 

One of the priests who put their seal on the pact (Nehemiah 10:5 and 29). 

NSELE – TSELE – qlu meaning a crack, one of the heroes of King David (2 Samuel 23:37; 1 Chronicles 11:39). 

KINKOLE – KOHELETH or KEL KOHELETH (head of the assembly of the wise), according to the historians. QOHELETH appears to be the author of the book entitled Ecclesiastes (ref. Bible Dictionary) 

MASINA – MARSENA anorm , One of the seven princes of Persia who had the permission to see the king.(Est. 1:14) 

The name MASINA started in Yemen through Mali, Ivory Coast, the two Congos up to the frontiers of South Africa and Zimbabwe. 

KIMBANSEKE – BESEK or KELBEZEK, qzb The place where Saul reviewed the troops of Judah (1 Samuel 11:8). The name exists today as Benseke to the West of the city. 

MATETE – MATITIA or MATITI – hyttm ou whyttm which means 'gift from the eternal one'. The Levite that King David at the 14 th position of the cantors.(1 Chr. 25:3; Esd. 10:43; Ne. 8:4) 

LEMBA – LEHEM – Mxl .. which means peace (1 Chr. 4:22). This name also stands for peace in some of the Bantu native languages of Congo. A case in point is Luba. 

SELEMBAO – SELEMIA or CHELEMIAOU – hymlv ou whymlv , which means that the Eternal One has rewarded. A porter in the Temple during the reign of King David:(1 Chr. 26:14; Jeremiah 26:14; Jeremiah 36:26; Nehemiah 3:30; Esd. 10:39-41). 

YOLO – YALO – Nwly , son of Esdras of the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 4:17) 

LIMETE – LEMEHE – METEJ. LEHEM. This means peace and METEJ, which stands for restraint in the capital, refers to a town that David took from the Philistines (2 Samuel 8:1). 

KAZAVUBU – ZAVOUB – dwbz – The son of Nathan, the first minister under Solomon (1 Kings 4:5). 

NGAFULA – AFULA – a town to the North of Jerusalem. 

NGIRI – NGIRI – KIR – ryq ,– a place where the Assyrians deported the inhabitants of Damascus to (2 Kings 16:9; Am. 1:5; Es. 22:6)

MAKALA – MAKHELOTH or MAKELA – tlhqm ,– meaning assembly. This was the camp of Israel in the desert (Numbers 33:25-26). This word exists in Yemen, in Sudan, in the two Congos and in Angola. 

LINGWALA – GUELE – lawag , which means God's majesty, a spy in the tribe of Gad (Numbers 13:15). The root of this word, GUELE, is found in LING-WALA and NGAGUELE (NGAN-GUELE), a fishing port along River Congo. 

NGALIEMA – GALIM Or GAL-LEEM – Mylg , which means a heap. This is the name of a village near GUIBEA, where Saul hailed from (1 Samuel 25:44; 2 Samuel 4:13-16; Joshua 15:59). 

MBESEKE – BEZEK (1 Samuel 11:8). 

NGABA – GABAI – ybg , tax collector, the Benjamite who agreed to settle in Jerusalem after the captivity (Ne. 11:8). 

ZABA – ZABAD – ybg , dbz meaning God has given (1 Chr. 7:21). 

GOMBE – GOB or GOBE – bg or bwg , which means well or water tank. It refers to the place where, during the reign of David, the Israelites fought with the Philistines (2 Samuel 21:18-19). 


b. Application of prefixes to names of provinces, towns and people 

The province of Bandundu in DRC 

BANDUNDU is also the name of a tribe: 

BENUNU – BENINU – wnynb , means our son, one of the Levites who gave their blessing to the covenant with The Eternal One (Ne. 10:14). 

KUTU = KOUTH, a town in Babylon where some of the inhabitants were sent to Samaria after the deportation of the ten tribes of Israel. 

MUSHIE = MOUCHI – yvwm .. A Levite son of Merari, who was the founder of a clan (Ex. 6:19; Numbers 3:20; 1 Chr. 6:4). 

KWAMOUTH = YARMOUTH – twmry , which means height. This refers to a territory given to Judah (Joshua 10:3-27; 15:35; Ne. 11:29). 

YAASA = YAASSAI – wvey ; This means the Eternal One accomplishes (Esd. 10:37) 

NKANA = KANA – hnq , which means a torrent from Ephraim and Manasseh (Joshua 16:8; 17:9). In Zaire, NKANA means torrent as well. 

Some ethnic groups in Bandundu 

The names of some ethnic groups in Bandundu are preceded by the prefix BA, which is derived from BEN. 

BAYAKA = BEN YAAQAN or (ben-ay' yah-ak-awn)– Nqey-ynb ', ancestors beside whom the Israelites encamped after they left MOSEROTH (Numbers 33:31-32; Deuteronomy 10:6; 1 Chronicles 1:42) 

BAMBALA = BEN BAALA, BAALA – hleb , meaning mountain of Judah (Joshua 15:11). It is a town at the southern side of Judah. 

BASUKU = BEN SOUKKOTH – twko or tko , the first camp of the Israelites after that of RAMSES (Exodus 12:37; 13:20; Numbers 33:5-6). 

BAYANSHI = BEN YANSCHEN – Nvy , meaning sleeping, refers to one of the valiant men of King David (2 Samuel 23:32). 

BA TSINI or BATENDE = BENTSINI – Nu or Nyu , which means dwarf palm tree (Numbers 20:1; 27:14; Deuteronomy 32:51). 


BATEKE = BEN TEKOA –[tek-o-ee] yewqt or yeqt , meaning town of Juda (1 Chronicles 2:24). It was not far from EN-NGUEDI (2 Chronicles 20:20)

Judah Ben Levi
Seattle, WA
Reply »|Report Abuse|Judge it!|#20037Apr 8, 2012

Isralites in Centreal Africa cont.

People of Kivu 

REGA = ROHEGA – hghwr , a descendant of Aser, from the family of Beira (1 Chronicles 7:34). 

BASHI (plural form of MUSHI)– MOUCHI –, yvwm or yvm Levite and son of MERIRA, founder of a clan (Exodus 6:19; Numbers 3:20; 1 Chronicles 6:4). 

ZIMBA = ZIMA – hmz , Zimmah [zim-maw], Levite grandson of YAHATH (1 Chronicles 6:5; 2 Chronicles 29:12). 

Shaba and Katanga provinces in DRC 

SHABA (a South-eastern region)– Name of the Pharaoh of SO or SEWE (SHABA or SHABAKA, SHABA-KABAKATA). The one whose help the prophet Hosea sought to fight the Assyrians. 

Towns of the Shaba province 

KOLWEZI – LUWEZIYEL (Luz)(Judges 1:23; Joshua 18:13). 

PANDA = PADDAN or PADEN – Ndp , ransom or redemption. The family of Nethinien that came back with Esdras ( Esdras 2:44; Nehemiah 7:47). The word 'Panda' stands for redemption in Bambala and Hebrew. There is also a word 'Lupanda' among the Luba people. 

Ethnic groups in the Shaba province 

LUNAS = LOUD – dwl ; a people classified among the Semites (Genesis 10:22). These people are related to the Egyptians (Genesis 10:13). 

LUBAS – ref. Kasai. 

HEMBA- ref. Lemba, Jerusalem. 

LAMBA – ref. Lemba. 

The province of Kasai in DRC 

KASAI (the central province)– SAI, SO. In the delta area of Egypt and in Sudan, SAI has taken other forms such as MISAI, MANZASAI and has even retained its original form, SAI or SO in other countries. 

Towns in the province of Kasai 

KANAGA = KANANA –[ken-ah-an-aw] hnenk , trader or Canaan's wife. Benjamite from the family of Yediael (1 Chronicles 7:10). 

MBUJI-MAYI – ref. Abuzi Équateur. 

Mayi – Mayie, is water in Hebrew, Lingala and Tsiluba (2 languages spoken in Congo). 

KABINDA = ABIDAN – Ndyba , Abiydan [ab-ee-dawn], meaning judge, leader or chief of the tribe of Benjamin. In the desert, the name of his father was Guideon (Numbers 1:11; 2:22; 7:60-65; 10:24).

Tribes of the Kasai province in DRC 

LUBA = LUBBAN; The Lubas of Congo are custodians of the tradition. They constitute a community where Biblical laws are practiced as it is the case among the Ballas. It is the name of the community between Jerusalem and Sichem about five (5) kilometers to the North of Silo (ref. Bible Dictionary). 

BA SAMBALA (Batela) SAMBALA ref. SANBALLAT –[san-bal-at] jlbno (Nehemiah 2:10). 

MUTETELA = METUCHELA – xlvwtm . The vowels are however not featured in Hebrew so the word is 'Mutetela'(Genesis 5:21-27). 

BA KUBA = KUBA – bwk , Kuwb. A people related to the Louds; Pouth and Ethiopia (Ezekiel 30:5). 

Geographically, in Zaire , the Loumas, Ba Kubas and Ba Mpoutus are close to each other in many ways. 

Names of people of Kasai 

KABASALE = KABSEEL – laubq Qabtsa'el [kab-tseh-ale], God will take care, a town at the extreme South of Judah (Joshua 15:21). One of the heroes of David (2 Samuel 23:20; 1 Chronicles 11:22). 


NZEBA = ZEBEH – baz [zeh-abe], sacrifice, a Midianite king that Gideon killed (Judges 8:4-28; Psalm 83:12). 

NZEBELE = ZEBEDE – ydbz the Eternal One has given, father of James (Matthew 4:21-22). 


PAYI = PAHI – wep or yep , nicely (1 Chronicles 1:50) 


The name is derived from the Hebrew word GABAON , Gib'own (ghib-ohn') Nwebg which means 'hill city''. This was the name of a land given to the Benjamites (Joshua 18:25) 

Ogoue (name given to a province and to a river); the name is coined from a Hebrew word GOUEL, lawag which means ''God's majesty''. This was the name of the spy from the tribe of Gad (Numbers 13:15). 

N'them (the name of a province in the country); the name is derived from a Hebrew word TEMAH, xmt , the founder of a family of NETINIENS some of whose members returned with Zerubabel to the state of Judah (Ezra 2:53; Nehemiah 7:55). 

BA TEKE is coined from a Hebrew word BEN TEKOA , Taqow‘iy (tek-o-ee') or Taqo'iy (tek-o-ee'), yewqt or yeqt It is the name of the tribe of President Bongo (see Batake in Zaire ). 


The name Senegal is coined of the Hebrew word Negev (Negev) Negev (neh'-gheb) bgn . It is the name that was used for this land known for its commerce in ancient times. The prefix ''Se'' is pronounced [so] in all the names of the region, meaning ''land''(cf. prefix). 

Negev is a non-political geographical term used to refer to the territories located to the South of Palestine. It stretches to the South of the Gaza-Beér-Chéba road which generally moves in the direction of the Isohyets line where rainfall measures as much as 200 mm per year, as far as the level of the Sinai peninsula, although, currently, the Southern political frontier is to the South of Wadi-el-Arich. Biblical references to Negev are mainly limited up to the exile. The Amalekites among others lived there at the time of the invasion of Israel ( No . 13:29). It was an important area in terms of its strategic location and economic importance.''The Chour highway'', a commercial road, went from the center of the Sinai up to Judea. The patriarchs used this road ( Genesis 24:62 et 26:22 ). The land is rich in copper and Saul's military campaigns against the Amalekites and the Edomites were probably for the purpose of controlling the copper industry and commerce ( 1 Sa 14:47 ). The word ''Senegal'' is also used for the curve of the Nile near Neat 3 rd Cataract, written as Seddenga (cf. Nubia Corridor to Africa . P. 302). The same name is found in Cameroon as Sanaga. 

Dakar (Capital of Senegal) is derived from the Hebrew word DEKER, Ben-Deqer (ben-deh'-ker) rqd , father of one of the stewards of Solomon ( 1 Kings 4:9). 

Casamance is coined from the Hebrew words CASA+MANCE, de GAZA and MAASS.

Gaza: Azzah (az-zaw') hze, means anger, strong place. The name of the Philistine town, which was given to the tribe of Judah by Joshua (Joshua 15:47). 

Maass: Ma'azyah (mah-az-yaw') or Ma'azyahuw (mah-az-yaw'-hoo) hyzem or whyzem . This means trial or temptation. Moses gave this name to an Israeli camp in the desert where water was scarce (Ex. 17:7, Deut 6:16, Ps 95:8-9). 

Sine-Saloum originates from the Hebrew words SINE+SALOU. SINE , Ciyn (seen) Nyo , the desert that the Israelites crossed during the exodus ( Exo. 16:1;17:1 ), SALOU,(sal-loo') or Caluw (sal-loo'); or Callay (sal-lah'-ee) wlo or alwo or ylo, elevated, exalted, or again Simeonite, the father of Zimri whom Phinehas killed ( Numbers 25:14 ). 

Wade: derived from Ohad (o'-had) dha meaning ''powerful'',''who unites'',''who links''. The name belonged to the son of Simon and grandson of Jacob (Genesis 46:10. Exodus 6:15) 

GUINEA is coined from the Hebrew word GUINATH , Giynath (ghee-nath'), tnyg , meaning protection. It is also the name of the father of Tibni (1 Kings 16:22).

Bissau (Capital) originates from the Hebrew word BESAÏ, Bacay,(bes-ah'-ee) yob , a Nétinien Jew who founded a tribe that bears his name ( Ezra 2:49; Ne. 5:22 ). 


Conakry (capital) coined from the Hebrew words KONANIA + QUIR . 

KONANIA or Kownanyahuw (ko-nan-yaw'-hoo), whynnwk , meaning the Eternal One has established or a Levite charged with the collection of tithes at the time of Ezechias ( 2 Chr. 31:12-13; 2 Chr. 35:9). 

QUIR, Qiyr (keer), ryq ,(wall) in the Bantu language, meaning the other bank of the river. Quir refers to a place where the Assyrians deported the Assyrians deported the inhabitants of Damas to ( 2 Kings 16:9; Amos 1:5). 

BURKINA FASSO is derived from the Hebrew words BUKI+ NAPHICH. 

BUKI, Buqqiy (book-kee') yqb , was the prince of the tribe of Dan, a member of the allotment commission ( Numbers 34:22 ). Or a descendant of Aaron, in the sacerdotal lineage of Phinehas ( 1 Chr. 5:31; 6: 36; Ezra 7:4). 

NAPHICH , Naphiysh (naw-feesh'), vypn refreshment or son of Ishmael, who gave his name to his clan ( Gen.25:15; 1Chr.1:31 ). His clan fought battles with the Israelites at the East of Jordan. 

Yaka, a town located in the center of Burkina Faso. This name originates from the Hebrew word YAEKAN , Ya'kan (yah-kawn'), Nkey ; meaning descendant of Gad, head of a patriarchal home (1 Chronicles 5:13 ). 

Abidjan (Capital). This name was derived from a Hebrew word ABIJA or ABIYA Abiyah (ab-ee-yaw') or in full, Abiyahuw (ab-ee-yaw'-hoo), hyba which means the Eternal One is a father. Man of Judah ( Chronicles 2:24 ). Descendant of Aaron, whom king David placed at the 8th position of the twenty four (24) of the priests ( 1 Chr. 24:1, 6 and 10 ). 

Yamoussoukro , the second city of the country, located in the center, is coined from the Hebrew word YANOUM-SOUKKOT or YANOUM (Jos.15: 53). SOUKKOT or Cukkowth (sook-kohth') or Cukkoth (sook-kohth'), twko or tko cabin or hut, a place to the East of Jordan ( Judges 8:4-5 ). A place where Jacob constructed cabins for his flock (Genesis 32:23). It was the first encampment of the Israelites after that of Ramses (Exodus 12:37; 13:20; Numbers 33:5).

Names of personalities: 

Houphouet Boigny, the late president of Côte d'Ivoire, was in power for almost forty years. This name was derived from OUPHAZ + BOHAN.OUPHAZ Uwphaz (oo-fawz'), zpwa means island of gold ( Jer. 10:9; Dan. 10:5 ). 

BOHAN Nhb means the thumb or landmark of Judah and Benjamin, not of Jordan ( Jos. 15:26 ). Son of Ruben ( Jos. 18; 17). 

Houphout Boigny was of the Akan tribe. This name comes from AKAN, the son of Zimri, from the family of Zerah, in the tribe of Judah ( Jos. 7:1, 26; 22:20; 1 Chr. 2:7 ). 

Bedie, the successor of Houphouet Boigny. This name is coined from the Hebrew word BEDIA Bed@yeah (bay-de-yaw') hydb (servant of the Eternal One) son of BANI, Ezra persuaded him to send his wife away, after their return from Babylon for she was a foreigner ( Ezra 10:35 ). 

Guei, third president of the country. This name was derived from GUEYA, Geba‘(gheh'-bah) ebg , a Benjamite town ( Jos. 18:24; 1 Chr. 8:6) given to the priests (Levites)(Jos. 21:17; 2 Kings 23:8; Zec. 14:10 ). It was from the YAKUBA tribe. The name of this tribe comes from the Hebrew word YACHOUB, Yashuwb (yaw-shoob') ou Yashiyb (yaw sheeb'), bwvy or byvy meaning ''he returns''. Yachoub was one of the sons of Isaac, the founder of a clan ( Numbers 26:24; 1 Chr. 7:1). This name was borne by another son of BANI whom Ezra persuaded to send his foreign wife away ( Ezra 10:29 ). GUEI is a native of a village, called AMAKIEN, a name coined from the Hebrew word AMATIEN, meaning an inhabitant of HAMAT (Gen. 10:18 ). It was also a city of Naphtali, which was given to the Levites ( Jos.21:32). 


Bete comes from the warlike tribe of Judah, which fought the Babylonian conquest. The real word is Betsay (bay-tsah'-ee), yub that, in Hebrew, means ''conqueror''. The name belonged to a chief of the exiles who returned during the time of Ezra (Ezra 2:17; Nehemiah 7:23; Nehemiah 10:18)


This name originates from the Hebrew word QANA or Qanah (kaw-naw') hnq , which means ''tie the reeds'', a torrent, which constituted the limit between Manasseh and Ephraim ( Jos. 16:8; 17:9 ). 

Accra (Capital of Ghana), this name comes from the Hebrew word AKHRAKH, Achrach,(akh-rakh'), and xrxa , that means son of Benjamin. He founded a patriarchal family ( 1Chr. 8:1). 

Kumasi is derived from the Hebrew word MAAS or MASSI ; Ma'ats (mah'-ats), Uem which means ‘‘anger'' or a descendant of Judah by YEAHEMEEL (1 Chronicles 2:27) in Hebrew. 

Ahafo originates from the Hebrew word APHIA, Aphiyach,(af-ee'-akh), and xypa meaning refreshed or invigorated in Hebrew. It also refers to the ancestor of King Saul (1 Sam. 9:1 ). 

Annan is derived from the Hebrew word HANAN or Chanan (khaw-nawn'), Nnx XXX which means ''God is merciful''. This was also the name of one of the valiant men of David ( 1 Chr. 11:43 ); the son of Chachaq, the Benjamite also bore this name ( 1 Chronicles 8:23 ). 


This name came from the Hebrew word TEQOA or TEGOA with the variant TAGU , T@qow‘iy,(tek-o-ee') or T@qo'iy (tek-o-ee'), yewqt or yeqt , which refer to a village that is located nine kilometers from Bethlehem, a village of Judah ( 1 Chronicles 2:24; 4:5; 2 Chronicles 20:20; Amos 1:1 ). 

Lome is coined from the Hebrew word LEMOUEL or LOMOEL, L@muw'el,(lem-oo-ale') or L@mow'el (lem-o-ale'), lawml that means ''dedicated to God''. 

Dadja is derived from the Hebrew word DAN-JAAN , Dan Ya'an (dawn yah'-an), Ney Nd meaning ''judgment for a reason''. It is a place located between Galad and Sidon ( 2 Sam. 24:6) 

Nuatja originates from the Hebrew word NOADJA, Now'adyah (no-ad-yaw'), hydewn , meaning ''meeting with the Eternal One'', son of Bani, one of the Levites who were in charge of the gold and silver ornaments that Ezra and the Jews brought from Babylon (Ezra 8:33). Also a prophetess whose false predictions were aimed at intimidating Nehemiah ( Ne. 6:14 ).


Yaounde (capital of the country ) is coined from a Hebrew word YEHOUDI. Y@huwdiy (yeh-hoo-dee') ydwhy means a native of Judah, a messenger that king YEHOYAQUIM sent to Baruch to ask for the scroll bearing the prophecies of Jeremy. YEHOUDI must have read that to the king who, furious on hearing these predictions, cut the scroll with a knife and threw it into the fire (Jer. 36:14-23). 

Mouchi (province in the North), the name is derived from a Hebrew word MOUCHI , Muwshiy (moo-shee') or Mushshiy (mush-shee') yvwm or yvm which means ''Levite'', son of Merari, the founder of a clan (Exodus 6:19; Numbers 3:20). 

Bamoun,( one the provinces) is coined from a Hebrew word HAMMON, Chammown (kham-mone') Nwmx which means ''brilliant or ''hot''. A village at the Aser border (Joshua 19:28). 

Bamileket is derived from a Hebrew word HAMMOLEKET or MOLEKET , Moleketh (mo-leh'-keth) tklm . The name of the Queen; sister of Galaad (1 Chronicles 7:18). She is the mother of many clans of Manasseh ( BA comes from BEN : see prefix ). 

Basa (the name of a tribe in Nigeria ), the name is coined from a Hebrew word BA'SHA '(bah-shaw') hveb which means ''wicked''. This was the name of the son of Ahiya from the tribe of Isaac (1 Kings 16:7; 1 Kings 15:25) 

Report from Southern Africa

Recently the African Jewish Congress met in Windhoek— about 15 representatives from all the recognized Jewish communities south of the Sahara (combined population, about 100,000). “Recognized” is the key word here—the so-called Lost-Jews, Maybe-Jews, and Wanna-be-Jews of Africa were not included. Taken together, this second category could comprise as many as 10 or 20 million additional souls, depending on who you read and what interpretations you want to believe. While not usually halachically correct (i.e. not in accordance with Jewish law), including the latter group would have made for a much more interesting conference, of that I’m sure.

Unfortunately, most of the conversation at the African Jewish Congress was gloom-and-doom--diminishing numbers, lack of leadership, uneasy politics, and rising anti-Semitism (from segments of the South African Moslem community, not from Blacks or old-time Afrikaaners). Sadly, the opportunity for study and celebration together, or for input from women or the younger generation, was almost entirely ignored. All this made me wonder how much the mood at the conference would have changed if members of the Abayudaya community in Uganda could have joined us, for example. This community of 500 black subsistence farmers—which our family visited twice in the past—has been practicing Judaism since 1919 under some of the world’s harshest conditions. Their faith and joy is incredible, and absolutely contagious… guaranteed to inspire the most jaded of old-timers.

At least I was not completely alone in my speculation. The following story comes from the representative from Swaziland, a black businessman and one of only a few upbeat people present. He told of his recent visit to a kosher butcher in Johannesburg where he asked to buy some meat. “Why do you want kosher meat?” the saleslady asked him. “It’s so much more expensive here than at the supermarket.” The man hesitated, and then looked at the woman, “Are you Jewish?” he asked. “No,” she replied. “Then no wonder you are asking such a meshugga (crazy) question!” the man retorted and walked out—his kippah propped neatly on his head.

Hebraic Traditions of the Batutsi

I have been told of Kulanu’s heavy interest in Hebraic techouvah of dispersed tribes of Israel. So I am very proud to have your direct confirmation of such a prophetic purpose.

Our own organization, Havila, develops a similar program on a restrictive area: We focus our efforts on the Hebraic remnants of pre-talmudic tribes of Israel, isolated on the “other side of the rivers of Ethiopia,” according to Zephaniah, 3,10.

The historical and geographical land pointed out by the Zephanian prophecy has been identified by the prestigious talmudist Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitzhak) as the White Nile basin. The biblical name of that land is Havila, according to Genesis 2,11. One of the Hebraic tribes isolated in the sacred land of Havila is called Tutsi or Batutsi.

During these last 40 years, the Batutsi have almost been exterminated, and until now they are being hunted because of their Hebraic identity and their Solomonic legacy. According to their Solomonic and Samsonic memory and legacy, they claim to be the descendants of two Israelite Tribes — Judah and Dan. Those who perpetuated the Solomonic Kingdom of Zagwe in the land of Havila (South of Ethiopia, particularly Burundi, Rwanda, Kivu, Masisi, and Shaba) claim to be the sons of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

Some clans among Batutsi are contemporary with the time of Moses, people who moved from Egypt, judging by the exact knowledge they display about the laws of Moses. Others joined their brothers after the different misfortunes that affected the Israelite people, such as the destruction of the Holy Temple of Yerusalem. The Batutsi Halakhah has kept encoded references to these events, such as the annual Festival of Sukkot, called Umuganuro (literally “the festival of return").

The cultural and religious references of Batutsi allude to either the pharaonic monotheism of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt or Moses’s laws in the Hebraic Torah.

The Havila Institute has concentrated its efforts on the description and analysis of the biblical culture as carried by the ancient Batutsi. The parallelism of pharaonic practices and symbols with the Batutsi standards refers to the culture of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt and explains the Mosaic faith of the Batutsi. The antiquity of Batutsi monotheism has always been astonishing to the European witnesses, including those who reached the land of Havila in the early 19th century.

The political organization of the Batutsi kingdoms (from the Kush Kingdom until post-Zaagwe Kingdoms — 1270-1960) are strictly related to the Solomonic system. The Hebraic kashrut under the Levitic law is the staple of Batutsi feeding. The Batutsi system of law is the exact copy of the Deuteronomic Code, and none can attest that such a system is of recent import.

Among the numerous witnesses of the Batutsi Hebraicity, we point out the famous 9th century traveler, Eldad HaDani. He has confirmed the authenticity and the anteriority of the Mosaic civilization of the Hebraic Tribes settled around the River Pishon (White Nile) in the biblical land of Havila. The geographical localization of the land of Havila and the River Pishon around the lower Nile, part of Ethiopia, has been attested to in a precious document that has been transmitted from generations to generations of scholars. We are referring to the famous Letter addressed by Eldad HaDani to the Jews of Spain, in 883.

“This was my going forth from the other side of the rivers of Ethiopia,” he said.

And then he relates the local memory of the four tribes which crossed from Israel to Ethiopia, after the death of Sennacherib, king of Assyria:

And these tribes, being Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher, dwell in the ancient Havilah, where gold is, and they trusted in their Maker, and the Lord helped them.

Eldad notes strict observance of kashrut:

No unclean thing is to be found with them, no unclean fowl, no unclean beast, no unclean cattle, no flies, no fleas, no lice, no fox, no scorpions, no serpents, and no dogs. All these were in the idolatrous land, where they had been in servitude. They have only sheep, oxen, and fowls, and their sheep bring forth twice a year.

Batutsi means literally “Those whose permanent occupation is to lead cattle to the pasture,” Eldad confirms this:

These four tribes have gold and silver and precious stones, and much sheep and cattle and camels and asses, and they sow and they reap, and they dwell in tents, and, when they will, they journey and encamp in tents, from border to border, two days by two days’ journey, and in the place they encamp there is no place where the foot of man enters.

Eldad testifies to the Mosaic faith of the Batutsi:

They are of perfect faith and their Talmu [i.e., ancient Halakha] is all in Hebrew, and thus they learn … But they know no Rabbis, for these were of the Second Temple and they did not reach them.

Indeed, Havila Institute has already pointed out numerous linguistic roots which support the Batutsi lexical system. These linguistic particles are common in Hebrew and Batutsi idiom.

Now, everyone can remember the bitter debates that followed the Eldad testament through the centuries, until now. Thanks to the constant efforts of scholars, working in the Havila framework, under my supervision, it is now possible to give precious and systematic indications on that wonderful phenomenon of encoding Hebraic memory. The ancient material civilization of Batutsi, their language, their mythology, their religion, their political legacy and their general way of life, all those matters can be described exactly as related by Eldad HaDani.

The crossing of Kulanu and Havila paths is certainly written in the Highest’s wills. I am now confident that many things will change very soon, in the destiny of all the peoples concerned by our common preoccupations.

KuNama, having the root KN is a language & people that might have the roots of of Kanaan. This language is spoken by 190,000 people between Ertrea & Ethiopia. One of its dialects is called Aimara, the very name of one Amerindian language. The total number of speakers is 251, 401. They're pastoralists & live in what's called the breadbasket of Eritrea. Is this a blessing from the God of Israel?.

History of the 700000 Lembas

As told by my father, and his father's father, and his father's, father's father, and many more before them: Approximately 2,500 years ago, a group of Jews left Judea and settled in Yemen. The tribe was led by the house of Buba and we are told that this move was to facilitate trade. In Yemen they settled in a place and built a city called Senna 1. They were then known as the BaSenna (the people from Senna). When conditions became unfavorable (and not being a historian, I can not give you exact details of what went wrong; but let’s just say they could no longer call Yemen home), the House of Hamisi took over the leadership and led the people across into Africa.

Once in Africa, the tribe split into two sections: One group setled in Ethiopia and the other group went further south along the East Coast. They settled in what today is known as Tanzania/ Kenya and

built Senna 2. Here they prospered and increased in numbers. I'm afraid the travel bug bit once again and they were on the move. A small group went and settled in Malawi and Kenya. Their descendants are still residing in these countries up to today and are generally known as BaMwenye (lords of the land). The remaining group, under the leadership of the house of Bakali, moved on and settled in Mozambique. Here they built Senna 3. Even today, the BaSenna are found in Mozambique.

After many years, part of the tribe, now under the leadership of Seremane (which is the house I belong to), moved further south to settle in Chiramba in what is known today as Zimbabwe. They were

known as the Ba-Lemba. Our people still live there up to today. Some of the tribe moved south again and eventually settled in South Africa (Venda, Louis Trichadt, Pietersburg and Tzaneen).

This story has been told to all Lemba children from the time they are able to comprehend. It is told so that we know where we come from, who we are and how we live. It is told and shall continue to be

told/written so that future generations are not lost, never to be found again. There are about 700,000 of us in Southern Africa.

Igbo, Lemba, Sena and Ethiopians and DNA

The Lemba in Zimbabwe have genetic links as well as cultural links to Jews. They do not eat pork and circumcise in addition to wearing skull caps. They also worship a drum that supposedly is a remnant of the ark and are descended from 11 brothers. They carry a levite gene found in priestly families.

Today, because of the Diaspora the seed of Abraham has founds its way into all the people groups of the earth and now we have Jews of every color and ethnicity. Lemba are in many african state check them by this popular surnames Sadiki, Salefu, Hadji, Seremane, most of this you can find in arab state but it because of migration and their languages dilluted due to thst their few and intermarriage.

I put Igbo, Lemba and Ethiopians together because what I have found out after doing my dna research is that the Lemba and Igbos started out in Ethiopia but migrated north. As both groups migrated out of Ethiopia they eventually broke away from one another. The Lemba went their own way and the Igbo went theirs. It has been found through DNA testing that the Lemba, the Igbo and Many Ethiopians are the same Mtdna or Mitochodrial dna (this is dna passed from the mother only).

So I believe you all have a point and ancestry testing is telling the migration story as plain as day. My dna test traces me to the Igbo and the Oromo tribes in Ethiopia. both groups have the same story and are Highly persocuted. There is also a place in kenya called Aba, in fact the group need to be created and i have to make sure that I connected all of this people in the group, so that they will also tell their own history,and all of them knows that they are Hebrew Israelites.
With the evidence I found out and with evidence I am still finding out, the history have made it self, bantu people is early people lives in Africa, no doubt, and we are second people to join them bècause of war, all this wars mention in old testerment, did not happend in heavèn but from middle east down to africa,though then all the land was one,we live with our mothers names then, so when this war is going on, we have to seek for refuge in the bantu land, as the war goes on,our race is falling, a home is not more a home, many children have to be born, in the bantuland, and we have to learn bantu languages, centuries upon century, our language is gone, we have to speak the language of each land that we migrated, but we still all have something shows that we live there but we are not from there, culture is still maintained, some kind of mark have been given to differentiate bantus and hebrews, of which you can find it in me, in igboukwu, in most part of africa, Lemba are Levites, and Levites are among the Igbo, likely within the Nri clan. So in that way Lemba and Igbo are brothers. Three routes of migrations- 1. through the desert. 2. Via Ethiopia. 3. By sea. King Solomon had a formidable merchant fleet.

A Visit to the Zimbabwe Lemba

The Ngoma Lungundu, a wooden object that the Lemba and Venda believe is sacred to their tradition and which has clear parallels with the Ark of the Covenant.

The object itself was fascinating. Lemba tradition taught that the ngoma had been carried with them on their migration from the Middle East to Africa at some point in the remote past. The central theme of their oral thesis, recounted to me many times, was that the Lemba had come from a place called Sena, that they had crossed Pusela, and had come to Africa, where they rebuilt Sena, one or two times. The oral tradition also maintained that when they got to Africa, the precious object which they brought with them went up in smoke, flames and a dreadful noise. Using a plug from the original object, a new ngoma was built by the priests.

Gone to Ghana

Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, the Sefwi people of West Africa have diligently practiced the same religion for countless centuries. Characteristics of the religion include belief in one God, circumcision of males eight days after birth, separation between husband and wife during the woman’s menstrual period, strict observance of the Jewish dietary laws, and observance of a Sabbath every seventh day. Amazingly, the scene depicted above is the one that existed in every Sefwi village and town as far back as 2,000 years ago. Their name for the religion is “Sefwi,” but you undoubtedly recognize it as Judaism.

For close to two millennia, the Sefwis have resided in Africa, living a life of subsistence and demonstrating tremendous dedication to their religion. Although there was occasional persecution during their long history, it was not until the 20th century that adverse conditions caused big changes within the group. In an attempt to eschew diversity, a high government official declared that no Sefwi (or any other member of a minorethnic group within Ghana) could practice his/her native religion; rather, all people in Ghana must be either Christian or Muslim.

For understandable reasons, many of the Sefwis refrained from practicing their religion – at least in public. After all, they could ill afford to alienate the government, lest they starve. Yet, in 1977 a Sefwi man named Aaron experienced what he called a “vision” that directed him to return to the “true” religion of his ancestors. Like most “prophets,” Aaron was at first taken as mad; later, his message was heeded. With biblical zeal, this man picked up the fragmented Sefwi religion and rebuilt it. When Aaron passed away in 1991, the leaderless community collapsed. Many of the Sefwis even attended church during this period, since they were afraid of being further persecuted. In 1993, a man named David Ahenkorah experienced his own life-changing vision and re-founded the community. David has been leading the community and fostering its growth. Currently, the center of Sefwi/Jewish religious life is Sefwi Wiawso, a village of 4,000, where there is a new synagogue and a core group of around 800 people practicing Judaism.

Investigating the Origin of the Ancient Jewish Community at Elephantine: A Review

Elephantine is an island in the Nile River, to the west of Aswan (on the eastern bank of the Nile). In ancient times, the island has been the southern-most city of Egypt. South of Elephantine, for a distance of approximately 223 km, extends the Nubian Desert where even the Nile banks are inhospitable. Beyond this distance lie the lands of Sudan, homeland of the Nubian civilization, which to ancient Egypt represented a prominent military threat. Trade relations between Egypt and Nubia continued active throughout history and Elephantine was the point where trade routes from Nubia met. Hence, to the ancient Egyptians, the city represented the 'door to the South'.

The name Elephantine is Greek meaning 'elephant' and this expresses the city's function as a gate to the South, since elephants were brought from the south towards Nubia. Another name for the city by ancient Egyptians is 'Yebo', which also meant 'elephant'.

A Jewish garrison community that was already settled in the island by the fifth century B.C., played an essential role in the interaction between Nubia and Egypt. Some historians and archeologists directed attention and research towards this Jewish community for it provides a wide range of evidence for the earliest Diaspora Jewish settlement.

The task of the Jewish garrison in Elephantine was to protect the Egyptian border with Nubia (Kush). However, the garrison was also associated with insuring the safe passage of products coming from/to Nubia. Adjacent to the Jewish settlement in Elephantine was the Aramean garrison at Syene (Aswan), on the eastern bank of the Nile. While less evidence was available for the Armaean garrison at Syene, extensive records documented life within the Jewish garrison at Elephantine. In Elephantine the Jews built a temple for 'Yahweh', which resembled the Salomon's temple in Jerusalem. During the fifth century B.C., contemporary with the Persian rule of Egypt, the temple was destroyed by Egyptian rebels and at which time the Jewish settlement mysteriously vanished.

Most scholars support the suggestion that the Jews settled in Elephantine during the reign of Psammetichusis I. Out of three succeeding Judean kings, contemporary with Psammetichusis I, Manasseh is thought most likely to have been the Judean king who dispatched the Jewish troops that settled at Elephantine. It must be noted that Psammetichusis I was the first Egyptian ruler after the periods of Assyrian and Nubian rule. Psammetichusis I and the Nubian king Taharqa were allies at a time when Assyria represented a common enemy. After Assyria was expelled from Egypt, Psammetichusis I was cautious to secure his position on the throne of Egypt. His most dangerous threat were certainly his former allies, the Nubians. Contemprary with this Egyptian king it was recorded Egyptian soldiers from Elephantine left Egypt and departed to Nubia for a better life. Psammetichusis I would have needed troops to fill in the positions of the Egyptian soldiers who departed. Hence, Manasseh may have aided the Egyptian king by sending him soldiers.

Information related to the campaign of Psammetichusis II campaign into Nubia is found inscribed on the colossi of Ramses II at Abu Simbel. As indicated on the inscription, the Nubian campaign of the Egyptian pharaoh started from Elephantine. The Pharaoh's military was composed of Egyptian as well as foreign troops. The later included Phonecians, Carians, Ionians, and Rhodianss.

Egypt has always been a source of refuge for the people of Judea starting from the Great Biblical Patriarch of the Bible, Abraham. After the Diaspora, Jews flooded into Egypt and established the largest Jewish communities there; perhaps, since the time of Moses. During the Persian period they were Jewish garrisons posted at Tahpanhes and Migdol.

During the sixth century B.C., 'First Isaiah' prophesized return of the Jews "from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Kush [Nubia], from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea."Isaiah 11:11)

As indicated in the passage, Isaiah probably knew about Jews residing in Nubia at the time. 'Deutero-Isaiah' (second Isaiah), who supposedly lived during the exile in the fourth century B.C., prophesized the restoration of Israel. On one passage he mentions the return of Jews from the region of Aswan as follows: "See, they will come from afar, some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan [Syene]." -Isaiah 49:12

Note the statement, "some from the region of Aswan." clearly indicates that the prophet was well aware of Jewish presence in the region of Aswan or Syene. In any case Elephantine is and was certainly not excluded from the region of Syene.

Evidence for the Jewish temple at Elephantine comes from the local archives of the settlement. As quoted before, it is mentioned that the Jews of Elephantine in the third century B.C. wrote that when "Cambyses came into Egypt he found this Temple [Jewish Temple at Elephantine] built."(C 30: 13f). The Jews of this community regarded their temple as no less holier than the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, and their settlement as no less blessed than the land of Israel. For example, reference was made in one of the archives to "Yahweh the God who dwells in the fortress of Elephantine."-K 12:2. Holocausts, meal offering, and most of the other traditional sacrificial ceremonies performed at the Temple of Solomon were performed at the temple of Elephantine alike.

The site of the temple at Elephantine has not been located yet; however, geometric calculations based on houses that are known to have neighbored the temple, indicate that the dimensions of the temple resembled that of the Solomon Temple in Jerusalem. Also descriptions of the temple as known from the archives prove the later as true.

As known, Jewish religion prohibits the building of temples outside of Israel; rather, the building of Synagogues is sanctioned. This law stems from the Jewish devotion to the land of Israel; that the sacredness and holiness of it's soil is unmatched anywhere else on earth. Hence, in accordance to the Jewish laws and traditions, erecting a Temple on foreign soil; such as that of Elephantine, should have been considered unlawful and contradictory to the Jewish cause.

                                                        Excavations at Elephantine

The fact that the Jews of Elephantine were devoted the land of their settlement, almost, the same way the other Jews were devoted to Israel, is particularly unique in the history of the Jewish nation.
408 BCE. Yedoniah's copy of his letter to Bagoas, Governor of Samaria and Judah, requesting    the order to be given to rebuild the Temple of Yahweh in Elephantine

From Ethiopia to the Great Lakes region there are several peoples that claim Israelite ancestry

Mount Elgon or Mount Masaba is a place of worship for the Masaba people (or Bamasaaba, or Gisu or Bagisu) who are an Ugandan people that practice the typical Jewish male circumsission.

The Bukusu tribe (or Luhya tribe) is closely related to them. One member of the Luhya tribe founded a religious group that mixed Judaism with ancestry worshipping & it's known as Dini Ya Msambwa. Their place of worshipping is the Masaba mountain.

Is their any connection between their Judaizing practices & Mount Masaba? Masaba has name similar to Masada, the huge mountain-fortress of the Jews against their enemies. Another name for Masaba could be Saba which is the supposed ancestor of Ethiopian Jews.

From Ethiopia to the Great Lakes region there are several peoples of claiming Israelite ancestry.

Where Do All African Jews in Africa Really Come From?

Africa was the main stay of Hebrew Israelites during the time they were in Egypt for 400 years or more. Moses married a Kushite (Ethiopian). I'm sure he had a great effect on some of the people and they converted.

Hebrews were scattered far and wide. The Pushtun claim to be descended from Hebrews, for example. Falasha in Ethiopia, Hebrew DNA markers among the Lemba... they were absorbed in many cases and nowhere retained clearly their identity.

Those who retained identity are in many cases moving back to Israel.

The majority of the Israelite tribes resided under the authority of the House of Joseph which in turn was ruled by the Tribe of Ephraim. Just prior to the expulsion of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C.E many Ephraimites of the House of Joseph fled to Arabia where they became known as the Bani Qainuqa Tribe, while others settled in the Horn of Africa and became known as the Afar (Ephraim). Some members of the Afar were more specifically referred to as the DaNakil meaning of the Israelite tribe of Dan.

Many of the Ephraimites (Afar) continued to move westward ultimately settling in Morocco (Murakush), Mauratinia and Mali.In North Africa they became known as the Banu Ifran meaning the Children or Tribe of Ephraim,while their tribal lands were known as the Land of the Afri (Ephraimites). It is from this etymology that the Roman name Africa derived. There were many variants for the name Ifran (Ephraim) such as Afar, Efri, Ifri, Ifrinidi, Iforen, Fren, Wafren,Yefren Yafren or Yafran.

A Moorish Ephraimite Queen called the Kahina is well remembered for her resistance to the Arab invasion of North Africa during the early part of the 8th Century C.E., while Abraham Ha-Ephrati is remembered as the first Ephraimite King of Ifran (Oufrane). 

In Mauritania and Mali the Moorish Ephraimites became known as the Bafar or Bafour. This classification included the Mande tribes of which the most prominent are the Mandingo who were also known as the Malinke and Soninke. 

In 1311 Abubaker II the Emperor of Mali set sail across the Atlantic with a 1,000 vessel fleet and thus began the settlement of the House of Joseph in the Americas. The voyage is recorded by the Egyptian historian Ibn Fadlullah Al-Umari. The Malian Ephraimites (Bafar/Bafour) joined members of the Dene Tribes (Danite) such as the Navajo and Apachee in populating the Western Lands which were promised to the Children of Israel. 

In the Americas the Ephraimite Mandingo Moors divided into several tribes which included the Mandan, Natick and Nanticoke. In this regard a Moravian missionary visited the Nanticoke Nation on Maryland’s Eastern shore to compile a vocabulary of their language and found they were speaking pure African Mandingo.

Crispus Attucks a Moorish Natick was the first to be killed during the Boston Massacre. The Ephraimite Moors were also known as the Original Black Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Indians. Is the Seminole people a Semitic people? The word Seminole, or its beginning, is very similar to the word Semite. The belief of many people, Mormons & non Mormons, for whic the American Indians would be Lost Israelites has a base according to many different scholars.

Some members of the Bafour/Bafar Ephraimite Moors migrated from Mali and ultimately settled in Nigeria where they became known as the Biafrans. The Moorish Ephraimite Biafrans became the leaders of the Igbo Israelite Nation which was symbolized by the wearing of the traditional Red Fez which is customarily worn by Igbo Chiefs. 

In 1993 an Igbo by the name of Chima from the Emo State in Nigeria petitioned the Israeli Rabbinate for recognition of the Igbo as members of the tribe of Ephraim. Rudolph Windsor the author of From Babylon to Timbuktu writes about the Ephraimites of Mali and Morocco settling in the Yorubaland where they became known to their neighbors as Emo Yo Quaim meaning the Strange People. However they refer to themselves as the Bene-Ephraim. 

The majority of captives taken to the Americas during the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade were descended from the Greater Igbo Nation of Biafara and therefore were under the authority of the Tribe of Ephraim and the House of Joseph. Both the descendants of the Ephraimite Moors who arrived in the Americas Before Columbus and those who came during the Slave Trade are the inheritors of the Western Lands promised to the Children of Israel."

The Ashanti and related Akan tribes are heavily represented among West Indians and also in North America. If you look at my Avatar its a pic iof a Ashanti Priest on the Gold Coast dressed in strict Levitical garb including a 12 tribe of Israel Jeweled Ephod. If what John Williams is saying is true Levites brought there customs with them and Settled in the Old Ancient Ghana Empire (further North of modern Ghana). Before migrating deeper into the forest. The begining of the End of the Ancient Ghana empire was at the hands of Almoravid Muslims into West Africa, who mandated that all Jews convert or leave the region. The Muslim sword was fierce and for that reason many Mande and Mandinka tribes of the Mali and Songhay Empires converted to Islam and are Muslim countries to this day. I believe there is a connection between the religion practiced among the Haitians and Jamaicans as well as New Orleans Negros known to the world as voodoo. There ancestry is of these Ephod wearing west Africans. Somewhere along the way there Levitical rituals became corrupted and sacrifices were made to Idols and Evil magic.

Often throughout scriptures. Israelites and Hamaitic nations intermarried producing offspring who also intermarried. Israelite men and African women. After a while how could you tell a Hamite from a Israelite? Let's remember the promised land includes the Nile Valley populated by some of the Blackest Africans in the world.

Jews in Africa (Factpapers)  

The fact that certain inscriptions in Carthage indicate origin in the Israelite tribes of Asher & Zebulun gives further weight to the conclusions afirming the Israelite origin of many, if not most, of the colonists of Phoenician & Cartagenean empires.

The Berbers and the Jews

Berbers and Jews, a Unique Relationship; The Historical Background

The Berbers were Northwest African tribes inhabiting an area known as the Barbary Coast. The former Barbary States now comprise the modern states of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The Berbers spoke variations of a Hamitic language, mainly Tuareg and Kabyle. The Tuaregs were nomadic Berber tribes ensconced along the trade routes across the Sahara desert. Other tribes settled near the coast.

Judaic presence in the continent of Africa can be said to go back to the Biblical sojourn of Abraham in the lush Nile Delta (Goshen), where Abraham, together with his entourage and herds of cattle awaited the passage of a drought in Canaan. It is also related in the Bible that the vizier to the Pharaoh, Joseph, summoned his family to join him in Egypt. Many Israelites followed, at first as settlers, and then as slaves captured in Canaan by the aptly characterized "Warrior Pharaohs."

After the states of Israel and Judah came into existence, Judaic traders traveled westward along the African coast with the voyagers of Tyre and Sidon, the Canaanite sea-farers referred to by the Greeks as the "Phoenicians." Jews composed a significant proportion of the major North African Canaanite settlement at Carthage (Kart Hadash, or "New City"), and Jewish presence has been well documented elsewhere along the coast during the Pre-Roman period. The Romans termed the Canaanite settlers the Peonicus Carthagenians, which in turn has been transcribed into the "Punic Peoples."

The Canaanite city-states of Utica and Carthage were ruled by a Soffut, akin to the Israelite shoffet, or judge. In Jews and Photography, George Gilbert notes that "in the Mellahs (the Jewish quarters) of Morocco it has long been legend that Jews settled in Northwest Africa even before the destruction of the second temple (586 BCE). In support of this belief one sees Hebrew inscriptions on tombstones in the Roman town of Volubilis (west of modern Fez)."1

Under the Ptolemaic Greeks (323-31 BCE), the Jews brought their technological, industrial and commercial expertise to Alexandria, one of the largest and economically important cities of antiquity. Judaic artisans, merchants and scholars composed some 40% of the population. They were organized into guilds with reserved sections in the synagogues. The tannaic scholar, Rabbi Judah, visited Alexandria and reported: "... they were seated there not in mixed order, but goldsmiths apart, silversmiths apart, and weavers apart, blacksmiths apart, coppersmiths apart, and weavers apart. So that when a poor [artisan] entered there, he recognized the members of his own craft and turned to them to find means for the maintenance of himself and his family."

Joseph ben Sirach (Ecclesiastus) writing during the Greek period at the end of the third century, describes the activity of Judaic artisans of his time in vivid poetry:

The maker of carving and cunning device, Who by night as by day has no rest, Who engraveth signet rings, and whose art is to make the likeness true, And his anxiety to compleyte the work, So also the smith that sitteth by the furnace, And regardeth his weighty vessels; The flame of the fire cracketh his flesh, And with the heat of his furnace he gloweth; To the hammer’s sound he inclineth his ear, And to the vessel’s pattern he directeth his eyes.

The Judaic artisans proudly wore distinctive badges of their particular trade. The tannaic scholar of the first century CE, Eleazer ben Azariah, said of the wearing of these badges, "There is something grand about artisanship; every artisan boasts of his trade, carrying boldly his badge on the street."

Judaic artisans continued to practice their trades in North Africa under the Romans. The Romans considered the manual trades base and inappropriate for themselves. It was none other than Emperor Hadrian Augustus who inadvertently complimented the industrious Jews of Alexandria in a report to his consul, Servianus; in placing them among the proletariat of the city he inadvertently credited them with being the skilled craftsmen of the city, and with the revolutionary process of glassblowing:

"[The Jews in Alexandria are] prosperous, rich and fruitful, and in it no one is idle. Some are blowers of glass, others makers of paper, all are at least weavers of linen or seem to belong to one craft or another; the lame have their occupations, the wounded have theirs, the blind have theirs, and not even those whose hands are crippled are idle."

Alexandria was, outside of Asia, the most populous Jewish center in the Diaspora. Philo estimated the number of Jews in Egypt to have reached the one million mark; Josephus had likewise numbered the population of Egypt as eight million, of which one million were Jews.

During the Ptolemaic period Judaic settlements spread across North Africa. In the Roman period they were a considerable part of the population of the large cities of Said and Memphis, east and south of Alexandria. They were likewise concentrated in seventeen cities west of Alexandria, a region called Cyrenaica, extending from modern-day Tobruk to Bengazi and Tripoli on the Libyan coast. The major towns of that region, Chersonesus, Cyrene, Ptolemais, Arsinoe, and Berenice had large contingents of Jews. This coastal region was vital to the round-the-Mediterranean voyagers of that era; it continued to be so for the next two thousand years. In the first century of the Common Era the total North African Jewish population approached two million in number.

The Judaic community of Cyrene was second only to Alexandria in importance. It had been settled by Alexander the Great with 40,000 Judaic soldiers and their families, and continued to expand in military and commercial importance as a Judaic garrison under the Romans. The second book of Maccabees was written by Jason of Cyrene; it served as an inspiration for many of the Jews of that city to join in the great Judaic rebellion of 66 C. E.

Judaic Rebellions in Africa
In the year 115 a race riot against the Jews took place by the Pagans and Greeks of the city of Cyrene. Usually, the Romans intervened to prevent the Jews from putting up a stiff defense. However, the Roman armies were then preoccupied with the resistance of the Jews in Babylonia (Parthia) to Emperor Trajan’s ambitious drive to place all of Mesopotamia under Roman rule. Almost no Roman soldiers were available in Cyrenaica to contain the riots or restrain the Jews, the regular army having been sent to Trajan’s aid. "Consequently, the Jews were able to fight back and to carry the battle into the places where the pagans resided. What is more, the Jews of the island of Cyprus, and those of Egypt joined in the fighting."

The island of Cyprus enters the Judaic/African saga with the significant part the Cypriot Jews played in the succession of rebellions and resistance of the Jews against the Romans. Jews had been present in Cyprus far back into antiquity as traders accompanying the Sidonian and Tyrian seafarers. Then, "about 100 BCE, Jewish fishermen from the Judaic coast settled the island. Cyprus received many more Jews after the first Zealot rebellion, as thousands were sent by the Romans to slave in the copper mines.

A Cypriot Jew, Barnabus, organized a rebellion against their Roman masters. He succeeded in arming the copper workers, Jews and Canaanites, "and secretly prepare them for insurrection. It was the Sabbath and the Jewish workers were given their customary day of rest. All was peaceful in the coastal towns, and the Jewish men were gathered in the synagogues for prayer as usual. Just as the sun went down on that Saturday night of June 19th, 117, the ram’s horn was blown. This was not a ritual observance, but the signal for a sudden and terrible civil war."

The Jews wreaked revenge upon their oppressors in Cyrenaica. What had started as a race riot became a war. "The Jews of the three districts involved organized regular armies and took bloody revenge for all they observe to bear during the half century before. Trajan hurriedly sent Turbo, one of his generals, to restore order. Turbo’s soldiers were joined by the pagan population of the affected districts. They attacked the Jews, both the fighters and the peaceful population, more mercilessly than the Jews had attacked them. In the island of Cyprus every single Jew was killed, the total running into the thousands. A law was adopted never to permit a Jew to set foot on the island even if he were shipwrecked nearby. In Egypt and Cyrene the Jewish population was treated with almost equal ferocity. Thereafter the once flourishing Jewish community of Alexandria was definitely on the downgrade."

The ignominy of having a rebellion almost succeed in destroying the Roman Empire led a Roman historian, Deo Cassius [LXVII, 32], 50 years after the event, to write a bitter, self-serving account of the Judaic victories. It was a rabid mixture of fact and fiction; intended to justify the atrocities wreaked upon the Jews for daring to challenge the rule of the Roman Emperor. The account included calumnies which lived on to haunt the Jews for centuries to come throughout Christendom.

"The Jews of the region of Cyrene," wrote Deo Cassius, "had put one Andreas at their head and were destroying both the Romans and the Greeks. They would cook their flesh, make belts for themselves of their entrails, and wear their skins for clothing. Many they sawed in two from their heads downwards. Others they would give to wild beasts and force still others to fight as gladiators."

"In all, consequently, two hundred and twenty thousand perished. In Egypt also they performed many similar deeds and in Cyprus under the leadership of Artemio. There likewise two hundred and forty thousand perished. For that reason no Jew may set foot in that land, but even if one of them is driven upon that island by force of the wind he is put to death. Various persons took part in subduing these Jews, one being Lusius, who was sent by Trajan."

Thus, setting aside the obvious calumnies, we see that Cassius inadvertently documented the size of the Judaic community and the strength of the Judaic forces. The ferocity ascribed to the Jews was in fact practiced by the Romans, albeit cannibalism was not part of their extermination drive. In addition to the decimation of hundreds of thousands of Jews in Cyrenaica and Cyprus, the Jews of Egypt fell under the vindictive swords of the Romans.

"The aggadah, [Babylonian Talmud, Gittin, 57b] in its usual vivid fashion describes the greatness of the Egyptian Jewish community and the extent of the slaughter after the revolt: "[Hadrian, successor to Trajan] slaughtered in Egypt six hundred thousand and again six hundred thousand, twice as many as had gone forth from Egypt [at the time of the exodus]... so that the blood ran in the sea as far as Cyprus."

Jews Move West

Blocked from escape to the east, many Jews found refuge to the west. The westward movement of the Jews from Egypt and Cyrenaica to the Barbary states was once again swelled by the expulsion of the Jews from Alexandria by Bishop Cyril in 414, and by recurrent Byzantine expulsions through the next few centuries.

The effect of each of the expulsions was short-lived. The Jews, uniquely the technologically advanced, literate, and commercially savvy element among the backward indigenous populations, remained crucial for the conduct of African industry and commerce. Economic difficulties resulting from successive expulsions led recurrently to liberalized policies and a new influx of Judaic artisans and traders. That the persecutions proved ineffective in obliterating Judaic presence is evidenced by the account of the subsequent conquering Arab general, ‘Amir ibn al-As, who reported that he found 40,000 tax-paying Jews resident in Alexandria alone, inferring the existence of a total Judaic population of several times that figure. The Arab general, stemming from a backward desert society, was likewise staggered to find 4000 "palaces," 4000 baths [!] and other visible evidence of a prosperous community within the city.

Albeit the figures appear somewhat inflated, two facts are manifest from the Arab general’s report: The numbers of the Jewish community, and the high level of civilization encountered by the astonished Arab general. The confrontation of the primitive Arabs with the advanced science and technology of the Alexandrian Jews was repeated as the Arab armies crossed North Africa. Entering the arena as barbaric warriors, they eventually absorbed the attributes of an advanced civilization from the Jews.

Moroccan Muslim traditions relate that as the Arabs advanced, the Greeks evacuated the towns and cities. The Jews, however, stayed on, and their numbers were swelled by an influx of Jews from Syria and Egypt into the vacuum left by the Greeks.

As a result of the Emperor Justinian’s intolerant policies in the sixth century, Jews were driven inland, and again found refuge among the hinterland Berber tribesmen. The Berbers not only welcomed the Jews, but eight of the tribes, impressed with the erudition and technological acumen of the Jews, disavowed their shamanistic, pagan concepts and adopted Judaism.

Judaic/Berber Alliance under Queen Kahena
Thus, in the year 694, when the rampaging Arab armies drove relentlessly westward along the Barbary Coast, the Jews found themselves allied with the Berbers against the invasion. The confederacy of Jewish Berber tribes rallied around the Jewish/Berber priestess Kahena. The Berbers crowned Kahena as queen, and accepted her as their military leader.

The story of Dehiyya al-Kahina malkat Afriqah (Queen of Africa) is told by Ibn Khaldun, in a literary biography in Hebrew by N. Sloushz. Khaldun’s rendition leans heavily on legendary sources, but Salo Baron notes that "Nevertheless this account is essentially confirmed and amplified in many significant details in the more recently published chronicle of an older Arab writer, ‘Ubaud ibn Salih ibn ‘Abd al-Halim."

Khaldun’s chronicles about "this medieval version of the prophetess Deborah" hold that the priestess lived 127 years, and governed the tribe of Jeraua with the aid of her three sons for 65 years. Clearly an expansion of the truth, the historical kernel of the legends remains a classic of women’s participation in the resistance to tyranny, "as women sooth-sayers and tribal leaders in war and peace had long been known and poetically extolled even among the pre-Islamic Arabs."

Monroe Rosenthal and Isaac Mozeson paid tribute to many noteworthy women warriors in their book, Wars of the Jews, and report about Kahena that "The Berbers of the Aures mountains retain legends of her bravery. She was said to have been born to a poor Jewish family of cave-dwellers. A chieftain of a Judeo-Berber tribe terrorized her Aures mountain settlement and demanded Kahena as a wife. When she rejected him he slaughtered people of her village. She then gave herself to him, but, like the Biblical heroine, slew him with a nail to the skull on the wedding night."

The Arab armies enriched themselves as they rampaged across Persia, Afghanistan and northern India to the east, and then in Egypt and Libya to the west. "The march of Islam had barely missed a step when, in 694, the Arab forces drove into Africa Minor. Expecting an easy sweep, the Moslems met fierce resistance in Barbary."

The Berbers rallied around their queen, the Jewess, Kahena, swearing to follow her into battle against the invaders. The Judeo/Berber army was swelled by soldiers of the pagan Berber tribes after their king Kocilla was killed by the Arabs. Queen Kahena became truly the queen and military commander of all the Berbers!

"Lions of Africa and Judah," the queen would shout to her Berber troops, "show these Arabs that we will never be enslaved by Islam. Our beloved Africa will remain free. Let our slogan be the cry of the Zealots of old: Freedom or death."

Under their valiant queen, Northwest Africa was cleansed of Arab mercenaries. Commander Ukba, who had at one point broken through all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, was killed in a Berber ambush. His armies were pushed back in retreat to Kairwan, the new Moslem base in central Tunisia. "The arrogant Ukba had tried to intimidate the proud Berbers with force instead of patiently trying to convert them to Islam with face-saving diplomacy." Queen Kahena’s skills were again tested in the second, more massive Arab invasion. A new Arab general, Hassan, had driven across North Africa with a fresh army of 40,000 horseman, and had taken Carthage from the Byzantine Greeks. Queen Kahena did not confront this massive force, but outflanked it by taking the city of Bagia from its Byzantine garrison. She roused the Christian population to join her forces in resistance to the Islamic invaders. When the Arab army laid siege to liberated Bagia, Kahena and her army streamed out of the city by secret passageways. They circled around to assault the enemy from behind a rocky prominence at Wadmini. The queen’s cavalries spent the night in the saddle, forcing the Arab horsemen to do likewise. The relentless pressure through the night took a toll on the on the travel-weary Arabs, who were not in their native environment and were disadvantaged by an ignorance of the terrain.

With the break of dawn, "the Berber cavalry attacked - spurred on by their fiery queen. The townspeople of Bagia, Greeks, Copts and Phoenicians, united and inspired by Queen Kahena, simultaneously marched out on foot at the Arabs’ rear. The Berbers charged with their rugged mountain ponies, while the Moslems countered with their swifter but more nervous Arabian stallions. A thousand Berber lances clashed with slashing Arab scimitars, as the impassioned Judeo-Berbers threw themselves at the fanatic Moslem Ishmaelites. The Arabs were completely routed. The main body of the army retreated as far as Gabes, while stragglers were driven into the wilderness where they perished."

Under their triumphant queen’s command, the Berber armies liberated Carthage, and swept on across North Africa to free it from both the Byzantines and the Arabs. The local Christians hailed the queen as liberator from the Arabs, and the Judaic communities, who had suffered dreadfully under heavy Roman and Byzantine taxation, hailed her as their deliverer. Kahena’s armies swelled with Jewish volunteers from the numerous hill communities that dotted the ridges of the mountains. The Bishop of Bula Regia had flowers strewn along her path.

For the next five years, the coalition of the diverse local elements held firm, and the region enjoyed a peaceful period of freedom from foreign domination.

The wily Arab commander, Hassan Ibn Numan, learned through bitter experience that the dedicated armies under queen Kahena’s command were a formidable force. He set out on a classic "divide and conquer" diplomatic maneuver in preparation for another invasion. Noting Christian antipathy toward the Jews, he sent emissaries to the Christians, offering a carrot of proposed tolerance while playing on the latent fear and hostility toward the Jews.

The North African Christians were fearful of Visigothan conquest. They were susceptible to Hassan’s deceptive promises of autonomy, and their latent anti-Semitism proved more powerful than the peace and freedom they enjoyed under Judeo/Berber hegemony.

At the time, the Spanish Jews were suffering under Visigothan rule in Spain. The Visigoth kings instituted a antisemitic regimen at a succession of ecclesiastical councils at Toledo. They decreed forcible baptism, forbade circumcision and the observance of the Sabbath, festivals and rites. "Jews were flogged, executed and their property confiscated, were subjected to ruinous taxes, forbidden to trade, and, at times, dragged to the baptismal font."

Hassan cunningly played upon the Judaic concern for their co-religionists suffering Visigothan oppression. He held out an olive branch to the Jews and proposed a joint Iberian invasion to rescue the Sephardic Jewish community from Visigothan tyranny. "Hassan’s seductive offer was actually first proposed by the Spanish Jews themselves. It was they who requested that the Arabs and the forces of Queen Kahena join to conquer the Iberian peninsula. The Spanish Jews were desperate for help in light of harsh new decrees that appropriated all their property, forbade them from all navigation and trade with Africa, prohibited all business with Christians, and required all converted Jews to eat non-kosher food in the presence of supervising clergy."

The Judeo/Berbers were lulled into failing to mobilize for defense against the Arab army. Hassan ‘s new, fresh army of 60,000 troops, swept swiftly across the continent, this time unresisted and even sustained by the Christian communities in their path.

It soon became clear that Hassan had no intention of halting at Barbary’s borders. Unprepared, the Berber army was thrown into retreat. The queen, learning too late of the Arab perfidy, hastily mounted a counter-offensive. In desperation, the queen launched a scorched earth campaign in the path of the thundering Arab troops, burning fields, cutting down trees, and destroying dwellings to deny sustenance and booty to the invaders.

The queen’s plans were also frustrated by an enemy within her ranks. "Just as King Saul lost his kingdom upon sparing the Amelekite king, Queen Kahena lost hers when she spared the brave and handsome Khalid Ibn Yessid El Kaisi, a srikingly aristocratic youth among the captives."

Khalid feigned to have become a loyal adopted member of Kahena’s own family. Secretly remaining a devoted Muslim, Khalid passed critical information to general Hassan about planned surprise attacks and ambushes. Thus armed, Hassan was able to prevail. Finally, probably concerned that his perfidy was about to be exposed, the trusted spy slipped out of the Berber camp, and was rewarded by Hassan with the position of deputy commander. Khalid’s intimate knowledge of Berber encampments, haunts and hideouts was a major factor in sealing the queen’s doom.

Unable to evade confrontation with the far more numerous forces under Hassan, "the two armies clashed head-on in a decisive battle at the ancient [Roman] amphitheater at Thysdrus, the modern town of El Jern. In the shadow of Rome’s former African glory, the fate of Barbary was decided. Arab historian Ibn Nuvairi records that the Berbers and the Jews fought like furies, and only the will of Allah allowed the Moslems to triumph. The remnants of the Berber force fled to the Aures mountains, with the queen’s guard at the rear. Her men begged her to flee to the safety of the Moroccan hinterlands, but Kahena preferred to remain with a handful of men holding a mountain pass against the onrushing Arabs. Like a true Zealot, she died with sword in hand.

The ignoble Hassan had her decapitated head sent back to the Arab Caliph, Abd el-Malik."

The Jews and Berbers were given a choice: convert to Islam or die. Some 50,000 refused to convert and were massacred. The others opted for conversion.

Judaic/Berber Participation in the Islamic Conquest of Southern Iberia.

The converted Jews and Berbers became a significant part of the Arab forces which invaded Iberia. The commander of the joint Berber/Arab army which crossed the strait between Africa and Europe to conquer Spain in 711 CE was a Judeo/Berber convert said to have been one of the sons of Queen Kahena. His Arab name, Jibral-an-Tarik, became transcribed into the name of the fortress, Gibraltar, and the rock is referred to as Tarik’s rock.

Many African Jews entered conversion pragmatically, secretly continuing their faith as did the Marranos of a later period. The Iberian Jews consequently collaborated fully with the invaders. The pragmatism of the converted Jews proved advantageous to both the Arabs and the Iberian Jews. The Arabs were dependant on both the Berber convertees and the Iberian Jews for a successful invasion and thereafter for maintaining their hegemony over the conquered region of Iberia.

Arab chroniclers record that the conquerors entrusted the garrisoning of such important cities as Elvira, Seville, and Cordoba to the Jews while the invaders pressed on in hot pursuit of the fleeing Christian forces. One chronicler informs us that Malaga, which had no Jews, could not be garrisoned because no Jews resided in the city and the Christians had all fled!

The gates to the strategic city of Toledo were opened by Jews on a Palm Sunday when the Christians were attending church services. The imminence of the Arab attack had been anticipated, for the Visigothan grandees had already fled the city, and the archbishop had made tracks all the way to Rome.

"The Berber/Arab successes in Iberia were made possible only by the assistance and collaboration of both the Sephardim and the formerly Berber Jews. Once empowered, the primitive Berbers and Arabs, dependant on the industrial and commercial sagacity of the Jews for the continuation and growth of their societies and economies, instituted a period of tolerance. The Arabs absorbed the scholarly attributes of an advanced civilization. Many of the "Arab" philosophers, poets, mathematicians and scientists were converted Jews, or descendants of converted Jews. A new enlightened era for both Arabs and Jews was born.

Jews regained the right to practice their faith and the Jewish populations of North African towns soon burgeoned with new, vibrant Jewish communities.

"In Kairuwan and the province of Ifriqiya, the famous heir of the ancient Carthagenians-Semitic civilization, the Jews, reinforced by numerous arrivals from Egypt and Palestine, had a fully developed life at the time of the Fatimid rise to power (909). In fact... the enemies of the new dynasty asserted that it had much Jewish blood in its veins... During the tenth century the city of Kairuwan, glorified by the Arabs as one of the four gates to Paradise, embraced a large and prosperous Jewish community. The latter soon felt strong enough to throw off the tutelage of the eastern academies.... Fez.... became from its inception (808) a major center of Jewish culture."

Likewise, the liberal policies of the new Berber rulers of Spain laid the foundation for "The Golden Age" of Sephardic Judaism.

AFRICA:The history of the Jews in the various subdivisions of the African continent is treated under separate headings. Here only a general survey of that history is presented.

After Ethiopia, Egypt and Libya are the two most important lands of Africa. The Hebrew name for Egypt is (compare the Phenician Muẓra, for which read Musra in Stephanus Byzantinus under the word Αίγυπτος; Babylonian, Muẓri, Miẓir—(Schrader, "K. A. T.," 2d ed., p. 89; ancient Persian, Mudraja; Septuaginta, Mestrem; South Arabian, Miẓr; Arabic Maẓr). The Hebrew term has not been sufficiently explained, but it certainly shows a dual form which can best be interpreted as referring to the upper and lower districts.

 Egypt, according to the testimony of Philo, was inhabited, as far as the borders of Libya and Ethiopia, by Jews whose numbers were estimated at a million. The great mercantile city of Alexandria was the intellectual and commercial center of African Jewish life. Alexander the Great had conferred upon the Jews full rights of citizenship, and they guarded these rights jealously.

While in the Latin districts they not only founded communities, but built synagogues, some of which were very beautiful. According to Jerome, the Jews dwelt in a continuous chain of settlements, from Mauretania eastward, throughout the province of Africa, and in Palestine, reaching as far as India.

Only in Egypt, particularly in Alexandria, where the path to Christianity had been smoothed by Jewish Hellenism, undoubtedly great masses of Jews went over to Christianity; but even there they continued to exist until the beginning of the fifth century, when Bishop Cyril expelled them from that city, which had been their home for many centuries.

Rabbinical sources show much familiarity with, and great interest in, this part of the world. The Biblical names of Hamitic peoples are explained in the Talmud and Midrash from the standpoint of Greco-Roman geography.

The undeniable relationship of the Ethiopian language (Geez) to other Semitic dialects stamps the Ethiopiansas a Semitic tribe, an assumption that is confirmed by their physical appearance. The nomadic Zalans, who live apart from the state church, also consider themselves Israelites.

From the eighth to the tenth century the Maghreb was, after Babylonia, the most important country for the Jews.

The persecutions of the Almohades forced Moses Maimonides to leave Spain, and, after remaining for a short time in Fez, he took up his abode in Fostat, near Cairo, Egypt. Thus, through this great philosopher, the center of African Judaism became, for a time, transferred to Egypt. Egypt had become, as it were, a second holy land for Judaism.

 In 1521 an anonymous Italian pilgrim reported that all classes of Jews were to be found in Jerusalem, there being among them Mostarbino, or Moriscos, and Maghrebim from the Barbary states "Shibḥe Yerushalaim," p. 21). Jews took a prominent part in the Portuguese conquests and discoveries in and around Africa. The Jews of Saffee and Arzilla also distinguished themselves by their bravery.

Meshullam Volterra, about 1490, found in Alexandria only sixty Jewish families (Luncz, "Jerusalem Jahrbuch," 1881, i. 176), yet the Jews there remembered the time when 4,000 families had dwelt within the city. Meshullam found neither Samaritans nor Karaites there. Jacob Safir ("Eben Sappir," Lyck, 1866) found no Jews in Upper Egypt or the Fayum, but 30,000 were reported to be in Syene (Assouan). South of Egypt, in Abyssinia, live the Falashas with a population variously estimated between 80,000 and 200,000 souls. If that was the cypher back then there shouldn't surprise us that today there be hundreds of thousands or even a few millions of Ethiopians (& from surroundings) of Hebrew origins.

In the Sahara there are about 8,000 Jews, whose settlements reach as far as Timbuctoo. Mordecai Abu Sereur, who traveled through Morocco, mentions a warlike tribe in the Sahara, the Daggatouns, who claim to be of Jewish origin (see his book, "Les Daggatouns, Tribu d'Origine Juive Demeurant dans le Désert de Sahara," translated from Hebrew into French by I. Loeb, Paris, 1881. English translation by Henry S. Morais, Philadelphia, 1881).

Loeb, in the article "Juifs" in "Dictionnaire Universel de Géographie" of Vivien Saint-Martin, p. 28 of the reprint, Paris, 1884, gives the following numbers for Jews in Africa: Egypt, 8,000; Abyssinia (Falashas), 200,000; Tripoli, 60,000; Tunis, 55,000; Algeria and Sahara, 43,500; Morocco, 100,000; Cape Colony, 1,500; total, 468,000. Of these, the estimate for the Falashas is probably double the reality, while the numbers at the Cape have been largely increased—probably to 25,000.

Israel has allowed an ingathering of nearly all the Jews expelled from eleven Arab countries and now constituting more than half the Jewish population of Israel. Most were driven out by the Muslim conquests from Saudi Arabia to Persia and across North Africa to Spain. Many Muslims insist today that both Spain and Israel are Arab lands.

The Words of Africa

Decolonization has in many ways remained superficial with regard to the peoples of Africa, within that compact landmass that was physically carved out – from what subsequently became Eurasia – by the very enslaved Egyptian forced labor that dug the Suez Canal.

Most present African states are colonial inventions literally imposed on the peoples of Africa without regard for the geographic distribution of peoples and idioms. Indeed, more often than not, international borders in Africa cut through communities, peoples, idioms and nations with insensitive map lines drawn in Europe without regard for the very people whom these borders affected indeed very negatively and continue to adversely affect.

The post-colonial political and economic systems in Africa have worked rather poorly, precisely because these systems were imposed by European Christian imperialists without understanding that African cultures emerged through ecological adaptation of the plural human species and the many human subspecies of that continent. One can surely take for granted that failure would ensue, were Sotho or Yoruba traditional structures of power to be imposed on genetic Europeans by African conquerors and subsequently by “post-colonial” local administrators using only African idioms in places such as Paris and Helsinki.

Yet, what is generally known as so called “anti-racism” is merely the latest cultural incarnation of European supremacism in the sense that “anti-racism” as it is generally articulated is based on an idealized racial, White European, cognitive genetic norm to which members of all other human species and human subspecies are expected to uncompromisingly adjust to through externally imposed normalization and especially so through cognitive White-norm systems of education and White racial idealization imperialistically “extended” to other species and subspecies of the Homo genus. This is in addition to mass Anti-Jewish propaganda and legitimization of Anti-Jewish prejudice in Durban I, Durban II and now Durban III and the systemic, paradigmatic exclusion from legal personhood of persons with emotions belonging to taxa external to the Homo genus.

Eurasian colonial idioms with great prestige – the dead Arabic, English, French and the Portuguese literary dialect of Roman – have remained the official idioms in most African states. While this world era experiences a Cold War with Islamism, Africa is made to choose between distinctly Muslim patterns of imperialism and distinctly Christian patterns of imperialism as a culmination of an historical cultural implosion whereby most Africans have converted to either of these two imperialist religious civilizations and increasingly so at the expense of pre-colonial, indigenous African cosmologies & cultures.

African idioms are far too often not valued and thus considered secondary in relation to the four great, Eurasian colonial idioms in Africa. As far as possible in the people’s own local idioms. Hence, political borders in Africa need to be redrawn in accordance with the distribution of appropriately standardized national heritage idioms. Indeed, the vast majority of Africans speak a national heritage idiom of theirs that have at least one million speakers each. Yet, for participatory political systems to work in Africa, the political geography of this landmass needs to be redrawn through establishment of federations of idiomatic states within the present borders of African countries and later independence for idiomatic nations, including as parts of unions of idiomatic micro-states in regions where large numbers of small and very small idioms fortunately remain spoken. Indeed, the realms of most small African idioms are located in such regions of very rich idiomatic heritage. Yet, the peoples of Africa need to first become literate in their own national heritage idioms, not those of past Eurasian colonialists, colonial idioms that constitute indeed very significant political obstacles between rulers and ruled.

The idiomatic situation in the Atlantic region and in the Indian Ocean is even more absurd where dialects of regional national heritage idioms that emerged as pidgin contact idioms and later became natively spoken national heritage idioms (as so called “creoles”) are considered mere “dialect” subsets of French, of English as well as of the Portuguese literary dialect of Roman. Haiti is an important exception and indeed a political model for the African world generally in nurturing and affording official prestige to its own national heritage idiom of Haitian that merely happens to be historically related to French. Ethiopia is of course another political model for the African world to emulate in having long since established its own federation of idiomatic states.

While the former British colonies in Africa tend to be in better shape than former French colonies in Africa, which in turn tend to be in better shape than former Portuguese colonies in Africa; development of participatory political systems must begin with retaining and integrating what is good in traditional, pre-colonial structures of power. Imposing wholesale societal models of genetic Europeans in African contexts, including genetically European theories of economics and genetically European theories of governance, obviously does not work and does tend to create far more problems than what it resolves. The key is thus to do like the Japanese and retain what is valuable and important in one’s own culture, while fusing it with what is valuable and important in cultures of others. The fact that there are significant genetic differences, both cognitive and somatic within, but also among the various human species and human subspecies is only problematic if genetically European economic and political norms are imposed wholesale on other human taxa without regard for existing human genetic diversity, both somatic and cognitive.

Eurasian forms of economics & politics are no longer arbitrarily imposed by default. While relatively free markets and participatory political systems are no doubt important and indeed crucial, the modern nation state needs to be thoroughly deconstructed, considering that participatory political systems and relatively free markets could potentially and quite possibly indeed be organized in many different ways and not merely the way current systems historically evolved in Europe.

However, inclusive idiomatic statehood will necessarily need to be the first step in this direction in genetically diverse Africa. Yet, both left and right cling to distinctly unhelp elements of what is known as “the nation state,” which is certainly a misleading term when applied to most contemporary African countries. Simply because State Marxism is generally bad, does not automatically mean that State Liberalism (in its many incarnations from social democracy to libertarianism) should be accepted wholesale without comprehensive deconstruction to weed out what is distinctly unhelpful and prejudicial from what is indeed ethical and helpful in European political and economic thought. One primary duty of political responsibility is therefore, as Leo Strauss would say: to strive for the best regime possible.

While the national achievement of Israel’s restored Jewish independence in 1948 constituted historical liberation from Christian imperialism, Israel is still fighting the battle of liberation from Muslim imperialism. Israel could indeed have become African had the digging of the Suez Canal taken a route to the east of Sinai. Yet, Hebrew is an idiom that belongs to the Afro-Asiatic family of idioms which is of course really an African family of idioms; most idioms of which are indeed of course spoken almost exclusively in Africa. Yet, being caught between Asian Muslim imperialism and European Christian imperialism is not only a Jewish and Israeli condition but an African condition as well – that is severely detrimental to African societies and indeed for the wellbeing of Africa’s people.

Yet, imperialist attempts at drawing lines from afar that divide peoples from within is not merely an imperialist practice of systemic injustice, it should be unacceptable in our time and age. Bearing this in mind, I consequently call on Israel’s many friends among the governments and peoples of Africa to be courageous in opposing this campaign of attempted Asian imperialist injustice from being further attempted, considering that the sovereign, indigenous Jewish nation of Israel no less than African nations deserve unity in self-determination independent of imperialist impositions from afar. Africa knows the truth better than most others in this regard, that arbitrary, anachronistic borders serve no good: rather the opposite is true since these are serious obstacles to the realization of unity in self-determination for every idiomatic nation.

This is the time to do the right thing and move beyond the clichés of the predominant political dichotomy between culturally Christian religious/ideological imperialism on the one hand and culturally Muslim religious/ideological imperialism on the other and indeed embrace unity in self-determination for every idiomatic nation as part of an ethical agenda of universal emancipation adjusted to local conditions. Let us move beyond not only Christian imperialism, but Muslim imperialism as well and indeed make the appropriate ethical decisions in New York City by casting our votes in ways that does not repeat the historical evils of imperialist lines that divide the people from within. Let us therefore join together to turn down this anachronistic, imperialist paperhood provocation on the part of the imperialist Islamist nexus in favor of unity in self-determination for the Amian nation, for the Jewish nation and indeed for every other idiomatic nation in Africa and beyond.

Are People Fom Giyon (Ethiopia), Pople From Zion?

In Rabbi Eliyahu's book "The Tribes of Israel" he afirms that the people from Giyon/Gihon/Gayon (Ethiopia) also called Waliso have Israelite origin. Does the name of their location prove that these Ethiopians have Israelite origin in Zion (Tsayon)?

I say that because the "Gion" festival in Kyoto started with the wish that no pestilence would occur among people. This is similar to what King Solomon started, in the wish that no pestilence would occur in the country, the feast which continued for 8 days (including the last meeting day) from the 15th of the seventh month (2 Chronicles 7:8-10). Over 120 years ago, a business man from Scotland, N. Mcleod, came to Japan and investigated the customs of Japan. He wrote a book titled "Epitome of Japanese Ancient History." In the book, he wrote that the "Gion" festival in Kyoto resembled Jewish festivals very much. Rabbi Tokayer made a similar comment. He said that the name "Gion" reminds him of "Zion" which is another name used for Jerusalem. In fact, Kyoto used to be called "Heian-kyo" which means "peace". Jerusalem in Hebrew also means "peace". "Heian-kyo" might be Japanese for "Jerusalem."

That this city is in the Oromia region is interesting because some people have considered Oromos a Hebrews because of their monotheistic believes etc... From the Oromos (or Gallas)  the Boranas are the ones that more oftten are considered Israelites.


The African Jews, as all other Romanized-African of this era, were caught in a rebellion in Cyrene (Cyrenaica) during 115 C.E. against Roman imperialism and colonialism. This rebellion also marked the beginning of a mass Jewish migration southward into Soudan (Sudan or West Africa) along the way of the city Aer (Air) and into the countries of Futa Jalon and Senegal (Sene-Gambia) which lie below the curve of the Niger River's most northern reaches, where the City of Tumbut (Timbuktu, Timbuctoo, etc.), Melle (Mali) presently stands." ("African Origins of the Major Western Religions," 1970, p. 76).

Dr. Ben goes on to relate that Israelite immigrants from northern and eastern Africa merged with indigenous groups in western Africa to become the Fulani of Futa Jalon, Bornu, Kamen, and Lake Chad. They also formed the parent-stock of groups such as the Ashanti, the Hausa, the B'nai Ephraim (mentioned in earlier posts), and the Bavumbu (Mavumbu or Ma-yomba, descendents of the famous Loango Jewish kingdom). All of these groups suffered tremendous population decreases during the years the Atlantic slave trade was in operation, others were completely eliminated. Thus, every so-called African American has Israelite ancestry in their family tree whether he or she knows it or not.

                                                             Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

Even in the very crucible of slavery the descendants of West African Hebrew captives in America struggled to keep their heritages from being obliterated by forced assimilation and acculturation. Their distinctive traditions became submerged in Christianity but always remained a part of the oral tradition via the so-called Negro Spirituals which praise the memory of ancestors and kinsmen like Moshe (Moses), Dawid (David), Yehoshua (Joshua), and Dahnniel (Daniel).  

The Kushim Jews are the Jews of Kushitic mixture (Beta Israel, Beta Avraham, Agaw, Qemant, Tutsi, Hema, Banyamulenge, Maasai, Lemba, Sena)

Abyssinia comes from Habesa & Habesa is considered to come from the Semitic words ha (the), be (ben, son in Hebrew) & sa (Sam or Shem). The stories-legends & historical accounts of the peoples of the Horn of Africa trace their origin in Semites mingled with local negro peoples. The DNA also confirms this origin. The question is which Semites are their ancestors?: Hebrews, Arabs...? Several black African peoples claim to have Arab origin, some Hebrew origin... In Saharan white Africa & deeper into Negro Africa there are other claims of Semitic (Hebrew, Arab...) & other Middle Eastern origin?:  Yibir Israelites, Ashanti Israelites, Falashmura Israelites, Masai Israelites, Banyamulenge Israelites, Hima Israelites, Ibo Israelites, Tutsi Israelites, Lemba Israelites, Sena Israelites, Gadangme Israelites, Dan Israelites, Ma'di Israelites, Ishaq Arabs, Yoruba Assyrians, Iberogen Iddaosahak Israelites... Some of the ethnic groups with Arab origin had roots in Jewish tribes living in Arabia, therefore they also have Israelite origin. Ancient accounts tell of Jews among several black African ethnic groups like the Mandingos, Yorubas... They aren't considered to be Israelites like the Ibos or the Ashantis, but rather to have Israelite population pockets among them. As British & Scandinavians are white Israelites Ibos, Lembas ... are black Israelites. As Eastern Germans, Poles... are white Assyrians, Yorubas are black Assyrians. The word Yoruba is considered to come from Jerobam, the name of one of the kings of Israel. This & several Hebrew traditions would prove the Israelite element within  the Yorubas. Even the name manDiNgo may include the name of DaN in it, a tribe that is very widespread all over Africa as I said before.

In Genesis 46:16 we read "The sons of Gad: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi and Areli." Do the Aari people of Ethiopia have anything to do with Arodi or Areli & therefore with some Igbo clans?

The Beta Avraham are only a part of the Falashmuras, the Ethiopian jews that were forced to be Christians in the 1800s. The Falashmuras are trying to go back to the religion of their ancestors & were once part  of the Beta Israelites.

Among the Ethiopian monarchs there were tons with Israelite first or last names, even if they didn't pactised Judaism anymore: Kaleb, Siyon, Ishak, Za'ra, Ya'kob... After all Menelik is considered the son of King Solomon. Minas, King of the Falashas only, may have taken his name from Menasseh, if we consider the Hebrew vowelization.

It's believed that in the area south from Egypt, current Sudan & even further south there are Danites. It's noteworthy that the Ethiopian Israelites, or part of them, are attributed to be Danites. suDaN means blacks Bilad al-Sudan country of the blacks in Arabic, but it also has the name of DaN in it. According to proffesor Bwejeri Eldad HaDani was a Tutsi, therefore Danites went as far as current Rwanda & Burundi. The tribe of Dan is widespread among the Tutsis as well as the tribes of Judah & Levi.

It's noteworthy that the few really tall peoples in the world are considered to be Israelites: Watusis, Dutchmen, Pashtuns... This doesn't mean that all Israelites are tall though. It's the same with many war areas, in them you find Israelites often: Afghanistan, Pakistan,  Kashmir, Mizoram, Great Lakes of Africa... According to the archaeologist & historian Simcha Jacobovici the different scenarios of war might training areas for the future war of Armaggedon in which all the nations will wage war against Israel. Will the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel join Judah in a future widened Greater Israel that would encompass the lands between the rivers Nile & Euphrates? 

The Jewish Kingdoms of the South Kush (commonly called the African Great Lakes) and the Jewish Kingdoms of West Africa. The Tutsi (or Batutsi/Watutsi/Abatutsi/Tutsi/Watusi/Wahuma) are the traditional keepers of the South Kush Jewish Kingdoms. In West Africa, the Toubous are the traditional keepers of the West Africa Jewish Kingdoms.

The Tutsis (at least some clans) claim the Zagwe Ethiopian monarchy to be their origin. Apparently the Zagwes have origin in Zage, son of Solomon & the lady escort of the Queen of Sheba.

The Judeo-Ethiopian Zagwe dynasty received its name from the Agaw people. The number of Jews in Ethiopia was counted (many centuries ago) at least in one million, but now, between the ones left & the ones in Israel there only about 200,000. The Agaws must be added as Jewish group since  Beta Israel speak (and are related to them) the same language & one of the Jewish monarchies came from them, the mentioned Zagwe monarchy. The Qemants are the other ethnic group, with the Beta Israel, that follows Jewish laws & is part of the Agews. The Agaw or Agew people sum one million & lived next to the Beta Israel & Qemant. In fact Beta Israel & Qemant are considered part of the Agaws. Some toponyms of the area recall Israelite names: Tana, Soqoto, Dangila... The t & d have similar sounds & are close linguistically. If I add that in Hebrew vowels are not important then TaNa can render as DaN. So the lake Tana found in a Hebrew area of Ethiopia would  be a llake called after Dan. Dan is the main tribe from which these Israelites claim to come. Soqoto has the consonants in "SoQoto". According to Yair Davidy "Keren" has a Hebrew origin & it's the very name of one Ethiopian town in the mentioned Agaw area. Dangila has the name of Dan inside. Melka, a toponym found in different parts of Ethiopia is very similar to Hebrew word for queen (Malka). Shewa, also a place in Ethiopia, could come from Sheba or Saba.

The Tutsi and the Toubous share the same origins as their cousins, the Jews of Ethiopia, tracing their common ancestry from King Solomon and Queen of Sheba. Israeli Chief Rabbis Avraham Ytzchak Kook and Ovadia Yosef, and US Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, would have included the Tutsi and the Toubous as descendents of Dan, following the 1500s responsum of a renowned Orthodox Rabbi, Rbadaz, Rabbi David ibn Zimrah. In fact, numerous branches of the Tutsi elite belong to the Judah lineage. The Tutsi Jewishness was obstructed by the Christian Inquisition that took place since the 1920s, and was never addressed until the late 20th Century. At that time, Havila Institute in Brussels dedicated huge efforts to enhance the re-connection of the Tutsi people to their Jewish heritage, and helped raise awareness among concerned Jewish institutions.

The Toubous face a similar but more ancient case of obstruction. They were forcibly converted to Islam centuries ago by the successive Jihads that took place in Northern Africa from the Arabian Peninsula, but they kept the remembrance of their Israelite origins.

Today, Tutsis in increasing numbers are seeking t’shuvah, return. Like the Western Jews, they envision ge’ulah, redemption. They deserve pro-active support and monitoring from concerned Jewish organizations and networks. Like the Western Jewish Diaspora, the Tutsi Jews, some parts of which have been forcibly converted to Christianity and forbidden to practice the ways of Y’’H, are People of Israel, no less than the Falasha Mura of Ethiopia.

Beta Abraham: The size of the community is estimated to be somewhere upwards of 150,000 in number.

Qemant people

The Kemant claim to be Jews who arrived to Ethiopia during the time of the Avrahm. They maintain the same tradition as of the time of Avraham. They worship in the woods just as the pagan Israelites did.

The Qemant (Ge'ez: ቅማንት) are a small ethnic group in Ethiopia, who, despite their close historical and ethnic relationship, should not be confused with the Beta Israel. The ethnicity's population is roughly 172,000, according to the 1994 national census. Adherence to the traditional religion has dropped substantially, as most of the population has converted to Christianity.

The Qemant live along an axis stretching from Ayikel in Chilga woreda to Kirakir north to Lake Tana in the woredas of Lay Armachiho, Qwara, Dembiya, Metemma and Wogera; most remaining speakers of the language are near Ayikel, about 40 miles west of Gondar. They are mainly farmers.

The Qemant are divided into two patrilineal moieties, the Keber and the Yetanti; the Keber is higher in rank. A traditional Qemant can only marry a member of the other moiety, so, while the moieties are exogamous, Qemant society as a whole is endogamous.

The Qemant traditionally practiced a religion which is often described as "Pagan-Hebraic," combining elements from both Judaism and paganism. According to the American scholar Frederic C. Gamst, their "Hebraism is an ancient form and unaffected by Hebraic change of the past two millennia". A recent sociolinguistic survey notes that the Qemant religion is in a very precarious situation since very few people still adhere to it. According to this study, the ratio of those who follow the Qemant religion vs. those who are baptized and converted to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity is about 1% vs. 99%.

Their religious observances include a literal reading of the 11th chapter of Leviticus (see Kashrut). As with mainstream Judaism, even permitted animals can only be consumed if they are properly slaughtered (see Shechita). Their practices include animal sacrifices, and the tending of sacred groves (called degegna). Worship is conducted outdoors, usually at a site near a sacred tree (called qole), wrapped in variously-colored strips of cloth. This appears to be a survival of a biblical tradition: Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there the name of God (Genesis 21:33). ...where the women wove hangings for the grove (II Kings 23:7).

However, due to their dislike to being observed by the increasingly pervasive Christians, they have latterly constructed a prayer-hall at Chelga. The Sabbath is observed on Saturday, when it is forbidden to light a fire. The extent to which other prohibitions, as are found in Judaism, are observed, is unclear.

The Qemant call the Deity Adara (God) or Yeadara (My God) or Mezgana which seems to be his proper name. He is described as omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, and anthropomorphic. He is approachable directly or through qedus which are angels or culture heroes.

The highest political and religious leader among the Qemant is their High Priest, called the Wember (also transliterated Womber and Wambar), an Amharic term meaning "seat." There were formerly two superior wambars, at Karkar and at Chelga, with the first being senior, and a varying number of subordinate wambars in other parts of Qemantland. All wambars are chosen from certain lineages in the Keber moiety. The last wambar of Karkar died in 1955, and since then the only wambar has been Mulunah Marsha, Wambar of Chelga (born 1935). Each wambar chose (from the Keber moiety) one or more delegates with the title of afaliq to represent him in judicial matters. These men traveled the countryside, settling disputes, seeing that the laws were obeyed, and punishing wrongdoing, usually with a fine. Each wambar also chose two stewards with different titles, one from each moiety, who served different elements of the sacred meals.

There are two orders of priesthood, the kamazana, the higher, of the Keber moiety, and the abayegariya, the lower, of the Yetanti moiety. Each Qemant locality has at least one of each; they must work together to conduct the traditional sacrifices and other religious ceremonies. When offering a sacrifice, the abayegaria holds the legs of the victim and the kamazana wields the knife. The priests also have a subordinate judicial function. The Qemant don't consider themselves as Jews.

The origins of the Qemant are unknown, for they lack a written history. According to oral tradition, the founder of the Qemant was a man called Anayer, who is said to have been a grandson of Canaan, son of Ham, son of Noah. After seven years of famine in his own country, he is said to have come to the area of Lake Tana, in Ethiopia. As he traveled with his wife and children, he met the founder of the Beta Israel, who tradition states were traveling in the same direction. According to Wember Muluna Marsha, they were from the same country (which they called Canaan). As Anayer traveled on the journey with his wife and children, he met the founder of the Beta Israel, also traveling on the same journey with his wife and children. A marriage alliance was discussed between the two groups, but it did not succeed.

—Muluna Marsha, The Sign and the Seal, interview by Graham Hancock, Aykel 1990

According to the early 19th century missionary Samuel Gobat, their Amharic-speaking neighbors considered the Qemant boudas, or sorcerers, along with "the Falashas or Jews (Beta Israel), most Mussulamns (Muslims), and some Christians." Gobat knew little more about this "small Pagan people inhabiting the mountains in the vicinity of Gondar."

According to traditional Amharic-speaking historians, the Qemant were descended from Canaan through his son Arwadi ('the Arvadite') and grandson Ayner. Ayner and his wife Entela are said to have crossed from Asia into Ethiopia in 2101 BC, as one of three Canaanite groups to immigrate when Ethiopia was ruled by Cushites — the other two groups being the Shanqella (Nilo-Saharans) descended from Sini ('the Sinite'), and the Weyto descended from Samri (the 'Zemarite').

Beta Yisrael: A Historical Analysis

At first glance one might incorrectly assume that the only thing Ethiopian Jews, who call themselves Beta Yisrael (The House of Israel), have in common with black Jews in other parts of the world is that their ancestors once lived on the same continent. While not entire true, this small fact is significant because Africa whether we acknowledge it or not is a crucial link that historically unites all Jews. Those whose African connection is more obvious because of race share this, too, as a bond for better or worse.

Actually, our similarities are more than skin deep. The direct connections between the Beta Israel and my community of black Jews in the United States antedates the recent public fascination with the African tribe by at least sixty years. The existence of all of our communities raise important questions about the ancient history, current composition, and future of Judaism. This essay covers the ancient history, culture and tradition of the Beta Yisrael. My analysis of their current status in Israel is covered on a separate page devoted to black Jews in Israel today.

The Beta Yisrael are perhaps the best known black Jewish sect in the world. Despite their ancient and well-documented history, they, like all black communities, have had their historical connections to Judaism challenged, the validity of their religious practice scrutinized, and their acceptance within the white Jewish world hindered. When the Ethiopians left the cultural isolation of their remote villages, they entered a world prefigured by race. They soon learned that their Jewish heritage was not the only thing that made them  Falasha,  (outsiders). For the black Jews of America, the existence of Ethiopian Jews was living proof that black people have a connection to Judaism that is as old as any claimed by Europeans.

They called themselves Beta Yisrael because for centuries they believed that they were the last remnant of the ancient Israelites. In fact, in the nineteenth century when a French linguist named Joseph Halevy reached one of their villages on a mission from the Alliance Israelite Universelle, they did not believe that he, the European, could be a Jew. As Halevy described it, the Ethiopians said What! You a Falahsa! A white Falasha! You are laughing at us. Are there any white Falashas? Imagine the irony of that moment: black Jews questioning the Jewishness of white Jews; and the white Jew trying to convince them of his authenticity. The levity of that scene is surpassed by a far more serious point: when different Jewish communities come together, one will usually occupy the superior position; the one of dominance, authority, and control. Not surprisingly, the dominant group is in a position to judge the subordinate. That is an exercise of power, and power underlies all of these relationships.

Dominance or power in this context is established by a combination of any or all of these factors: (1) numeric superiority, (2) access to wealth, (3) primo-occupancy; i.e. the act of being there first, (4) higher social status (this could be based on a privilege afforded one Jewish group by a Christian or Muslim authority that is more powerful than either Jewish group (5) racial or ethnic superiority (this would be true in racialized societies of the West and was evident in the interaction of Ashkenazim and Sephardim in Europe and Israel).

The Beta Israel maintain that their ancestors were descended from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. That union produced a child called Menileck (in Hebrew Mem Meleck literally means  from king). This child was then trained by the wise men of Solomon s court. They further assert that when Menileck left Jerusalem with a large retinue of Israelite nobles for Ethiopia they took with them the Ark of the Covenant that God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai. The Ethiopian claim is based on oral history that has been passed down from generation to generation by their elders, scholars called Dabtaras, and their priests, called  Kahens (an Amharic word linguistically similar to the Hebrew word for priest, Kohen). The written account of ancient Ethiopian history is known as the Kebra Nagast and it corroborates in even greater detail what the Beta Israel have always affirmed. Moreover, the Biblical record tends to substantiate their claim. It vividly describes the Queen of Sheba arriving in Jerusalem with a large entourage shortly after the completion of the temple. She is granted an audience with the king, they engage in a colloquy in which the queen is impressed with his Solomonic wisdom to the point where there was  no more spirit left in her .And King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired, whatever she asked, in addition to all that he gave her of his royal bounty.

Notice how the 15th century painter whose work is shown of the left depicted King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba as being white, archetypal Europeans. The Israeli artist whose work is shown on the right presents a more realistic depiction showing Makeda as the African queen that she was. These conflicting images reflect the old presumption of whiteness that was traditionally applied to all Biblical characters and the new multicultural realism that acknowledges the Eastern and African origins of Biblical figures respectively. Such realism is to be embraced and celebrated rather than denied and discouraged.

Rudolph R. Windsor examined the validity of this claim in his book From Babylon to Timbuktu. There he argued that the queen who visited King Solomon in 1012 B.C. was indeed an Ethiopian queen known variously as Makeda or Bilkis. Her dominion at that time included a province on the Arabian peninsula called Sheba; hence the title Queen of Sheba. That area would be in the region of Yemen today. Geographically, the Arabian peninsula is a peninsula of the African continent.[Judaism could be thought of as an African religion or at least, a religion with deep African roots.] Yemen and the ancient boundaries of Ethiopia are adjacent points, separated only by a very thin isthmus. Further, the renowned Jewish historian Flavius Josephus identified the ruler of Sheba as a  queen of Egypt and Ethiopia. Not only does this comport with the view that Sheba was a vassal state of Ethiopia, but as Windsor contends, lends credence to the view that the people of this region were black since Upper Egypt, the area once ruled by Ethiopia, is today called the Sudan and the indigenous people there are very dark. [Windsor also takes the controversial position that the Arabs who occupy these areas today are much lighter in complexion because of centuries of intermarriage with Europeans.]

If the Beta Israel are the product of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, then they have been in Ethiopia since the 10th Century B.C. That is twelve centuries before the writing of the Mishnah and sixteen centuries before the codification of the Talmud. Eldad Ha-Dani did not stumble into their village until the 9th Century A.D. Eldad Ha-Dani (which in Hebrew means Eldad of the tribe of Dan). He reported that he discovered Israelites in the mountains of northern Abyssinia. Moreover, he believed that these Israelites were also of the tribe of Dan. He saw that they were Jews and assumed that they had to be of the tribe of Dan, like him,  because of the tradition among Sephardic Jews that members of that tribe had emigrated when the Kingdom of Solomon split after his death, and they did not want to be ruled by Jeroboam in the northern sector known as Israel. Other travelers were  Benjamin of Tudela, Solomon of Vienna (the first Ashkenazi Jew to reach them in 1626), and the apostate James Bruce in the 18th Century.  Their intermittent logs created the lore about black Jews in Ethiopia that the aforementioned Joseph Ha Levy came to investigate.

And when the Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the Name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions. She communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon answered her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the King, which he told her not. I Kings 10:1-3

Beliefs and Practices
How Jewish were the Beta Israel? Dr. Wolf Leslau spent ten months in 1947 living among the Beta Israel. He primarily studied the most urban of their isolated villages in Gondar, which is near Lake Tana and the Blue Nile. The influential book he published from his journals, Falasha Anthology, has become the source of much of the secondary literature on this subject. He observed that every Friday all work in the village stopped early in the afternoon so that the cooking, cleaning, and baking needed for the Sabbath could be completed before sunset. Their synagogues were humble, austere structures having at best a Star of David on display. Inside, the rooms were divided into two sections: the outer chamber for laymen who faced east toward Jerusalem while saying their prayers and the inner chamber representing the  holy of holies  of the Mosaic Tabernacle into which only the priests could enter.

Priests of the Beta Israel pray seven time a day. Like the Levitical Priest of old, they sacrificed kosher animals on small altars built in front of their synagogues. Unlike the Levites, however, their positions were not hereditary; aspiring clerics had to study, apprentice, and live exemplary lives in order to be selected for the office. Once initiated, the priests wore a white cotton headdress that distinguished them from other Ethiopians. Their Torah, written in the Ge'ez language on parchment, contained all the books of the Old Testament and some from the Apocrypha, but none of the New Testament and no references to Jesus at all. Some devotees have attempted to lead lives of solitude and quiet contemplation as nuns and monks.

Judaism for them was not just an act of faith, it was a way of life governing almost every activity. All marriages were arranged by parents and elders. Individuals who married outside the group and women who were not virgins at the time of marriage could be banished. Their diet prohibited the eating of foods deemed  unclean  including beef slaughtered  by non-Jews or beef that has not had the sinew removed.  They used a solar calendar for secular activities and a lunar calendar to calculate all Biblical festivals such as Passover, Shavuot, and the Day of Atonement. For example, the Feast of Tabernacle was celebrated in the seventh month with palm branches and weeping willows.

Circumcision was performed on male children eight days after birth as the Torah proscribed. However, some have adopted the practice of female circumcision from their neighbors.[Although female circumcision is admittedly not Jewish in origin, the fact that they practice it just proves that despite their isolation their culture has not been impervious to outside influences, no Jewish community has.] Burials were performed on the same day of death, if possible. Special blessings were said before and after eating and performing other rituals. In fact, the Beta Israel went to such great lengths to avoid spiritual defilement that local gentiles referred to them as the people who  smell of water  because of their frequent baths and the  touch-me-nots  because of their aversion to physical contact with non-Jews.

In his book, Acts of Faith: A Journey to the Fringes of Jewish Identity, Dan Ross described how the Beta Israel literally applied purity laws by building  blood huts  as temporary housing for women during menstruation:[Although the separation of women during menstruation may seem quite severe, it is actually based on Leviticus 12. Orthodox Jews have a set of laws called Niddah that govern the activities of Jewish women during menstruation as well. Theirs is a modification of Biblical practices.]

Like Samaritans, Falashas do not touch women during menstruation or after childbirth. But unlike Samaritans, Falasha women spend their menstrual periods in separate huts. Circles of stones mark a perimeter around those tukuls beyond which men may not pass. Additional huts are built for women to live in during their forty or eighty days of impurity after childbirth; these are burned afterwards.

Dr. Leslau described the Judaism of the Beta Israel as being  primitive  because these people were not aware of all the rabbinic changes that have taken place since the redaction of the Talmud in the sixth century. From his perspective in the twentieth century, the menstrual huts and animal sacrifices must seem barbaric and a sure sign of ignorance. What he fails to recognize or perhaps is ashamed to acknowledge is that the customs of the Beta Israel today are a reflection of what the ancient Israelite must have looked like when they offered burnt offerings, incense, and libation to the same God that we as Jews worship today. Perhaps on some level this is unsettling. It is not often that a people can be confronted with their past in the present. Or, because Judaism outside of Ethiopia has changed so much over the centuries, those without the proper historical reference may not recognize their roots when they see them. Primitive, after all, is something associated with those  uncivilized  black tribes of Africa. Well, if that is true, then that is who, where, and how our Judaism evolved. I argue that rather than accept these possibilities, many scholars have blinded their eyes to these implications and have attempted to distance and disassociate themselves from the Beta Israel by discrediting their culture.

Despite all the evidence that has been adduced about the history and origins of the Beta Israel, there has been a profound, and often irrational, reluctance to accept that their claim is plausible. Scholars who are quite adept at understanding that the Bible may not always state the literal and unbiased  truth  of events, may yet remain an important tool in understanding how a people explained and preserved their culture. Nonetheless, many of these scholars seem incapable or unwilling to apply the same standards to their examination of the Beta Israel. Dr. Leslau asserted that  from all historical evidence it would seem that the Falasha never have been a Hebrew-speaking people. Yet, before his eyes and throughout his text Hebrew words and names of months frequently appear. The fact that only a few Hebrew words have survived over the millennia does not mean they  never  had a working knowledge of the language. After all, Hebrew had ceased to be the lingua franqua of Israel long before the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. Would a traveler in the Holy Land at that time be correct in assuming that those Greek-speaking Jews never spoke Hebrew? Subsequent scholars have looked at words such as masia ( messiah ), mizvat ( charity ). Sanbat ( Sabbath ), Saitan ( Satan ), which bear remarkable similarity to Hebrew words but could derive from Amharic, another Semitic language and the offical language of Ethiopia. However, the following words only appear in Falasha texts:  safur (shofar), gadol (great), El Shaddai (Almighty God), goyyim (gentile) and Torah. It seems perfectly logical that if one finds Hebrew words among people who claim to be descended from Hebrews, then the Hebrews are a likely source for how the words got there. It also does not require a great leap of faith to assume that if they know these words now, then they probably knew more words in the past since the tendency is for words to be lost over generations.

Falashas are descendants of Moses's followers who turned right out of Egypt instead of left, ending up in Ethiopia instead of Palestine, or they are descendants of the lost tribe of Dan (as Israel's chief rabbis claim), or of Jewish soldiers posted in upper Egypt by the Persian emperors (as President Ben-Zvi believed) , or of refugees from the destruction of one Jerusalem Temple or the other. Most historians now believe that the ancestors of Falashas were Ethiopians, who adopted their Judaism long ago. What they are less sure of is when, and how."  If these so-called scholars neither know  when  nor  how,  then how can they be so sure of their conclusions. And, how can they be so brazen as to make such an assertion and then admit that they lack the evidence to substantiate it?

It is extremely instructive for scholars looking anew at the Beta Israel to comprehend what Dr. Leslau admitted. Despite all the information he had in his possession, in the end, the Beta Israel did not look  ethnically  Jewish and because of that he and his colleagues were never able to overcome their doubt. Therefore, they concluded that the Beta Israel must have been converted even though  historical evidence is lacking  to support such a position. What effrontery. To dismiss a body of evidence that points in one direction in favor of another position for which there is no evidence.

Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochanan took issue with Dr. Leslau dubious reference to ethnic Jews.  For Professor Leslau to have reached the conclusion that the Falashas are not ethnically Jews, he must have produced for public scrutiny at least one of his own  ethnic Jews  from any part of the European and European-American communities where they still allegedly exist.

What exactly is an  ethnic Jew?  This is the question that Dr. Ben-Jochannan and others have raised. Those who use this term assume that we know what it is. They can spot one when they see one and they know who looks Jewish and who does not.  However, we need to examine more closely what is meant by these terms and how they are used. Naomi Zack defined and clarified terms such as this in her recent book, Thinking About Race. She argues that race and ethnicity are nebulous concepts into which and out of which a host of meanings can be put in order to socially construct an identity. As such, neither of these constitutes a fixed, universal, or objective reality; i.e. they mean whatever the society that uses them wants them to mean at the time. She points out that what masquerades today as the building blocks of ethnic identity (language, common origin, shared culture, etc.) are the same things that social scientists used prior to about 1920 when Jews, Poles, Italians, Germans, and others were classified as races. What has changed since that time particularly in this era of political correctness is that  the word ethnicity is often used as a euphemism for race when speakers want to refer to race without causing offense to diverse listeners or readers.

Karen Brodkin has chronicled this process in her book, How Jews Became White Folks. Although she focused on explaining this phenomenon within the United States, I argue that how one defines American Jews, who are essentially European Jews transplanted, is to a large extent the standard against which all other Jews will be judged since Americans Jews are the largest, wealthiest, and most influential group of Jews in the world. And these American Jews have, despite rigorous resistance, become white folks. Like Dr. Zack, Dr. Brodkin recognizes this racial dimension to how Jews are perceived and how they often perceive themselves. She actually prefers the term  ethnoracial,  but uses it inconsistently. Nonetheless, heir works help us to decode the hidden racial messages embedded in terms like ethnicity.

In the 1930s, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan advocated another way of thinking about Judaism. His movement led to a new denomination of Judaism in the United States called Reconstructionist Jews. One basic tenet of Reconstructionism is that Judaism is not necessarily a race, religion, or an ethnic group, but can be experienced as part of a  civilization.  Here the emphasis is on  Jewish culture  rather than any particular Jewish practices or beliefs. If Judaism is a culture, as Reconstructionist hold, does that culture have any bearing on race?

Beta Israel, and black Jews in other areas, are discovering that neither who they are nor what they do guarantees their membership or acceptance within a racial context.

European Contact with Beth Yisrael
In 1904, Dr. Jacques Faitlovitch (1880-1955) was given a grant by Baron Edmond de Rothschild and the blessings of the Chief Rabbi of Paris, Zadok Kahn, to go to Africa and investigate persistent rumors of there being black Jews in Ethiopia. He returned to France the following year to report that the people he saw  are really Jews.  By 1906, Dr. Faitlovitch was trying to convince the rabbis of Europe that the black Jews of Ethiopia were  our flesh and blood. [Faitlovitch had, in fact, been a young, energetic student of Professor Halevy.] This announcement by a prominent Jewish scholar was soon followed by photographs, articles, and speaking engagements. Unlike his predecessors, Dr. Faitlovitch was steadfastly committed to winning recognition for the Beta Israel. For the rest of his life he worked tirelessly on three continents and through two world wars to remedy the plight of black Jews in Ethiopia. Although his methods and actions are open to scrutiny, his sincerity and dedication are not.

The first major victory that Faitlovitch won for the Beta Israel came in 1906. He persuaded forty-four eminent rabbis to sign a letter addressed to the Beta Israel that referred to them as  our brethren, sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob our flesh and blood.  The signers included: Herman Adler (Chief Rabbi of London), Raphael Meir Panigel (Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Jersusalem / Palestine) and Jacob Reines of Russia (head of the Mizrachi movement) and others. For a moment, it looked as if the world Jewish community was going to come to the immediate and unconditional aide of their fellow Jews in Ethiopia. But, the following year a Turkish rabbi named Haim Nahoum made his own journey to Ethiopia and upon his return he reported that  It does not seem to me desirable that anything should be done.

Thus would begin a cruel pattern of expressions of enthusiastic support and solidarity followed by long periods of inactivity and indifference. Because the Beta Israel were frequently forgotten, they have been repeatedly rediscovered most recently again during the dramatic airlift of fifty thousand Ethiopians to Israel in the 1980s. However, individuals like Faitlovitch consistently tried to keep the Ethiopian issue on the agendas of major Jewish organizations. In March of 1914, just prior to the outbreak of World War One, Faitlovitch established the Pro-Falasha Committee as a lobbying group solely dedicated to this cause. They had officers in several European countries and one in New York City. The Alliance Israelite Universelle, which had been an early sponsor, thought the best way to help the Ethiopians was through vocational training.

Dr. Faitlovitch fervently fought for the advancement of Ethiopian Jews, but he defined progress by his ability to make Ethiopian Jews more like European Jews. Tragically, his program began to resemble a Jewish version of the  White Mans Burden;  i.e. it was the moral duty of European Jews to save and civilize the Jews of Africa.

He was determined to rescue the Falashas and to bring them into rabbinic Judaism, the pattern known in Western Europe as  Torah im Derkh-Eretz  (lit. Bible together with the Way of the Land), which signified strict religious Orthodoxy together with modern behavior in manner, clothing, shelter, fine arts and careers.[In his youth Dr. Faitlovitch pursued secular studies at the Sorbonne, but he became a very devote Orthodox Jew who practiced a religious Zionism. Rabbinic law is often referred to Halakha, which literally means  the way. For Faitlovitch it was the only way.]

When the first of Faitlovitch s students, Getye Jeremias, returned to his Ethiopian village  dressed in a European jacket and high leather riding boots,  he was an envied model of what others should become. His next student, who would become the well-known Professor Taamrat Emmanuel and have an important interaction with the black Jews of Harlem, was literally rescued from a Chrisitan mission that had already converted his parents.

There was a hope and optimism of creating a new Ethiopia and a new Africa. The significance of Haile Selassie s rise to power in 1930 and the struggle for Ethiopian independence against Italian aggression, profoundly affected black people all over the world particularly black people in America and the Caribbean.

Though well intentioned, Faitlovitch and those that followed him made what has become a classic liberal mistake: they setout to remake those they helped in their own image. This often has the consequence of saving the people, but destroying their culture. Complete cultural assimilation unintentionally leads to the cultural annihilation of the dependent group. The Nobel laureate, Chinua Achebe, described in his fictional novel, Things Fall Apart, how the stable social fabric of a pre-colonial Nigerian village began to unravel before the juggernaut of Western conformity. In this context, European Jewry is the juggernaut that black Jewish communities fear, admire, resent, and need.

In December of 1930, Taamrat ignored the urging of his handlers at the Pro-Falasha Committee in New York and journeyed uptown to Harlem were he met with Chief Rabbi Matthew and addressed the Commandment Keepers Congregation. Shortly thereafter, dozens of black Jews left the United States to establish a colony in Ethiopia that lasted until the Italian invasion and the death of Rabbi  Arnold Ford in 1935.  During the years that followed, individuals from both communities would seek each other out whenever possible, but neither has been in a position to significantly help the other. Yet, the cry of Ethiopia continues to loom large in the hearts of black Jews all over the world for we share a common struggle.

Emperor Haile Selassie greeting Rabbi Hailu Paris, an Ethiopian-born leader and teacher in our community at a gathering in New York City in which he and Chief Rabbi W. A. Matthew went to meet the  Lion of Judah,  a direct descendent of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

The Kechene Jews of Ethiopia

Background and early history

The Jewish presence in Ethiopia was known to the world hundreds of years ago. Many travelers gave witness to their existence and Jewish emissaries tried to reach the community. The Jewish population during those centuries was clustered primarily in the northern part of the country, mostly in the vicinity of Gondar. Today, these Jews are known as Beta Israel (House of Israel, sometimes called Falasha). Over the last 30 years, the majority of them have emigrated to Eretz Yisrael.

The main purpose of this paper is to introduce a little-known Jewish community, which was once part of Beta Israel. These Jews migrated South nearly 300 years ago and settled in the central part of the region known as North Shewa. Members of this community have been known as Baliij, Teyib, Moreti (named for Moret, the area of North Shewa where they originally settled), Beit Avraham, or, most commonly, as Kechene Jews, named for the area of Addis Ababa where they live now.

The Kechene Jews share ancestral origins with the Beta Israel and observe pre-Talmudic Jewish practices. There are several views as to the ancestry of the fathers of today’s Kechene Jews. One group claims to be descended from the lost tribe of Dan. A second group claims descent from the Israelites who accompanied Menelik I, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, on his journey from Israel to Ethiopia. Others, particularly from the Q’uara region, believe they are descended from the Levites who brought the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia for safe keeping when Jerusalem was ruled by a pagan King around 500 BC. And still others claim ancestry from those Israelites who fled Jerusalem when Babylon destroyed the city.

Separation of the Kechene Jews form the Beta Israel, however, began at the time Kassa of Q’uara crowned himself Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia in 1855. As was the custom at that time, the new Emperor captured and detained all potential rivals to prevent internal power struggle. One of his prisoners was the young Shewan prince Menelik.

Emperor Tewodros believed in a united and independent Ethiopia. To further this goal he established an arms factory near Debre Tabor. The arms factory employed a large number of Beta Israelis, many of whom also served in his army. However, because of his brutal rule, and his policy of redistributing fallow land owned by the Orthodox Christian Church, there was wide spread rebellion against his rule.

When the young Shewan prince Menilik noticed that Emperor Tewodros was weakened, he arranged for his escape. He convinced many of the Emperor’s crafts men and soldiers to follow him to Shewa with the promise of good positions in his government. That is how the fathers of the Kechene Jews left Dembeya (Gondar) to Moret (in the North Shewa region) in 1865. These Beta Israelis served the young prince and later when he became Emperor Menilik II, they built his palaces and also served in his army. When Emperor Menilik II decided to move his capital from Ankober, they followed him to Entoto and Addis Ababa and settled in Kechene.

The total population of Kechene Jews is estimated currently to be more than 150,000. They are skilled craftsmen, involved in the production of ploughshares, metal agricultural implements, knives, blades, iron spears, swords, pottery, and traditional clothing.

Later history of Kechene Jews

Beginning in the 18th century, the governor of the region of Moret had a positive attitude towards the Jewish community, and their products were in demand. They played a major role in the expansion and settlement of Shewa and a pivotal role in the establishment of the capital, Addis Ababa, providing crafts and manual labor. But despite their economic importance, they were regarded with distrust, fear, and at times, even hatred because of their Jewish faith. Faced with extreme persecution from their Christian neighbors, who called them anti-Christ, they lived as strangers in the region and were denied basic rights such as the ownership of land, which was granted only to those who accepted the Christian faith and underwent baptism.

The majority Christian community used pejorative terms when speaking and interacting with the Jews in their midst, resulting in the segregation of the Jews from their neighbors. As a result, the Jewish community lived, for the most part, in complete isolation from the rest of the country, as one of the poorest segments of society.

In the early years of the settlement in Moret, Jewish community members observed our fathers’ traditions publicly. But their Christian neighbors were outraged to see Judaism practiced in their land. This led to two major bloodbaths. Thousands of people who lived in a mountainous area of the region were slaughtered while they were celebrating a Jewish festival. Another brutal attack took place when a mob of neighboring Christians entered the houses of community members and killed those who could not escape, hanging the bodies of three spiritual leaders in a public square for all to see. To this day, we honor, in our prayers, people who died because of their faith.

To ensure the survival of the community and its continuity to the next generation, and to minimize persecution and gain access to burial grounds from the church, the elders instructed the community to abide by the following rules:

Members of the community were encouraged to adapt outwardly to the environment in which they lived, including going to church. Judaic practices would continue secretly, led by monastery monks. (The monastic system was not new at that point and was common among the Beta Israeli community.) The mode of religious practice was changed from open to secret. Access was denied to outsiders in their quest to learn about the community. Providing information about the community was strictly prohibited. Our fathers’ religious wisdom had to be passed orally from generation to generation. It was strictly forbidden to produce any written document until “The Day” — when God favors the community and their true identity and their religious practice can be made public without persecution. Evidence of secret Jewish practice

In 1843, German missionary Johann Krapf wrote that he had encountered a strange village in Moret a few years before. According to his account, the people in the community did not mix with the larger population. He observed that:

The surrounding Christian populations were in fear of them, considering them sorcerers. Christians did not enter their houses or eat with them. The village was outwardly Christian. Krapf strongly suspected that the villagers were Jews, writing:

They told me that if I had come on Saturday, they wouldn’t have received me, as on that day they neither go out of their houses nor kindle fires.

Another European visitor to North Shewa was Jacques Faitlovitch (1881-1955), a Jewish anthropologist and activist who had studied at the Sorbonne in France. Devoted to the exposure, study, and development of Ethiopia’s Jews, he remains a major figure in Ethiopian Jewish history. As David Francis Kessler discussed in his book, The Falashas (1996), Faitlovitch went to Ankober to learn about the community. The residents were not cooperative.

                                             Ethiopian playing harp like king David of Israel

He (Faitlovitch) found the members of this community deeply suspicious and reluctant to answer his questions. He concluded, however, that they were a breakaway sect who had become completely separated from the Falashas of Dembeya.

He was able to discover that the community had retained a number of Beta Israel customs, including observance of Sabbath, ritual purification, and circumcision on the eighth day after birth.

Views of the surrounding population

Kechene Jews who live throughout the region have never been considered part of the mainstream. Two cases in the more recent past are illustrative.

Twelve years ago, a young Kechene boy on his own initiative tried to sign up for priestly service in the Ethiopian Orthodox church. The church declined the request because he belonged to the community. It is common knowledge that although Ethiopian Jews outwardly engage in activities of the Coptic Christian church, they are not allowed to give service in the church. Balambaras (Commander) Tsegaye Mengistu, an elder of the community, told us that fifty years ago the court made a decision regarding land ownership. A piece of land had been given by a Jew to one of the monasteries. The owner of land surrounding the monastery went to court claiming that the land was rightfully his. His argument was based upon the law as stated in the Kibre Negast (Glory of Kings) that Jews, who crucified Jesus, are prohibited from land ownership. The court ruled in his favor. (The decision was later reversed when the spiritual leaders of the monastery appealed to the governor of the region.)

Beta Israel’s attempt to re-establish contact

Ten years ago, community elder Ato Gebryohanes Wolde shared his memory that an emissary from the Beta Israel had come to Kechene requesting a meeting with the elders. The emissary informed them that he had good news for the community. The elders argued on the subject, concluding that, as they did not know this person or his mission, he might have a hidden agenda to uncover their internal affairs. So they decided to tell him that they were a totally Christian community and were not interested in working with non-Christians. After that, the Beta Israel never made another attempt to contact them.

This incident shows the dominant suspicion within the community, resulting in measures meant to protect the community and its identity. This strategy enabled the Kechene community:

To survive as a minority among hostile neighbors. To keep our fathers’ tradition — Judaic practices. To prevent assimilation. But there are disadvantages, too.

Kechene Jews are not part of the country’s development activities. Kechene Jews never sought religious freedom because it was not a subject for public discussion. Kechene Jews were cut away from the rest of world Jewry. Judaic traditions were passed from generation to generation only through word-of-mouth. Therefore, the community is in danger of extinction. Kechene Jews have little civic organization and live in extreme poverty. It should be emphasized that some practices of the Jewish faith are strictly adhered to by the Kechene community. These are practices in their original form that were recognized before the Second Temple, some of which have become obsolete in normative Judaism. These include isolation of menstruating women for seven days in separate huts, separation of women after childbirth — for seven days if the child is male and fourteen days if female, and circumcision of male children on the eighth day after birth. After the death of a community member, the body is washed according to our fathers’ tradition, wrapped in a shroud (not placed in a coffin), and buried within twenty-four hours. Sabbath is observed by community elders in a secret synagogue on Saturday mornings; they have no contact with Gentiles. Craftsmen and craftswomen stop work early on Friday evening and do not work on the Sabbath.

History of the Zionist movement among Kechene Jews

Throughout the years, there have been attempts to address social and economic issues of poverty, education, and markets for products. However, issues of religious identity were rarely raised. In 1992, one of our community members, Mr. Shiferaw Gullie, brought up the topic for discussion for the first time. He told small circles of his compatriots that while on business in Asia he had met a Jew and exchanged ideas about our community as one of the lost tribes of Israel. Discussion continued among various groups.

From those discussions, it became clear that we lacked adequate knowledge about our history and religion. Younger community members tried to learn more from elders and visited remote secret synagogues to have a clearer picture about the religion. It was noticeable, however, that the elders were reluctant to discuss these things, fearing that information would get back to hostile Christian neighbors.

After two years of information-gathering and sharing, the Zionist movement was established to: promote public Jewish observance fill the knowledge gap regarding our history and religion in order to teach the younger generation establish a synagogue openly secure ground for a Jewish cemetery. In order to achieve these goals, the Zionist movement was legally instituted as the North Shewa Zionist Organization, named for the region where the community settled 300 years ago. The organization has opened a synagogue in Kechene, Addis Ababa called Beth-Selam, which means House of Peace.

Rabbinical Assembly Resolution on Ethiopian Jewry

After assessing the political situation in Ethiopia, the Rabbinical Assembly (the international association of Masorti rabbis) passed a resolution in February, 2002 regarding Ethiopian Jews. They believed that the political climate allowed the creation of public institutions that would help to protect the Jewish heritage of Ethiopia. The resolution stated, “Therefore, be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly support Ethiopian Jews with encouragement, literature, advice, visitors and financial support.”

Another 2002 Rabbinical Assembly resolution on helping the poor recalled biblical teachings: “Open your hand [to the poor person] and provide sufficient for the needy” (Deut. 15:8), and “Just as God clothed the naked…so too you must supply clothes for the naked [poor]” (Talmud B. Sotah 14a).

Based on Jewish tradition to help the poor, the Rabbinical Assembly’s 2002 resolutions, and the current poverty of Ethiopia’s neglected and isolated Jewish Kechene community, the leadership beseeches the Assembly to set up a system for meeting the community’s diverse needs.

The Kechene community wants and needs to end the isolation that was originally adopted for security reasons. The Kechene Jewish leadership respects the government of Ethiopia and feels that there is no longer a good reason to hide.

Jewish law requires that Jews must welcome visitors and see to their well-being. Many Jewish tourists — Israelis and Ethiopian Israelis — come to Ethiopia and have had no place to observe Shabbat in Addis Ababa or to meet with the community. Hence, supporting and expanding the newly established Jewish synagogue in Kechene is vital. Meeting other Jews face-to-face is a prerequisite for acceptance by world Jewry.

Reintegration of the Kechene Jewish community with fellow Jews must take into account the historical and traditional values of the community. We cannot be oblivious to the fears of the community. Historically, “foreigners,” both visitors from outside Ethiopia and Ethiopians who are not members of the Kechene community, are viewed with a watchful eye. Recently, however, many members of the community have graduated from institutions of higher learning in Ethiopia and abroad, and have obtained degrees in many fields. Education of the younger generation has built trust among the older generation, who seem more secure about the stands taken by their sons and daughters concerning community issues. However, efforts to help the community will bear fruit only if community members are consulted and if they are directed and administered by community members with a minimum of “foreign intervention.”

Following is an assessment of the needs of the Kechene community. They are discussed in order of precedence, from pressing to more long-term. Some pertain to religious needs, while others concern general economic conditions.

Beta Israel, Maasai & Lemba

Masai in Bible 1 chronicles 9 Cushitic peoples: Afar people, Oromo people, Somali people, Semitic peoples, Amhara people, Arab people, Assyrian people, Druze people, Harari people, Jewish people, Iranian Arab people, Syriac-Aramaic people & Tigray-Tigrinya people.

Web on African peoples:


Cohaniem travelling South. The Queen of Sheba in Ethiopian and Lemba tradition. Similar to oral traditions, written histories may exist in more than one version. The biblical story of the Queen of Sheba's visit to King Solomon has undergone an extensive elaboration in different literary traditions. Compared to the Jewish and Muslim legends, a fundamental change of atmosphere can be discerned in the Ethiopian version (Kebra Nagast). The story as recorded in the Kebra Nagast might have had an influence on the traditions of other African peoples. The Lemba in Southern Africa are a very specific group with unique traditions regarding Israelite origins. Their oral traditions provide more information than any written sources. The reciprocity between orality and inscripturation of traditions yields valuable information regarding the possible development of traditions in ancient Israel. It shows how the Lemba and Ethiopians have constructed their own iconography and set of beliefs around Biblical stories.

Ngoma lungundu: An African Ark of the Covenant.The Lemba in Southern Africa are a specific group with unique traditions regarding Israelite origins. Their oral traditions also contain significant information on the leading role their priestly family played on their journey from the North into the Arabian Peninsula and eventually into Africa. They blazed their trail southwards into Africa as traders, with the ngoma lungundu ("the drum which thunders") playing a very similar role to that of the Ark of the Covenant. Striking parallels between the two traditions as well as a possible link between these two narratives are scrutinised. Their oral culture constitutes their world-view and self-understanding or identity. It incorporates the role of oral traditions, history and historiography. One could draw parallels between orality in early Israelite and African religions. The reciprocity between orality and inscripturation of traditions yields valuable information regarding the possible development of traditions in the Old Testament.

“Ethiopia”  comes from the word “Cush” which designates the Hindu Kush Mountains

It's interesting that the name of DaN is found in several important toponyms around Ethiopia & this fact gives more weight to the belief of being DaNites in & around Ethiopia: suDan, ogaDeN, DaNakil, aDeN, TaNa (Ethiopia), TaNa (Kenya), TaNganyika. SoCotra has the consonants of the name of iSaaC.

Do the Zaghawa people have any relation with the Zagwe dynasty? This dynasty is considered to have Jewish origin, therefore the Zaghawa would also have the same origin. The Zagwe were from Ethiopia & the Zaghawas live between Chad & Sudan, so not very far away from the area.

When the capital of ancient Israel, Samaria, fell to the Assyrians, II Kings 17:5-6 records that the last Israelite defenders were transplanted to the region of the Medes (now northern Iran). Samaria was in the territory of the Israelite tribe of Ephraim, and one would expect many of the last wave of Israelite captives from the tribe of Ephraim. Numbers 26:35-37 also records that the tribe of Ephraim was subdivided into four clans, three of which were named the Bachrites, the Eranites and the Tahanites. In later centuries, three powerful tribes of the Scythian-Parthian alliance were the Bactrians, the Eranians and the Dahanites. Notice the striking similarity in the names of the Ephraimite clans and the Scythian-Parthian tribes. These tribes were all clans of the same Israelite tribe of Ephraim grown into exceedingly great numbers. The term “Eran” is an archaic one from which is derived the name of the modern nation of “Iran.” Interestingly, the nation of Iran (although it is now Persian, not Israelite) is still known by the name of a clan of the Israelite tribe of Ephraim which used to live in that region. “D” and “T” are related (and often interchangeable) consonants even as “P” and “B” were often interchangeable consonants in the ancient world, making the Dahanites and the Tahanites the same Ephraimite clan. Bactria was derived from the Ephraimite clan name of the “Bachrites.” I doubt you will ever see the Israelite origin of all these names in any history book. It would be the same with the lake TaNa in northern Ethiopia & the name of DaN.

The toponym Yaha, in Ethiopia, recalls the Jewish God Jehova or Yaveh. Another toponym that recalls the Jewish & Christian God is "Yev" (Elefantine, island in the Egyptian Nile were there was a large jewish community since ancient times, to the point that they even built a temple there to the Most Hi God) may have Jewish origin. In fact the Jewish influence in Egypt has been so old that, at least, they built  two temples in Egypt: in Elefantine (Upper Nile, southern egypt) & Leontopolis (Lower Egypt, northern Egypt), also known as Heliopolis, & nowadays known as Tell el-Yahuda because of its formerly large Jewish population. The area in which location was placed the temple was called  Land of Onias (in the Delta) after Onias IV, a Kohen.

Are the Kissi the offpring of Kish or Kush? Kish was an Israelite, father of the first king of Israel & Kush a Hamite.

Kush in Hindu Kush & in Ethiopia

Nineteenth century, modern, and Arabic scholars have sought to identify the "land of Cush" with Hindu Kush, and Gihon with Amu Darya (Jihon/Jayhon of the Islamic texts). Amu Darya was known in the medieval Islamic writers as Jayhun or Ceyhun in Turkish.This was a derivative of Jihon, or Zhihon as it is still known by the Persians.Gihon has also been associated with the Araxes (modern Aras) river of Armenia. First-century Jewish historian Josephus associated the Gihon river with the Nile.

The word translated “Ethiopia” in verse 5 of some Bible versions actually comes from the word “Cush” which designates the region of the Hindu Kush Mountains which straddles Afghanistan and Pakistan and is the home of strong anti-American, pro-Taliban sentiment.
Kushaiah kishi kish Kesh Kush Cush Cis Qais

A Levite ( 1 Chronicles 23:21,22 ; 1 Chronicles 24:29)

A Levite (2 Chronicles 29:12)
A Benjamite (1 Chronicles 8:30; 1 Chronicles 9:36)
Father of Saul (1 Samuel 9:1-3; 1 Samuel 10:21; 2 Samuel 21:14)
Father of Saul » Called CIS (A. V.) in (Acts 13:21)
Great grandfather of Mordecai (Esther 2:5)

CUSHAN » Poetic form of Cush (Habakkuk 3:7)

Habacuc 3:7 He visto las tiendas de Cushán en aflicción; Las tiendas de la tierra de Madián temblaron.
ETHIOPIA » Was called the land of Cush, mentioned in (Genesis 10:6; 1 Chronicles 1:9; Isaiah 11:11)
HAVILAH » Son of Cush (Genesis 10:7; 1 Chronicles 1:9)
NIMROD » Son of Cush
RAAMAH » Son of Cush (Genesis 10:7; 1 Chronicles 1:9)
SABTA » Son of Cush (Genesis 10:7; 1 Chronicles 1:9)
SABTECHA » Son of Cush (Genesis 10:7; 1 Chronicles 1:9)
SEBA » Son of Cush (Genesis 10:7; 1 Chronicles 1:9)

Cusi (personaje israelita)

Jeremías 36:14 Entonces enviaron todos los príncipes a Jehudí hijo de Netanías, hijo de Selemías, hijo de Cusi, para que dijese a Baruc: Toma el rollo en el que leíste a oídos del pueblo, y ven. Y Baruc hijo de Nerías tomó el rollo en su mano y vino a ellos.

Sofonías 1:1 PALABRA de Jehová que fué á Sofonías hijo de Cushi, hijo de Gedalías, hijo de Amarías, hijo de Ezechîas, en días de Josías hijo de Amón, rey de Judá.

"Cushi" o "Cusi", resulta ser en otras versiones "el etíope"

2 Samuel 18:32 El rey entonces dijo a Cusi: ¿El mozo Absalom tiene paz? Y Cusi respondió: Como aquel mozo sean los enemigos de mi señor el rey, y todos los que se levantan contra ti para mal.

2 Samuel 18:31
31 Y luego vino Cusi, y dijo: Reciba nueva mi señor el rey, que hoy Jehová ha defendido tu causa de la mano de todos los que se habían levantado contra ti.
2 Samuel 18:23

23 Mas él respondió: Sea lo que fuere, yo correré. Entonces le dijo: Corre. Corrió pues Ahimaas por el camino de la llanura, y pasó delante de Cusi.
2 Samuel 18:21

Y Joab dijo á Cusi: Ve tú, y di al rey lo que has visto. Y Cusi hizo reverencia á Joab, y corrió.

2 Samuel 18:22 Entonces Ahimaas hijo de Sadoc tornó á decir á Joab: Sea lo que fuere, yo correré ahora tras Cusi. Y Joab dijo: Hijo mío, ¿para qué has tú de correr, pues que no hallarás premio por las nuevas?

On Beta Israel, Sephardim & the Bible

Beta Israel: "Professor Yochanan (Jean) Bwejeri is a member of the Bene-Zagwei clan of the Tutsi people of Burundi. He claims that he is a Jew by birth. His ancestors and the ancestors of all Tutsi were all Jews by birth and not by conversion. Except where I write in the first person, I relate these claims and the facts and opinions upon which they are based as they were told to me by Professor Bwejeri — and as often as possible in his words." Notice the article quotes that Professor Yochanan (Jean) Bwejeri is a member of the Bene-Zagwei (Sons of Zagwei) clan of the Tutsi? Are not these Zagwei as in Zagwe not the Bete Israel of the Zagwe dynasty who built the beautiful Churches in Lalibela, Ethiopia? Here are some interesting movies on the Tutsi Hebrews. 

                                                                    Laliber castle

Why Ethiopians call themselves Habasa or Habesha? When you break the word Habasa down into the ancient Hebrew, you get Ha = the, ba = sons, and sa(m) = Shem. Shem (Hebrew: םש, Modern Shem Tiberian Šēm ; Greek: Σημ Sēm; Arabic: ماس Sām;Ge'ez: ሴም, Sēm; "renown; prosperity; name")" Notice that the ancient Hebrew word sa(m) = Shem from above is exactly the same pronunciation and word as the Arabic word for Shem = Sam and the Ge'ez word for Shem = Sem? What I teach you Bete Israel makes very much sense because Habasameans "The sons of Shem", and when you break down the modern version of it which isHabesha in modern Hebrew, you get Ha = the, be(ne) = sons, and sha = Shem, or  basically said, "The sons of Shem". What I teach makes even more sense because the Basa Lemba as in Habasa Lemba as in Habesha Lemba of South Africa say that when the Assyrians came against the land of Canaan (Israel) in 721 BC, which in that time I am proud to say was a part of the 25th dynasty of Kemet aka the ancient Kushite Empire, thatthey first fled to Yemen (Saba), which may explain why Ge'ez inscriptions were foundthere; from Yemen (Saba) they fled into mother Ethiopia we where many stayed whileonly a small portion of them went into Zimbabwe and built the country there.

The BasaLemba as in Habasa Lemba as in Habesha Lemba that settled in mother Ethiopiawe became known as the Bete Israel aka Falasha. We also know that the nation of Zimbabwe in which they built is known as "The Land of King Solomon's Mines". When you remove the "ha" in "Habasa" you get Basa, as in Basa or Basaa Lemba. Basa aka Basaa is a Bantu word. Also from this web link, "African Tribal Names", you will see that Basaa are a tribe found in Cameroon, Liberia, and Nigeria.==> http://www.ezakwantu.com/Gallery%20Tribal%20Names%20-%20African%20Tribe%20Names.htm 

With that being said, if you Bete Israel were paying attention, the "we" pronunciation is found in Ethiopiawe, Zimbabwe, and Zagwei (Zagwe). Hebrew Israelites are extremely intelligent people, and us founding the first civilization is an example of this intelligence. 

I heard that word Tutsi is a Oromo word. As dna testing is advancing, and it already is past the usual Y and mt tracing, checking the individual 23 chromosomes for segments leading to Jewish connections might turn up facts.  They were being horribly mistreated in Ethiopia.  This is why Israel was created for; the return of Jews, especially those under duress. Also, the end of times has prophesied the return of the Lost Ten Tribes to Israel.  Those that have been accepted and have returned want to practice Judaism and some have been doing so as they understand it. Some show traces of practices of long ago Judaism.

Ijaw (also known by the subgroups "Ijo" or "Izon") are a collection of peoples indigenous mostly to the forest regions of the Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers States within the Niger Delta in Nigeria. Some are resident in Akwa-Ibom, Edo, and Ondo states also in Nigeria. Many are found as migrant fishermen in camps as far west as Sierra Leone and as far east as Gabon along the Western Africa coastline.

The Ijo people number about an estimated 3.4 million. They have long lived in locations near many sea trade routes, and they were well connected to other areas by trade as early as the 15th century.

                                                            Ijaw/Ijo/Izon tribes

It is believed by some that the descendants of Arodi are the peoples and tribes of: Ibibios, Efik, Anang, Ogoni, Afikpo, Abakariki, Umon, Yako, Nembe, and Arochukwu..

The Efik People Also Often Referred to As Efik Eburutu, Eburutu, Or Eburu

The Efik people were often referred to as Efik Eburutu. Eburutu (or Eburu) being a corruption of the word “Hebrew,” and Ututu which is one of the early settlements of the Efik people in the coastal southeastern part of Nigeria.

The Efik are an ethnic group located primarily in southeastern Nigeria. 'Efik' is also the name of their language which is a variation of the Ibibio language. The Efik migrated down the Cross River from Cameroon in the 16th century and founded numerous settlements in the Calabar area in present-day Cross River State. This area along with present-day Akwa Ibom State are usually referred to as Calabar, and Calabar people accordingly, after the European name Calabar Kingdom given to their state of Akwa Akpa. Calabar is not to be confused with the Kalabari Kingdom in Rivers State which is an Ijaw state to its west. Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State were formerly one of the original twelve states of Nigeria known as the Southeastern State.

                                                                      Eburutus or Efiks

The Efik people as well as their Annang and Ibibio brothers and sisters also occupy Southwestern Cameroon including Bakassi. While in the then Eastern Region of Nigeria prior to the civil war, the region allowed Southwestern Cameroon to be partitioned out of Nigeria into Cameroon through the 1961 plebiscite which divided them (Efik, Ibibio and Annang) into Nigeria and Cameroon.

The Efik people speak the Efik Language. Various dialects of their language include Oron, Biase, Annang and Ibibio, Eket (Ekid) a subgroup of Ibibio was also one recognised dialect of the people. The Efik/Eburu are 568,000 people.

The Annang or Anaang

The Annang (also spelled Anaang) is a cultural and ethnic group that lives in the Coastal Southeast Nigeria (also known as Southeastern Nigeria or former Southeastern State of Nigeria). At present, the Annangs have eight local government areas of the present thirty-one local government areas in Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria (Akwa Ibom State Local Government Areas), namely Abak, Essien Udim, Etim Ekpo, Ika, Ikot Ekpene, Obot Akara, Oruk Anam and Ukanafun in the Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. They were formerly located in the former Abak and Ikot Ekpene Divisions of the Annang Province, in the former Eastern Region of Nigeria.

The Annang people are located in the Coastal Southeastern Nigeria and Southwestern Cameroon which was a part of the present Akwa Ibom State and Cross River State. However, during the then Nigerian Regional era, the then Eastern Region of Nigeria allowed Southwestern Cameroon to be partitioned out of Nigeria into Cameroon through the 1961 plebiscite. In this action the Annang, Efik and Ibibio people were divided into Nigeria and Cameroon.

Annang society is patriarchal. Individuals locate their place in the social world from the Idip, literally translated as, womb. Thus a brother/sister from the same Idip means that they can trace their origin to the same mother or father. Since polygamy is practised in the society, those who can so trace their ancestry to the same parents form Ufok (literally a house or compound). Several ufoks make up Ekpuks or extended family and several Ekpuks (extended families) make up "Idung" (meaning village) and several villages make up the "abie" or clan. The Anaang are 2,367,000 people.

Leadership at the family, lineage, village, or clan level remains the prerogative of the men, and lineage ties extends to women even after marriage. There are many societies and associations (URIM) for men and women which are very important in traditional village life. Individuals are measured by both the number and types of memberships in Urim and by the achievements of one or more Urims. Governance is done by elderly males who act as the legislative arm called Afe Isong, directed by the Obong or Abong Ichong (Village Chief and Clan Chief) who is the head and the chief executive 

                                                                         Annang elders

The Annangs have a rich oral tradition. It is believed that the group have their origins in Egypt and settled in Ghana before arriving in the present area. The name Annang in Twi in Ghana means fourth son. It is believed that Annangs started their migration from Egypt around 7500 BC. The Abiakpo came to the northern range of Annang from Eka Abiakpo. They were quickly followed by the Ukana clan, the Utu, Ekpu, Ebom and Nyama (The British would lumped these together and gave the name Otoro), and other Annang clans.

Oral tradition has it that the Annang and the entire people of akwa Ibom and Cross River States of Nigeria (AKwaCross people) have occupied their land in the coastal Southeastern Nigeria thousands of years before the birth of Christ.

The same oral tradition has it that their ancestors were Israelites (Jews) of the Northern Kingdom who left Israel to Egypt before the Babylonian captivity and that the ancestors of the Annangs and other people of Akwa Ibom and Cross River States (the Efik, the Ibibio, etc.) of Nigeria were the products of marriages of the people of Israel and Egyptians who migrated from Egypt to their coastal southeastern land in Nigeria via Ethiopia and Sudan.

The Ibibio People

The Ibibio are a people of southeastern Nigeria. They are related to the Anaang and the Efik peoples. During colonial period in Nigeria, the Ibibio Union asked for recognition by the British as a sovereign nation. The Annang, Efik, Ekid, Oron and Ibeno share personal names, culture, and traditions with the Ibibio, and speak closely related varieties of Ibibio-Efik.

The Ibibio have lived in the Cross River area of modern day Nigeria for several hundred years, and while written information about them only exists in colonial records from the late 19th century on, oral traditions have them in the region much earlier than this.

"Ibio-ibio" means short or brief and doesn't have anything to do with "ulok" and while it is called "ufok" by some other Ibibio groups. The name "Ikot" often replaces "the house of... or the people of ", referring to their origin or ancesstors. Another meaning for Ikot in Ibibio land is bush.

Ibibio religion was of two dimensions, which centered on the pouring of libation, worship, consultation, communication and invocation of the God of Heaven (Abasi Enyong; Elohim?) and God of the Earth (Abasi Isong; Satan?). The Ibibio are over 5 million people.

Igala People

The Igalas have Israelite origin as their Ibo neighbors. They have a town called Idah which relates to Judah. It doesn't seem to be by chance that that the name Igala is so close to the Hebrew name Igal (Yigal, Yig'al). In modern Hebrew, the name "יגאָל" sounds just like the verb "יגאַל" (the future tense masculine singular form of the verb לגאול [lig'ol]), which means: (he) will liberate. Igal is the name of one of the spies Moses sent to search Canaan. This is also the name of one of King David's heros.

Numbers 13, 1-7 "And the Lord spake unto Moses saying: Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan which I give unto the children of Israel, of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them... Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph." 

                                                          Igala territory in Nigeria

Igala are an ethnic group of Nigeria. Igala practice a number of different religions, including animism, Christianity, and Islam.

The home of the Igala people is situated east of the river Niger and Benue confluence and astride the Niger in Lokoja, Kogi state of Nigeria. The area is approximately between latitude 6°30 and 8°40 north and longitude 6°30 and 7°40 east and covers an area of about 13,665 square kilometers (Oguagha P.A 1981) The Igala population is estimated at two million, they can also be found in Delta, Anambra and Edo States of Nigeria. The Igala language is closely related to the Yoruba and Itsekiri languages.

The Igalas are ruled by a figure called the "Attah". The word Attah means 'Father' and the full title of the ruler is 'Attah Igala', meaning, the Father of Igalas (the Igala word for King is Onu). Although "Attah" means "father"', female rulership is recognized and Igala has had female rulers in the past (Boston 1968). Among the most revered Attahs of the Igala kingdom are Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko and Atta Ameh Oboni. According to oral tradition, Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko offered his most beloved daughter, Inikpi to ensure that the Igalas win a war of liberation from the Jukuns' dominance. Attah Ameh Oboni is known to be very brave and resolute. He is revered for his stiff resistance of the British and his struggles to uphold some ancient traditions of the Igalas. When he got wind of a plan to depose and exile him by the British, he committed suicide by hanging himself to forestall the plan, he is regarded by most Igalas as the last real Attah Igala. There is an Igala association in the United States, called Igala Association USA. The new Attah of Igala is HRM Idakwo Michael Ameh Oboni II.

The traditional Igala society is largely agrarian, although fishing is also a mainstay of the people especially the Igalas of the riverine Idah area.

Boston (1968) believes that the central geographical location of the Igala people has exposed them to a wide variety of linguistic as well as cultural influences from other ethnic groups in the country. Notable among these are the Igbira, the Bini, the Igbo, the Hausa, the Idoma and the Yoruba ethnic groups. However, the most significant relationship, by far, is that between the Igala and the Yoruba peoples.


The Tutsi (/ˈtʊtsi/; Rwanda-Rundi pronunciation: [tūtsī]), or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group inhabiting the African Great Lakes region. Historically, they were often referred to as the Watutsi, Watusi, or the Wahuma. The Tutsi form a subgroup of the Banyarwanda and the Barundi peoples, who reside primarily in Rwanda and Burundi, but with significant populations also found in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania.

They are the second largest population division among the three largest groups in Rwanda and Burundi, the other two being the Hutu (largest) and the Twa (smallest). Small numbers of Hema, Kiga and Furiiru people also live near the Tutsi in Rwanda. The Northern Tutsi that reside in Rwanda are called Ruguru (Banyaruguru), while southern Tutsi that live in Burundi are known as Hima, and the Tutsi that inhabit the Kivu plateau in the Congo go by Banyamulenge.

The definitions of "Hutu" and "Tutsi" people may have changed through time and location. Social structures were not stable throughout Rwanda, even during colonial times under the Belgian rule. The Tutsi aristocracy or elite was distinguished from Tutsi commoners, and wealthy Hutu were often indistinguishable from upper-class Tutsi.

When the European colonists conducted censuses, they wanted to identify the people throughout Rwanda-Burundi according to a simple classification scheme. They defined "Tutsi" as anyone owning more than ten cows (a sign of wealth) or with the physical feature of a longer nose, or longer neck, commonly associated with the Tutsi.

The Europeans believed that some Tutsis had facial characteristics that were generally atypical of other Bantus. They sought to explain these purported divergent physical traits by postulating admixture with or partial descent from migrants of Caucasoid stock, who usually were said to have arrived in the Great Lakes region from the Horn of Africa and/or North Africa.

By contrast, the Europeans considered the majority Hutu to be characteristic Bantu people of Central African origin.

The Tutsi have lived in the areas where they are for at the very least hundreds of years, leading to considerable intermarriage with the Bantu / Hutu people in the area. Due to the history of intermingling and intermarrying of Hutus and Tutsis, ethnographers and historians have lately come to agree that Hutu and Tutsis cannot be properly called distinct ethnic groups.

Y-DNA (paternal lineages)
Modern-day genetic studies of the Y-chromosome suggest that the Tutsi, like the Hutu, are largely of Bantu extraction (80% E1b1a, 15% B, 4% E3). Paternal genetic influences associated with the Horn of Africa and North Africa are few (1% E1b1b), and are ascribed to much earlier inhabitants who were assimilated. However, the Tutsi have considerably more Nilo-Saharan paternal lineages (14.9% B) than the Hutu (4.3% B).

Prior to the arrival of colonists, Rwanda had been ruled as a Tutsi dominated monarchy. Beginning in about 1880, Roman Catholic missionaries arrived in the Great Lakes region. Later, when German forces occupied the area during World War I, the conflict and efforts for Catholic conversion became more pronounced. As the Tutsi resisted conversion, the missionaries found success only among the Hutu. In an effort to reward conversion, the colonial government confiscated traditionally Tutsi land and reassigned it to Hutu tribes.

The area was ruled as a colony by Germany (before World War I) and Belgium. Because Tutsis had been the traditional governing elite, both colonial powers kept this system and allowed only the Tutsi to be educated and only they could participate in the colonial government. Such discriminatory policies engendered resentment.

When the Belgians took over the colony, they believed the colony could be better governed if they continued to identify the different populations. In the 1920s, they required people to identify with a particular ethnic group and classified them in censuses. European colonists viewed Africans in general as children who needed to be guided, but noted the Tutsi to be the ruling culture in Rwanda-Burundi.

In 1959, Belgium reversed its stance and allowed the majority Hutu to assume control of the government through universal elections after independence. This partly reflected internal Belgian domestic politics, in which the discrimination against the Hutu majority came to be regarded as similar to oppression within Belgium suffered from the Flemish-Walloon conflict, and the democratization and empowerment of the Hutu as a just response to the Tutsi domination. Belgian policies wavered and flip-flopped considerably during this period leading up to independence of Burundi and Rwanda.

The Hutu majority in Rwanda had revolted against the Tutsi but was unable to take power. Tutsis fled and created exile communities outside Rwanda in Uganda and Tanzania. Since Burundi's independence, more extremist Tutsi came to power and oppressed the Hutus, especially those who were educated. Their actions led to the deaths of up to 200,000 Hutus. Overt discrimination from the colonial period was continued by different Rwandan and Burundian governments, including identity cards that distinguished Tutsi and Hutu.

In 1993, Burundi's first democratically elected president, Melchior Ndadaye, a Hutu, was assassinated by Tutsi officers, as was the person entitled to succeed him under the constitution. This sparked a genocide in Burundi between Hutu political structures and the Tutsi military, in which "possibly as many as 25,000 Tutsi" were murdered by the former and "at least as many" were killed by the latter. Since the 2000 Arusha Peace Process, today in Burundi the Tutsi minority shares power in a more or less equitable manner with the Hutu majority. Traditionally, the Tutsi had held more economic power and controlled the military.

A similar pattern of events took place in Rwanda, but there the Hutu came to power in 1962. They in turn often oppressed the Tutsi, who fled the country. After the anti-Tutsi violence around 1959-1961, Tutsis fled in large numbers. In 1965, 130,000 (one third of all Tutsis) lived in exile in Zaire, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.

These exile Tutsi communities gave rise to Tutsi rebel movements. Exiled Tutsis attacked Rwanda in 1990 with the intention of liberating Rwanda. The fighting culminated in the Hutu mass killings of Tutsi and Hutu in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, in which the Hutu then in power killed an estimated 500,000–1,000,000 people, largely of Tutsi origin.

At the same time in 1994, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), mostly made up of diasporic Tutsi in Uganda, advanced to Rwanda. It had experience in organized irregular warfare from the Ugandan Bush War, and got much support from the government of Uganda. The initial RPF advance was halted by the lift of French arms to the Rwandan government. Attempts at peace culminated in the Arusha Accords. The agreement broke down after the assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian Presidents. Victorious in the aftermath of the genocide, the RPF came to power in July 1994.

Tutsis speak Rwanda-Rundi as their native tongue, which is a member of the Bantu subgroup of the Niger–Congo language family. Rwanda-Rundi is subdivided into the Kinyarwanda and Kirundi dialects, which have been standardized as official languages of Burundi and Rwanda. It is also spoken as a mother tongue by the Hutu and Twa. Additionally, many Tutsis speak French, the third official language of Rwanda and Burundi, as their lingua franca. The Hima speak the same language, but call their language Hima.

Contrary to some erroneous writings, the Banyamulenge are neither an ethnic group nor a tribe from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The term Banyamulenge, which means people of Mulenge in Kinyarwanda, is rather a collective denomination of descendants of Tutsi migrants from Rwanda most of whom are concentrated on the Itombwe Plateau of South Kivu, close to the Burundi-Congo-Rwanda border. This term owes its origins to Fuliiru village, which, in 1924, received the first group of Tutsi migrants before their dispersion in the highlands of South Kivu, where they were later joined, from 1959 to 1962 by successive waves of Tutsi refugees fleeing persecution. Its use has been controversial, but since the late 1990s, following the Rwanda Genocide, it has been used by Congolese Tutsi, formally known as Banyarwanda (people of Rwanda) to avoid being seen as foreigners.

The Banyamulenge have an ambiguous political and social position in Congo, which has been an issue of contention with other ethnic groups. They played a key role in the run-up to the First Congo War in 1996-7 and Second Congo War of 1998-2003.

The Basaas

Basaa could derive from the toponym Bashan ("smooth"), a region East of the Jordan. Bashan extended from Gilead in the south to Hermon in the north, and from the Jordan river on the west to Salcah on the east. Along with the half of Gilead it was given to the half-tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 13:29–31 ). Golan, one of its cities, became a Levitical city and a city of refuge (Joshua 21:27 ). That might make the Basaa tribe as the offspring of Manassah. In modern Hebrew basa means "too bad!" & it's an expresion taken from Arabic.

The Bassa (also spelled Basa or Basaa and sometimes known as Bassa-Bakongo) are a Bantu ethnic group in Cameroon. They number approximately 230,000 individuals. The Bassa speak the Basaa language as a mother tongue, which belongs to the Bantu branch of the Niger–Congo language family.

For centuries, the Bassa lived along the Atlantic coast of what is now Cameroon. They lived of subsistence farming and fishing.

The Bassa were displaced by Duala and early European traders, suffering exploitation and marginalization during the era of German Kamerun. Their fishing and farming efforts shrunk. During this German era, most Bassa were anti-colonialists, fighting against German expansion beyond the coast. However, they suffered a major defeat and were subjected to forced labor in the construction of the Douala-Yaoundé "Mittel Kamerun" railway.

Throughout the era of European colonial presence, the Bassa were able to take advantage of Christian missionaries to attain a Western-style education, particularly from German Protestants and American Presbyterians.

The Bassa played a lead role during decolonization, and the Bassa-Bakongo region was a hotbed of radical anti-colonial nationalism, particularly the Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC). However, the Bassa brand of anti-colonialism ultimately lost out during the creation of the postcolonial nation of Cameroon.

Despite their marginalization in the postcolonial state, there remains a belief in a "Nka kunde" or national liberation that has yet to occur.

The Basaa languages are a clade of Bantu languages coded Zone A.40 in Guthrie's classification. According to Nurse & Philippson (2003), the languages remaining from the formation of the Mbam group form a valid node. They are: Basaa–Kogo (Bakoko), Rombi–Bankon. Hijuk was listed as unclassified A.50 in Guthrie, but according to Ethnologue it is quite similar to Basaa.

Bankon (Abo, Abaw, Bo, Bon) is a Bantu language spoken in the Moungo department of the Littoral Province of southwestern Cameroon. It has a lexical similarity of 86% with Rombi which is spoken in the nearby Meme department of Southwest Province. Lexical similarity: 86% with Balombi (also called Barumbi, Lambi, Lombe, Lombi, Rambi, Rombi).

Bankon (Abaw, Abo, Bo, Bon) is a tribe related to Basaa and Rombi groups, located in the north of Douala city, Abo subdivision, Bonalea commune, in the Littoral region of Cameroon. The word Ban-Kon means "son of prince" in Assyrian, an Aramaic dialect. In her works The Negro-African Languages, the French scholar Lilias Homburger concluded that Bankon language is Kum. The word Kum means "arise" or "get up!" in Hebrew; the Assyrians called the House of Israel by the name of Kumri. Abo is an Arabic and Hebrew male name and a variant form of Abbas.

Are the Chagas Hebrews?

Chagas is a Jewish last name. Chaga comes from an unused Hebrew root meaning to revolve, terror, a reeling (in terror).

Chaga legends center on Ruwa and his power and assistance. Ruwa is the Chaga name for their god, as well as the Chaga word for "sun." Ruwa is not looked upon as the creator of humankind, but rather as a liberator and provider of sustenance. He is known for his mercy and tolerance when sought by his people. Some Chaga myths concerning Ruwa resemble biblical stories of the Old Testament.
The neighboring Moshi is very similar to the Hebrew Moshe.

The Kikuyu tribe was once part of Axumite empire (peripheral like Gonder)

African elders are not in a hurry when it comes to divulging their history. After many years of silence, they are revealing the proto- Gikuyu akin to the present Kikuyu community and who were known as " Kabiru” (Hebrew). They had come from Baci ( Ethiopia ) at a place called Hakum ( Axum ). They had to leave Axum because Tunyaga (the people of the Cross) or Nguo Ndune (the red costume) had conspired to steal Managi and Ikunjo (scrolls). In the escape to hide the treasure, war erupted and was fought through to Thagana ( Tana Island ). From Tana islands the war entered Somalia coast, Kaya Forests down to Kwale. In Digo, a fabricated covenant box was broken into pieces. The original Managi was presumed to have been broken into pieces to down play the interest in the search. The Seers say despite that, the war intensified as it took the direction of the mainland.

The Kabiru hurriedly buried Managi and the scrolls in secret locations in Mount Kenya. They recount how the proto-Gikuyu settled down to become the present communities around Mount Kenya. Others remained behind in the area of Coast Province. This war lasted for two generations, it fulfilled the prophesy of King David when he said "The Ethiopians will raise their hands in prayer to God". As a rule, they oriented their doors to face Mount Kenya and in payers they raised their hands up facing Mount Kenya . This reminds one of the book of Exodus Chapter 19 and 20 in the Old Testament.

Kikuyus thirst for Business and investment is not only restricted to the Kenyan Borders, their business acumen stretches across the world. Including, far flung places such as USA, S.Africa, United Kingdom etc. Kikuyus have no raw desire for power the only reason why they wish to control political happenings is to ensure that the entrepreneur spirit in them is not dampened by careless and un -favorable policies or poor governance.  Source: African elders.

Now it is clear why they are the movers and shakers of Kenyan Economy.

Black Jews Seek Unity, Acceptance In France

By Cynthia Weisfield

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — I’m going to share some memories with you. One took place in1968, one in 1974; both were in different cities, but both involved a request by a black Jew to take part in synagogue-sponsored activities: services and a social event. In both cases, there was much discussion before he was let in. Women clutched their purses a little closer to their bodies. Men stiffened. The black man generally sat alone. Full disclosure: I did try to make conversation at the social event, but the gentleman was as nervous as I. In each instance, when the man left, there was an audible sigh of relief. My emotions were mixed, but they circled around feeling unsettled.

The above should not really be surprising. We all thought then of Jews as being white Ashkenazi, right? Or maybe white Sephardic. Perhaps we’d give a thought to the Moroccan or Yemeni Jews who were air-lifted into Israel in the ‘forties and ‘fifties. But black Jews?

All of that was about B.K.E., Before Kulanu Era. Now we – that is, Jews everywhere — know that there are black Jews, Indian Jews, Chinese Jews, Jews around the world of all stripes and nationalities. We embrace them. Or do we?

French black Jews would say otherwise. They speak about feeling the discomfort in French mainstream synagogues. Of seeing astonishment, sometimes incomprehension on the faces of their white coreligionists. Sometimes there’s a feeling of rejection, of “mockery.”

Enter Nduwa Guershon of Paris. Nduwa was a Congolese who converted to Judaism at age 28. He is the leader of a group of black Jews, the FJN, Fraternité Judéo-Noir or Jewish-Black Fraternity, which he founded in 2007. FJN was formed not as a statement of separation but to become another component of Judaism along with Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews.

Theirs is a group where all Jews are welcome. To emphasize the point, this is a committed group of Orthodox Jews who are seeking full meshing with the “customary” Ashkenazic/Sephardic communities while maintaining their own presence. In that sense, they are just participating in the time-honored Jewish practice of forming synagogues, for whatever reason. They do have rabbis coming from Israel and London to assist.

Sidney Davis, a Master’s Degree student in Jewish Studies at Hebrew College in Newton Center, MA, and a black Jew, has corresponded with Nduwa. Davis puts the case eloquently.

Nduwa Edouard Guershon seeks to raise the consciousness as well as the conscience of the broader Jewish community to the plight of the black Jewish community in France and the pan African Jewish community at large. He seeks to do thiswithin the context of Judaism’s ethical ideal of social justice by forging alliances with Jews of goodwill everywhere in addressing racism and anti-Semitism. His organizing effort connected with the Fraternité Judéo Noire is an effort to bring African Jews out of the religious and social isolation that they have experienced historically as the result of their perception as the “ultimate other” and to present them alongside the rest of the diverse Jewish community as one people.

There are now 170-250 FJN members of whom 50 are children; there is no Sunday school as yet. Although some members still attend established synagogues, the group typically meets at members’ homes.

It is interesting to take a moment to consider why there is a certain prejudice against blacks in Judaism. Guershon reasons that much of this prejudice stems from the story of Ham, who saw his father, Noah, naked. The descendants of Ham were said to be black because of their sins — in reality, the sin of their father.

Laurence Thomas, a member of FJN who flies between his homes in Paris and Syracuse, NY, where he is a professor at Syracuse University, has found anti-black biases in religious texts. Yet as he points out in his article “Social Justice and Jews” on the FJN Web site: “The Torah does not designate skin color as even a remote indication of who counts as a Jew. It is time that we stop doing so.”

There is no absolute theory about why blacks are not fully accepted as Jews. The Torah tells us that Moses married an Ethiopian or Kushite woman. That has been interpreted by Nduwa as Hashem frowning on discrimination.We also remember that the Queen of Sheba was  black and well regarded by King Solomon.

The French have a longstanding history of anti-Semitism which, although quiescent for many years, is never far from the surface. They are still debating the Dreyfus Affair. The anti-Semitic “comic” Dieudonné has a large following. An increase in Muslim population and influence has cracked the quiet, as it has throughout Europe. The American Jewish Congress has reported an increase in attacks on Jews.
Shirli Sitbon, who writes in the Paris-Chronicler, reports on a rising tide of gang warfare against Jews in mixed ethnic neighborhoods.

Young men such as Rudy Haddad and Mathieu Roumi were beaten and tortured; Ilan Halimi died after his torture of three weeks’ duration. French Jews are worried. Indeed, my husband and I spoke with a Parisian couple who said that they figured they would have to emigrate to the United States at some point.

In this French cultural context, FJN efforts are courageous. Not only are they reaching out to mainstream Jews, who themselves may be afraid, but they are vocal in their various activities. A recent fundraising concert was held at l’Espace Rachi, a major venue in Paris.

They have a vibrant Web site (fjn-123.fr) that also has an English section) where they speak out vociferously on all manner of topics related to Judaism. They participate actively in demonstrations related to Israel, such as demanding the release of Gilad Shalit.

Despite the obstacles, Nduwa has great hopes. “We think…that we are in a favorable juncture where one can reconstruct a certain united community around important points such as questions linked to the Torah, study and life together,” he said. He realizes that it’s a long road, but he is committed to the journey of making all Jews comfortable with each other.

Meet a Non-Lemba Bantu Jew

We entered Africa to live with other Semites, Hamites and Kushites, descendants of our great-grandfather Noah. Some of us went to Yemen and lived with Arabs who influenced us, as did the Koi and San later on, but we kept very Jewish and discernible until we reached our southern African destination along the eastern coastline of Africa. This movement, circa 2500 years ago, was later nicknamed the Bantu migrations. Today we are known as Bantus and all too often "gentiles," too. This is misunderstanding as to our actual identity. About 70 percent to 80 percent of southern Bantus are not gentiles, nor are we simply Hamitic-Pygmy admixtures producing Negroes, as current history may purport. Our oral traditions suggest that we are Jewish, with songs like “Jerusalema” and places like "Dombo Ra Mwari /Nwali" ("Rock of God") in the Epworth district, as outstanding features and proof of our spiritual past, let alone our bloodlines. Yes, we have mixed with many people and nations, but we have remained basically dark / black in complexion throughout the ages.

Over 70 years ago Zimbabwean elders started tracing our origins, and Great Zimbabwe seemed a logical place to start. This search led to my own research and, like most looking for our true history, I arrived at the same conclusion. We are the 12 tribes of Yisrael in their entirety, descendants of Avraham, Isaac and Yakov, who built a temple Dzimba dze ma bge (Houses of Rocks) out of a rock called "Bgwe" and then around it a trading center -- very Jewish, huh?

We are Jews. Witness this by what we do and how we live, as the Good Book suggests, and not by what we look like – besides, original Jews were dark and still are, to this there can be no mistake. We believe we are the living, breathing Torah and have kept Torah in our hearts. “Torah” in Shona (the main Zimbabwean language) translates as "take" or Tolah in Zulu/Xhosa, and was "given" on Mt. Sinai to be "taken" by the Yisralites. This pattern of similarities permeates Bantu culture and languages, which are merely offshoots of original Hebrew. We still pay "lobola" to the parents of a bride, as Isaac and Yakov did by working their fields for seven years, or some form of labor and gifts, but now cows as a sign of wealth are acceptable. Jews resident in Yisrael and Europe have forgotten its practice. We keep one day of the week sacred called "Tshisi" in Zimbabwe. Many of us have forgotten all the old ways mainly due to colonization, Diaspora and Christian missionary education that slowly but surely has eradicated our identity and knowledge of it, so once again it is in great jeopardy.

However, 70 years ago we started to rekindle our culture and with it its inseparable religion. Congregation Betel was formed and is now led by Rabbi Cohen Maguwazah from our Rusape Synagogue as head rabbi of southern African Jews. We now have branches in South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and are associated with Betel in America. We are just black Jews, now called Bantus, and we are finding the truth about who we are and how we ended up south of the equator. Generally speaking, a negative myth and mistaken identity have plagued Jews throughout our history. That is why we left Palestine in the first place and lived in Diaspora for centuries. Our failure to show objects as our "Almighty" got Romans and Greeks to regard us as pagan or heathen, yet they are the gentiles. Later Arabs called us kifers (nonbelievers) because they could not understand how we knew of blood separation in animal slaughter (kosher killing) if we hadn’t read their "book," the Koran, that has echoes of our Torah which for us is written in our hearts.

We should never underestimate the power of the "Almighty." Our tribe is much bigger than we think. There aren’t hundreds of thousands of Jews in Africa, but millions. And millions more in India and China, etc. I have relatives and friends from the Lemba tribe and we have always known that not all Bantu are Israelite but many more than just the Lemba are Jews. The Lemba are just one major group of Jews that settled in southern Africa, but like our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia, it is not just one small group of people; a much larger picture can be drawn of our entire inheritance.

I foresee Judaism coming alive in Africa and India in the new century. Many of these new Jews will want to immigrate to the two main Jewish population centers, Israel and America. But many will remain in their Third World countries forming Jewish communities the likes of which we have not seen in millennia. Large new Jewish centers could sprout up around the world at any time. The experts who put together the population projections did not consider the possibility of millions of Jews in East India in what could be a virtual Jewish state there later in this century. They did not foresee countless African Jews in the new century, either. But we may be witnessing the beginnings of this phenomenon now with the Abayudaya Jews in Uganda who already live totally Jewish lives. Let us also consider the Lemba in South Africa who are starting to explore their ancient, lost, recently rediscovered Judaism.

Thousands Flock to Jerusalem for Traditional Festival of Sigd

Last week several thousand Ethiopian Jews gathered in Jerusalem for a celebration of the traditional holiday of Sigd.

The holiday of Sigd was a fundamental element of the Jewish experience in Ethiopia. The holiday that falls on the 29th day of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, exactly 50 days after Yom Kippur (similar to the 50-day cycle of the days of the Omer preceding the giving of the Torah), is dedicated to fasting and prayer, evoking the connection to Jerusalem and the covenant between G-d and the Jewish people. 

According to Avraham Negousi, Director of the Ethiopian immigrant organization, South Wing to Zion, the Sigd celebration helped the Jewish community in the faraway exile of Ethiopia maintain their yearning to return to Zion.

The source of the holiday is in the book of Nehemiah when the exiled Jews prayed“ toward Jerusalem. The Ethiopian Jews prayed together 'Next year in Jerusalem'. The holiday was about connecting to the receiving of the Torah and the promise that one day we will reach Jerusalem," recalled Negousi. 

In Ethiopia, Jews, while still fasting, set out during the morning hours of the day on a march to the peak of a nearby mountaintop, led by their spiritual leaders, Kessim, and carrying the traditional torah scrolls. Continued prayer and worship accompanied the ascent to the mountaintop where selected readings from the Torah were read in the language of Gaaz and then translated into the vernacular Amharit. In the afternoon the participants would descend to local villages where the fast was broken with joyous meals amidst festive dancing celebrations. 

Last week's Sigd festivities were held in Jerusalem, where thousands of Israeli Ethiopian Jews gathered from across the country at the Armon Hanatziv promenade overlooking the Temple Mount. In attendance at the event were government representatives, Ethiopian community leaders and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, who commended the Ethiopian Jews' dedication to upholding their traditions. "It is amazing that after the long journey you made from Ethiopia to Jerusalem, you did not leave behind this glorious tradition," said Immigrant Absorption Minister Tzipi Livni.

Although the nature of the celebrations has changed since their arrival in Israel, Ethiopian leaders continue to maintain the importance of the Sigd holiday. "Once we came here we decided to continue this holiday on top of East Talpiot, toward the western wall, praying and thanking G-d for fulfilling his promise, for realizing our dream and giving us the opportunity to be in Jerusalem and also to pray for those left behind in Ethiopia to come and join us," Negousi stated. 

Our dream is to be in the state of Israel and Jerusalem. Today more than 100,000 “Ethiopian Jews are proud citizens of Israel, however the Aliyah of Ethiopian Jewry is not completed. There are still 20,000 Jews in Ethiopia waiting to come to Israel to rejoin their brothers, parents and families," Negousi said, adding, "The government has decided to bring them to Israel by the end of 2007, but there is a government quota of only 300 a month. An agreement has been made to double the number to 600, but sadly this has not yet been implemented." 

Negousi denied claims that many of those awaiting immigration to Israel are not halachically Jewish. "Rav Shlomo Amar visited in Ethiopia and declared that they are Jews without a doubt and they must be brought to Israel. Every Jewish community has passed through a different historical process. The Ethiopian Jewish community also went through difficulties including persecution and drought," Negousi explained.

Ethiopian leaders, including Negousi, remain optimistic about the future of their people among their Israeli peers. "Most of my community comes from remote areas so it is not easy for them to integrate into modern society and urbanization, but our community is doing well, we are going in the right direction," stated Negousi. 

For Negousi the contemporary Sigd festivities resonate with deep spiritual meaning and offer an opportunity to express his appreciation that the dream of his people of returning to Zion has been realized. "Our fathers and grandfathers told us that we will go to Jerusalem. As a child I remember being told that the Prophets say that all the Jews will be returned to the Land of Israel. We love Israel and we love Jerusalem. Once a year thousands come to Jerusalem to say thank you," said Negousi.

Who Can Deny the Israelite Origin of Many Africans?

“We feel safe then, in formulating our first conclusion:–Somewhere in the dim past, a wave, or more probably a series of waves, of Hebraic influence swept over Negro Africa, leaving unmistakable traces among the various tribes, where they have endured even to the present day.” 

Joseph J. Williams

“In the year 65 BC the Roman armies under General Pompey captured Jerusalem. In 70 AD, General Vespasian and his son Titus put an end to the Jewish state, with a great slaughter…many outrages and atrocities were committed against the residue of the people. During the period from Pompey to Julius, it has been estimated that over 1,000,000 Jews fled into Africa, fleeing from Roman persecution and slavery. The slave markets were full of black Jewish slaves.” 

“Black Americans now are in position as never before in modern history to rediscover, and reclaim if they wish, a heritage which has profoundly influenced world history and mankind: the Hebrew heritage of Black Africa.” 

-Steven Jacobs, European Jewish historian
Author of? The Hebrew Heritage of Black Africa: Fully Documented


Hebrewisms were not just limited to the Ashanti in Jamaica but were plentiful in the land from which they came: Africa. Williams notes the following irrefutable evidence of Hebrewisms in Africa:

• The Floggings, the traditional number of strokes: forty less one • The common practice of New Moon festivals • The oath drink • The expectation of a Moshiach • Jewish distinction between diaboli and demonia • The duodecimal division of tribes into families• Exogamy • Blood sacrifices with the sprinkling of blood upon the altar and door-posts • Mourning Customs • Obsessions 
• Legal defilement • Jewish octave • Law on adultery • Sabbath rest • Levirate marriages •Circumcision • Priestly garb

ZEPhANIAH 3: 10. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia (Nile) my suppliants, [even] the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.

I don't believe all black people are Jews, I dont even like using that word Jew, I prefer Hebrew Isralite. Certain West african Tribes are Hebraic not all. There is no Isralite anywhere with PURE DOMINANT GENES, ESPECIALLY EuroPE. I dont think god ever gave a percentage of how much DNA one needs to be the people of the book. Ancestry is Ancestry. Also scripture identifies Jacobs seed going into captivity which we did, spread throughout the earth, the lowest, ridiculed, lost heritage, which we are. 

My point is this: West African Kigdoms of were at its best under Mosiatic law first and then forced Islam. once we live by the laws of the most high we can begin to improve ourselves and our status in the world. But all of that is impossible if we dont know who we were.

Kingdom of Judah in west Africa 

WHYDAH belongs by right of CONQUEST to Dahomey since 1725, when it received its name GLEHWEH, or "The Farm", indicating the part it played in supplying the capital with provisions.

On the route to Agbomey the first station is SAVI (Xavier), former capital of the Kingdom of WHYDAH, whose sovereign was said at one time to command two hundred thousand troops. Beyond Savi the route passes by Tolli, and Allada, the ancient Adara, also formerly the capital of a state, and still regarded as the metropolis of Dahomey, one of the royal titles being "Lord of Allada." 

Yet the place was ruined by the Dahomey people themselves in 1724, when they conquered the seaboard route and massacred the inhabitants of Allada.

The British surveyor William Smith, who visited Whydah in 1727, reproted that "all who have been here allowed this to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world."

Smith described the inhabitants of Whydah as gentlemanly people who abounded in good manners and ceremony to one another. All of them, he said, wer enaturally industrious and found constant employment . The men in agriculture and the women in spinning and weaving cotton to make cloth.

What surprised visitors who had observed the sparse population elsewhere in West Africa was the incredible density of the population. Chevralier Des Marchais, who mapped the Kingdom of Whydah in 1725, noted the poepulation was so dense that the Kingdom could almost be said to comprise a single village, and William Smith wrote that "this place is so well inhabited that a man here cannot fail of being in sight of ten or twent N**** towns anywhere within twenty miles of the seaside."

The population was fed by a thriving agriculture that was based on the production of millet but also included New World crops such as maize and sweet potatoes. 

European visitors wrote of agriculture in Whydah in rapturous terms. William Smith noted that "the natives were so industrious that no place that was thought fertile could escape being planted, though even within the hedges that enclose their villages and dwelling places, and they were so very anxious in this particular, that the next day after they had reaped they always sowed again without allowing the land any time to rest".

The export of many slaves out of Whydah, which was one of many slave ports, without any visible signs of depopulation , because slaves who were shipped out did not only come from those they took from Whydah Kingdom itself. Instead, the slaves arrived via the trade routes from the inland regions and from the North.

The captives represented as many as thirty different ethnic groups.

The slaves whom the Europeans purchased usually bore scarification, or "country marks," that had been incised into their flesh when they went through initiation as youths. The European slave traders used them to identify the geographical and ethic origins of the slaves. 

The most sought after category of slaves, according to Chevalier Des Marchais, who described the system in 1725, were people known as "Mallais." The name did not refer to the slaves themselves, but to the Muslim merchants, dressed in long robes typical of the Sahel region.
Who brought the slaves to Whydah from the North. 

Some of the captives, it was said, had spent three months en route before arriving in Whydah.

The Minas were said to be unsuitable for field labor because they were not used to it in their home country. They were said to be persons of honor with great powers of reason and good sense.

 The destruction from the research reveals the Europeans and Portuegues coming in and destroying/tearing down and dismantling the countries... killing off their resources, enslaveing them, killing them, preventing them from their own living, scattering and shipping them out of their own stuff.

Royal African Company of England
In May 1681, an attempt was made to establish a secondary factory in the neighbouring Kingdom of Whydah (Whiddaw, Guydah. etc..), to the west; but this proved abortive, the RAC factor left there, John Thorne, being recalled to take over ......

Names attributed to Juda, Whydah, Whiddah, Whidaw, Whid(d)a, Quida, Guidah, Guydah, Judeah...Those names were all the names they called the Kingdom of Juda.

That company also kept letters / correspondent of their trips, the name of the ships and the number of slaves they exported out. They were loading the ships at 200 - 400+ heads. hat English company went on to become one of the biggest Trans Atlantic Slave Trade companies of it's era. Arabs also sold the slaves from the North to the Europeans and Portuguese in West Africa.

Moses forewarned the Children of Israel of the curses that would befall them if they did not follow the commandments of The Most High. In Deuteronomy 28:15 it says this:

‘And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt not harken (listen) unto the voice of the of the L_rd thy G_d, to observe to do all his commandments and his statues which I command thee this day that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.’

The particular curses that would befall the Children of Israel for not keeping the commandments of G_d is that they would suffer slavery similar to the type of slavery they suffered in Egypt and that they would be transported into this new slavery on ships and that the places where we would be transported they would be sold as slaves to their enemies. In Deuteronomy 28:68 it says this:

‘And the L_rd shall bring thee into Egypt (slavery) again (a second time) with ships (Cargo Slave Ships), by the way whereof I spake unto thee, thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen (slave men) and bondwomen,(slave women) and no man shall buy you’.

This is the missing link between the Hebrew Israelites and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. It explains how the Israelites fled into the interiors of Africa as refugees after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. They were rounded up on the African continent and shipped all over the western hemisphere to be sold as slaves. This is the history that has been omitted from the pages of history.

Toward Uniting the Lemba Nation

I don‘t know any Venda language, but I will nevertheless speak to you, my brothers and sisters. The Venda I know only goes as far as mukapo and uuswva, which I think will not be useful or helpful at this juncture. I have managed to pick out these two words which relate to food because of the hospitality you people have shown us since the second we arrived from Zimbabwe. While I was sleeping last night in one of your houses, I was dreaming that one day the Limpopo River will be removed. It’s a river which is separating a nation—The Lemba Nation.

We are the Lembas, people of great honour. In Zimbabwe we still have got a long way to go, but I believe that with your help, my brothers and sisters, we will definitely unite the Lembas in Zimbabwe; at least some progress has been made and we now have put in place a steering committee just to run things. I may speak English with excellent diction and accent, but I am nowhere near an Englishman. You may speak Venda with excellent diction and accent; across the bridge they may speak Shona with excellent diction, accent, or vocabulary, but no one of you is Venda, no one of them is Shona. We are all Lembas. Let me warn you, brothers and sisters, let us not be separated by such things as languages, rivers, political boundaries and all the other potential barriers. Let’s not be separated by these languages, most of which are not our languages, after all. I take this opportunity to tell you that in our endeavor to bring the Lembas of Zimbabwe to their true identity.

The Ten Tribes: East Africa (Ethiopia)

In the 9th century CE, there was a man named Eldad ha-Dani who was a Jewish merchant and traveler and came and went to the Jewish communities of Babylonia, North Africa, and Spain. He left a record of his travels.

Eldad claimed that he was a merchant and scholar from an independent Jewish state that was situated in East Africa. He declared categorically that his country was the home of the Lost Tribes of Asher, Gad, Naphtali, and Dan, and that he himself was from the Tribe of Dan. His name ha-Dani means the Tribe of Dan in Hebrew.


Eldad mentions that in "Kush" of East Africa which is today's Ethiopia (although many scholars & maps agree that Ethiopia encompassed a huge a amount of Africa, far bigger than current Ethiopia) live a lot of descendants of the tribe of Dan and other tribes of Israel.

It is interesting to note that still in the 20th century CE there live a Jewish group called Falashas (if we consider that Ethiopia included far more than today we could add the other Israelite communities of olden times & of present times: Tutsis, Banyamulenges, Himas, Tubus, Qemants... Even the celebrated Eldad the Danite is considered to be be Tutsi) of Ethiopia. Their skin is black and they call themselves "Beta Israel" which means the House of Israel in Hebrew. They have been following the precepts of the Bible since ancient times in a loose fashion. The Falashas in Ethiopia speak Hebrew and keep the Sabbath. Tragically enough many of them were killed by a recent insurgence in Ethiopia, but the remnants emigrated to Israel. They were transported to Israel by the airplanes chartered by the government of Israel in 1983 and 1991. Over 90% of Beta Israel now live in Israel, accepted as Jews.

Eldad ha-Dani mentions also about Khazar kingdom which was located between Black Sea and Caspian Sea. He declares that several tribes from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel live in Khazar. In around 740 CE, the king and the people of Khazar all converted to Judaism. It was a national conversion and this is a well known history among the Jews.

According to Eldad, in Khazar lived three tribes from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. They were Reuben, Gad, and Half Manasseh. About 300 thousand of the people of Khazar were they. In the 9th century CE Joseph, the king of Khazar, wrote, "(the capital of Khazar consists of three towns and) in the second town live the Israelites (probably the Ten Lost Tribes), the descendants of Ishmael, Christians and the people who speak other languages." Thus, some of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel lived there.

Tutsi Zionist Council

State of Yehudah

The Tutsi Jews from the State of Yehudah, named after the Hebrew syntagm תֵצֵא “tetse” [those who will go forth’] are a renowned nomadic and semi-nomadic agro-pastoralist people of Eastern and Central Africa, also called the Great Lakes or Kingdoms of the Mountains of the Moon.The name “Mountains of the Moon” was given to the Tutsi Jewish Kingdoms by the Geographer, Mathematician and Astronomer, Rabbi Marinus of Tyre, one among many Talmudic scholars who used to visit the Tutsi Jewish Kingdoms of the Great Lakes and to learn as much as they could from the scientists and the Torah scholars of that long established Jewish nation.

House of Culture

The traditional practice of every Tutsi Jewish family includes the strict observance of the three pilgrimage holidays, with an emphasis, as among the Ethiopian Jews, on Sukkot (Umuganuro) as the foundation of the Tutsi identification with the land and the people of Israel. Traditional Tutsis observe, among other practices with which every Jew may be familiar, the respect of Shabbos (Umushamvu), the prescription of strictkashrut, sh’khitah (Gu-Cumita), the ubiquity of mitzvot in daily life (Hasereth Had’varim & Tariag Mitzvos), the institution of the Sanhedrin, the Bris Milah on the 8th day, when the new born male is also given a name, the appointment of cities of refuge (the last known being: Mpotsa, Budandari, Buruhukiro), the nazirite, Samsonite and/or priestly marking of hair as a sign of consecration as in Vayikra 21:5; the exclusive endogamy implying never marrying outside the kehilah, meaning the strict marriage among the Jewish tribes only; the levirate marriage (Yibbum), the laws governing family purity (Tahorot hamishpakhah), the wearing of tsitsis and tefillin, and a strong yearning for Jerusalem (“Urusha” / Urusalim: see Chumash Hertz, p. 52 note 18, about the conversation between Abraham and Melchizedek, King of Salem/Urusalim).


Tutsi Military Forces commonly known by the “Kush Yiddish” acronym Imihama (אימיחמא) are the military forces of the State of Yehuda. They consist of the ground forces, air force, and navy.

They have been on duty since the time of Moses from the bible, when he was the king of Kush for forty years.

Tutsi History

The Tutsi Jews, named after the Hebrew syntagm תֵצֵא “tetse” [those who will go forth’] are a renowned nomadic and semi-nomadic agro-pastoralist people of Eastern and Central Africa, also called the Great Lakes or Kingdoms of the Mountains of the Moon.The name “Mountains of the Moon” was given to the Tutsi Jewish Kingdoms by the Geographer, Mathematician and Astronomer, Rabbi Marinus of Tyre, one among many Talmudic scholars who used to visit the Tutsi Jewish Kingdoms of the Great Lakes and to learn as much as they could from the scientists and the Torah scholars of that long established Jewish nation 

The Council

The traditional practice of every Tutsi Jewish family includes the strict observance of the three pilgrimage holidays, with an emphasis, as among the Ethiopian Jews, on Sukkot (Umuganuro) as the foundation of the Tutsi identification with the land and the people of Israel. Traditional Tutsis observe, among other practices with which every Jew may be familiar, the respect of Shabbos (Umushamvu), the prescription of strictkashrut, sh’khitah (Gu-Cumita), the ubiquity of mitzvot in daily life (Hasereth Had’varim & Tariag Mitzvos), the institution of the Sanhedrin, the Bris Milah on the 8th day, when the new born male is also given a name, the appointment of cities of refuge (the last known being: Mpotsa, Budandari, Buruhukiro), the nazirite, Samsonite and/or priestly marking of hair as a sign of consecration as in Vayikra 21:5 (see: Ubusage); the exclusive endogamy implying never marrying outside the kehilah, meaning the strict marriage among the Jewish tribes only; the levirate marriage (Yibbum), the laws governing family purity (Tahorot hamishpakhah), the wearing of tsitsis and tefillin, and a strong yearning for Jerusalem (“Urusha” / Urusalim: see Chumash Hertz, p. 52 note 18, about the conversation between Abraham and Melchizedek, King of Salem/Urusalim).

Kosher Dietary Laws

The Tutsi Jewish law of Kashrut is based on Fresh fruits, vegetables and grains that are, in their natural unprocessed state,kosher and pareve. They do not need kashrut certification and can be used with either dairy or meat. However, once a vegetable is combined with a dairy or meat product, it becomes dairy or meat respectively.


Since the late 1990s, a group of Tutsi, who have their origin in the Great Lakes area of Africa (Burundi and Rwanda), claim that this region was the home of a Hebraic community in ancient times, and claim a Jewish identity. Their homeland, supposedly extending far beyond the regions where the Tutsi now reside, is called Havila by them, according to the name applied in Genesis 2:11 to the legendary territory watered by the Pishon River. The Tutsi claim to perpetuate either the pharaonic monotheism of the 18th dynasty of Egypt or Moses' faith as transcribed in the Hebraic Torah.

                                                                   Tutsi cowboy

The Hamitic-Semitic myth of the origins of these Tutsi, which was largely inspired by missionaries and colonists of the 19th century, now appears to be strongly reinforced by the symbolic uses they make of Judaism. Following their terrible suffering during the genocide of 1994, these Tutsi have increasingly claimed a Jewish identity and describe their history as a microcosm of World Jewish history, evoking the common experience of persecution to give more weight to their Jewish identity claim. The group is based in Belgium, where its president, Professor Yochanan Bwejeri, and the Havila Institute call upon Israel and the international community to condemn and take measures against the "antisemitic" violence in Africa towards the Tutsi ethnic group.

Tutsi Synagogues, Federations & Important Links

Tutsi Synagogues: 1)Kehilat Tutsim Beit Ahavat Ysrael, 2)Kehilat Tutsim Beit Ovadiah, 3)Kehilat Tutsim Beit Yaakov, 4)Kehilat Tutsim Beit Ysrael, 5)Kehilat Tutsim Maguem Avraham, 6)Kehilat Tutsim Maguem David, 7)Kehilat Tutsim Mekor Haim, 8)Kehilat Tutsim Mwambutsa Synagogue, 9)Kehilat Tutsim Shearith Yehudah, 10)Kehilat Tutsim Beit Shalom

 Tutsi Federations: 1) BiKingi, 2) BuGabiraBahizi, 3) BuGesera, 4) BuGendanaNkuyo, 5) BuHa, 6) BuHama, 7) BuHangaza, 8) BuHigaKurinda ,9) BuHimba, 9) BuHumuza, 10) BuKinaNyana, 11) BuNgwe, 12) BunYambo, 13) BuRwana, 14) BuSigaBamenja, 15) ButanYerera, 16) Bututsi, 17)BwambaraNgwe, 18) Bwiru, 19) Gisha, 20) KiVyeyi, 21) KwiJuru, 22) MaHonda, 23) MaRembo, 25 ) MaTahaNkoni, 26) MaYaga, 27) Moshe, 28) MuGamba, 29) MuHanga, 30) MveJuru, 31) NyabuTutsi, 32) NyamuRagira, 33) NyamaShaka, 34) RwiNtare, 35) Mirwa.

Tutsi Jewish main links:

http://conjub.org/ https://institut2havila.wordpress.com/ http://tuzico.org/ 

Madi Relation with the Middlea East

Madi is a female Hebrew name.

Madi is the native Hurrian word for “wisdom”.

As to a -ni suffix for this word, the native Hurrian word for “wisdom” is madi, and for “wise” is madonni, with a -ni ending. Thus an abstract noun like madi in Hurrian can take -ni [or -nni] as a suffix. Such a suffix would be rendered as -N in Biblical Hebrew.

The Mitanni and Hittites were closely related. The Hittites used the Hurrian language extensively in their inscriptions. They also shared in the development of the light chariot whose wheels used spokes.

Even though they were rivals at times, the two groups also collaborated frequently. The fact that the Hittites employed a Mitanni as a master trainer of horses may indicate that it was the Mitanni who were the regional experts in horse training especially for military purposes (in a manner similar to the Sogdians in the East) and that the Mitanni in turn had brought the expertise with them in their migration westward.

The Mitannites were later called simply Hurrians. The Hittite kingdom was known as Hatti. The Hittites were mentioned in the Biblical, for example the faithful Uriah.

Mitanni was an ancient Hurrian kingdom. They were not Israelites, but they were middle eastern. If the Israelites took loanwords from languages like Hurrian (Mitanni's language) is because they interacted with those peoples. They even mingled with these two peoples.

The Israelite ancestors of the Kurds mingled with plenty of Medians. The Israelite ancestors of the Pashtuns mingled with Hurrians, Cassites... There are even pockets of Pashtuns with Arab ancestry, but most of the Pashtuns' & Kurds' ancestors were Israelites. 

Anyway, the Madi people might have Israelite ancestry, together with other middle eastern ancestry, plus local African ancestry. A person's look doesn't determine its roots, as is the case with the Lemba. 

Madi ethnic group

Regions with significant populations Uganda     250,000 South Sudan     80,000 abroad     4,000

The Mà'dí people live in the Magwi County in South Sudan, and the districts of Adjumani and Moyo in Uganda. From south to north, the area runs from the from Nimule(at Sudan-Uganda border) to Nyolo River where the Ma’di mingle with Acholi, Bari and Lolubo. From the east to west, it runs from Parajok/Magwi to Uganda across the River Nile.

The speakers refer to themselves and are known Madi. In standard orthography this is Ma'di; the aprostrophe indicates that d is implosive. The speakers refer to their language as madi ti, literally meaning Ma'di mouth. Among themselves, Ma'di refer to each other as belonging to a suru ("clan" or "tribe"), which may further be broken down to pa, "the descendants of," which in some cases overlap with suru. While a Madi can only marry someone from outside their clan, they must normally marry within the group that shares the Madi language.

Many neighboring speakers of Moru–Madi languages go by the name of Madi.

According to one popular folk tale, the name Madi came as an answer to a question by a white man to a Madi man. When the first white person in the area asked the question 'who are you?', the bemused response was madi, i.e. a person. This was taken to be the name of the people, which came to be corrupted to the present.

Another Ma'di narrative tries to account for the names of some of the Moru–Ma'di group members. When the progenitors of the Ma'di were pushed southwards, on reaching a strategic location they declared, Muro-Amadri, i.e., "Let's form a settle here". And so they formed a cluster to defend themselves. This group came to be known as the Moru. A group broke off in search of greener pastures in a more or less famished state, until they found an edible tree called lugba('desert dates' - ximenia aegyptiaca).

After they ate some of the fruits, they took some with them. When the time came to refill their stomachs again, a woman who lost her harvest was heard enquiring about the lugba ri 'the desert dates'. This group came to be known as logbara but the Ma'di still call them lugban. The final group on reaching fertile grounds resolved and declared ma di 'here I am (finally)'. And these came to be known as the Ma'di.

Ma’di oral history claims Nigeria as the cradle of Ma’di people – their place of origin. According to the one commonly told oral narrative, the Ma’di people left Nigeria, moved southward until they reached Amadi, a town in southwest Sudan, where they settled. The word Amadi in Ma’di language means here we are. It also means, at our place. From this storyline by then the Ma’di and Moru were still one ethnic group.

From Amadi, Ma’di people traveled eastward reaching River Nile. There they separated into two clusters – Moru and Ma’di. The Moru cluster went back – westward; the Ma’di cluster settled by the riverbank. It is believed the two clusters (groups) separated because of a squabble over a piece of groundnut. A Ma’di man found some groundnut, which he ate it alone. His Moru brother blamed him for being greedy and hence moved away from him.

However today Ma’di oral history (like the Jews) cannot specify the period during which Ma’di migrated from Nigeria to Sudan. Moreover, it cannot also bridge the missing historical link between the present-day Ma’di people and their assumed accentors – the Nigerians. None-Madi scholars who have written on Ma’di have different opinions about the origin of Ma’di. Though it has remained unclear where the Ma’di people came from, most likely they arrived to southern Sudan region, around 1400-1700 A.D. This period coincided with the migration of the Nilotic people from north to south.

As several Ma’di groups moved southeast and southwest of Rajaf, one group crossed the Nile, and traveled south. That group settled at a place called Avori – the present-day Loa. In Avori, a man named Vuri, from Pavura family, became the first custodian of the land. Two groups from Avori moved northward and settled near Mount Remo. One group was called Paakori, the other was called Pafoki.

Years later in Avori, one group called itself Lukai. Ma’di oral history narrators believe the ancestor of Lukai came from Lolubo (Olubo). According one narrative, a man called Jukiri founded the Lukai group. It is believed that Jukiri and his brother Nyikwara were fugitives from Aru, driven away by Lolubo elders.

According to one narrative, in Aru, a group of people gathered under a tree for a meeting. Jukiri and Nyikware were among them. As the meeting went on, the shadow shifted towards the brothers, and Olubo elders were left on the sun. The elders asked the brothers to leave the shadow for them. They refused; so fight broke up. Consequently, the brothers were forced to leave Aru.

It is believed that several factors: drought, inter-clan fights and fights with the Turkish slave raiders (which the indigenous people called Tukutuku), forced Lukai to Mugali. They called Mugali, Agali – meaning, we refused conflicts. However, for their misfortune, conflicts followed them to Mugali. The Tukutuku did not leave them alone.

The people of the southern Sudan had almost no contacts with the northern Sudan, until the beginning of Egyptian rule(also known as Turkish Sudan or Turkiyah) in the north in the early 1820s and the subsequent expansion of the slave trade into the south.

According to an oral history, the Nilotic peoples — the Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk, and others — had already established themselves in south Sudan by the time Turks invaded the region. In the nineteenth century, the Shilluk people had established a centralized monarchy which allowed them to conserve their tribal heritage in the face of external pressures in the years which followed the Turkish rule.

By the time the Nilotic peoples had established their dominium in the northern part of the southern Sudan (notably the Bahar El Ghazal region), the non-Nilotic Azande, Moru–Madi, etc., had established themselves in Equatoria region. The Azande people occupied the largest part of the region.

Geographical barriers sheltered the people of southern Sudan, and made it difficult for the Turks to invade the region. Moreover the people of the southern Sudan were hostile to any foreign adventure in their land. But the military might of the Turkish army prevailed in the battles to subdue south Sudan. Because of their proximity to north Sudan, the Nilotic peoples were the first to give in to the Turkyiah.

In April 1854, the relatively peaceful relationship between the Bari people and the foreigners came to an abrupt end, when a Turkish trader, without provocation, fired his guns into a crowd of Bari at Gondokoro. In anger the Bari mounted a counterattack, and the result was destructive to both sides. That incident made the Bari people to become more defensive and less friendly towards the traders (mostly Arabs and Turks) who used violent means to obtain ivory tusks, but also started taking people (young men and women) as slaves. Girls were raped, or taken as wives by force. Some of the foreign traders even built fortified warehouses near Gondokoro where people were kept waiting shipment down the White Nile to north Sudan.

In time the Turkish army was able gain complete control in Equatoria, with its trading headquarter now in Gondokoro. Next, the Turkish army then expanded its occupation further south. Consequently the Madi, Kuku, Lotuko, Acholi and others whose territories lie south of Gondokoro were to fall prey.

Around 1854, the Tukutuku who had already taken over Gondokoro (a Bari town, north of present-day Juba), had also established a camp in Kajo-Keji (a town in Kuku territory). They used the base to mount attacks on the Ma’di people across the Nile. The attacks of the Tukutuku were not limited on Lukai alone, but rather on the Madi people as a whole.

In eastern front, the Tukutuku had established a base in Obbo (a settlement, about a hundred miles southeast of Gondokoro). In mid-1860s, the chief of Obbo was a man called Katchiba. As the Tukutuku consolidated its base in Eastern Equatoria, they managed to pull some natives (Bari and Acholi) to their side. With the help of the natives, they waged successful battles on the Ma’di. For example in one battle, the Tukutuku colluded with the Acholi-Patiko and Acholi-Palabe. They then attacked Mugali, captured chief Bada and took him to Lebubu (Odrupele) and slain him.

Given the superior military power of the Tukutuku and the assistance they got from the natives (who joined them), it was only a matter of time, they defeated the Ma’di people. The Ma’di people were forced to disperse. Some went deeper into the forests; others went further south, to Uganda. Those who were less fortunate were captured, and taken away. Some of those captured were later conscripted into the Tukutuku army; others became laborers.

When the Tukutuku consolidated its base in the Sudan, some of them went further south, and built some bases in Uganda. In Uganda, a group of Tukutuku camped in Odrupele (Lebubu). Tukutuku commander called, Emin Pasha, made the Madi and other ethnic groups (he conscripted into his army), to build a forte. The forte, today known as Dufile Forte, was completed in 1879. The forte it is located on the Albert Nile, inside Uganda. Many of the laborers who built the forte were from Ma’di people. The Madi people mostly live in Moyo, Oodrupele now.

So by the late 1860s, several Ma’di groups from Sudan had migrated to Uganda, where they settled in different places. Some in the west side of the Nile, others on the east. The southern territory of Ma’di groups extended up to Faloro. Faloro was called Ma’di Country, by the English explorers John Hanning Speke and James Augustus Grant, who visited the area in 1863 A.D. Sir Samuel White Baker, who visited the place also a year later also called Faloro Ma’di Country.

Until 1986, to the Madi people the Second Sudanese Civil War, was a foreign story. It did not affect their daily life. Many of them only heard about the war from the radio or from hearsay. However as the SPLA insurgents started moving southward, at one stage they reached the territories inhabited by the Madi people. One of their first encounters with the Madi people was in Owingibul.

In 1985, insurgent group claiming to be SPLA, robbed and plundered the villages in Owinykibul. Some people who witness the incident in Owingibul run to Nimule, to ask the government for help. To their disappointment they did not get the help they needed. The failure of the government to help them, forced the Madi people in Owingibul and others elsewhere, to consider taking the issue of their security into their hands. The incident in Owingibul also caused the Madi people to form the most negative opinion on SPLA.

Further encounters of the Madi people with SPLA soldiers in 1985, only served to harden the position of the Madi people against SPLA. Example, the looting of the property late chief Sabasio Okumu in Loa, the killing of a Madi man called Kayo Mojadia in Loa, the looting of the villages in Moli, made the Madi people to look at SPLA as an enemy and not as a liberation army. And since most of the SPLA soldiers who first came to Madiland were from the Acholi tribe, the Madi people started to look at the Acholi people as aggressors. Such a perception coupled with provocations on the Madi people by some elements in the Acholi tribe, was to breed an enmity between the two tribes, which led to conflicts resulting into dire consequences – for both sides.

Angered by what was happening to their people, and the inability the government to protect them, the Madi people decided to take things into their hand. So in March 1986, in Nimule, the council of Madi elders gathered to decide how to prepare to face further aggressions and plunders from SPLA in the Madiland. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Ruben Surur, then the chief of Lukai. The council unanimously selected Mr. Poliodoro Draru to lead the Madi people in the fight against the aggressors. The meeting was concluded by a traditional Madi ritual, during which Surur gave his ajugo (the biggest spear of a warrior) to Draru.

The choice of the council of elders who selected Draru as an ajugo, was not an accident of history. It was rather based on Draru's track-record in leadership. Moreover, both Surur and Draru came from the Lukai royal family. In fact Draru was the protégée of His Majesty Alimu Dengu. Draru was supposed to succeed Alimu Dengu, but for several reasons, he did not, so Alimu Dengu became the last King of the Madi people.

Now as fate had, Draru had to be in the frontline. To prepare for the future battles, Draru and his chief advisor, Jino Gama Agnasi consulted General Peter Cirilo (of the Sudanese Army, then the governor of Eastern Equatoria) about the situation in Madiland who then gave his blessing for the Madi people to defend themselves. Thus a Madi militia was formed, led by Draru.

As the Madi militia was being was formed, in the meantime the geopolitical situation in the Sudan was changing so fast. The SPLA was becoming stronger as it captured more territories, not least, in Eastern Equatoria region. Moreover, some Madi people decided to join SPLA. Some of the Madi people who were first to join SPLA were Dr Anne Itto (who previously worked as a lecturer at the University of Juba), Mr. John Andruga, and Mr. Martin Teresio Kenyi. These people were later to hold high position in SPLA.

By joining SPLA, first Madi people in the movement thought to turn the SPLA from being the enemy of the people to the liberator of the people. But such as a tactical ploy was not bear the expected fruits. Instead, the Madi people became polarized. One group took side with Draru, the other group stood with SPLA. For example in Moli clan, two brothers (Mr. Tibi and Tombe Celestino) took opposite sides in the war. Whereas Tibi joined SPLA, Mr. Celestino went with Draru.

The polarization of the Madi society was to bring the Madi society to conflicts in which the Madi people paid so heavily; many with their own lives. Only within a matter of three years (between 1986–1988), the Madiland which was very peaceful, became a war zone – a place of great tragedies. For example in Moli area alone, very many innocent people were murdered at river Liro, in resulting battles led by the two brothers: Mr. Tibi and Mr. Celestino. Initially Acholi-Madi clan also took side with the SPLA.

In 1988, realizing that the Madi and Acholi-Madi people had been taken in by the calamity brought by the polarization in the society, in order to stop further tragedies, the Madi and Acholi elders decided that the warring parties reach out to each other.

Consequently Draru's group met his counterpart. Talks and negotiations were then followed by some sort of agreement. However, it seemed that the agreement between the two groups did not change the dynamics of things very much. On a national scale, the SPLA continued to become stronger, as the Sudanese government and the militias it supported were losing ground. In 1988, SPLA captured several strategic towns in Eastern Equatoria: Magwi, Obbo, etc. When it finally captured Torit, the capital city of Eastern equatorial, it became apparent that it was only matter of weeks, it will also capture Nimule.

So early in 1989 (on 3 March 1989 at 3:00 pm), An army of SPLA soldiers made its way to Nimule. However two days before it arrived Nimule, General Peter Cirilo, sent an urgent message to Mr Draru. He wrote, "It is over, please don't fight and destroy your people for the sake of Pyrrhic victory!" Draru listened to the senior General and didn't risk the lives of his soldiers and many Madi people. So Nimule fell to SPLA – without a big battle.

With the fall of Nimule, the militia led by Draru and even the ordinary Madi people fearing revenge from the SPLA soldiers, escaped to [Uganda]. The fear of the people was not to be unfounded; upon their arrival in Nimule, some SPLA soldiers murdered several civilians in cold-blood. However, as the SPLA established itself in Nimule, it leadership started to appeal to the Madi people who escaped to Uganda and elsewhere to come back home. Some of the Madi people listened to the appeal and came back. Others waited until the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Sudanese government and SPLA was signed before repatriating. Yet many Madi people decided to remain in Uganda, even after the CPA. Thus the second civil war, diminished the population of the Madi people in Sudan very considerably.

Before the coming of Christianity and Islam to Madi, the predominant religion of Madi people was all about the belief in, and the worship of ancestors who were believed to survive death in form of spirits known as ori. It was believed that the ori could intervene directly in human affairs. Thus the Madi attribute every misfortune to the anger of a spirit and in the event of a misfortune or sickness, they would immediately consult an odzo or odzogo (spirit-medium, like wicked king Saul with the witch of Endor) to find out which ancestor was behind the ordeal. Sacrifices (like apostate Israel) were then offered to the particular spirit in order to avert its malign influence on the living. The powerful families among the Madi were believed to have powerful ancestral spirits to help them however with conversion of majority of Madi people to Christianity, and some to Islam, Rubanga - the Christian God and the Allah of Islam, took the places and roles which once belonged to the ori. Nonetheless, today in the age where most Madi people have converted to the foreign religions, still some believers in the traditional Madi religion try to build a bridge between Rubanga and Ori. Today some Madi people still keep miniature altars called Kidori, were sacrifices are offered to the ancestral spirits in both in good and bad times as a way to approach God. Often at harvest time, the first harvest must be offered to the spirits to thank them for successfully interceding to God on behalf of the living.

Besides the belief in ori, the Madi people also believe in creatures, which are not the spirits of the reincarnated ancestors, but they are deities in their own right. Some of these deities are sacred trees, hills, rivers, snakes, etc. For example among the Moli clan, Jomboloko (a tortoise who is believed to be living in a hill around Moli Tokuru hill), is well known deity. Lots of stories have been told about Jomoloko. Some Moli people still believe in Jomboloko. In the pre-Christian age, it was common practice for a group of people believe in more than one deity. In that sense, some Madi people were polytheistic in their belief. However today, belief in those creatures diminished considerably.

Christianity was first introduced to the Sudan, i.e. Nobatia (northern Sudan and part of Dongola), by a missionary sent by Byzantine empress Theodora in 540 AD. The second wave of Christianity to the Sudan came during the time of the European Colonialism. In 1892, the Belgian expediters took parts of southern Sudan that came to be named Lado Enclave (i.e. the western bank of Upper Nile region which is today the southeast Sudan and northwest Uganda). After the death of king Leopold II on 10 June 1910, the Lado Enclave, became the province of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, with its capital city at Rajaf. In 1912 the southern part of Lado Enclave become part of northern Uganda, which was also the British Colony. It was during that time the Madi people were divided into the Sudanese and Ugandan Madi. Christianity to the northern part of Lado Enclave was brought via Uganda at about the same time - as Colonialism always went hand in with Christianization

The notion God and the Madi word for it Rubanga, have very recent history. They came with Christianity. For example in the Roman Cathotic Catechesis in Madi language, when asked Rubanga ido oluka adu nga (How old is God), we're expected to answer Rubanga ido oluka ku (God has no beginning). And when asked Adi obi nyi ni oba nyi vu dri ni (who has created you and put you on the Earth), you are expected to answer Rubanga obi mani obama vu dri ni (God has created me and put me on Earth). And we are also asked to believe ta Rubanga abi le ati ri anjeli (the first things God created were angels).

Moving away from the Christian paradigm, if you are to go back the in time, you reach beroniga. Before that there was nothing; the notions like time and space are void of meaning and content. Thus vu(space-time) came along with beronigo and all events and creation came after beroniga.

Now without the context of Christianity, in Madi cosmogony there is no say Rubanga obi vu ni. That cannot be the case since Rubanga came to Madi with Christianity, while vu (space-time) came about since beroniga. It is also erroneous to give the quality of godness to vu since it hasn't any. Vu has always been at the mercy of the ori (the spirit gods). The ori, both good and bad often have their manifestations in trees, snakes, rivers, hills or the souls of departed parents and relatives. While tree-god may die, river-god may dry up, the ori which gave those entities the qualities of godness, never die - they reincarnate! It was at the kidori (stone altars) the Madi people worship ori. In Madi worship is called kirodi di ka (or sometimes vu di ka). When the ori are happy with the people they bless vu, and vu becomes friendly to the inhabitants.

The majority of the Madi are now Christians, while some are Muslim. Most Christian Ma'di are Catholics with some Anglicans. However a plethora of new churches are springing up daily in the area.

There is also a sizeable Moslem community, mostly of Nubi (in Uganda), especially in trading areas like Adjumani, Dzaipi and Nimule. See Juma Oris and Moses Ali. However, even the so-called 'people of the books' often revert to traditional beliefs and practices at traumatic moments. In addition some modern people continue to believe in traditional African religions.

The social and political set-up of the Madi is closely interwoven with spirituality and this forms their attitudes and traditions. The society is organized in chiefdoms headed by a hereditary chief known as the Opi. The Opi exercised both political and religious powers. The rain-makers, land chiefs – vudipi (who exercises an important influence over the land) and the chiefs are believed to retain similar powers even after their deaths. There was a hierarchy of spirits corresponding exactly to the hierarchy of authority as it existed in the society. The Opi (Chief/King) is the highest Authority in Madi (as the king of prophet in ancient Israel was followed in rank by the elders), he is followed in rank by the community of elders who are responsible for resolving disputes, in the clans/villages. Historically the office an opi has always been held by a man. There is no record of a female opi.

The main economic activity that the Ma'di have traditionally engaged in is agriculture. The prevalence of tsetse fly depleted the livestock population at the end of the nineteenth century. Almost the whole population live off the land planting and growing mostly seasonal food crops like sesame, groundnuts, cassava, sweet potatoes, maize, millet and sorghum. Most of these are for personal consumption; only the excess is sold for cash. The main cash crops grown are cotton in Uganda and tobacco in the Sudan.

Those who live close by the Nile do some fishing for commercial purposes. The main fishing grounds are Laropi (Uganda) and Nimule (South Sudan). Most of the fish caught in Nimule is smoke dried and transported to be sold in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. An important seasonal activity used to be hunting. This has dwindled in importance partly because of curbing of hunting by governments, and partly because Nimule is designated as a National Park, making it illegal to hum in or around it. The hunting season used to be the dry season when most of the agricultural activities for the year have been completed and the grass is dry enough to be burned.

Blacksmiths (a former widespread proffesion among the Jews) have a particular significance in regard to the Ma'di. The Ma'di were at one time associated with the 'Ma'di hoc', which was once used as currency in marriages by both the Ma'di and the neighbouring tribes like the Acholi. who call it kweri ma'di 'Ma'di hoe. This was made by the blacksmiths (eremu). However, the Ma'di have low opinions of the blacksmiths, despite the important economic role they play in the society. They are thought to be a lazy lot who spend the whole day in the shed while the rest are toiling in the hot sun. They are also blamed for the fall of mankind from grace.

Comments on the Tutsis

Tutsis were exiled from Rwanda by Belgian-backed Hutus in the late 1950s: These Tutsi exiles, scattered across Africa, Europe, North America, and even Australia, may be the only group that has been regularly compared to both Jews and Palestinians. Like Jews, they prized education and seemed to succeed wherever they landed, despite the odds against them. Like Palestinians, they were  And both sides (yes, the Jews too) to have been “condemned to exile". Palestinians & Jews are both Jewish anyway. ” The Jews have a tradition that the exile is significantly a result of our own actions. Unfortunately, for the most part, the Arab parties are still acting as if they were simply innocent bystanders in their history. Among the Arabs, the Palestinians also (like Jews, and apparently Tutsis) have a reputation for education.

We shall thrive against all odds. The world has to know that the Tutsi people are resilient people and are likely to thrive in all corners of the world. Given that few people are on our side, hard work and our God given wits are our likely last resort. Here I am, doing business among foreign tribes, few people even know where I am originally from, yet my business is successful. I am only counting God of Abraham for my protection.

For the first time I came to know where the name of my tribe originated (Tutsi = Kushi). I also came to know what our commonly used prefix “Banya” stand for “Ben” which is “Son of ” or “descendants of”. I also learned where our monotheism originated from! By the way, my last two sons are called Israel (named after the land of Israel) and Ariel (named after Ariel Sharon). That should let you know the kind of love I have for “Israel”.

Tutsis are people of Israel. Now we know once for all ! The Tutsi language is rooted in the Hebrew language, and several words in the Tutsi language have been kept unchanged since the golden age of the Jewish Commonwealth of East-Africa/Kush, when Kig Solomon and Queen of Sheba unified their realms under the Jewish Constitution given to Moshe Rabenou at Sinai.

As a matter of fact, we know now, especially from the Havila Institute top-scholarship that the word TUTSI derives from the Hebrew verb  (TETSE = those who “WILL GO FORTH”). You should enjoy watching the first video produced by upcoming IRMAST (Ishango Royal Museum of Arts, Science and Technology) which provides interesting tutsi Jewish tokens as steming from the Torah and the Talmud, while features some high profile Tutsi Jewish leaders and scholars.

The history of the Tutsis is a complex one. Their Jewish connection is definitely beyond any doubt. What perplexes me is how the contemporary history of the Tutsis tend to also mimic the histrory of the Jews. The holocaust and the pogroms, the genocide of the Tutsis in rwanda and Burundi. Why all this similarity? Is that a fate that God has reserved us? There is also a positive twist out this malediction: How come the Jews and the Tutsis happen to be successful wherever they happen to be? Does God also has a hand in our successes? Or is it our survival instinct that makes us to outperform others? Probably yes.

The Havila Institute

Havila aims to preserve their right to live as Jews, and simply to be alive, in the Great Lakes region of central Africa at the source of the White Nile (the biblical River Pishon), which encompasses Burundi, Rwanda, and parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Tanzania. This is their historic Homeland, that part of the Kush Empire extending from Ethiopia and identified as Havila in Genesis 2:11 and as the area beyond the rivers of Kush in Zephania 3:10.

Tutsi man with features resembling the Yemeni Jews.

The Batutsi are our Hebraic brothers and sisters, and have been since the time of Moses. Under culturally genocidal pressures from the colonial powers and the Church, many Batutsi found it necessary to embrace Christianity, so that Burundi and Rwanda are the most Catholic countries in Africa. Of course, that did not save the upwards of a million Tutsis who, in 1994, perished through physical genocide at the hands of their neighbors in Rwanda, nor the hundreds of thousands who perished in Burundi in 1993, nor is it likely to save others who continue to die or live under the threat of death in Burundi, Rwanda, and eastern Congo.

The men wore their kippot proudly, though half of them, Yochanan estimated, probably still considered themselves Catholics, knowing also that they were Jews but not yet knowing what that meant. 

Agaw people

The Agaw (Ge'ez አገው Agaw, modern Agew) are an ethnic group in Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea.

The Agaw are perhaps first mentioned in the 3rd-century AD Aksumite inscription recorded by Cosmas Indicopleustes in the 6th century. The inscription refers to a people called "Athagaus" (or Athagaous), perhaps from ʿAd Agaw, meaning "sons of Agaw." The Athagaous first turn up as one of the peoples conquered by the unknown king who inscribed the Monumentum Adulitanum. The Agaw are later mentioned in an inscription of the 4th-century Aksumite King Ezana and 6th-century King Kaleb. Based on this evidence, a number of experts embrace a theory first stated by Edward Ullendorff and Carlo Conti-Rossini that they are the original inhabitants of much of the northern Ethiopian highlands, and were either forced out of their original settlements or assimilated by Semitic-speaking Tigray-Tigrinya and Amhara peoples. Cosmas Indicopleustes also noted in his Christian Topography that a major gold trade route passed through the region "Agau". The area referred to seems to be an area east of the Tekezé River and just south of the Semien Mountains, perhaps around Lake Tana.

They currently exist in a number of scattered enclaves, which include the Bilen in and around Keren in Eritrea; the Qemant and the Qwara, who live around Gondar in the Semien Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, west of the Tekezé River and north of Lake Tana; a number of Agaw live south of Lake Tana, around Dangila in the Agew Awi Zone of the Amhara Region; and another group live around Sokota in the former province of Wollo, now part of the Amhara Region, along its border with the Tigray Region.

The Cushitic speaking Agaw people ruled during the Zagwe dynasty of Ethiopia from about 900 to 1270. The name of the dynasty itself comes from the Ge'ez phrase Ze-Agaw (meaning "of Agaw"), and refers to the Agaw people.


The Agaw speak Agaw languages, which are a part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Many also speak Amharic, Tigrinya and/or Tigre, which are also Afro-Asiatic languages but of the Semitic branch.

The Northern Agaw are known as Bilen, capital Keren
The Western Agaw are known as Qemant, capital Gondar
The Eastern Agaw are known as Xamta, capital Soqota
The Southern Agaw are known as Awi, capital Injibara
Also included in this ethnic grouping are the Beta Israel, who formerly lived in the northern Amhara region with the Qemant and Qwara, but in the late 1990s nearly all of this group had emigrated to Israel.

The Black Jews

Are ye not as the children of the Ethiopians unto Me, O children of Israel, saith the Lord. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt, And the Philistines from Caphtor, And Aram (Syria) from Kir.

Castle of FasiledesThe ancient Castle of Fasiledes, Gondar City, northern Ethiopia. Ancient Gondar roughly north of Lake Tana & south of Tekezé River 
Those Jewish communities, Beta 'Esra'el and the Ayhud dwelt in the area of Aksumite and Ethiopian Empires (Habesh or Abyssinia), principally in North and North-Western Ethiopia, in more than 500 small villages spread over a wide territory, among Muslim and predominantly Christian populations. Most of them were concentrated in the area around Lake Tana and north of it, in the Tigray Region, among the Wolqayit, Shire and Tselemt] and Amhara Region of Gonder regions, among the Semien Province, Dembia, Segelt, Quara, and Belesa.

Origins of Abyssinian Jews 

The early days of the Beta 'Esra'el (House of Israel) community in Abyssinia remain a mystery. There is no doubt that the roots of Judaism were influential in this part of Africa at a very early date --perhaps even as far back as the First Temple period. Since there are no factual data from those times, and given the Ethiopian Jews' racial resemblance to native Ethiopians, various theories have been proposed concerning the origins of the community, based on superficial research of their traditions, customs and roots.

Many aspects of Ethiopian culture still show traces of Judaic influence. The Abyssinian Church is considered very close to ancient Judaism, with customs such as circumcision, a form of Sabbath observance, dietary laws similar to those found in the Tora, and other practices preserved in its doctrine. We know that before the spread of Christianity in the 4th century CE, the Mosaic faith was practiced in Abyssinia, alongside the idol worship which still remains widespread.

According to Ethiopia national legend, the founder of the royal dynasty, whose last monarch was Negus (Emperor) Haile Selassie --the symbolic and titular "Lion of Judah" --was the son of the Queen of Sheba (Makida, according to the legend) and King Solomon.

The son, Menelik, as an educated adult, returned to his father in Jerusalem, and then resettled in Ethiopia together with many members of the Israelite tribes, including priests and Levites. He also smuggled the Ark of the Covenant and the Tablets of the Law out from Jerusalem, and brought them to Aksum, capital of ancient Abyssinia. The Jews of Ethiopia do not generally accept this legend, and take it to be mere fabrication. However, this old tradition only strengthens what we know from other sources --that there was an early Jewish influence in Abyssinia .

A 9th-century tradition, based on the story of Eldad ha-Dani (the Danite), maintains that during the rift between Rehoboam, son of Solomon, and Jeroboam, son of Nebat --leaders of the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel respectively --the tribe of Dan chose not to be drawn into tribal disputes. To avoid the impending civil war they resettled in Egypt. Once there, the Danites continued southwards up the Nile to the historic Land of Cush (today in Sudan and Ethiopia) and found it to be rich in resources. Eldad ha-Dani himself was probably from this area. According to his report, members of the tribes of Naftali, Gad and Asher lived there together with the Danites, and he himself could trace his ancestry back to Dan, son of Jacob.

This tradition, which may have a certain Biblical basis, is also found in other medieval sources. Rabbi Obadiah of Bertinoro came across two Abyssinian Jewish prisoners of war in Egypt in the late 15th century and wrote that they claimed to be descended from the tribe of Dan. Rabbi David ben-Zimra (RaDBaZ) ruled in his 16th century responsa that the Jews of Ethiopia were unquestionably Danites who had settled in Abyssinia, possibly even before the Second Temple period. The tradition appears to have been widely held by the Jews of Abyssinia and the surrounding areas until recently, though this is no longer the case today.

At the time when the Ten Tribes were exiled to Assyria (during the reign of King Hosea, son of Elah of Israel, approximately one century before the First Temple was destroyed and Judah was exiled), the Prophet Isaiah prophesied the End of Days, when the dispersed people of Israel and Judah would be gathered in from their place of exile. Cush is one of the places mentioned.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord will set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, that shall remain from Assyria and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He will set up an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the dispersed of Israel, and gather together the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isaiah 11:11-12)

The return of the people living "beyond the rivers of Abyssinia" to "the place of the name of the Lord of Hosts" is prophesied in detail in Isaiah 18:7 and Zephania 3:10. These sources are sufficient to demonstrate Jewish presence in Ethiopia towards the end of the First Temple period. 

After the destruction of the First Temple, the Jewish community in Egypt expanded. Findings discovered at the beginning of this century in Yev (Elephantine) in southern Egypt on the Nile, near Aswan (the area of Biblical Pathros) indicate there were Jewish communities near the Sudanese border dating at least to the Return to Zion in the Persian period. The Jews of Yev, like those of Abyssinia, built a temple and performed sacrifices, but did not reject the sanctity of Jerusalem and its Temple. Similarly, Onias' Temple, in Lower Egypt, dates from the Second Temple period. Other similarities in traditions and special customs support the evidence of a link between the ancient Egyptian Jews and those of Ethiopia.

Other sources tell of many Jews who were brought as prisoners of war from Eretz Israel by Ptolemy I (322-285 B.C.E.) and also settled on the border of his kingdom with Nubia (Sudan). Even today, a people with Hebraic similarities has been found dwelling in the region south of Sudan, in Uganda.

It can therefore be assumed that the Jewish communities in Pathros were destroyed and that the Jews headed south in search of a new place to live along the most convenient route --up the Nile via Sudan to its sources around Lake Tana in northwest Ethiopia. Ethiopian Jews live there to this day.

Another tradition handed down in the community from father to son asserts that they arrived either via the Quara district in western Ethiopia, or via the Guango River, where the Nile tributaries flow into Sudan. Some accounts even specify the route taken by the forefathers on their way upstream from Egypt.

These waves of exiles, each arriving in a different period, probably converted some of the native people, which could explain the physical resemblance between Ethiopian Jews and non-Jews. It should be made clear that Jewish sources do not regard external appearance and skin color as indicative of Jewishness in any way. Indeed, it is well known that Jews bear a resemblance to the Gentile populations of their various Diaspora surroundings.

Various scholars have provided other theories. Some view Beta 'Esra'el as descendants of the tribe of Agau, which converted to Judaism in ancient times. Others regard the community as descendants of converted Yemenite Arabs or of Yemenite Jews who were brought to Abyssinia during the Abyssinian rule of the Yemen and who intermarried with the Agau tribe in the early centuries of the Common Era. Some even consider Beta 'Esra'el a Gentile community with traces of Jewish tradition.

There are inconclusive theories, based chiefly on racial similarity and a superficial study of traditions, community customs and Hebrew sources.

In summary, it may be assumed that Jews reached Abyssinia as early as the last First Temple period, and that additional groups came after its destruction, and during the Second Temple period, via Egypt and the Nile. Converts, and perhaps even Jews from the Yemen, probably reinforced and increased the Jewish community, which was already established and exerting great influence in the regions surrounding Lake Tana.

One fact is clear from all the sources: The Falashas have always regarded themselves as Jews, believers in the Faith of Moses, exiled from Eretz Israel, and quite distinct from the native Gentiles. They were also regarded as such by the Christian, Muslim and idol-worshipping Ethiopian communities around them.

From the Historical Records of the Abyssinian Jewish Community

The history of Beta 'Esra'el (Beta Israel) in Ethiopia is fairly similar to that of other Jewish communities in the Diaspora. For many generations their foreignness made them targets for hostility, harsh legislation, forced conversion, persecution and even murder by their neighbors. The amazing fact that they survived so hostile an environment says much for the determination and will to exist which have empowered Jews everywhere to endure difficult times, through their devotion and praise of God's name.

This is what Beta Israel has in common with other Diaspora Jewish communities. However, there are two features which distinguish the history of Beta Israel from those of other exiles.
First of all, Beta Israel has been completely isolated from the rest of the Jewish people, including those in neighboring Yemen and Egypt, for about 24,00 years. This is extremely significant and illustrates the uniqueness of the community. Of all Jewish communities which have survived to this day, Beta Israel is the one which most merits the description "lost" or "distant" tribe.
Secondly, the Jews of Ethiopia enjoyed a "golden" period of independence and rule. During the power struggles and wars of the Middle Ages, the Falashas were not an unfortunate minority persecuted by the rulers and native population. On the contrary, for centuries the Jews were a powerful force among the Abyssinian tribes. They apparently numbered in the hundreds of thousands; they fought and rebelled. They were even at times victorious and assumed power.

The Jews and their history in Abyssinia are first mentioned explicitly sometime around the 10th century. Around 960, the Falashas and the Agau tribes rebelled against the kings of Aksum (the dynasty of Menelik) and the dominant Christian religion. The uprising was led by a queen known as Judith or Esther, sometimes identified as "the Jewess", leader of the Falashas. Judith set out to eradicate Christianity from the land, burning churches and monasteries and slaughtering monks and priests. Following here, a new royal dynasty, called the Zagwe, rose to power and ruled Abyssinia for about 350 years. Apparently the Ethiopian Jews enjoyed great influence under this regime.

The Menelik Dynasty resumed control in the latter half of the 13th century and launched war almost incessantly against the Falashas. The result was the effective loss of Falasha independence, with the final downfall of the Jews of Ethiopia sometime in the early 17th century.

In 1332, Emperor Amda Siyon (1314-1344) sent his military commander, Tzaga Chrisus, to attack the Falashas, who had risen against him in northern and western Abyssinia, as he pursued a holy war against the Muslims in the south and east. He repressed the Falashas cruelly and pushed them back to their strongholds in the Semyen Mounts.

Amda Siyon's great-grandson, Negus Ishak (1414-1429), also fought the Falashas and built churches on the ruins of their synagogues. Twenty-four Abyssinian judges were dismissed for daring to protest against the evil done to the Jews.

Negus Za'ra Ya'kob (1434-1468) continued the persecutions and added the title "Exterminator of the Jews" to his name. His subjects were required to tie a strip of parchment to their foreheads bearing an inscription expressing their commitment to the Christian faith. Interestingly enough, however, Jewish influence grew during his reign. Contemporary Abyssinian chronicles tell of Jewish converts, including the son of the Negus himself, Abba Tzaga, who became a well-known and influential Jewish hermit and friend of Abba Tzabra, one of the community's spiritual leaders.

The warfare and persecution continued, on and off, throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. Echoes of the wars spread far and wide. Jews in Mediterranean countries who heard of the battles or met Falasha prisoners of war offered for sale in slave markets, primarily in Egypt, believed that the strife might indicate the coming of the Messiah, since this event was supposed to be preceded by war between Jews and Christians.

During the reign of Negus Lebna Dengel (1508-1540) and his son Claudius (1540-1559), Muslim forces under Arab Emir Ehmed Garan, ruler of eastern Ethiopia and Somalia, conquered broad stretches of Ethiopia including Semyen and Dembia, where the Jews had settled. With the help of the Portuguese, who intervened in Abyssinia (at the time one of Portugal's New World discoveries en route to India), Negus Claudius liberated his land from the Muslims and took revenge on the Falashas and their king, Yoram, whom he executed for aiding the Muslim enemy. The new Falasha King, Radi, went to war with Negus Minas (1559-1563); upon defeat, however, he was taken prisoner by Minas' successor, Negus Sarsa-Dengel (1563-1597).

A detailed chronicle describes Sarsa-Dengel's brutal wars against the Falashas, under the leadership of Kaleb, Radai's brother, wherein the Jews were badly beaten. The Abyssinian chronicle describes Falasha acts of heroism at the very time when their downfall became increasingly clear.

baruch ha-Shem
Black Jew Praying
Some excerpts from this chronicle follow:

...The Falashas struck (Sarsa-Dengel's) armies which fought on that day, pursuing them as far as the slope, with not a single loss among them apart from one of the leaders ... The heart of the mighty king, Malakh Sagad, was sorely hurt by the shame of this, and he came to Semyen ... On that night, however, none of the Falashas had girded his strength to fight and trouble them; for the fear of the king had come upon them and the couriers of the city surrounding them ... The camp split into three factors on that day. The Falashas rose against those taking the third route, knowing that the king was not there and had chosen a different route. Piktor, son of Penuel the Commissioner, defeated them, causing many deaths; he delivered the king twenty heads severed at the neck. This was our master's first triumph and the beginning of the Falashas' downfall. He spent the entire night sleepless, scheming and designing how to get down from the mountain on which he had taken shelter...

The war between the Falashas and the king's forces intensified. Kaleb's forces employed the device of rolling stones upon their enemies so they could not climb the mountain; the king's forces had to postpone their ascent accordingly. At the seventh hour, the king ordered them to fire cannon. The first volley felled Tzavarei Alama and a woman who had hidden under a tree. Kaleb and his men were fear-stricken at this, for it appeared to them that the thunder had fallen from the sky. Dob'a Siltan came down to them from the hill --he had encamped there to guard the narrow passage --the result being that the Falashas were encountered at once from left and right, from above and below ...

This time half the Falashas fell by point of sword and arrow, throwing their souls to the valley as they fled. The beasts --bulls, camels, mules and donkeys --were also killed; none remained alive ... For Abba Nevai it was complete annihilation; no man or woman either young or old, nor any animal was left standing.

A wondrous thing then occurred. A captive woman was being led by her captor, her hand tied to his. When she saw they were walking on the rim of a great abyss, she shouted "God help me!" and cast herself -- and, with her, the man who had bound her hand to his against her will -- into the abyss.

How wonderfully heroic this woman was, pledging her soul to death in exchange for one (soul) of the Christian community. Nor was she the only one who did so. Many other women did it, but she was the first whom I saw. Their deed resembles that of the forty men under Ben-Gurion who swore to go to their deaths together and who indeed did so, killing one another rather than giving themselves up to Rome. They all died on that day, apart from Yosef (Ben-Matityahu, i.e., Flavius Josephus) who alone was saved through his wisdom. In this respect it resembles the deaths of the earlier and later ones who preferred suicide to obeisance of men who are not of their faith, for the Jews do not consort with the Christians, even to the extent of a single word ... (J. Halevy, La Guerre de Sarsa-Dengel contre les Falashas, Paris, 1907.)

Another description from the same Abyssinian Christian source instructs us of the cruelty of the Christians, who viewed the Falashas as enemies of their faith:

Marcus the Commissioner, in Bagemder at the time, was eyewitness to the event and to the event and to the might of the kingdom in the days of Negus Ba'ada Maryam, when these Falashas lived of whose history we shall write:

Marcus, fighting them, sat for seven years at the foot of their mountain; then he vanquished them with great labor and cunning, capturing them and conquering all their cities. Afterwards he had the following thought: how can I forgive these accursed ones who ever angered the Holy Spirit with the evil of their deeds? I should better annihilate them than leave them alive. Speaking thus, he ordered his crier to make the following announcement: Every Falasha will report to the commander I have placed over him; I will destroy the house and seize the property of anyone who does not comply.

Once all the Falashas had assembled around Marcus the Commissioner --a great assembly, indeed --he ordered his men to sever their heads by sword point until their blood flowed and their corpses filled the fields. Then the ridicule which their forefathers had said on the day they crucified our Lord --may His blood be upon us and our children -- was fulfilled.

... With this we present the rout of Radai, who fell as disgracefully as had Sennacherib and was humiliated as the Devil was for his pride. He had renamed the mountains of his cities with names of the mountains of Israel, calling one Mount Sinai and another Mount Tabor; there were several others whose names we have not mentioned. How evil is this Jewish pride, which crowned the mountains with names of the mountains of Israel upon which the Lord descended ... (Ibid.)

In the early 17th century, during the reign of Negus Susenyos (1607-1632), the Falashas were still rebelling against the crown near the mountains of Semyen. Intent upon destroying the Falashas, the negus began to conquer their strongholds, slaughtering men, women and children as he proceeded. The Falasha King Gideon and large numbers of his supporters were massacred. The rebels were surrounded and faced laws requiring forced baptism. Many of them did convert to Christianity and were sold into slavery.

This period marked the end of the relative independence and self-government which the Jews of Abyssinia had enjoyed for many generations. They now faced years of suffering as a persecuted minority. They were no longer entitled to own land; their rights were taken away. They became despised, objects of scorn.

But even in those difficult times, the Jews of Abyssinia maintained Jewish tradition in their villages, and isolated themselves from Gentiles and Gentile customs.

They became progressively fewer in number, and were estimated at between 100,000 and 250,000 in the 19th century. Since they were poor and lacking in other resources, they had to make use of the holy writings of the Coptic Church.

European Christian missionaries first came to Ethiopia in the 17th century and attempted to convert the Jewish minority, whom they considered a suitable target for their activities, but it was only in the middle of the 19th century that Western European Protestant missionaries saw the fruits of these efforts. They invested a great deal of money and effort into renewing the campaign, and succeeded in converting many Ethiopian Jews to Christianity.

Form then on, with more European missionaries, travelers and researchers visiting Abyssinia, reports of the lost Jewish tribe began to reach Europe and world Jewry.

A sudden rage of Jewish Messianic fervor for Zion broke out among the Falashas, who were torn between the hostile regime of Negus Theodore (1855-1865) and Christian missionaries claiming that the Messiah (Jesus) had already brought the Gospel to the world. In 1862 six of the community's kesoch (priests) with Abba Mahari at their head, led thousands from their villages, with absolutely no preparation, northwards to the Red Sea and Jerusalem. They believed that God would perform a miracle and divide the waters as He had during the Exodus.

This "revival" came to a bitter end when the convoy stopped close to Aksum in the Tigre district of northern Ethiopia. Many of the pilgrims had died of hunger and epidemics; the rest returned to their villages, only to find they had been destroyed while they were away.

It was at this time that Ethiopian Jewry first began to have contact with Jews from the rest of the world. Joseph Halevy, the first Alliance Israelite Universelle emissary, reached the Falasha villages in 1867-8.

The situation of the Ethiopian Jews worsened towards the end of the 19th century. By the turn of the century, their numbers were estimated at only 60,000. Many died from epidemics and famine. An invasion of Muslim Dervishes from Sudan in 1889 devastated parts of western Ethiopia and seriously harmed the Falasha villages. And many were converted by missionaries.

It was only at the beginning of this century that the Ethiopian Jewish community began to raise their hopes. This was largely due to the efforts of Dr. Jacques Faitlovitch, who felt a responsibility to act on behalf of the Jewish People as the savior of Ethiopian Jews. Through him, Ethiopian Jews sent letters to other Jews throughout the world and received encouraging answers expressing identification with them, which bolstered their morale and helped them to stand up to the relentless efforts of the missionaries.

In 1923, Dr. Faitlovitch opened a school in Addis Ababa for young Ethiopian Jews. During the first half of the century, he enrolled some 40 young Falashas in Jewish religious schools in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany and Jerusalem. Although they returned to Ethiopia, only a few of them helped the community to benefit from their newly expanded knowledge of Judaism and the world in general.

Italy's occupation of Ethiopia (1936-1941) brought Jewish activity to a halt, and the school in Addis Ababa was closed.

Since Ethiopian independence was restored, and in fact throughout most of this century, Ethiopian Jews have --at least according to the law --enjoyed equal rights. However, the native population has remained hostile to the community to the extent that even lives have been lost.

As progress spread through Ethiopia, young Jews began to move from the villages into the cities, in particular to Gondar and the surrounding area. Though younger members of the community moved away from their villages and thus from their tradition and began to assimilate, it must be emphasized that the Falashas in the villages have kept faithfully to their religious traditions.

The Jews of Ethiopia --estimated in 1983 at about 30,000 --have maintained their Jewish faith and religious love of Zion and the Holy Land. The birth of the State of Israel, and its subsequent contact with them made them more determined to protect what was left of the Jewish population from total assimilation.

It may be said that if this community --which is settling "en masse" in Israel today --had not been saved, the rest of the Jewish People might never had known of this wonderful "lost" tribe. However, the promise God made through his prophets that the Jews of Cush would return to Zion and to Jerusalem has not been broken; it is taking place before our eyes.

The 2005 movie "Live and Become" explores the challenges of Ethiopian Jews (and African Jews generally) in the land of Israel. Having returned at long last and with high hopes to the land of Israel, they discover that for them, the land does not at once "flow with milk and honey." They confront discrimination, misunderstanding, and yes, prejudice from their fellow Jews. This is the movie that Ofra Haza embellishes with her beautiful love-song "My Ethiopian Boy." Reviewer Stephen Holden says "Live and Become" exerts a tidal pull. It makes you feel the weight of history, of populations on the move in a restless multicultural world. It makes you reconsider cultural assimilation, a process that may seem to be complete but whose underlying conflicts may never be fully resolved.

About the "Lost" Book of Enoch

What is the so-called Lost Book of Enoch? The "Book of Enoch" are the continuously preserved Ethiopian writings of the Old Testament predating Noah and Moses. These were rediscovered within the Dead Sea scrolls. The Book of Enoch was extant centuries before the birth of Christ and yet is considered by many to be more Christian in its theology than Jewish. It was considered scripture by many early pre-gentile Christians. The earliest literature of the so-called "Church Fathers" is filled with references to this mysterious book. For many centuries this book has been misunderstood, as it expounds on Genesis 6 concerning a race of fallen angels mating with women, the birth of their offspring (the giants, AKA the Nephelim), the origins of demons, and what we know today as UFO's & "aliens."

The book further prophesied the coming of a messiah (Jesus) who will judge the wicked and save his elect at the end days. For the first time ever, the ancient mysteries are being unsealed. As it is written, in the last days, "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Now the book of secrets, the record of Enoch the black Semite has been opened and is now widely available to anyone who dares to rediscover the ancient truth found in this book which has been hidden from the ages.

Somalia's Outcast Yibir

According to Mohamed Abdi Mohamed (Mondes en Développement 1989, 68), the Yibir may have been the descendants of a Tzigane tribe who emigrated to the Somali coast. This author adds that Somalis of the Abgaal and Reer Shebeeli tribes were using names based on the word Yibir. Abdi Mohamed mentions that Somalis were afraid of members of the Yibir (or Yibro) (Ibid., 67). The Yibir are considered to be members of the Somali Jewish community. The Yibir are divided between the Madoobe Barsame Gaaljecel and Sooraante Gaaljecel clans or tribes (Ibid. 69).

In his book A Pastoral Democracy, I. M. Lewis makes a distinction between the Midgaan, the Tumaal, and the Yibir bondsmen of northern Somaliland "...who, though known collectively by the same name as that of the common ancestor of the Digil and Rahanwayn, are quite distinct from them" (1961, 14).

The Tutsi Jews and the Pan-Kush Hebrew Diaspora

By Prof. Yochanan Bwejeri

Ninety years ago, my ancestors, the renowned Pastoralist Watutsi/Tutsi Israelites of Kush -- in Burundi, Rwanda, Eastern Congo, Uganda, Northern Tanzania -- wore tzitzit and head tefillin. Today the survivors wear fear, humiliation, and despair. Millions of Tutsi have been killed and the ongoing Holocaust is an endless tragedy of ‘Again and Again.’

Dr Itzhak Ben-Zvi, the third President of Israel, was very much fascinated by the miracle of the Scattered Tribes of Israel. In 1957 he wrote a well documented book: The Exiled and the Redeemed, inwhich the Jews of Ethiopia hold a respectful place, just in the same chapter as the Jews of Upper Egypt and of those of Himyar (Yemen). If the book had to be re-edited today, his natural interest in the ancient and modern independent Jewish Kingdoms and states worldwide would certainly have led him to include two obviously missed subchapters: The Jewish Kingdoms of the South Kush (commonly called the African Great Lakes) and the Jewish Kingdoms of West Africa. The Tutsi (or Batutsi/Watutsi) are the traditional keepers of the South Kush Jewish Kingdoms. In West Africa, the Toubous are the traditional keepers of the West Africa Jewish Kingdoms. 

The Tutsi and the Toubous share the same origins as their cousins, the Jews of Ethiopia, tracing their common ancestry from King Solomon and Queen of Sheba. Israeli Chief Rabbis Avraham Ytzchak Kook and Ovadia Yosef, and US Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, would have included the Tutsi and the Toubous as descendents of Dan, following the 1500s responsum of a renowned Orthodox Rabbi, Rbadaz,Rabbi David ibn Zimrah. In fact, numerous branches of the Tutsi elite belong to the Judah lineage. The Tutsi Jewishness was obstructed by the Christian Inquisition that took place since the 1920s, and was never addressed until the late 20th Century. At that time, Havila Institute in Brussels dedicated huge efforts to enhance the re-connection of the Tutsi people to their Jewish heritage, and helped raise awareness among concerned Jewish institutions.

The Toubous face a similar but more ancient case of obstruction. They were forcibly converted to Islam centuries ago by the successive Jihads that took place in Northern Africa from the Arabian Peninsula, but they kept the remembrance of their Israelite origins. Today, Tutsis in increasing numbers are seeking t’shuvah, return. Like the Western Jews, they envision ge’ulah, redemption. They deserve pro-active support and monitoring from concerned Jewish organizations and networks. Like the Western Jewish Diaspora, the Tutsi Jews, some parts of which have been forcibly converted to Christianity and forbidden to practice the ways of Y”H, are People of Israel, no less than the Falasha Mura of Ethiopia.

Shooting Star of the Continent

After undergoing the trauma of civil war and genocide less than 20 years ago, Rwanda is now the country to watch in Africa. One social and educational pioneer says that his country has a lot in common with Israel, and that the kibbutz was the inspiration for his project

It had been a long journey. After weathering desert sands, endless visa lines, crowded bus rides and long periods of waiting for one clerk or another, Narcisse Mitali arrived at the gates of Zion. The young guitarist, dusty and hard-skinned, had taken the bus from Cairo, ending a journey that had begun further south, near the heart of Africa. "Like the ancient Israelites," says Mitali, who is better known as Natty Dread in Rwanda, where he is one of the country's most famous Rastafari musicians. "Right up to the border."

Mitali explains that in the eyes of the Rastafarian movement, Israel has a mystical status, but it has an even more special meaning for him, an ethnic Tutsi. Some Tutsi believe Israel is a living, breathing ancestral "brother," along with Ethiopia, where some historians argue that Rwanda's Tutsi population originated.

It was 1983, and the world seemed to be a dangerous place. Israel had just gone to war with Lebanon. The Americans were busy trying to repulse the Soviets. And Mitali was fleeing problems of his own. Tensions between the Tutsi and the Hutu majority were surging in his tiny, sun-drenched home of Rwanda. His family had grown up as refugees in Uganda, and as tremors of ethnic violence pulsed through his homeland, Mitali moved to nearby Kenya and soon applied for an Israeli visa. "It was my destiny," he says.

The situation in Rwanda took a turn for the worse. When the president's plane was shot down in 1994, it sparked a genocide that, in three tumultuous months, wiped out nearly one million Tutsi - and 18 members of Mitali's family alone.

By that time, Mitali was already far away, in Israel, playing guitar occasionally at the Soweto club on Frishman Street in Tel Aviv. When he didn't have enough money, he did what many people did: take to the land. Mitali says his time toiling as a farmhand on kibbutzim and moshavim throughout the country - from Naan to Amirim, to Ein Gedi, to Gesher Haziv, to Shefayim, where he met his first wife - gave him a sense of self, a sense of worth.

Mitali returned to Rwanda, now gearing up for its second presidential elections since the genocide, scheduled for August. He is one of a cadre of people from the diaspora who are trying to build a new state on top of the ruins. They are followers of President Paul Kagame, who, through tough words and actions, has brought a generation of Tutsi home, to live in a state of peace among former enemies rather than pursue revenge. This has transformed Rwanda into a shooting star in the developing world, and Kagame is its spokesman.

With seriousness and a sense of urgency, the new Rwanda is soaring. Cranes tower over gleaming buildings. Fiber-optic cables crisscross the rich, pregnant earth. Investors from states as diverse as Dubai, Korea and Israel are flying in. America is advising the army, as are the Chinese.

In many ways, Mitali - who has dreadlocks down to his waist and says he took his stage name, "Natty Dread," from Bob Marley's 1974 album of that name" - is the embodiment of a spirit and an identity that are pervasive among the members of the Tutsi diaspora who are returning to and rebuilding Rwanda.

'Sister' countries

If Israel were to have a surrogate sister, Rwanda would be it. The latter is also a major recipient of U.S. financial and military support. And like Israel, the tiny African country boasts an influence far greater than its size. Both countries are surrounded by hostile, resource-rich neighbors in an insecure region. Rwanda also puts a premium on defense and security, and its armed forces are among the strongest in Africa.

The current election campaign has highlighted Rwanda's most pressing issues. Land is precious there: Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa. Although the two countries' geography is different, neither have minerals or oil. Developing a telecommunications industry has thus been at the forefront of Rwanda's development strategy, as it seeks to make people a more powerful resource.

While both Israel and this African nation share capitalist orientations and are influenced by America, Kagame's Rwanda has some strong socialist underpinnings: For instance, on the last Saturday of each month, every citizen must perform outdoor community work, called "Umuganda"; there is universal health insurance; and upon completing secondary school, young boys attend solidarity camps.

Hamitic theory

In Rwanda, as in Israel, life in the present is strongly affected by the past. According to historians, and the government website, the Tutsi ruled Rwanda beginning in the 15th century, when they first arrived and swiftly gained dominance over the more populous Hutu. During colonial rule under the Germans, and later under the Belgians, differences between the two groups were accentuated. Noses and height were measured, skin color was studied, and a racial policy was institutionalized by the government. One popular approach embraced by colonial-era scientists, known as the Hamitic theory, is that the Tutsi originally migrated south from Ethiopia. Many Rwandans believe that Jews also came from Ethiopia , and that there is a sort of loose ethnic alliance between them all.

In 2009, the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, funded by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Yemin Orde Youth Village, south of Haifa, opened in Rwanda's Eastern Province. This sprawling complex of modern facilities includes a medical center, a gymnasium, computer labs and a sustainable farm.

"When I first learned of the terrible problem of orphans in Rwanda - a direct result of the genocide and its aftermath - it immediately occurred to me that after World War II, Israel had an influx of orphans but no longer has such problems today," says Anne Heyman, a South African-born lawyer who helped found Agahozo Shalom.

According to estimates by local survivor organizations, over 1.5 million children were orphaned during the genocide in Rwanda. Those who arrive at Agahozo Shalom participate in one of two programs: Tikkun Halev, focusing on art therapy; or Tikkun Olam, community service. While virtually all the staff are Rwandan, they have been trained by Ethiopian Jews who themselves lived in the Yemin Orde village, after immigrating to Israel.

"Each moment of life reminds us of the genocide," said Domitilla Mukantaganzwa, director of the country's grassroots Gacaca courts, which try mass-murder suspects out of doors, under acacia trees. "I organized the first burial after the genocide in this country. People were killed on every square meter [of land]."

In the Rwandan capital of Kigali, known as one of the safest, cleanest cities in Africa, police regularly round up street children, beggars and undesirables. While the ruling party preaches a healthy, vigorous multi-party democracy, critics say opposition parties are neutered and forced to go along with government policy if they want to participate in the political system. There are strict limits on what journalists can write or say. As the election nears, some say that the country is becoming more tense, and certainly more restricted.

"We forgive them now," says Bosco Habimana, a former soldier who fought with President Kagame's guerrilla movement, which helped take over the country, in reference to the Hutu. "But let them try again."

There is, therefore, a special sort of politics in Rwanda, with underlying messages which are perhaps unspoken, but are still powerful reminders of the past. The words "Hutu" and "Tutsi" are strictly banned; using them in public can mean a jail sentence lasting decades. Yet in 2008 the country's constitution was amended and now refers to the genocide as "genocide against the Tutsi." Now, that expression is bandied about on radio broadcasts, citywide billboards and newspaper headlines.

Meanwhile, the country is painted in national colors, patriotism has become part of pop culture, Kagame's portrait hangs behind desks. Under sometimes intense pressure, the president urges his government, and people, to stick together. And it's a tall order. While Rwanda has maintained relative peace in recent years, across the borders the aftereffects of the genocide are still being felt. The United Nations-backed hunt in Congo for the perpetrators, led by local military forces assisted by Rwandans, has thrown the eastern part of that neighboring nation into a panic.

Ethiopia’s Kechene Jewish Community

I had always wanted to visit Ethiopia and meet members of the Jewish community there. The closest I came, however, was in the 80’s when I met Ethiopians in Israel during the airlift and greeted them at an absorption center in Ashkelon right after they landed on Israeli soil. One of the perks, you might say, of being at the time executive director of Hadassah. However, a visit to Ethiopia itself never materialized. That fact changed in January of this year when several Kulanu board members, myself included, traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to visit the newly emerging Jewish community living in the Kechene neighborhood of the city.

When I first heard of the Kechene Jewish community, which calls itself Beit Avraham, I was intrigued. First there was Amy Cohen’s excellent article The Long Road Home in the Spring, 2009, issue of the Kulanu newsletter. Then, there was The Kechene Jews of Ethiopia, prepared last summer by members of the community who are now living in the United States. I have excerpted some paragraphs from the latter as a way to introduce them:

The Kechene Jews share ancestral origins with the Beta Israel and, like those Ethiopian Jews, most of whom are now in Israel, they observe pre-Talmudic Jewish practices. Separation of the Kechene Jews from the Beta Israel, however, began around 1855… (when the community moved from its traditional village homes in the Gondar region of Ethiopia south to the Northern Shewa region).

The community played a pivotal role in the establishment of the capital, Addis Ababa, providing crafts and manual labor. But despite their economic importance, they were regarded with distrust, fear, and at times, even hatred because of their Jewish faith. Faced with extreme persecution from their Christian neighbors, who called them anti-Christ, they lived as strangers in the region and were denied basic rights such as the ownership of land, which was granted only to those who accepted the Christian faith and underwent baptism…

…To ensure the survival of the community and its continuity to the next generation, and to minimize persecution and gain access to burial grounds from the church, the elders instructed the community to abide by the following rules:

Members of the community were encouraged to adapt outwardly to the environment in which they lived, including going to church.

Judaic practices would continue secretly…(In other words), the mode of religious practice was changed from open to secret.

Access was denied to outsiders in their quest to learn about the community. Providing information about the community was strictly prohibited.

Religious wisdom had to be passed orally from generation to generation. It was strictly forbidden to produce any written document until “The Day” when God favors the community and their true identity and their religious practice can be made public without persecution.

The Kulanu mission to Ethiopia was planned in response to these articles and to requests by some youthful members of the Kechene Jewish community to help them reconnect with the worldwide Jewish community. Kulanu’s coordinator for Ethiopia Sam Taddesse, an Ethiopian-born Jew, had recently retired from an illustrious 40-year international career working as an economist and had returned to Ethiopia to contribute to the economic growth and success of his homeland. Sam would plan and lead this important introduction to the community. For me personally, the trip represented a monumental history lesson and a challenge.

Here was a large Jewish community (some say over 50,000), who felt forced to live underground like the conversos (crypto-Jews) of Spain. Outwardly, they lived as Christians. But inwardly, they remained true to the faith of the Jewish people. Again, as in Spain, Jews had contributed to the building (in this case literally) of the country and capital city, but, at the same time, they were a despised minority and rejected for their religious identity.

I had the good fortune years ago to hear a lecture on the Jews of Spain by the distinguished Jewish historian Professor Yosef Haim Yerushalmi, who held chairs in Jewish history at Harvard and later at Columbia University. Dr. Yerushalmi spoke about the Spanish Inquisition and the conversos experience. He admonished the audience not to romanticize the period and to think that “underground” Judaism was the same as the free, open embrace of Judaism, only transferred to the cellar. “It isn’t about Jews sitting in the cellar with Shabbat candlesticks and a white tablecloth,” he said. No, the Judaism of the cellar was compromised, rituals and laws forgotten, observance difficult if not impossible to maintain.

Coming Out: A Visit to the Zimbabwe Lemba

The last couple of weeks have been one of the most momentous periods in the history of the Lemba people in Zimbabwe in many years. Hitherto if you went anywhere in the country and asked about the tribe, no-one would have a ready answer. Indeed the Lemba were practically unknown except to their immediate neighbors and a handful of experts in the ethnology of the country. However, this has now changed, and only time will tell if this is for the good or for the bad.

The reason for my trip was an invitation from the British Council and the Zimbabwe Department of Museums and Monuments to visit the country. I would give a couple of talks on my book, The Lost Ark of the Covenant, about the Ngoma Lungundu, a wooden object that the Lemba and Venda believe is sacred to their tradition and which has clear parallels with the Ark of the Covenant. In addition, I would speak at the opening of a special exhibition at Harare’s Museum of Human Science that would highlight this object.

The object itself was fascinating. Lemba tradition taught that the ngoma had been carried with them on their migration from the Middle East to Africa at some point in the remote past. The central theme of their oral thesis, recounted to me many times, was that the Lemba had come from a place called Sena, that they had crossed Pusela, and had come to Africa, where they rebuilt Sena, one or two times. The oral tradition also maintained that when they got to Africa, the precious object which they brought with them went up in smoke, flames and a dreadful noise. Using a plug from the original object, a new ngoma was built by the priests.

Years ago when I lived with the Lemba in a small, remote village, with no running water, electricity, or paved roads, in Mposi near Mberengwe, I heard this story and many others like it. The elders explained that this object was like the Ark of the Covenant — they knew their Bible — and that it too was taken into battle, that it was the dwelling place of God, that it was carried on two poles by the priests, that it was never allowed to touch the ground, and that it would strike dead anyone who touched it, other than the High Priest. I used to scribble away in my notebook around the embers of the fire, listening to the women sing and to the traditional drums, and I would dream of their long-lost ngoma. But I thought the idea of connecting it directly with the Ark was fanciful.

Tudor Parfitt viewing ngoma in Zimbabwe’s Harare Museum

Over the years a few things happened which made me take their tradition more seriously. In the first place, my own travels and research, as related in Journey to the Vanished City, put some bones on the oral tradition and seemed to confirm it. Then DNA research carried out in the labs of University College, London University, confirmed that Lemba ancestors were from the Middle East and likely to be Jewish. And most intriguingly, the Buba priestly clan, the first ones to leave Israel according to the traditions I had heard, had a particular genetic signature which was characteristic of the Jewish priesthood. Indeed, the Buba and the Cohanim shared a distant ancestor who lived somewhere in the Levant about 3000 years ago, about the time of Moses and his brother Aaron, the founder of the priesthood.

At this point I began to take the oral traditions of the Lemba with respect to the ngoma more seriously, and over the years, I came across a lot of unknown material which appeared to suggest that the Ark of War, the Ark made by Moses as detailed in the Book of Deuteronomy, and subsequently mentioned by Rabbinic authorities, had made its way into Arabia. It’s worth just pausing here over Rashi’s commentary on the Book of Deuteronomy:

At the end of forty days the Lord granted me, Moses, a favor, and said,“Carve for yourself,” and, afterward, “make for yourself an Ark.” I made the Ark first (before I took the Tablets of the Law) for, where would I have placed the Tablets when I arrived with them in my hands? Now this was not the Ark which Bezalel made. This was a different Ark. This one went with them when they waged war, while the one Bezalel made did not go to war, except in Eli’s time (Samuel 1, 4.), when they were punished over it, and it was captured.

And so my quest for the sacred object described in my last book, The Lost Ark of the Covenant, began. I knew that the ngoma had been found first in the 1940s by Harald von Sicard, a German-Swedish missionary. He had photographed it and placed it in the Bulawayo Museum, Bulawayo being the second city of Zimbabwe. However, when I went to look for it, it had disappeared. The Lemba told me that it had not been possible to leave the sacred relic in a museum and that it had been removed and hidden in a cave in the mountains of central Zimbabwe. My efforts to find it proved fruitless. But one evening by chance someone told me that during the civil war some ethnographic objects had been removed from Bulawayo and taken to the capital. There, 65 years after it had first been discovered by von Sicard, I rediscovered it in a dusty, rat-infested storeroom along with other old drums and artefacts, none of which had ever been exhibited.

The Museum authorities had now agreed to display the object. It was unveiled with great pomp by the Ministers for Home Affairs in the presence of other ministers, church leaders and members of the diplomatic corps. There was even a prophetess who claimed to have had visions that the Ark was soon to be revealed.

Apart from any religious connotations, it was intrinsically worthwhile. It had been radio-carbon dated by archeologists at Oxford University to 1300 or thereabouts and was said to be the oldest wooden object ever found in sub-Saharan Africa. But the Lemba tradition had maintained that the original had destroyed itself — according to them this was a replica of the original object, the son or daughter of some earlier Ark.

Having arrived in Harare, I was surprised to discover that the symposium on my book at the University of Zimbabwe was to be opened by one of the two Vice-Presidents of Zimbabwe, John Nkomo. What is more, half the cabinet was expected to turn up. And they did.

What was for me even more surprising was that the secretive Lemba were in fact in positions of great power in the country. I had been in correspondence with the Hon. Hamandishe, an Opposition Member of Parliament and a proud Lemba. So I knew about him. But it turned out that there were other Lemba MPs too. And there were even Lemba members in the cabinet, including the Minister for the Constitution, the remarkable, courageous and charismatic Eric Matingenga. As the day of the opening of the exhibition and symposium approached, it was clear that the Lemba had decided to come out of the closet!

When Vice President John Nkomo opened the symposium, he said the discovery of the Ngoma Lungundu had resulted in a lot of excitement and was testimony to Zimbabwe’s rich spiritual heritage. He added that the symposium would enable the people of Zimbabwe to understand the nature of the sacred drum as well as to explore its links with the biblical Ark of the Covenant. “The sacred object has now been linked to the biblical Ark of the Covenant,” he said. “This discussion will not only allow us to learn more about our ancient communities, in particular the Lemba community, but it should give us insight into the origins of the Ngoma Lungundu and its links to the Ark of the Covenant, the repository for the tablets engraved with the 10 commandments given to Moses at Mount Sinai.”

MP Hamandishe had asked me to bring some tallitot and kippot for the Lemba of Zimbabwe. Thanks to the kindness of some London rabbis, generous members of Kulanu, and some academic colleagues in Israel, I was able to bring a good supply of these items. At my first lecture, which was held in a packed hall in the Jameson Hotel in Harare, I was delighted to see dozens of Lemba. Many of them were wearing resplendant kippot, and had come from distant villages. At the symposium many more came, as well as a distinguished delegation from the South African Lemba. And among the many cabinet members present was Eric Matenga, who clearly and fully identified with his Lemba kinsmen.

“Matenga a Lemba? Lemba MPs?!!” people whispered in astonishment. The following day it was as if Zimbabwe had discovered a lost tribe. The story of the Lemba and the Ark were headlines in the national newspaper and the top slot in the TV news.

MP Hamandishe was delighted, but worried that the new visibility could lead to trouble. “We’ve been unknown until now,” he said, “but now we’re part of the political landscape in this country. I have one question as far as the outside world is concerned. Where are the Jews? What do they think of us?”

Reports in the Zimbabwe press were soon quoting Lemba lamenting that the Lemba religious and cultural practices were dying out. “It is unfortunate that some of us do not know much about our rich history,”said Mr. Nikisi, who was initiated in 1987. “But I am happy that despite pressure on our culture, the VaRemba (Lemba) culture has stood the test of time. It is one of the few in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole that is almost original.”

Another Lemba traditional leader, the venerable Mr. Zvinowanda, the tribe’s most revered circumcisor, who is proud of what he sees as his Jewish roots, observed that “some of us are marrying strangers. Some have converted to Christianity. It makes me sad.”

While I was there, I broached the idea of creating a Lemba Museum somewhere in Zimbabwe. The Brits were quite keen on the idea. The Swedish Ambassador too was helpful. There was one ambassador, however, who was conspicuous by his absence throughout the days of celebration of the Ark/ngoma. The Israeli ambassador was nowhere to be seen, either at the symposium or at the opening of the exhibition. This makes me sad. There is a community of very fine people in Zimbabwe who have every reason to believe that they have a special relationship with Israel. It can only be to Israel’s advantage to acknowledge them.

The Overlooked Beit Avraham

While nearly all Beta Israel have now been accepted and promised eventual access to Israel, there is a yet another Jewish community still hidden in Ethiopia’s highlands: the Beit Avraham or House of Abraham. Extending from the northern Shewa region south to the capital city of Addis Ababa, the largest enclave of Beit Avraham is located in an area known as Kachene, numbering roughly 50,000.

Although nearly analogous in terms of their history to the remaining Beta Israel, or Falash Mura, this community has been overlooked by Israel and the rest of the Jewish world. They have no known relatives in Israel at this time and have not taken significant steps to disclose their identity. The success of other Beta Israel at throwing off the fetters that have silenced them for years has given a small number of Beit Avraham the confidence to defiantly speak the truth.

“My one desire is to make my people known to everyone around the world,” said Aselef Teketel, artist and advocate for his community. Yet, the vast majority of the Beit Avraham remain silent, hidden, and even slowly losing their Jewish heritage. Silenced by fear, discrimination, and persecution, the Beit Avahram’s ancient past has remained a mystery and closed to outsiders, sometimes even the younger community members themselves. Similar to the Falash Mura, in an act of survival, the Beit Avraham hid their Jewish identity under a shroud of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity for centuries. Rather than completely forfeiting their Jewish identity, the Beit Avraham outwardly appeared Christian, while continuing to secretly practice their forefathers’ faith and Jewish traditions.

Writer and actor Feleka Abebe says, “My grandmother used to always tell me we’re Jewish; it’s who we are, our heritage.” Yet, for others, it remained a mystery. “We were so confused [as children],” said one young man. Community members shared stories of their parents attending church one minute and in the next going off to the countryside to practice some secret religion. Continually haunted by the question, “Who am I?” many began to seek out their true identity, and as a result discovered this “secret religion” was Judaism.

Science and the Lemba

The remarkable thing about the “priestly” Y chromosome is that Lemba men carry the distinctive trait in equal or greater numbers, according to Drs. Jenkins and Spurgle, geneticists from the University of Witwatersrand at Johannesburg, South Africa. They found that the Cohen gene is particularly common among Lemba men who belong to the senior of their 12 groups, known as the Buba clan (53 percent).

Some 9 percent of the other Lemba carry the peculiar chromosome. No non-Jewish group has been found so far with more than a five percent incidence. Kulanu supporter Wapnick adds: “When I was a resident in Harare, Zimbabwe, I noted that Tay Sacks, Nieman-Pick and other diseases prevalent among Jews were present in some of my black patients. I wondered then if they were of Jewish origin. The current genetic findings about the Lemba support this wild theory.”

The Lemba themselves have furnished other supporting evidence. Prof. Matshaya Mathivha, president of the Lemba Cultural Association, has spearheaded an awakening of historical consciousness and leads the effort to record the oral traditions of his people. One Lemba legend in particular has intrigued Dr. Tudor Parfitt, director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, who has done research among the Lemba for a decade.

This legend says: “We came from the North, from a place called Senna. We left Senna, we crossed Pusela, we came to Africa and there we rebuilt Senna.” To check the legend’s historical basis, he went off into the interior of Yemen to try to find Senna. The quest was successful. In his report, he says: “It’s very remote and had never been visited by anyone before. The local tradition in Yemen holds that centuries ago the valley had been very fertile, irrigated by a dam, the ruins of which are still there. And then the dam burst, they think about a thousand years ago, and the people fled.”

Recent research by Kulanu’s Lemba contact, Rabson Wuriga of Noordbrug, South Africa, traces their roots even further back into Jewish history. He found a map of the Judea of Alexander Janneus (103-76 BC) that contained a place named “Lemba” east of the Dead Sea, between the town of Medeba and the fortress of Macherus. With these scientific findings behind the Lemba claim of Jewish descent, it still is fair to question how Jewish the Lemba are by conventional standards. Several reports state that many of them are Christians.To deal with that charge, the Lemba must be viewed within their own environment. As Kulanu president Jack Zeller has noted, American Jews do many things that outside observers might say are calculated to get along with Christians. We go to Christmas parties, give Christmas gifts to Christians, and even eat with them from the flesh of animals not slaughtered according to Jewish law. Jews in America work on Shabbat and even change their surnames to seem less overtly Jewish. We draw the line that keeps us recognizably Jewish at going to church with Christians—unless it is to attend a funeral or a wedding.

Many Lemba apparently do not draw the line at that point. But that doesn’t mean their norms are wrong. Wuriga makes that case eloquently. “It is true,” he writes, “that many Lemba people became Christians, some voluntarily, many as a result of colonialism and imposition of Christianity as the state religion. Most of Lemba people are non-religious, but they practice many things one would call Jewish, such as what they are allowed to eat and what they are not allowed to eat; circumcision; and prohibition of intermarriage. They also value the remembrance of their ancestors because in mentioning their names they also mention places where they came from and stayed. To bring them to restoration, they need education—both formal and informal.” Prof. Mathivha sounded positively defiant when an interviewer suggested to him that the rabbinical authorities in Israel may not recognize the Lemba as Jews. “You can’t deny us the history and the origin. Many things were built up here [in Africa] and we have developed as a community here. But we are Jews from Palestine, whether the Jews in Israel like it or not.”

Fortunately, traditional Jewish communities in Africa seem more open to the Lemba than, let’s say, the Jews of Mexico are open to resurfacing Marrano families. For example, Betar South Africa—a youth group—has expressed an interest in setting up a meeting in Johannesburg with any young Lemba people who may be in town for studies or other reasons. Dr. Wapnick adds: “I’d like to pursue initial attempts by interested South African Jews to join Kulanu in being a support group for the Lemba. However, I believe the Jewish community in South Africa as a whole will only participate in welcoming the Lemba if they have a clear direction from their Chief Rabbi. The current Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Casper, has in fact been at the forefront of positive relationships between whites and blacks even during the preapartheid era. Still, in the end, acceptance of Lemba as Jews will have to be done on an individual basis by a Bet Din (rabbinical court) under terms of the halacha (the traditional Jewish legal code).”

Fortunately, with apartheid now dead, the government of South Africa has begun to restore land that had been confiscated from the Lemba, and plans are underway for a new Lemba village.


According to oral tradition, BaSena/BaMwenye/BaLemba people are descendents of a group of Jewish traders who migrated from Judea into the Yemen many years before the birth of Christ. You can find these people in Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. There are ten to eleven lineages among the Lemba people: Buba, Hamis, Bakari, Seremane, Tovakare, Duma, Mhani, Haji, Sadiki, Sarifu, Manga. They came to Yemen and stayed in the Hadramaut area of Yemen. (I belong to the Hamis lineage.) While they were there, the Buba lineage was the one ruling at Sena I, but later the Hamis dynasty took over and ruled at Phusela I (Masilah). It was Hamis who led the community of these brothers to cross over the ocean to Africa. When they came to Sena III, in Africa, it was Bakari who took over the leadership. Seremane led the other part of the community in the interior of the continent up to Chiramba. When they came to Chiramba, Hamis led the other part of the community and settled at Gokomere (20km outside the town of Masvingo in Zimbabwe). From Gokomere, the leadership was taken by Tovakare, who led them southwards where they built the City of Zimbabwe with stones. The leadership was passed over to Zungunde who ruled for a long time. Here, according to tradition, Mwari (God) was dissatisfied with life of the community and dispersed them.

Traditionally, they were known for their gold, copper, and iron ore mining skills; they were also known for their medical competence. They were very good at trade. According to the author Tudor Parfitt (of the Department of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London), in his book, Journey to the Vanished City: the Search for a Lost Tribe of Israel, the Lembas were the ones bringing gold dust to the coast to sell it to the Arabs and the Portuguese. This shows how serious they were in trade. Their prolonged stay in Africa led these Jewish men to marry African women.


As we grew up, we were always told, we are Israelites or Jews or Lembas or VaMwenye. Hence in their gatherings, there is a statement which is mentioned, “Tinokumbuka varungunanguvo” (This is Karanga language found in Zimbabwe which roughly means, “We remember the white man who used to put robes.”) We were also told not to eat pork and many unclean animals which we found being mentioned in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible or “Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings.” We also were told not to eat something that died on its own. We were also told not to eat something that is strangled. Whenever we are to kill any animal for meat, we must use a knife to bleed it. If something is killed by any person of our tribe not circumcised, our old people told us not to eat.

Whatever the Lembas were doing and not doing never convinced the world of their Jewish origins. They rejected the cheap conclusions which were made for them that they were Muslims, or proselyte Jews. Even the least literate or the non-literate of them all rejected any link with the Islamic religion, though at a later stage some of them were convinced by some Muslims who told them that they were Arabs because they were not eating pork. This has been a long debate. Europeans engaged in colonialism in Africa found these people there, and they categorized them as Jews. This was later rejected by some other postmodern anthropologist who dismissed the Lembas as people looking for a place to belong. It was like a search for an identity. We thank the living Lord for bringing technology to our aid. Genetic studies were done by Prof. Jenkins of the South African Institute for Medical Research, University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and the results of his research were published in an article in the America Journal of Human Genetics 59:1126-1133, 1996. The title of the article is “The Origins of the Lemba ‘Black Jews’ of Southern Africa from p12F2 and Other Y-Chromosome Markers.” Prof. Jenkins concludes that the Y-specific genetic findings are consistent with Lemba oral tradition -- that they are Jewish by origin. In May 1997, Dr. Neil Bradman and Prof. Tudor Parfitt went to Haramaut in South Yemen and collected 120 male DNA samples. The results were analyzed by Dr. Mark Thomas at University College of London, and some were analyzed at University of Oxford by Dr. David Goldstein. These results showed very clearly a significant similarity between markers of many of the Hadramaut Y chromosomes and those of the Lemba. The most striking of them all was that of the samples taken from the most senior clan, the Buba, were showing the Cohen Modal Haplotype, a distinctive genetic pattern on the Y chromosome. This biological signature is found predominantly among members of the Jewish priesthood, the Cohanim as you know better than I. One cannot have this mark unless your father had such a mark. From my background of world religious studies, I recognize that this pattern of paternal inheritance has preserved the Cohen Modal Haplotype as a potential mark for Judaism. With this short presentation I think you can see why we hold that we are Jews.

The Exile and Return 


The Lemba people never gave in to those who doubted them. They solidly refused to be identified as Karanga, Shona, Venda (the neighboring nations). In their national registration identification cards, they always listed their tribe as Lemba or Mumwenye. This was happening in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and in South Africa. In March when I went to see Prof. Mathivha, he showed me his old ID, which was written in the same way my father’s ID was written. What I am trying to say is that for the Lemba people, their Jewish identity, which was enveloped in these code names to disguise themselves for survival, was very important.

One of the curses put on Israel was total expulsion from the holy land, if they continue to break the laws of the most high. Ancient Israel went into exile a few times, but they were allowed to return. But in Deuteronomy 28:64, it says that Israel was going to be scattered from one end of the earth unto the other. This is repeated in DEUT.  32:26.

This means that Israel can't be in the land as of now as a sovereign nation. They are supposed to be scattered to the four corners of the earth and residing in the land of their enemies. As scripture has told us time and time again. Luke 21:24 says Israel will be led into all nations as captives and be there until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Those times will be fulfilled When Yahshuah returns.   Israel is will reside in their enemies land, until that time. We are only being cast out of the holy land for a time. Prophecy says true Israel will return.

ZECHARIAH 8: 3, 7-8




Right now, Jerusalem is not called a city of truth, and Yah is not dwelling there, it says that when Israel is back in Jerusalem Yah will dwell with them in truth and in righteousness. There is no truth (the laws and commandments) in Jerusalem, there is no righteousness (keeping the laws and commandments) there either.

This only means that Israel is not back in the land as a sovereign nation, they are in the land of their enemies being punished for all their sins (Amos 3:2). When the Hebrews return they will be the righteous nation that they are suppose to be. Unlike the Jews who are in the land today, the majority of them are pagans and Atheist. Verse 8 says we will fully understand and keep the laws of Yah, there will be no sinners in the land when Israel returns.



When the true nation of Israel returns, we will be brought back by the hands of Yah (not the Balfour Declaration). Yah also says that we will know him when we return, (As I continue to point out, the Jews in Israel today don't know Yah). We will return to Jerusalem to worship the most high, there won't be a sinner among us. All of those true Hebrews who continue to deny this truth will be consider as one of the rebels and Yah will purge you out from among us. When we return it will be a second exodus like the one out of Egypt. (remember DEUT 28:68 said we are going back into Egypt with ships, this is a spiritual Egypt that is a reflection of the first Egyptian captivity).

After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. There was a 1400 year migration from the so called middle east to the west coast of Africa. The first major Israelite empire of central Africa was that of Ghana. For nearly a thousand years, from approximately 300 C.E. until late in the 13th century, when the empire of Mail assumed dominance, Ghana the gold kingdom, was dominant in the tropics of Africa.

There was a constant flow of Israelites from the North Africa region as the Carthaginians established extensive commercial ties in central Africa. At the same time, Israelite movement from the culturally advanced centers in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and morocco, culminated in the fertile regions between the Senegal and Niger rivers. These Hebrews migrations went on with great frequency from about 300 C.E. and they continued with utmost regularity for 1200 years.

The Hebrews migrated up the Nile, passing Memphis, Elephantine, Khartoum and they turned west at the Kordofan in central Sudan. The main reason for the massive migrations was persecution. Those Hebrews were being persecute by Arabs with Islam, and Indigenous tribal groups throughout Africa. But this is also prophecy, (Deut 28:65).

We must take this to note when Abraham and his seed was promised to in heritage the land. He was told that the land would stretch from Egypt to the Euphrates river (modern day Iraq) Genesis 15:18.
Ancient Israel never dwell in those boarders, and the Jews in the land today are in a small stretch of land which are not the boarders mention in Genesis 15:18. So this prophecy in Genesis is for a future time, when the true Hebrews return, to their homeland.





According to these verse the children of Israel were going to be scattered all over the earth in all nations. They will be feathered, if and when they return back unto YAH the creator and do his commandments. This is what must be done in order for true Israel to return back to their land.......and in the coming years this is exactly what’s going to happen. Deut 30: is prophecy because it is speaking of Israel exile and return, before they even entered into the land.


In JOEL 3: 1-2 It says:



This verse says that when Yah bring back Judah (Yahudah and Jerusalem) from captivity, He will also bring all nations to the valley of JEHOSHAPHAT or valley of decision, and plead with them. AND NOTICE THE REASONS WHY HE WILL PLEAD WITH THEM 1. Because they scattered Israel and 2. because they HAVE PARTED HIS LAND WHICH IS THE LAND OF ISRAEL. This is the main fight in the land today. Who gets this much land and who gets that much land, The Arabs want this much of the land, The Jews want that much and so on. They have parted the father's land according to their own evil heart's and desires.

The Arabs, Jews and Christians all have had a hand in our scattering and these are the ones now parting the land. Yah said he would plead with them for these two reason (scattering his people and parting his land)

Before true righteous Israel and those other Nations who will become partakers of the covenant. Can enter back into the land, the land will have to be cleanse first as it is written in


Jews, Arabs, Christians and even Israelites have historically shed blood in Israel, as this verse tells us in order for the land to be cleansed of all this blood shed. The blood of those who shed it is required, This is why in Joel 3:2 Yah said he was going to bring all nations to the valley of JEHOSHAPHAT, this will be pay day, this will be the "cleansing process". So all those who have shed blood in the land, will have their blood shed. Remember Joel 3:1 says at this time Israel will be returning back to the land, Zechariah 8:3,8 says that When Israel return Yah will dwell with them.

Yah is not going to dwell in an unclean defiled land / place. So when true Israel is back, the land will not be defiled with blood shed. Take a look at the land now is it without blood shed?? Have those who have historically shed blood, had their blood shed, so the land can be cleansed???? This is what is required for cleansing of the land.

ANSWER TO ALL THESE IS NO !!!! So Israel IS NOT and CAN NOT be back home as a sovereign nation. We are still in Exile in the lands of our captivities. Just as scripture said we would and should be. 

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