Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hebrew Roots of the Lost Ten Tribes

Hebrew Roots of the Lost Ten Tribes

Rom 3:1  Then what advantage has the Jew? What is the value of being circumcised? Much in every way! In the first place, the Jews were entrusted with the very words of God. If some of them were unfaithful, so what? Does their faithlessness cancel God's faithfulness? 

The priesthood and kingship of Cohen Gadol and Melekh Y'shua haMoshiach is based on his authority as a Torah observant Rabbi. - if the authority of the House of Judah is removed, then so is his.

Were it not for Judah (Jews) we would NOT have had a Melekh Y'shua haMoshiach! Ephraim was SCATTERED, and NEVER RETURNED to HaShem and the Torah, but Judah was exiled to Babylon, and in a scant seventy years was MIRACULOUSLY restored to HaAretz Israel (the land of Israel) and entrusted with the duty of bringing Messiah into the world.

And consider this, again: it was predicted by Messiah that Jews would be dispersed, and they were; but AFTER 2000 years of Diaspora, they maintained Torah observance, they preserved the Hebrew texts, they recorded the Oral Torah to save it from extinction, they have provided mountains of commentary on Torah, they resurrected "Lashon HaKadosh", the Holy Language of Hebrew, they regained the Promised Land miraculously, and by and large have preserved their identity as the tribe of Judah, and all of this in the face of great and terrible opposition, especially from "Christians". If Ephraim is still at all identifiable (and this is debatable), he has NO SUCH CLAIM during his tenure outside of the Promised Land, and, using "two-house" logic that states that Ephraim is anyone who is a Christian, he is therefore guilty of many of the atrocities against Israel, the tribe of Messiah Yeshua.   

In nineteenth century England the British Israel movement emerged in the UK, which identified the English (and later, all western Europeans) as descendants of Israelites who had lost their Jewish identity. The foundational text of the movement was a work by John Wilson (?-1871) titled Lectures on Our Israelitish Origin, published in 1840.

In his Lectures on Our Israelitish Origin (1840), Wilson claimed that the British were the lineal descendants of the 'ten lost tribes' of the northern kingdom of Israel, whose religious election was illustrated by the increasing world dominion of the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic peoples. The British were deemed to be the descendants of Ephraim, while the settlers of North America sprang from Manasseh. - Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, pg. 235
From the beginning, British Israelism had a strongly Zionist bent, even at a time when the majority of the world’s Jews were either indifferent or opposed to Zionism: [1]
The Jews themselves were deemed heirs of the two tribes in the southern kingdom of Judah, whose destiny was linked to the British Israelites in a millennial vision of the future. The reuniting of All-Israel, a prerequisite of the Last Days, required that the ten tribes of Israel, namely the British, should once again join the descendants of the remaining tribes—that is, the Jews—in the Holy Land. Throughout the early twentieth century, the joint enterprise of the Anglo-Jewish resettlement of Palestine remained an important part of British-Israelite millennialism. – Ibid.
The British Israel movement proved highly influential on both sides of the Atlantic, finding followers among many politicians, church leaders, and even in the royal family itself, as Queen Victoria and later King George VI (father of Queen Elizabeth II) are said to have had British Israelist beliefs and sympathies.

Naturally, the British-Israelists were pleased by the Ottoman loss of Palestine and the preparations made to resettle Jews there:

When the British Army invaded Palestine in 1917, the famous Balfour Declaration was issued, promising that the British would facilitate the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jews. In 1922 British-Israelite prophecy seemed again confirmed when the League of Nations gave Britain a mandate to rule Palestine and secure that objective. - Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, pg. 238
However, many British Israelists were displeased at finding out that the objectives of the actual political Zionist movement (rather than the idealized Zionists of their fantasies) did not include sharing a state with their Anglo-Saxon Israelite “brothers”:
Once Zionism articulated its demand for an exclusively Jewish state, the withdrawal or expulsion of the British would imply that Palestine would be left with Judah but Israel would be absent. – Ibid.
This disappointment caused a backlash in many quarters of the British Israel movement. Once strongly Zionist and philo-Semitic, many British Israel ideologues, particularly in America, began devising theories accusing the Ashkenazi Jews of being impostor Israelites: Descendants of Esau in one theory, descendants of the Central Asian Khazars in another, and, in the most fanciful theory, descendants of an unholy union of Eve and Satan.

By 1957, when the “White Identity Church of Jesus Christ–Christian” (later to be more famously known as Aryan Nations) was established, the British Israel theory had taken on a distinctly anti-Semitic tone. British Israelism had become Christian Identity, which remains the most widespread form of White Supremacism in America.

Despite their history of anti-Semitism, white supremacists and related far-right elements have increasingly been moving away from rhetoric against Jews and focusing their hatred on Muslims instead. Taking a look at any popular white supremacist forum, one is likely to find a great deal more posts railing against “Eurabia”, “creeping shari’ah” and other Islamophobic red herrings than one is to find much discussion on Zionism and Jews. Granted, you will still find references to “Jewish bankers” and the like, but these topics have much less “red meat” for your modern bigot to sink his teeth into. One even finds anti-Semitic canards being transferred from Jews to Muslims, whether they fit or not, such as replacing the “Kol Nidre” (all vows) argument against the trustworthiness of Jews with the “taqiyya” libel against Muslims; or the identification of Islam as an ethnicity. Far-right parties in Europe are increasingly synthesizing their race-hatred of North African, Middle Easter, and South Asian immigrants with a rabid Zionism. While these parties are not Christian Identity in nature, their demagogic leaders receive accolades from many on “white nationalist”forums with heavy Christian Identity presence, such as Stormfront.

It is not unlikely that a great number of Christian Identity believers and those attracted to it could be swayed to the more traditional Zionist form of British Israelism, given the high praise many are willing to give to Zionist extremists for opposing Muslims. Increasingly, these people are calling Muslims “the main enemy”, while Zionists are only seen as a “minor enemy”. But just as David Duke, for the sake of political expediency, dropped Catholics from the list of the Klan’s enemies during his tenure as Grand Wizard, it seems a small step from “minor enemy” to “no enemy”, and on from there to “ally”.

Dr. Navras Jaat Aafreedi
Author of the book (ebook) The Indian Jewry and the Self-Professed 'Lost Tribes of Israel' in India, 2006, Lucknow (India) based Dr. Navras Jaat Aafreedi is a Researcher in Indo-Judaic Studies. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Medieval & Modern Indian History, University of Lucknow in 2005, followed by post-doctorate from the Graduate School of Historical Studies, Tel Aviv University in 2007, supported by a scholarship from the Israeli Government and a supplementary grant from the Tel Aviv University. 
His interest in Jewish History was triggered by the fact that the Afridi tribe he comes from, has been identified by many Jewish and Muslim scholars, from the medieval to the modern times, with Ephraim, one of the ten lost tribes of Israel. There is also a centuries-old tradition of Israelite origin that has lived on in his people, the Pathans/Pashtuns/Pakhtuns.

Straddling the boundaries between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kashmir lives the world's largest tribal grouping—the Pathans. All of the 15 million Pathans, who comprise some 60 tribes, claim descent from Kish, an ancestor of the Biblical King Saul. Many of them also claim to be them children of the Lost Israelites. The Pathans perform circumcision of the eighth day, wear a fringed garment similar to the Jewish tzizit, light candles on Friday nights and observe food taboos similar to the laws of Kashrut. [2]

In South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, tens of thousands of blacks have, in recent years, declared themselves descendants of one of the Lost Tribes. The Lemba claim to have been cut off from mainstream Judaism hundreds of years ago. They are well-versed in the Old Testament and avoid marriage outside their community. From every imaginable corner of the world theories arise linking different peoples and tribes with the Ten Lost Tribes: the Crimea, the Caucasus, Kenya, Nigeria, Armenia, Persia, Central Asia, North Siberia, West Africa, Peru, South America, Australia, Ireland. While the evidence may at times seem flimsy, the Jewish elements in these tribal cultures continue to fascinate scholar and layman alike. 

Members of the Lemba tribe.


Daber: in Hebrew, to speak.
Daberu: Japanese for chatting.

Goi: a non-Hebrew or foreigner.
Gai'Jeen: prefix for a foreigner, a non-Japanese.

Kor: cold in Hebrew.
Koru: to freeze in Japanese.

Knesset: Parliament in Hebrew.
Kensei: Constitutional government in Japanese.

These are among the thousands of words and names of places with no real etymological meaning in Japanese. And they all correspond with Hebrew words. Even the Kings have similar names. The first known king of Japan, who was named Osee, ruled around 730 BC. This king has been identified with the last king of Israel, Hoshea, who died around the same time, at the time of the Assyrian exile of the ten tribes from Israel. The holy Japanese shinto temple strongly recalls the ancient holy Isrealite temple, which housed a holy of holies section and several gates. Several artifacts in Japan have been traced to Assyrian and Jewish sources, among them, a well in Koryugi with the words "well of Israel" inscribed on its side.

It has also been suggested that the carts of Otsu and Kyoto are of ancient biblical origin, as they are different from any others in Japan. Might the ancient Israelites and their wives and children have been conveyed to Japan in these carts? Among the Samurai sect, there is a tradition that their ancient ancestors came to Japan from western Asia around 660 BC.The name 'Samurai' recalls 'Samaria'. And to which tribe do the Japanese belong? There are those who claim that the Mikado, the Japanese emperor, is a descendant of the Hebrew tribe of Gad. 'Mikado' recalls the Hebrew word for 'his majesty the king,' 'Malchuto'. 

Japanese illustration depicting the raft on which the ancient Israelites crossed over to Japan.
Beta Israel-Ethiopia

Ethiopian women with qita, unleavened bread baked for passover.

In the latter part of the twelfth century, a legend appeared which persisted for several centuries and reached Egypt, Palestine and Europe. According to this legend, a Christian priest named Prester John ruled as monarch over a vast and wealthy Christian Empire. According to many traditions, Ethiopia was the land of the powerful Prester John's kingdom, as well as the home of the ten lost tribes. Persistent rumor had it that these African Israelite kingdoms were at constant war with Prester John, and that their armies were advancing on Rome. [3]

Who are these African-Jewish tribesmen so central to the Prester John legend? These are the Ethiopian Jews known both as Falashas, the Amharic word for landless, wandering Jews, and as Beta Israel, the house of Israel. In Ethiopia, they engaged primarily in agriculture, but were known also for their exquisite crafts and jewelry. Today, most of the Beta Israel live in the state of Israel. In the 1970's and 80's, the Israeli government airlifted thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, rescuing them from political and economic distress.

According to one tradition, the Ethiopian Jews are the descendants of one of the ten tribes, as their religion is an ancient form of biblical Judaism. Their religious practices are prescribed by the Orit, the Torah translated into their Gez dialect. They possess none of the post-biblical laws. Over the centuries, the Beta Israel have been connected with the tribe of Dan. This association has eased the process of their return to the state of Israel in recent times.

The Scottish missionary Rev. Thomas Torrance in China, 1920s. Torrance claimed the Chiang-Min of West Szechuan were descendants of the ancient Israelites.

Chiang-Min China

"Behold, These are coming from afar. These from the north and the west and these from the land of Sinim." This prophecy, spoken by Isaiah, promised the return of Lost Israelites from all corners of the Earth and from Sinim. Interestingly, Sinim is the Hebrew word for China. In fort-like villages in the high mountain ranges on the Chinese-Tibetan border live the Chiang-Min of West Szechuan. It has been claimed that the Chiang-Min are descendants of the ancient Israelites who arrived in China several hundred years before Christ.

The missionary Torrance, who visited Cheng-du in the early party of this century, insisted that the Chiang-Min strongly resemble the Israelite branch of the Semitic race. He observed that several of their customs were reminiscent of ancient Israelite tradition. Said Torrance: "The plough the Chiang use is similar to the ancient Israelite plough and is drawn by two oxen, never by an ox and an ass. This in accordance with the Biblical stipulation: 'You shall not plough with an ox and ass together.'" The Chaing-Min believe in one God. During "times of calamity or acute distress," writes Torrance, "they issue a moan or cry which sounds like 'Yawei', suggestive of the biblical name of God. The Scottish missionary also claims that the Chinese conception of Sacrifice came from the ancient Israelites.

Finally, Chiang-Min priests, like the ancient Israelite priests, wear girdles to bind their robes, and bear a sacred rod shaped like a serpent, reminiscent of the brass serpent fashioned by Moses in the wilderness. 
Brit-Am Israel: Modern British Israelism from a Rabbinical Jewish Perspective
"White-supremacist doctrine?"
Since the early nineties, an Israeli Rabbi named[4] Yair Davidy, founder of the Brit-Am Movement of the Ten Tribes, has been working to revive British Israel doctrine. His teachings are in the philo-Semitic and Zionist spirit of the original movement, but differ in that they he is an Orthodox Jew (while the original movement was a thoroughly Protestant affair), and strongly opposes any attempt to convert Jews to Christianity (which the early British Israelists assumed would happen as a matter of course). His teachings are mostly a rehash of nineteenth century British Israel thought: the “ten lost tribes” of Israel settled in Western Europe, becoming the forefathers of the white people of Western Europe and America. But whereas the original British Israel movement was largely unconcerned with Islam, Brit-Am Israel is intensely anti-Islamic. Rabbi Davidy refers to Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) as a “madman”, states that Muslims hate all Israelites (he chalks Muslim hostility to western imperial powers are coming from hostility towards their “Israelite” descent), encourages the “Lost Tribes” (white Europeans and Americans) to start colonies in Syria, Lebanon, and surrounding nations, advocates asmass expulsion of all Palestinians to a western nation (possibly Brazil, for some reason), “for their own good”.

Davidy is not well-known at this time, but his synthesis of a white-supremacist doctrine which identifies western European and American white people as chosen by God to lead the world, mixed with militant and fanatical anti-Islamic, Zionist rhetoric, is likely to reverberate with many people on the racist right, especially young people who have developed racist ideals, but for whom “the enemy” has always been Muslims and who see Zionists as liked-minded individuals of the same struggle. I can see Islamophobic young men and women, filled with a newfound sense of Israelite identity and entitlement to the land of Palestine, traveling to the Middle East to form the colonies (and, most likely, armed militias) that Davidy proposes. The identification of western European and American whites with the descendants of the Israelites (and thus, in Zionist parlance “rightful owners” of the land of Palestine) is an incendiary and irresponsible ideology which synthesizes the worst elements of Talmudic Zionist racism with White Supremacism, and one which, if it gains any amount of influence, can only breed violence.


Replacement Heresy
There are many forms of Replacement Theology. We wont go into much detail here.[5] In essence however, any teaching or movement (including the Two House/Armstrong Church of God spin-off sects) that claims to have replaced Israel as the Elect falls into this category. Some Nicene Christian denominations claim to have replaced the Jews directly (the Catholic Church, Jehovah's Witness etc) while others are more subtle, claiming that only those who "accept Jesus" according to their understandings are "true Jews" or "spiritual Israel." If you take nothing else from lessons, understand that HaShem is ONE and that Judaism has not and will never be replaced by anyone. To claim the Jews have been replaced is to call HaShem a liar because He said: "For I am Adonai, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed" -- Malachi 3:6 and "God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him -- Genesis 17:19.

    Two House Theory: The anti-Torah doctrine that the "Ten Lost Houses of Israel" (taken together as the "House of Ephraim") takes precedence over the remaining House of Judah (composed of Judah and Benjamin: i.e. the Jews).
    Advocates of this heresy usually identify "the House of Ephraim" as White Europeans (especially those of the British Isles). Based on this error they believe themselves to be "true Israel" ("Spiritual Israel" etc) and inevitably promote anti-Semitic versions of replacement theologies. This heresy gained "legs" under the Nicene Christian sect known as the World Wide Church of God and the teachings of Garner Ted Armstrong (February 9, 1930 – September 15, 2003).
As usual, consulting the Bible overpowers false doctrine.

    (4) Rabbis on the Spot and in the Spotlight /
    (5) Rabbi Yochanan Levine

Images: (1-3) Maxima New Media; (4) New York Public Library; (5-6,8) Jewish National and University Library; (7) Cicada Films; (9-10) Beth Hatefutsoth exhibition and catalogue "Beyond the Sambatyon: The Myth of the Ten Lost Tribes", Tel Aviv, Summer 1991.   

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