The Call

The Call

Leviticus 1:1−2:

“Now Adonai called to Moses and spoke to him out of the Tent of Meeting, saying: “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, and tell them: When anyone of you brings an offering to Adonai, you may present your offering of livestock, from the herd or from the flock.”

Judeo-Christian history began with God’s call to Abraham, to leave his land and family and enter into covenant relationship with Him. Later, God called Moses to establish His people as a nation. 

There are many who were called into ministry and prophetic service throughout the scriptures.  In (1 Samuel 3), a small boy named Samuel, dedicated by his mother Hannah to serve God in the sanctuary at Shiloh, was called by God to be a prophet and judge to Israel. 

Also, there is a particularly vivid account of the prophet Isaiah’s call, a vision in which God was enthroned and surrounded by angels:

Isaiah 6:8:

“Then I heard the Voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Likewise, God calls His servants into ministry in our day.  We all have a different call.  We all have unique talents and skills that brings the glory of God to the world. The fact that we are here, in this place, at this time, with these abilities, is not an accident or a coincidence.  I believe that God’s divine providence orders our steps for His divine purpose.  There is work to do for the kingdom and Yeshua is calling us to it. 

Parashat Vayikra reminds me of the story of Dr.Viktor Frankl.  Dr. Frankl was a psychotherapist who survived Auschwitz during WWII. During his imprisonment, Dr. Frankl brought inspiration to those imprisoned with him at Auschwitz.  Dr. Frankl helped those who had lost all hope find strength in God to survive:    

“But in the darkness, I had acquired a sense of my own unique mission in the world. I knew then, as I know now, that I must have been preserved for some reason, however small; it is something that only I can do, and it is vitally important that I do it… In the solitary darkness of the “pit” where men had abandoned me, He was there. When I did not know His name, He was there; God was there.” 

How Do You Discover Your Call?

How do you discover your call?  Dr. Frankl explained that a calling has four characteristics:

First, your call is unique to you. We are not all called to be Billy Graham or Rav Shaul.  We will have varying degrees of influence in our ministries.  Nonetheless, take the sphere of influence that God has given you and do whatever it is that God has called you to do for His glory.  When our work is done, may we hear, “Well done My good and faithful servant.”  (Matthew 25:21)

Second, your call will often be displayed through your abilities.  As God’s children we all have something to contribute to the Body of Messiah. Each contribution is important, unique, and purposeful to bring glory and honor to Yeshua.  If you can sing – sing!   If you can dance – dance!  If you can bake cookies – bake cookies! 

Colossians 3:17:

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Third, walking in your call gives you joy and renewed energy.  I believe that the test of any calling is the love of the drudgery it involves. Real achievement requires back breaking preparation.  Professional athletes often train until exhaustion. Yet, the goal of excellence exhilarates the athlete with endurance.      

Fourth, your call will compel you to forsake ease and comfort and do what God has called you to do. 

Jeremiah 20:9:

“But if I say: “I won’t mention Him, or speak any more in His Name,”then it is like fire burning in my heart—shut up in my bones—I weary myself holding it in, but I cannot.”

Respond To God’s Call

Parashat Vayikra introduces us to the book of Leviticus, which details Israel’s offerings and sacrifices to God.  Beloveds, it takes sacrifice to walk in your calling.  You show me a man or woman used by God; I will show you an individual who has shed some tears and made some sacrifices. 

We all want a successful ministry right?  However, success is not the goal in ministry – obedience is the goal.  Take a look at Jeremiah, God called Jeremiah to be a prophet to Judah.  However, God warned Jeremiah that no one would listen to him, the people of Judah would reject him, and would even to try to kill him.   Yet, Jeremiah was successful in his calling.  How’s that for success? 

We all desire a platform to share God’s word right?  Take a look at Ezekiel. God gave him a platform.  As a prophetic act, God told Ezekiel to lay upon the walls of Jerusalem, shave his head, strip naked, bake bread over coals of dung, and prophecy to Israel that just as he was a reproach to look upon, so had Israel become a reproach to God!  How’s that for a platform?

How about Hosea?  God used Hosea’s private humiliation as a public display of His unconditional love towards His unfaithful people Israel.  Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea, are just three examples of those whose lives were emptied until the only thing that was left within them was OBEDIENCE towards God.

Beloveds, God has a call for each of us.  We all have a task to perform, a kindness to show, a gift to give, love to share, loneliness to ease, pain to heal, and broken lives to help mend. Respond to God’s call.  

Purim To Passover: Common Themes of Redemption

What is Purim?

Purim is the celebration of the victory the Jewish people experienced from the plot of Haman to annihilate the Jews while in captivity in the Medo-Persian Empire found in the book of Esther.  In this biblical account, God demonstrated His unique and sovereign protection and preservation of His chosen people – through whom it had been prophesied that our Savior would come.

According to biblical accounts one of the children of Israel’s most notorious arch nemesis is the Amalekites. 

Deuteronomy 25:17-19:

“Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt.  When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and cut off all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. When the LORD your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!”

Exodus 17:8-15 relates that Joshua fought against Amalek, under the direction of Moses.  Amalek was not destroyed in this battle, however, and at the end of this war Moses was ordered to write a reminder, that the Lord would one day blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. 

In 1 Samuel Chapter 15, the Lord commanded King Saul to cut off the Amalekite, but in his disobedience King Saul spared Agag, the Amalekite king, and all that he considered to be good.  When God warns us to cut off a habit we too have the tendency to hold on to what we think is good.  This is the same sin of disobedience that caused Saul to have the Kingdom of Israel ripped from his hands. 

1 Samuel 15:9a:

“But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good.”

I have heard it said that a wise man will kill what killed his father, but a foolish man will allow what killed his father to kill him.  God sits in the heavens and He sees things that we do not see.  God sees that there are situations that you must conquer before it conquer you!   God knew that the Amalekites would attempt to waste Israel and they did, every chance they got.  Likewise, the Lord knows the tricks that the evil one is up to in our lives.  We must conquer those things that are meant to conquer us. 

Although the prophet Samuel killed King Agag, the Amalekites were not completely destroyed.  Haman (in the book of Esther) was an Agagite, perhaps a direct royal descendant of King Agag, the Amalekite.  Had Saul obeyed God and wiped out the Amalekites there would have been no Haman left to fight. 

 Esther 9:24:

For Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur that is, cast lots, to crush and to destroy them.” 

Why is Purim Important to Believers?

The Bible tells us that the stories and events recorded therein serve as examples to us of how we should live at the end of time.

1 Corinthians 10:11:

“Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.”

The story of Purim is filled with lessons about God’s sovereign providence, as well as principles of ultimate justice and vindication against our enemies.  

Although, the Jewish population of Persia had favor with King Ahasuheres, the decree had gone out and bvb they still had to fight – but God was with them.

God will never leave us in the hands of our enemies. His assistance will overcome all advantages of number and strength of them that defy those who put their trust in God.

Esther 9:2-5:

“The Jews assembled in their cities in all the provinces of King Xerxes to attack those determined to destroy them. No one could stand against them, because the people of all the other nationalities were afraid of them. And all the nobles of the provinces, the satraps, the governors and the king’s administrators helped the Jews, because fear of Mordecai had seized them.  Mordecai was prominent in the palace; his reputation spread throughout the provinces, and he became more and more powerful. The Jews struck down all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and they did what they pleased to those who hated them.”

Purim – Passover:  Common Themes of Redemption

In closing, let’s take a look at the common theme of redemption found in the stories of Purim and Passover.

Haman’s foul plot to annihilate the Persian Jews took place on 13th of Nisan (Esther 3:7-12).  Queen Hadassah (Esther) and the Persian Jewish population prayed and fasted during Pesach in 474 B.C.

Also, both Purim and Pesach occurred outside the land of Israel (in Egypt and Persia). Both encounters involve the near extermination of the Hebrew people.  Both Moses and Queen Hadassah bring their petition before kings. 

Leo Trepp, the author of “The Complete Book of Jewish Observance” notes that Purim is a fulfillment of the saying from the Passover Haggadah:

“Not just one Pharaoh rose against us to exterminate us, but in every generation did they rise up to exterminate us, and each time the Holy One Blessed Be He has rescued us from their hands.”

As we prepare to celebrate Purim, Pesach, and our Lord’s resurrection, let us be encouraged that God, is at work to bring redemption to His people.  Every day, God is bringing us closer to the final redemption. 

During this season of, we cannot separate Messiah’s resurrection from the power that God demonstrated in delivering His people at Pesach and Purim.  The foundation of our faith stands on two things:  1) Yeshua is the son of God.  2)  Yeshua is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. 

John 1:29

“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Over the centuries, there arose Pharaohs, “Hamans,” and worse, yet the people of God remain.  As surely as Purim and Pesach tell the stories of God’s redemptive work, all of creation eagerly awaits the day of Messiah. Beloveds, if you need Messiah today.  Today is the day of salvation!  Come Yeshua!  Come! 

Romans 8:22-23:

“For we know that the whole creation groans together and suffers birth pains until now—and not only creation, but even ourselves. We ourselves, who have the firstfruitsof the Ruach, groan inwardly as we eagerly wait for adoption—the redemption of our body.”

Prayers and Resources

Defeating Your Haman

An Open Heaven

5 Ways To Pray At Purim

The Re-gathering: Biblical Prophecy & The Lost Tribes of Israel: Module 10 – A Global Family

Imagine a global Judaism that transcends differences in geography and ethnicity. Discussions about “who is truly Jewish” will be replaced with celebration of the rich, multi-dimensional character of the Jewish people.

Throughout the Torah, there are references to a “redemption.”  Jacob tried to reveal the future date, but his ability to reveal it was withheld. The Prophet Daniel was also instructed not to disclose the “days to come.”  In this module we will go over the theme of redemption during the end times.

Genesis 49:1

“And Jacob called his sons and said, “Come together that I may tell you what is to befall you in days to come.”

Daniel 12:9

“He said, “Go, Daniel, for these words are secret and sealed to the time of the end.”

Daniel 11:35

“Some of the knowledgeable will fall, that they may be refined and purged and whitened until the time of the end, for an interval still remains until the appointed time.”

Daniel 12:4

“But you, Daniel, keep the words secret, and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will range far and wide and knowledge will increase.”

Numbers 24:17

“What I see for them is not yet, What I behold will not be soon: A star rises from Jacob, A scepter comes forth from Israel; It smashes the brow of Moab, The foundation of all children of Seth.”  

Isaiah 2:2

“In the days to come, The Mount of the LORD’s House Shall stand firm above the mountains And tower above the hills; And all the nations Shall gaze on it with joy. ”

Daniel 10:14

“So I have come to make you understand what is to befall your people in the days to come, for there is yet a vision for those days.”

Hosea 3:5

“Afterward, the Israelites will turn back and will seek the LORD their God and David their king—and they will thrill over the LORD and over His bounty in the days to come.”

Isaiah 53:5

“But he was wounded because of our sins, Crushed because of our iniquities. He bore the chastisement that made us whole, And by his bruises we were healed.”

Isaiah 2:4

“Thus He will judge among the nations And arbitrate for the many peoples, And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks: Nation shall not take up Sword against nation; They shall never again know war.”

Building God’s Family

Although I encourage you to find out about your history. What’s even more important than the past is TODAY! If you do not have a personal relationship with God and His son Yeshua, You can know Him today! Ask Yeshua into your life and make Him your Lord and Savior.

Here we find ourselves at the end of this wonderful journey. Now that we’ve reviewed the location of millions of people around the world claiming to be from the Lost Tribes, what are we going to do about it?

Through technology, a tremendous opportunity manifests to forge a great unity among these people. One social network, iTribe, is designed to map out and connect communities across the globe that identify with the tribes of Israel. 

  • iTribe Phase I – Map out the tribes
  • iTribe Phase II – Disseminate content to and from and between communities across the globe (getting re-aquainted with each-other)
  • iTribe Phase III – Crowdfund pre-fabricated sustainable community systems to these tribes accross the globe
A consolidated course overview by Rabbi Harry Rozenberg.  

For more information on iTribe – Click Here

The Re-gathering: Biblical Prophecy & The Lost Tribes of Israel: Module 9 – The Trans – Atlantic Slave Trade

 

The Hebrew Diaspora & The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

Isaiah 12:11-12:

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, 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 shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”

The Atlantic Slave Trade was more than just an atrocity it erased the identity, history, culture, and heritage of a multitude of people. In the 1970s Alex Haley’s book and film “Roots” inspired people of color to ask questions about their identity.

Afro Americans and Afro Caribbeans were the only people in the world without an authentic cultural identity. Prior to the era of genetic research the best we could say about ourselves was that we were descendants of African slaves. Despite our lack of true identity, African Americans and Afro Caribbeans birthed communities and a culture forged from our will to survive.

In recent years God has brought redemption through research and technological advancement that uncovered the past to tell a story of a strong, beautiful, and gifted people.

Knowing my origin has given me peace. Knowing where I came from helps me understand why I reach for the things in which I reach. For instance, my DNA analysis indicates that I am of Bantu origin. For several years I went on a quest to learn everything I could about the Bantu people.

One of the outstanding qualities of the Bantu is we are courteous. The Bantu are courteous in our contact with others and in our expressions of communication. A sense of humor and a pleasant smile is another outstanding characteristic.

The Bantu also has a deep sense of gratitude for kindness and generosity. The Bantu have a gift for languages. We are great communicators. The Bantu are friendly and sociable. We are peace loving people. However, if you are a fighter it would be wise to have a Bantu in your corner because whatever we do, we do victoriously.

The Bantu has a soul for music and the arts. Nature has given the Bantu remarkable patience. The Bantu are loyal to friends. The Bantu are very independent and industrious. We rarely have to be told to do anything. We do what needs to be done. This independence is due to the fact that tribal custom did not permit dependence on others. Also, the Bantu has a very spiritual and sensitive nature. That’s me in a nutshell.

It is interesting to note that the Bantus of the Congo/Cameroon and the Bantu speaking Lemba of South Africa claim to be of Semitic origin. There are many Semitic customs practiced by the Bantu that are still practiced today. See Module 8

The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade

The Trans Atlantic slave trade involved the transportation of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and its Middle Passage. The slave trade existed from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

The slaves were either purchased from rival tribes or kidnapped by slave catchers. The enslaved were then transported to the Americas. The Middle Passage was the most dangerous part of the forced journey to the new world. Many died along the way due to disease.

Note: To review slave ship manifests and records – CLICK HERE

The majority of the enslaved were people from central and western Africa.  The economy in the Americas were dependent on the supply of free labor for the production of commodity crops and textiles.

According to historical accounts and records many African tribes fell victim to the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. The tribes below claim to be of Semetic origin. Need more proof? Keep reading.

  • Ashanti – Ghana
  • Bantu – The Congo/Cameroon
  • Ewe – Ghana
  • Ibo – Nigeria
  • Katsena – Nigeria
  • Maroons – sent to Jamaica
  • Sefwi Wiawso – Ghana
  • Yoruba – Nigeria

 

 

 

The Igbo Slave Connection

 

Although there was certainly a Semitic presence in west Africa, not all Africans that were captured during the Atlantic Slave Trade were from Semitic tribes. However, DNA testing has made it possible to identify what tribe one originates.

According to historical records a third of the enslaved population in the Americas were of Igbo ancestry. Which means that at least a third of African American’s today could have Semitic ancestry. See Module 8   

This would explain the recent phenomenon of African Americans embracing their Hebrew roots.

 

Located near indigenous Igbo territory, the Bight of Biafra (also known as the Bight of Bonny), became the principal area in obtaining Igbo slaves. The Bight’s major slave trading ports were located in Bonny and Calabar.

It is estimated that a total of 1.4 million Igbo people were enslaved and transported across the Atlantic in the era of the Atlantic slave trade.

An African Man Who Could Read & Write Hebrew in 1897

The below Newspaper clipping from Houston, Texas (circa 1897) describes an African man who claimed to be Hebrew from a large Semitic community in Africa and could read and write the Hebrew language.

“A young African negro has been in this city for the last few days who claims to be a Hebrew. He is deaf and dumb. He carries a pad of paper with him and answers all questions by writing them in Hebrew and Loschen Khodish. What excites the most wonder is that he writes Loschen Khodish very rapidly. It is the language of the books of Moses, and is made a special study of, spoken and written with ease only by the rabbis and highly educated Hebrews.

“The negro was sent to one of the rabbis of Hartford, who is perfectly satisfied that he is a Hebrew. He says that he came from a large town in Africa, where there is a tribe of about 20,000 black Hebrews who speak Loschen Khodish and are quite prosperous. He also says that his father is a rabbi in that town, and that is why his father took the trouble to teach him to write these languages, which needed an extra amount of labor on account of his being deaf and dumb.

“He says his people not only write Loschen Khodish, but it is their speaking language as well. He left home a few years ago and has seen a good deal of the world. In each town he hunts up the Jewish section, and there they give him clothes, food and money.

“What surprises him, he writes, is that no Hebrew knows of his countrymen in Africa.”

 

Ethnic groups were fairly saturated in certain parts of the Americas because of planters preferences for certain African peoples. The Igbo were dispersed to colonies such as Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Barbados, the colonies in the future United States, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago among others. Elements of Igbo culture can still be found in these places. In the United States the Igbo were commonly found in the states of Maryland and Virginia.

Late 1400s: Hebrews Confirmed As Black and on The West Coast of Africa

The Next Step

Imagine a global Judaism that transcends differences in geography and ethnicity and celebrates the rich, multi-dimensional character of Semetic people around the world!

The awakening of the African American role in the Israelite legacy extends within a diverse cultural group. Many well known celebrities of African descent identify as being connected to the House of Israel.  Artists like Bob Marley and Kendrick Lamar used their platform to promote our Hebrew connections to Zion.

People of color, you are precious in the sight of God. You are brilliant, talented, blessed, and exquisite. There is no way that we could have survived years of oppression had it not been for God.

Let me say this, as an African American, I am appalled at the horrible derogatory entertainment that is promoted in African American communities.  Do not fill your minds with this garbage!  It’s TRASH!  This is a satanic agenda to CORRUPT and DEFILE beautiful, gifted, and strong people of color.

Although I encourage you to find out about your history. What’s even more important than the past is TODAY! If you do not have a personal relationship with God and His son Yeshua, You can know Him today! Ask Yeshua into your life and make Him your Lord and Savior.

Module 8: The Lost Tribes – Into Africa

Module 10: A Global Family – The Next Step

The Re-gathering: Biblical Prophecy & The Lost Tribes of Israel: Module 8 – Into Africa

Into Africa

Regathering the family of God: Imagine a global Judaism that transcends differences in geography and ethnicity. Discussions about “who is truly Jewish” will be replaced with celebrations of the rich, multi-dimensional character of Semitic people around the world!

In order to bring restoration to the Lost Tribes of Isreal, they must first be identified. We have covered the Semitic communities in Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and the Far East. Now, lets take a look at Semitic communities in Africa.

Isaiah 18:1

“Ah, land in the deep shadow of wings, Beyond the rivers of Nubia!”

The African Hebrew Diaspora, has received relatively little scholarly attention. Yet their is historical and cultural evidence that many exiled Israelites fled to Africa and even sub-Sahara Africa.

The African story parallels that of other Semitic groups throughout the Diaspora. In Africa, as in other places around the world, there are long-standing communities with greater or lesser degrees of continuous Semitic practices. Whether ancient or new, a distinctive trait of African communities results from isolation from rabbinic Judaism. Their Judaism has either been passed on through oral tradition or is practiced as pre-Talmudic Torah-based Judaism. Many of these Semetic communities seek to be recognized by world Judaism.


North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, & Tunisia – North African, or “Maghrebi” Jews of Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen maintained their faith for more than two thousand years, in some instances surviving violence, political and geographic segregation, and legal status as second-class citizens. After the birth of the State of Israel in 1948, most North African Jews were expelled from their places of birth, along with other “Mizrahi Jews” from Arab states in the Middle East. Some countries still have an active, albeit small contingent of Jews who still practice a unique form of distinctly North African Judaism.

Algeria – Jews have a long history in Algeria. In the 14th century, with the deterioration of conditions in Spain, many Spanish Jews moved to Algeria. After the French occupation of the country in 1830, Jews gradually adopted French culture and were granted French citizenship in 1870.

Bilad el-Sudan –  According to the 17th century Tarikh al-Fattash and the Tarikh al-Sudan, several Semetic communities existed as parts of the Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Mauritania, Sudan, and later Songhai empires. Today, the descendants of exiled Hebrew settlers live in nations such as Sierra LeoneLiberia, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, The Congo, and many other areas.

One such community was formed by a group of Egyptian Jews, who allegedly traveled by way of the Sahel corridor through Chad into Mali. Manuscript C of the Tarikh al-Fattash described a community called the Bani Israel (children of Israel); “in 1402, they {hebrews} lived in Tindirma, possessed 333 wells, and had seven princes as well as an army.”

Another such community was that of the Zuwa ruler of Koukiya (located at the Niger River). His name was known only as Zuwa Alyaman, meaning “He comes from Yemen.” According to an isolated local legend, Zuwa Alyaman was a member of one of the Jewish communities transported from Yemen by Abyssinians in the 6th century CE after the defeat of Dhu Nuwas. Zuwa Alyaman was said to have traveled into West Africa along with his brother. They established a community in Kukiya (an ancient city) at the banks of the Niger River downstream from Gao.

According to the Tarikh al-Sudan, after Zuwa Alyaman, there were 14 Semitic Zuwa rulers of Gao before the rise of Islam in the second half of the eleventh century.

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.

There are historical records of small Jewish kingdoms and tribal groups known as Bani 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. Also see Eldad the Danite

Egypt – During British rule and under King Fuad, Egypt was somewhat more friendly towards its Jewish population. Although they were not allowed to claim Egyptian nationality, Jews played important roles in the economy. Of the 100,000 Jews who lived in Egypt before 1948, only a hundred or so remain today. Many Egyptian Jews fled to Israel, with the rest going to Brazil, France, the United States and Argentina.

Morocco – The Jewish community of Morocco had a peak population of 300,000 Jews before 1948. In the midst of the first Arab-Israeli war, riots against Jews broke out, and they began leaving for Israel.

Tunisia – Tunisia has had a Jewish minority since Roman times. The Jewish community of Tunisia received successive waves of immigration over time, mostly from Spain and Portugal at the times of the Inquisition and then from Italy. In 1948 the Jewish population was an estimated 105,000, but by 1967 most Tunisian Jews had left the country for France and Israel, and the population had shrunk to 20,000. As of 2004, an estimated 1,500 remained, particularly on the island of Djerba, noted for its ancient synagogues.

Somalia – The Yibir are a tribe that lives in Somalia, eastern EthiopiaDjibouti, and northern Kenya. Though they have been Muslim for centuries, some of them assert they are descendants of Hebrews who arrived in the Horn of Africa long before the arrival of Somali nomads. These individuals assert that Yibir means “Hebrew” in their language.

Ethiopia – The Ethiopian Israelite presence is said by many to stretch back to the times of King Solomon, well before the Tribes of Israel were sent into exile. Their presence in Ethiopia may have been due to multiple reasons including business dealings and/or political strategy.

Although there are no scriptural references, legends say that King Solomon married the Queen of Sheba, ruler of Ethiopia and had a son called Menelek.  What we do know however, is that King Solomon gave her many gifts in the form of Biblical wisdom and laws which had an everlasting effect on the people of Ethiopia. It is believed that King Solomon sent Israel’s nobles and scholars to accompany the Queen of Sheba back to Ethiopia and Ethiopian Jewry are their descendants.

Esther 1:1

“NOW IT came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus—this is Ahasuerus who reigned, from India to Ethiopia, over a hundred and seven and twenty provinces.”

The trailer below shows incredible footage of the remaining Israelites still in Ethiopia.  They live in hiding and fear of religious persecution.

Bani Israel: The Semitic Presence in West Africa

It is well documented that the most ancient communities of African Hebrews are the Ethiopian, Maghrebi, Mizrahi, and Yemenite Jews of North Africa and the Horn of Africa. However, there is cultural evidence that exiled Isrealites continued to migrate southward into sub-Sahara Africa.

There is a large body of Bani Israel in west Africa that were well recorded by Muslim historians and chroniclers. According to the Tarikh al sudan and the Tarikh al fatash there was a great many Bani Israel in west Africa. Historians state that Bani Israel migrated south into Africa after the Roman Judaen occupation of 70 AD and that many Judaen communities who lived in Egypt and Libya migrated deeper into the interior of Africa. Let’s take a closer look.

The Igbo Tribe – The Igbo Tribe are no small nation. Numbering around 40 million within Nigeria, the Igbo claim they are from the House of Israel. Their story emerges from the Babylonian exile period when the Judeans fled into Egypt. 

The Igbo are one of Nigeria's largest ethnic groups. Among them is a minority of practicing Jews who believe they are descended from the "lost tribes" of Israel. (Courtesy: Chika Oduah.)

The Igbo are one of the larger ethnic groups in modern Nigeria, a nation of 170 million people and over 250 such ethnic configurations.

For much of the region’s history, they have been referred to as “the Jews of Nigeria,” a band of over-achievers who are the source of much of the brainpower of the country and a subject of much persecution.

In the late 1960s, when the Igbo attempted to form a separate nation called Biafra. The resulting civil war had dire consequences for the Igbo but, for a moment, they were on the world’s mind, if only as the victims of an attempted genocide.

The Igbo Jews of Nigeria, who call themselves the “Benei-Yisrael,” are part of the larger Igbo ethnic group. Most of the Igbo Jews live in an area which straddles the River Niger, near the Anambra states.

The Igbo Jews are said to have migrated from Syria, Portugal and Libya into West Africa around 740 C.E. It is claimed that the initial immigrants were from the biblical tribes of Gad, Asher, Dan, and Naphtali. Later, they were joined by more Jewish immigrants from Portugal and Libya in 1484 and 1667 respectively.

Some of the Igbo Jews claim that the river Sambation (beyond which the ten lost tribes were dispersed by the Assyrians) is in Africa.

Possible Migration Routes of Jews into Africa

In a paper distributed by the “Igbo Benei-Yisrael Association of Nigeria,” three possible migration routes of Jews into Africa are proposed:

  1. Through migrations west from the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Sudan.
  2. Through trade and travel of North African Jews within the West African Kingdoms of Mali, Songhai, and Kanem-Bornu. According to accounts from explorers of the region, several of the rulers of the Songhai Empire were said to be of Jewish origin.
  3. Through Jews traveling with Kel Tamasheq (Tuareg) trade caravans from various parts of Northeast Africa into West Africa.

Another possibility described by a 9th century Jewish traveler named Eldad ben-Mahli (also known as Eldad the Danite) is that his tribe, Dan, migrated from the land of Israel so as not to take part in the civil war at the time of Yeroboam’s secession, and were residing in the land of Havilah beyond the rivers of Ethiopia. According to Eldad, exiles from three other tribes in addition to Dan – Naphtali, Gad and Asher, as mentioned above – were with them; these had joined in the times of Sennacherib.

Eldad wrote that the Igbo Jews in Africa had an entire body of scriptures, except for the books of Esther and Lamentations. They knew nothing of the Mishna nor the Talmud; but they had a Talmud of their own. Eldad described a specific law dealing with the rules pertaining to the killing of animals for food.

Jewish communities throughout Muslim-controlled lands suffered greatly and in many cases were destroyed. The Igbo lost whatever written documents and other written traditions that may have existed. The communities strived to maintain at the least a knowledge of their Israeli origin and practice certain traditions in secret.

An early statement on the history of the Igbo Jews was published in the autobiography of an Igbo man, Olaudah Equiano, a Christian-educated freed slave who remarked in 1789 “the strong analogy which… appears to prevail in the manners and customs of my countrymen and those of the Jews, before they reached the Land of Promise, and particularly the patriarchs while they were yet in that pastoral state which is described in Genesis — an analogy, which alone would induce me to think that the one people had sprung from the other.” (See the reference here).

Another historic reference to ancient Semitic Igbos was documented in Texas in 1897. An African man, who could read and write fluent Hebrew claimed that his father was a Rabbi and that he was from a large Semitic community in Africa that practiced Judaism. The African man was taken to a Rabbi and it was confirmed that the language in which he fluently expressed was indeed Hebrew. CLICK HERE

The Igbo Community Today

The Igbo are one of the largest Isrealite communities in the Africa. Some researchers estimate there may be as many as 30,000 Igbos practicing Judaism in Nigeria. Many religious practices of the Igbo Jews correspond with mainstream Jewish practices. These include:

  • Circumcision eight days after the birth of a male child
  • Observance of some kosher dietary laws
  • Separation of men and women during menstruation
  • The celebration of holidays such as Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot and Passover.
  • In recent times, the communities have also adopted holidays such as Hanukkah and Purim, which were instituted only after the tribes of Israel had already dispersed.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin sent a team to Nigeria between in 1995 to search for the “Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.” Western rabbis and educators have since sent books, computers, and religious articles to Nigeria. However, the State of Israel has to date, not officially recognized the Igbo as one of the Lost Tribes.

However, the Igbo Jews are not left without help. Jews from outside Nigeria founded two synagogues in Nigeria, which are attended and maintained by Igbo Jews. In Nigeria, there are currently 26 synagogues of various sizes.

A prayer leader at a synagogue near Abuja reads from the Torah. (Courtesy: Chika Oduah.)

The article below was published by CNN on the connection between the Igbo and Israel, please enjoy.

Nigeria’s Igbo Jews: ‘Lost tribe’ of Israel? – CNN – Click here

The Lemba Tribe

The Lemba (A Bantu speaking tribe) live in South Africa. They identify as being from the The House of Israel from Yemenite Jewish descent. DNA tests by Dr. Goldberg, a Duke Professor, show the Lemba’s to have a high percentage of the ‘Cohen Gene,’ a term used to describe the children of Aaron, brother of Moses, and first Priest of Israel. The Cohanim (Priests) are descendants of Aaron.

The below video details the DNA Cohen Genetic study amongst the Lemba.

The documentary below gives a first hand account on the Lemba story and identity.

Emerging Communities

Below is a video from the Abayudaya community of Uganda who align themselves with the House of Israel, but do not claim heritage amongst the ancient Israelites. They have recently gone through a conversion process to officially become a part of the people of Israel. 

Bantu Hebrews – Now, lets take a look at my tribe. My DNA analysis indicates that I am of Bantu decent, originating from the Congo/Camerooon region.

Long ago, the Bantus controlled west, central, east and Southern Africa. The Bantus resisted the spreading of Islam in their region. The Arabs were the first to enslave Africans. The Tarikh al-Fattash describes encounters with Bantu people who practiced Semetic customs. Since the ancient times the Bantus call themselves Yahounds. (yehud-Aramaic Hebrew) meaning ‘Judah’ which is the same name of the capital of Cameroon (Yahounde).

The language in the area is closely related to Hebrew. For instance, the word  “Kongolo” (ancient ‘koungelo) is derived from two Hebrew words; “kun” meaning established and “gelo” or “golo” means exile, today It is called CONGO.

Cameroon – Rabbi Yisrael Oriel, was born into the Ba-Saa tribe in Cameroon. He says there were historically Jews in the area and that the word “Ba-Saa” is from the Hebrew for ”on a journey” and means “blessing.” Rabbi Oriel claims to be a Levite and reportedly made aliya in 1988. He was later ordained as a rabbi by the Sephardic Chief Rabbi and appointed Rabbi to Nigerian Jews.

Rabbi Oriel claims that in 1920 there were 400,000 ‘Israelites’ in Cameroon, but by 1962 the number had decreased to 167,000 due to conversions to Christianity and Islam. He said that although these tribes had not been accepted halachically, he believes that he can prove their Jewish status from medieval rabbinic sources. [Click Here]

The father of Yaphet Kotto, an American actor, was a Cameroonian Jew. Kotto identifies as Jewish.

Trailer: About Jews in Cameroon

House of Israel (Ghana) –  The House of Israel, centered in the southwestern towns of Sefwi Wiawso and Sefwi Sui, is a relatively new Jewish community, but one that may have ancient roots. In 1976, a Ghanaian man named Aaron Ahomtre Toakyirafa recognized that the traditions of his Sefwi ancestors were similar to traditions of ancient Jews. Their story is typical of many communities in Africa: Before Christian missionaries converted much of Ghana nearly a hundred years ago, the Sefwi people practiced many “unusual” traditions, such as adherence to Saturday as a day of rest, dietary restrictions that forbade them from eating pork, the circumcision in youth of male community members, and the isolation of women in the community during their menstrual cycle.

Toakyirafa, along with his neighbor, David Ahenkorah, and others, researched their community and traced their historical origins from ancient Israel, through Mali, the Ivory Coast, wandering throughout West Africa to escape persecution, to their present home in Ghana. Convinced of their Jewish origins, Toakyirafa began to teach about Judaism. After he died in 1991, many thought that Judaism would disappear from the community, but in 1993 Ahenkorah became community leader. He re-affirmed the community’s Jewish identity, reinstituted open Jewish practice, and built a synagogue.

Tanzania –  The Nyambo are a tribe that lives in Tanzania, northern Tanzania, and Southern Uganda as Ankole. Though they have been Christians for centuries, they assert they are descendants of Hebrews who arrived in the Horn of Africa long before the arrival of Somali nomads.

Timbuktu, Mali – There are several thousand people of Jewish ancestry in Timbuktu, Mali. Egyptian Jews began trading with tribes in the northern part of Mali as long ago as biblical times and pushed further and further into the Sahara throughout the centuries. In the eighth century, the Rhadanites (multi-lingual Jewish traders) settled in Timbuktu and used it as a base from which they could solidify their trade routes through the desert.

According to Prof. Michel Abitbol, at the Center for the Research of Moroccan Jewry in Israel, in the late 19th century Rabbi Mordoche Aby Serour traveled to Timbuktu several times as a not-too-successful trader in ostrich feathers and ivory. 

Ismael Diadie Haidara, a historian from Timbuktu, has found old 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. As he interviewed elders in the villages of his relatives, he has discovered that knowledge of the family’s Jewish identity has been preserved in secret.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, Jews fleeing Spanish persecution settled in Timbuktu. In 1492, King Askia Muhammed took power in Timbuktu and threatened Jews with execution who did not convert to Islam. Some Jews fled, some converted, and some remained in Mali, suffering centuries of persecution.

However, Malian Jewry has begun to experience a revival. In 1993, Ismael Diadie Haidara, a historian from Timbuktu, established Zakhor (the Timbuktu Association for Friendship with the Jewish World) for the almost one thousand Malian descendants of Jews who have become interested in exploring their identity.

Cape Verde – In 1496 when the Portuguese expelled the Jews from Portugal and forced others to convert, many Cristãos Novos (“New Christians”) escaped to places like the islands of Cape Verde, the refueling stop on the Atlantic Ocean route to the New World. There Portuguese Jews worked as merchants and in some cases slave traders, hiding their Judaism for generations. Ultimately, they stopped practicing Judaism in any form. Descendants of the Portuguese Cristãos Novos and the Moroccan-Jewish Cape Verdeans founded the Cape Verde-Israel Friendship Society in 1995 in order to revitalize the Jewish community on the island.

Do Black Jews Have Roots In The Olive Tree?

So with all these people claiming to be Jewish, then who is a Jew and who is not a Jew? How do we define Jewish diversity?

I believe that just as European Jews are a mix of many peoples encountered during centuries of wandering throughout the Diaspora. Jews of color also have different backgrounds, different life experiences, and different perspectives on their relationship to Judaism. For instance, some Jews of color prefer to be known as “Hebrews or Israelites,” feeling that “Jewish” refers to European Jewry.

The following is a partial list of the various tribes throughout north, south, east, and west Africa who claim to be descendants of ancient Hebrew Israelite nation and have been following ancient Hebrew practices.

  • Abayudaya – Uganda (converted)
  • Ashanti – Ghana
  • Bantu – The Congo/Cameroon
  • Beta Israel – Ethiopia
  • B’nai Ephraim – Yoruba, Nigeria
  • Ewe – Ghana
  • Ibo- Nigeria….
  • Lam-Lam – Timbuktu
  • Lemba – South Africa
  • Maroons – Jamaica
  • Katsena – Nigeria
  • Rusape – Zimbabwe
  • Sefwi Wiawso – Ghana
  • Tutsi – Rwanda
  • Zafin Ibrahim- Malagasy Republic

Next Module 9 – The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade

Next Module 10 – God’s Global Family

For more information about Jews of Color, please CLICK HERE

The Re-gathering: Biblical Prophecy & The Lost Tribes of Israel: Module 7 – The Silk Road

Re-gathering the family of God.

Isaiah 65:8:

“Adonai Elohim, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, “I will gather still others to him, to those already gathered.”

At various periods, indigenous people over all continents were identified as possible descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes. The supposed offspring included different ethnic groups living in Asia – Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Burma (Myanmar), Kurdistan, Kashmir, China, Japan; in various countries and regions of West Africa: Mali, Ghana, Cameroon, the Congo, Senegal and Nigeria; in Southern Africa: Zimbabwe, Lesotho, South Africa, Mozambique, in East Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea, and Uganda; in Europe: The Judean exiles spread throughout Europe in many countries (too many to list); The Celts of the British Isles; in Oceania, the native people of New Zealand; in South America – Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela; and some native tribes in North Americas. Research on this subject is still unfolding.

Today, let us look at possible Hebrew descendants from areas along the Silk Road.

The Silk Road

According to the Prophecies the Lost Tribes will scatter towards China, to the North, and into Europe. Today let’s look at Semitic communities found along the Silk Road.

Isaiah 49:12

“Look! These are coming from afar, These from the north and the west, And these from the land of Sinim (China).”

The Caucus Region

As the tribes of Israel scattered towards the North, branches of them settled around the Caucus Mountains.  

As the children of Israel migrated to the North, they encountered the Black Sea. There is a river from the Black sea that leads directly into Germany, known as the Danube river.  It is believed that the Israelites traveled along this river spreading their information to the local pagan tribes of the European mountains, leading to many peoples abandoning their ancient pagan way and adopting a more Torah based ideology. Some believe that it’s possible that Ashkenazi Jewery descends from this segment of the exile, and had adopted the law of Moses preserved by the Judeans. 

A large number of people from Kyrgyzstan claim to have been from the Lost Tribes.  On the path of the Silk Road, their cultural structure has similarities to that of the ancient Israelites.

Their national book, the Epic of Manas – PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ, is to have come from the patriarch Menashe, son of Jacob. below is an excerpt.

“Rural Kyrgyz, far from the Judeo-Christian world, have many striking biblical traditions. A comparative analysis of Kyrgyzstan’s national epic Manas and Hebrew scripture reinforces the bond; especially obvious is the similarity between a biblical patriarch “Manasseh son of Jacob” and the Kyrgyz hero “Manas son of Jakyb.” Manas also had a exodus that is comparable to Moses’ exodus. Strikingly, both leaders moved their people with 600,000 foot soldiers. ‘Manas – Lost & Found’ touches on an unending stream of similarities, many that cannot be categorized by Carl Jung’s theories or classified as archetypes. The chapters in this book were essays presented at academic conferences in Kyrgyzstan. The topic was in Central Asia’s news for several years.”

Bnei Menashe 

The Bnei Menashe claim to be from the tribe of Menashe.  It is believed that they wandered down the Silk Road thousands of years ago into North India. Large numbers are currently returning to Israel. As mentioned earlier, we cannot know for certain if these tribes along the silk road are the blood descendants of the Israelites who wandered across the globe, or, were communities of local tribes who were influenced and adopted Israelite code via the passing Israelites. 

Japan and the Shinto culture

At the end of the Silk Road, and over the sea is Japan. Japan has the oldest monarchy in the world today.  Its roots claim to have been an ancient people exiled from a homeland and re-established as a Kingdom in Japan. Their are many striking similarities between the customs and traditions of the Japanese Shinto culture and that of Israel. 

However, the Biblical exiles of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (who split at the time of Jeroboam), had gone into exile via the Assyrians as idol worshipers. Thousands of years later, tribes like the Japanese who claim to be descendants of the tribes of Israel have many close ties to Israelite culture, yet, they also have an abundant amount of tradition based on idol worship and multiple gods, which is forbidden according to the Law of Moses (Torah).  To be considered as the people of Israel – there is only one way – Laws, Statues, and Commandments, with no additional deities

Photo of the Shinto Jews of Japan

The Re-gathering: Biblical Prophecy & The Lost Tribes of Israel: Module 6 – The Pashtun

Today we are going to take a look at a Semetic community called the Pashtun in Afghanistan.

Customs and Traditions of the Pashtun

Afghanistan is referred to as the graveyard of empires. This name reflects the many failed attempts of great empires to conquer the region. 

The Pashtun have resided in Afghanistan for the past 2,700 years (during the same period of time as the exile of the 10 tribes).  According to the scriptures, the Israelites were exiled to exactly where Afghanistan is today. According to the Prophecies, the exiles will remain in their host country until the redemption, hence the word “This day” in the verse below. 

I Chronicles 5:26

“So the God of Israel roused the spirit of King Pul of Assyria—the spirit of King Tillegath-pilneser of Assyria—and he carried them away, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day.

It is interesting to note that the Pashtun tribes in Afghanistan (currently Muslim) are known to wear amulets with that contain Hebrew words.

In rare occasions did the communities of the Judean exiles (that occurred in 586 BC) co-exist with the exiled 10 Northern tribes that were exiled in 740 BC). This is probably because the people settled at different times and the first exiles had already assimilated into the culture.

The Afghan Judean community that settled after the Afghan Pashtun (first exiles) had different customs and traditions because the communities settled in Afghanistan at different times; however, they lived alongside one another, acknowledging each-other’s connection to the people of Israel.  

Afghan Genizah

Little is known about Jews in medieval Afghanistan, yet they are mentioned in Ancient Arabic and Persian writings beyond historical references and local legend. CLICK HERE TO READ


The Re-gathering: Biblical Prophecy & The Lost Tribes of Israel – Module 5

Prophecies of the Return

Since the disappearance of the lost tribes, there have been many documented accounts of their whereabouts throughout history.  One of the first reliable historical works that discusses this narrative can be found in the works of Josephus. Josephus was a historian living at the time of 70AD. His works are used by academics across the world to study the period of the Temples of Jerusalem and the exiles of the Israelites.

“The Antiquities of the Jews,” (Book X) details the history of the exiles all the way to the current Roman occupation of Judea circa 70 AD.

It is estimated that tens of millions of Christians today in Europe and the Americas claim to be descendants of Jews forced into conversion as a result of the Spanish Inquisition.

As the children of Israel were sent into exile, so shall they return!

Hosea 11:11

“They shall flutter from Egypt like sparrows, From the land of Assyria like doves; And I will settle them in their homes —declares the LORD.”

Isaiah 56:8

“Thus declares the Lord GOD, Who gathers the dispersed of Israel: “I will gather still more to those already gathered.”

Isaiah 66:19

“I will set a sign among them, and send from them survivors to the nations: to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud—that draw the bow—to Tubal, Javan, and the distant coasts, that have never heard My fame nor beheld My glory. They shall declare My glory among these nations.”

Psalms 107:2

“Thus let the redeemed of the LORD say, those He redeemed from adversity, whom He gathered in from the lands, from east and west, from the north and from the sea.”

The Silk Road & Deep Into Africa

Isaiah 11:11:

“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.”

The silk road was a trade route established between the Mediteranian all the way to China!

There are locations along the Silk Road and Deep Into Africa where we are finding people claiming to be Semetic in origin.  

It is unclear if these people are the direct descendants of the Israelites who traveled the silk road, or if they are locals who were influenced by the Israelite teachings as they traveled East 2,700 years ago.  Either way, there is no difference, as there’s only one way to join the people of Israel; through the Laws, Statutes, and Commandments

The Role of Christianity

Christianity is one of the most influential religions in the world. A major ideology of the religion is that the Messiah would come from the House of King David to usher in the age of redemption.

Matthew 15:24:

“He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Practicing Christians across the silk road and in Africa are actually claiming to be from the Lost Tribes of Israel. In many cases, Christian missionaries reached these peoples and they embraced Christianity.

According to Biblical law and scripture, The Messiah must fulfill three things.

  • Unite the Lost Tribes of Israel
  • Build a House of Prayer for All Nations 
  • Bring Redemption To The World

Yeshua, has met all these criteria. Regardless of religious practices both Jews and Christians believe that the redeemer will come from the House of David. We pray that Israel’s eyes be open to see Yeshua as Messiah. Amen

Tribal Hebrew Music From The Silk Road & Africa

The Regathering: Biblical Prophecy & The Lost Tribes of Israel: Module 4 – Europe & Around The World

Regathering The Hebrew Diaspora

Isaiah 12:11-12:

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, 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 shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”

Jewish or Hebrew

In this module we will discover that there are many Semitic people groups throughout the world. During this course we are going to take a closer look at each of these groups. During this course we will see that not all Semitic people identify as Jewish.

The term Jewish does not imply the exclusive descendants of the people of Israel, rather, it’s describing a remnant of the Judeans who returned from Babylon and codified the law of Moses by keeping the Torah. The dispersed Judeans established a lifestyle based on the oral and written tradition of the code of Moses. Centuries ago, the Romans shortened the word Judean and the dispersed Judeans became known as “Jews” and the religious practices of the Judeans became known as Judaism.

The Judean exile had brought many dispersed people as exiles into Rome and other Mediterranean cities. The descendants of these exile communities were known as Sepharadim, based on the word Sepharad which is Spain in Hebrew, which in the Tanach is mentioned by name.

Obadiah 1:20:

“And that exiled force of Israelites [shall possess] what belongs to the Phoenicians as far as Zarephath (France), while the Jerusalemite exile community of Sepharad (Spain) shall possess the towns of the Negeb.”

The Ashkenazim are Judeans who were dispersed to Europe and formed Jewish communities in Europe. The Judeans who were dispersed throughout the Mediterranean coastal countries are known as Sephardim (as we read above). Most American Jewry are of Ashkenazi or Sephardic origin.

There are also Jews that identify as Mizrahi, Teimani, Yemenite, etc.  These terms derive from the locations that had flourishing (Judean) Jewish communities.

Ashkenaz was the son of Gomer of the family line of Japheth, and a grandson of Noah. His family had an inheritance in the Germanic regions of Europe. The Judeans that settled and grew in that region are referred to as Ashkenazi, just as all Jewish communities are referred to by their Geographic location.

Genesis 10:3:

“The descendants of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.”

When the children of Israel were dispersed across the globe, they assimilated to foreign regions and intermarried with the indigenous population taking on the racial identity of the location. The dispersed people that fled to Europe look European. The dispersed people that fled to China look Chinese. The dispersed people that fled to India look Indian. The dispersed people that fled to Africa look African.

It is interesting to note that DNA suggests the Ashkenazim came from a few hundred families of the Israelites exiled in Europe. Also, DNA suggests that the dispersed Judean settlers intermarried with Europeans. This would explain why the Ashkenazi communities are lighter complexion in skin color. However, according to scripture, skin color has nothing to do with being a member of the House of Israel.

Numbers 15:15:

“As for the congregation, there shall be one statute both for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you, a statute for ever throughout your generations; as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the Lord.”

1 Samuel 16:7:

“But the LORD said unto Samuel: ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have rejected him; for it is not as man seeth: for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

Under the pressure of the Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Spaniards and Germans, the Judeans were scattered throughout the world. Miraculously they sustained their 2,000 year old traditions and code of laws. Over the centuries many Jews were forced to convert to other religions or practice their faith secretly.  

During the 1700’s the European Jewish leaders began urging mass migration back to Israel to join the Israelites who had never left the land.  Letters were sent in search of the scattered camps of surviving ‘Lost Tribes’ of Israel. (See Course For Details)

Arab Speaking Hebrews

Today, let’s take a look at a few people groups of Hebrew origin:

An incredible yet strange phenomenon exists in Israel.  Among the residents of certain territories like the West Bank, there are hundreds of thousands of indigenous people who are identified as “Palestinians,” yet some are believed to actually have Hebrew origin.   These people live in family clans, and marry within family clans. Some of these family clans have their origins as Israelites who went through conversions to Islam in order to remain in Israel without the threat of pressure from Islamic culture on non Islamic residents of the land.

In Hebrew with English Subtitles

In Israel there is a famous village known to be exclusively inhabited by descendants of hidden Hebrews. Yatta is located in the “West Bank,” and has a reputation for being a cornerstone in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The family clans of Yatta self identify as being of the children of Israel. 

2 Kings 25:12:

“But some of the poorest in the land were left by the chief of the guards, to be vinedressers and field hands.”

As the verse states in 2 Kings, not 100% of the people of Israel were sent into exile, the poorest remained in order to continue working and tilling the land. The description of the family clans from Yatta, details their family name meaning wine makers.

Hebrew Diaspora In China and India

Over history scattered Jewish communities (of the European diaspora) have popped up in far away regions, most notably in Kaifeng China, and on the West Coast of India. Having resettled in foreign regions, the Jewish people had married women of local origin.  However, as we will learn later on in this course, there were many Israelite exile communities in these regions well before European Jewry settled there. 

The Hebrew Presence In India

The history of the Semitic people in India reaches back to ancient times. Indian Hebrews are a religious minority of India, but, unlike many parts of the world, have historically lived in India without any instances of anti-Semitism from the local majority populace. The better-established ancient communities have assimilated a large number of local traditions through cultural diffusion. While some Indian Hebrews state their ancestors arrived in India during the time of the Kingdom of Judah, others identify themselves as descendants of Israel’s Ten Lost Tribes. It is estimated that India’s Hebrew population peaked at around 20,000 in the mid-1940s, and began to rapidly decline due to their emigration to Israel after its creation in 1948. Read this on Wikipedia

As the course continues, we will also learn about the dispersed people’s journeys into Africa and across the Silk Road

The Regathering: Biblical Prophecy & The Lost Tribes of Israel – Module 3

Module 3: Kingdom to Exiles

In this module, Moses prepares Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land. The people face great challenges along the way, but with God’s divine intervention, the children of Israel are able to establish the Land for the 12 tribes of Israel.

Joshua 1:2:

“My servant Moses is dead. Prepare to cross the Jordan, together with all this people, into the land that I am giving to the Israelites.”

Joshua 11:23:

“Thus Joshua conquered the whole country, just as the LORD had promised Moses; and Joshua assigned it to Israel to share according to their tribal divisions. And the land had rest from war.”

Over a period of time, God raised up Israel’s first King named Saul. The nation continued to build their Kingdom despite hostile neighbors.  

I Samuel 15:1

“Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over His people Israel. Therefore, listen to the LORD’s command!”

Later, God raised up David to be King over Israel. King David envisioned the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, which was then built by his son King Solomon.

II Samuel 5:3

“All the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them in Hebron before the LORD. And they anointed David king over Israel.”

I Kings 4:1

“King Solomon was now king over all Israel.”

The Exile of the 10 Northern Tribes

After a long period of peace and tranquility, and a series of Kings after King Solomon, the nation split apart. The 10 Northern Tribes created their own Kingdom called the Kingdom of Israel, while the Tribe of Judah and Benjamin were referred to as the Kingdom of Judea. Prophecies of division were foretold foreshadowing the destruction of the Holy Temple, and the Israelite exile to the four corners of the world.

I Kings 11:31:

“Take ten pieces,” he said to Jeroboam. “For thus said the LORD, the God of Israel: I am about to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hands, and I will give you ten tribes.”

The nation of Israel was weakened by division, and the Assyrian army was able to take over the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The cohesive nation is broken, loses it’s land, and the scattered people become known as the ‘Lost Tribes of Israel.’

Scripture Reference: The Exile of the Northern Kingdom:

II Kings 17:6:

“In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away unto Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and in Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.”

I Chronicles 5:26

So the God of Israel roused the spirit of King Pul of Assyria—the spirit of King Tillegath-pilneser of Assyria—and he carried them away, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day.”

The Kingdom of Judea was eventually overtaken by the Persians, Zion was forced into Babylon, and the First Temple was destroyed.

Scripture Reference: Exile and Scatterings of the Judeans: 

II Kings 24:15

He deported Jehoiachin to Babylon; and the king’s wives and officers and the notables of the land were brought as exiles from Jerusalem to Babylon.”

Jeremiah 40:11

“Likewise, all the Judeans who were in Moab, Ammon, and Edom, or who were in other lands, heard that the king of Babylon had let a remnant stay in Judah, and that he had put Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan in charge of them.”

Jeremiah 40:12

“All these Judeans returned from all the places to which they had scattered. They came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and they gathered large quantities of wine and figs.”

Daniel 9:7

“Yours, O Lord, is the righteousness [i.e., You are right in the judgments and the punishments that You have brought upon us], and ours is the shame-facedness [i.e., it is fitting that we be ashamed over what is happening to us], as [we see] this day — [(what is happening)] to the men of Judah and the dwellers of Jerusalem and to all of Israel, the near and the far, in all the lands where You cast them for their faithlessness to You.”

During the time of the Babylonian Exile, the Persian Empire stretched all the way from India to Africa. The Israelites were scattered throughout 127 nations under the Persian Kingdom. As referenced in the Book of Esther, a hidden Judean woman who became the Queen of Persia. 

According to the book of Esther, when the Judeans triumphed over the Persian annihilation, people from the 127 nations became Hebrews.

Esther 8:17 

“And in every province and in every city, when the king’s command and decree arrived, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many of the people of the land professed to be Jews, for the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.”

For further reading a link to the Book of Esther CLICK HERE

The Exiles Return

Families from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi return from their exile in Persia to re-establish the Kingdom of Judea. They rebuild the Second Temple in 349 BCE, which lasts 420 years until it is destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 AD. The remainder of the scattered Tribes wander throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa.

The Regathering: Biblical Prophecy & The Lost Tribes of Israel – Module 2

The Creation to Mt. Sinai

This Module’s focus is to give the student the proper background to the actual story of the Torah.  

From Adam To Abraham

The stories from Adam to Abraham describe how the earth became populated,  the nature of civilization and the building of society.  Since the fall from ‘Edenic consciousness,’ the purpose of humanity was to return to the Garden.  The Torah implies there is a partnership between The Creator and humanity to advance humanity towards redemption.  

Assignment:  Please Read Genesis 1-11:32

From Abraham to Egypt

In the Torah, we see the desire of the Creator to have an intimate relationship with mankind. Abraham was directly approached by God to enter into relationship with Him. God promised that Abraham’s children would flourish on earth. There was no smooth ride for Abraham and the Patriarchs. Yet, their faith was maintained from generation to generation. 

Assignment: Please read from Genesis 12:1 – Genesis 50:26

From Egypt to Sinai

In the following portion of the Torah, the children of Israel are exiled into Egypt.  Moses prepares the children of Israel to become a nation.  

Assignment: Please read from Exodus 1 – Exodus 34

FREE ONLINE COURSE: Discover the Past, Present, & Future, of the Dispersed Hebrew People

The Regathering: Biblical Prophecy & The Lost Tribes of Israel – Module 1

The Phenomenon

In Amos 8:11, it was foretold thousands of years ago that a generation will arise that will challenge the status quo and search for a deeper meaning in life. The struggle is real. Many God seekers have embraced a new reality based on something very ancient, yet still very relevant.  If you seek a closer walk with the Most High, God foretold in the scriptures that this would happen.

Amos 8:11:

“A time is coming—declares my Lord GOD—when I will send a famine upon the land: not a hunger for bread or a thirst for water, but for hearing the words of the LORD.”

Isaiah 44:5:

“One shall say, “I am the LORD’s,” Another shall use the name of “Jacob,” Another shall mark his arm “of the LORD” And adopt the name of “Israel.”

Zechariah 8:23:

“Thus said the LORD of Hosts: In those days, ten men from nations of every tongue will take hold—they will take hold of every Judean by a corner of his cloak and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”

Isaiah 41:1:

“But the LORD will pardon Jacob, and will again choose Israel, and will settle them on their own soil. And strangers shall join them and shall cleave to the House of Jacob.”

Semetic Communities All Over The World

The name “Israel” is another name for Jacob, (Genesis 32:29).  Jacob was the son of Isaac the son of Abraham. Jacob had twelve sons, who became the 12 Tribes of Israel.  In Genesis 49:10, the name Shiloh (Messiah) is mentioned as the final offspring of this line who comes to perfect the mission of redemption for Israel and the nations. 

Genesis 49:10:

“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, As long as men come to Shiloh (Messiah); And unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be.”

Judah, one of the 12 brothers was blessed that from his seed would come the Messiah who would bring redemption to all humanity.

From these 12 Tribes emerged what is known as the nation of Israel. According to scripture, the children of Israel’s purpose is to bring Tikkun (restoration) to the world and deliver the knowledge of truth, liberating all of humanity. 

Isaiah 27:6:

“Those who come, He shall cause to take root in Jacob; Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.”

God’s word says that when we “take root” in Israel, we will bear fruit that will fill the entire world.

Fast-forward thousands of years later. When someone thinks of the children of Israel, they automatically think of a person of Ashkenazi or Sephardic origin. However, there are Semetic communities all over the world.

When Israel became a nation in 1948 it had received letters from tribes and nations around the world, stating that they were from the Lost Tribes of Israel (as you will learn later in this course, many of the descendants of the ancient house of Israel have yet to be identified). At first people thought that these were just people from third world countries reaching out to join the first world bandwagon.

Right away scholars and spiritual leaders began investigating the matter. They lined up testimonies and history from the past 2,700 years alongside the current voices around the world claiming to be of Israel. In almost all instances there wasn’t a shadow of a doubt that the people at hand were living breathing descendants of the people of Israel.

This course will cover these claims, the traditions, and histories of the people making the claim, including some mind blowing DNA studies!

This phenomenon ties together with ‘Biblical Prophecy.’ If hundreds of millions of people around the world are claiming to be an ancient family, then its upon us to act like an ancient family!

Please sit back and enjoy the story, from the perspective of the heirs of the information about to be delivered…

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ONLINE COURSE: Discover the Past, Present, & Future, of the Dispersed Hebrew People.