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ATTITUDE OF BNEI MENASHE IN ISRAEL

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Attitude of Bnei Menashe

Israel- a land of "milk and honey" spiritually lies within us, geographically the center of the earth and a 6 hours by air from India and a far away fairy-tale-land - a land fill with happiness, where everyone attains highest spiritual loftiness, comprehended with the highest possible imagination where any possible sort of sins would cease to exist. This is the the attitude of most of the Bnei Menashe towards Israel before Aliyah. This is not because they did not know the ways of the world, or because they were from the third world. They knew very well about their land, histories and culture and contemporary Israel status. Nonetheless, that is not enough to divert their attention to the holiness of the Land, it is just hard for them to think of such as the state of the land be, from their inner self. And because of the Jewish soul they poses within them, their physical form may change, but their soul still remembers the holiness they attained during those days when they saw the divine presence rested upon Israel during the time of the Beith Hamikdash - before exile.

With this general-spiritual attitude, the Bnei Menashe came to Israel expecting a warm welcome from their long lost brethren. But that seems to be not the case. After analyzing this matter, I observed that the Bnei Menashe were not wrong in accordance with the time they last left the land, wrong on the other hand when they return after thousands of years.

Having brought up in a society and place where hospitality is vital aspect of life, the Bnei Menashe misunderstood the ways of modern Israel. We shouldn't have expected everyone to poses the trait that Menashe has. I do not mean to say all Israel has the same mentality that I've stated. Always expect the unexpected, I've two friends in Jerusalem, whose hospitality exceeds all the hospitality I've come across, to be honest I found no adjective to express their generosity. There are many more, thousands of pious Jews whose good deeds towards Bnei Menashe excels. They love us simply because we are Bnei Menashe, like the Shavei Israel Orgn, who continue to work for the development of this Peace-Loving-Shy-People.

Physically they are aware of every possible adversaries they have to face in Israel, they are shock, spiritually, because things were not as it used to be when they left the Land. The temple is destroyed, their land given to them by Yehoshua is in Palestine, their forefather's burial place are under control.

The Bnei Menashe still in exile still retain their culture and tradition even after 2000 years of exile. They still observe the sabbath, festivals and circumcision. In fact they are orthodox in nature, unorthodox Bnei Menashe generally are excluded for Aliyah. Everyone needs to know and practice tenets of Judaism strictly. Eligibility criteria for Aliyah is under strict observation of the Rabbis under the supervision of Shavei Israel.

The Bnei Menashe still retain their tradition from Sinai. People in Japan study Bible of Israelites, but lack the knowledge that those people are still around. Similarly there are those Jews who did not know that the exiled tribes are still around. On the other hand my experience has taught me that there is an ever-growing interest and a curiosity in them. The ten tribes are lost, they did not die. Lost things can be retrieve. I once stand at the bus stop in Jerushalem (after attending Yeshiva), one of the black-hat Jews stare at me curiously, a kippah over my head, tallit on my veil, but a Phillipino look on my face. To end his curiosity he asked me in Hebrew which I fail to comprehend, but I can study in his face what he wants to know from me and I responded in English of whom I am, he listen and node his head with a big smile. That smile he gave me lingers on my mind. That is how we have to be recognised in a positive way. Sometime I was intrigued by the amusing accounts of petty squabbles in internet about Bnei Menashe, who did not venture out but keep sitting at home and collect news to use as a weapon to attack others.

Having observed all the possible commandment to the possible extend, we Bnei Menashe still needs to be under conversion process like any other gentiles. This indicates that we have similarity with gentiles in this ground. Since we have been lost for thousands of years. At home they take the pain to keep their Jewish tradition to prove to their gentile neighbor who they are. As they practice orthodox Judaism even before conversion, they are provided special provisions by the Rabbis so they get converted within 3-6 months once they are in Israel. To conclude humorously, there are group of people who are neither gentile nor a Jew - they are Bnei Menashe. I didn't meant to be sceptic here in this regard, rather I strongly advocate saying of the Rabbis, especially in regards to Bnei Menashe. There are Bnei Menashe who are converted to Christianity, because they think tradition and culture that they had from their fore father are outdated in contrast with modern culture - like the priesthood, the sacrificial offerings and festivals etc. Had there been no conversion process for Bnei Menashe, there will be chaos, every willing candidate religious and non-religious alike will immigrate to Israel (like the case of the Russian Jewry). Conversion and Aliyah of Bnei Menashe is control under the strict guidance of Shavei Israel Organisation at this moment.

Lastly, its a mitsvah (commandment) to resides in Israel. Aliyah is the only way to fulfil this commandment and its is one's duty to struggle and to exert the force (the love for Israel) within him to fulfill this mitsvah individually or generally. Midrash has it that Red Sea does not split until Nachson jumps in. So we should not wait for G-d's intervention in everything for us.

We need supports from our brothers. You can helps us make Aliyah and to hasten redemption of the exiled. You have the opportunity to exercise your will to support us or someone else will.


Time come and go, but we will continue what we did, may be G-d has given you a chance to caused the exiled to return back home. Let you be the first to acknowlge the "Return of Lost Tribe" and change the history of Israel forever - the greatest Mitsvah of all time.

"The Jewish State was not formed so that those who arrived first would suddenly decide to close the gates. I hope and trust that there are enough individuals within the Jewish people and the Israeli community that wouldn't allow that to happen"

We look forward to the moment that we can celebrate together our collective achievement “ not only for our benefit, but also for the benefit of all of Jewish people.

To contribute for the Aliyah and development of the Bnei Menashe, please log on to www.shavei.org or Contact Founder Chairman : Michael Freund. Hqrs 58 King George St. Heichal Shlomo. Jerushalem, Israel.

or write to me
yonathanhaokip@gmail.com


Shalom !
Yonathan Haokip.
Member Shavei Israel Fellowship, 2010.

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