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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Individual Bnei Menashe Making Aliyah Ignites A Debate


Vying for private aliyah among Bnei Menashe has come in uncalled criticism and commentary. The underlying assumption of wagging tongues is that there is something intrinsically noteworthy or wrong with individual aliyah, while such criticism speaks volumes about commentators, it says next to nothing about the happiness of the immigrant. This is a sad commentary on the state of some leaders when private aliyah becomes the focus for all Bnei Menashe chatters in India

For years, private aliyah is the best option for any individual or families whose relatives resides in Israel in order to overcome Aliyah Expectation Hangover syndrome. Even in 2009 we have witness some individual made it to the list.

In history of aliyah of Bnei Menashe, we have also observed that aliyah in past 3 decades; almost all of them have made aliyah under Tourist visa (B2) which is more like a private aliyah rather than that of visa given to Mass Aliyah of 2007 which was A5. That system can be re-introduced for those who want to make aliyah in private. Nevertheless still stick with our struggle for mass aliyah.

Rather than acquiesce to some leader’s opinion, it’s a matter of urgency for independent thinking people to question the dominant opinion. Should we condemn those people who make private aliyah for making commitment to live in the Promised Land? Surely, even the puritanical amongst us should celebrate this reaffirmation of an age-old practice, developed independently by all countries including US, Europe and Indian Jews, but treated as risky by Bnei Menashe. A Jews by far has the right to make aliyah anytime he/she wish. If the individual or family has any other family in Israel to rely on, then it is a very good opportunity for that party to make aliyah in private, it’s a matter between consenting individuals. And should we not share in its landing rather than assume that a rationality composed by want of high-life-style and materialism or a victim of bnei-menashe-crisis motivates the individual’s decision? Even if such assumption is correct surely its up to them to decide what they want. Decision makers and leaders cannot arrogate themselves the right to decide on their behalf.

To take private immigrant and families’ action on their own terms also provides insights into how people will behave in a world where ‘freedom to travel anywhere’ has transform lives. Regardless of whether one agrees with private aliyah has done, he or she has at a minimum transformed the way Bnei Menashe view of Aliyah, perhaps if we give him/her a chance, it might also transform our aged-old Aliyah Expectation Hangover Syndrome. Moreover, private aliyah is a helping hand in disguise to Shavei Israel, it minimize the number of next mass aliyah.

Aliyah is not opportunity, it is a privilege. Any Jews has the right to make aliyah anytime. However it turns out to be opportunity for Bnei Menashe, which knocks but once. So why suffer ourselves when we know when we can make it. Change is what we need. Decision makers needs to endorse private Aliyah. More important is to set up department to help private immigrant of Bnei Menashe to get Giur (Citizenship) like other countries who has their own department in Israel. It is a mitzvah (Commandment) to live in Israel and aliyah is the only way. It is one’s duty to exert the force (the love for Israel) within self to fulfill it individually or generally.


That, in spite of waiting for Mass Aliyah, Bnei Menashe discovered new ideas- private aliyah - to go to Israel.  This valuable idea increasingly under threat by the rise of symmetrical or asymmetrical relationship between families and relatives in India and Israel. Private aliyah is significant not for who is involved, but because it highlights this worrying trends. At the heart of the matter is the question of whether individual aliyah of bnei menashe is desirable and feasible. Without fail, private aliyah will cause individual to feel proud and those left behind will seek way to immolate it. The matter is not whether the families in Israel want their relatives soon with them, but they are not aware that they are exploiting the mind of others. Private aliyah is a blow against Shavei Israel who nurtures Bnei Menashe from its orphanage, who carried and will carries out various development programs. IT can also cause them to withdraw their attention we enjoy which at this moment is healthy.

Private aliyah should sternly be objected and mass aliyah be endorsed. Mass aliyah provides Bnei Menashe a change to proof and raise their voice together in their struggle to be recognized. If we don’t object it, the result will be back to survival of the fittest amongst Bnei Menashe.

Why should we incite jealousy and lead other to temptation and exploiting their minds to follow your way of aliyah? We are but instigating more pollution in our Movement. Let it be two or three person, I think it will make sense rather than a bunch of intruders. With this type of action we won’t be able to perceive any positive outcome of our struggle. We all acknowledge what Shavei has done to us. Their patience may be running thin. Don’t we trust them anymore; we are nothing less compare with those people who go astray while Rabbeinu Moses was away at Mt. Sinai. Do we have to repeat that mistake again? We are on our way making ourselves void of any condition to be call Bnei menashe if this goes on.

We cannot compare private aliyah made by Jews from US or Europe, they are Jews by birth, we are Lost. Do we really want Christian element in our midst, in guise of Jew come to Israel and incite criticism in Israel as was once upon us? That can be the product of private aliyah. Endorsing private aliyah can pave the way for any Bnei Menashe (Jews & Christian). Shavei Israel have had enough problem with those who made private aliyah. We need to be careful even more. We don’t we to be the subject of any criticism. If we really are vested interest, better be pure in our line and let it be, there will be a way instead of inciting jealousy and corrupting others mind. Mass exodus is the way to avoid these problems and to hold our Movement.

What is your View or Comment ?

Yonathan Haokip

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