News website of Bnei Menashe - Visit


Monday, May 7, 2012

It is not a surprised when one is is asked of who he is in Israel. Neither do I, when people gazed at me with Kippah in my head and a Tallit waiving down. This is the only way to be distinct from identity crisis we have here with the Thailandis and Phillipines. Identity crisis in Israel an aged old problem. You can't say who actually is a Jews unless he has a kippah on it. Israel is country where Jews from all parts of the world unite under one roof. There are Jews from Europe, US, Russia, Indian Jews, the Ethiopian, the Kaifeng Jews etc. Each has its own unique culture and their feature are similar to where they came from. So do the Bnei Menashe from India, who, but bears a look of Thailandis or Filipinos. There are those people who are amused when they see a Asian looking people with a kipah. However in recents years after aliyah of 2007, most of Bnei menashe scattered to live in different parts of Israel like Ma'alot, Afula, Sderot, Beth-el, Carmiel etc, there has been an increased in area of recognition by many people living around them.

The best way to curb with this situation is for every Bnei Menashe to put a kipah wherever they go or whatever they do. The truth is that, the Bnei Menashe are zionist and to put on a kipah doesn't really means they are religious. However, I may say that 97% of Bnei Menashe are religious-Zionist. Most youngsters may refused to ignore putting a kipah on their head even if they are not really religious. Because that differentiate us from a similar feature looking people - The Thais and the Filipinos. An Asian looking people with a kipah on their head is automatically Bnei Menashe even if that person is a Thailandi. So, There is a need for expanding circles of Bnei Menashe Identity.

Do we really need any symbols to signify that we are Jews? Some Bnei Menashe are proud to be Judaism nonetheless, some wears kipah (head-covering), some mezuzah, tallit etc. But I felt the need to in advertise ourselves in someway or the other for the fact that we are Jewish as we integrating into Jewish society. Because, its hard for us to identify ourselves in the midst of crowding of features similar to us.

Previous immigration of Bnei menashe to Israel occurred in several stages. The latest phase in late 2007 transformed the society of Bnei Menashe in Israel. Numerically, the community is relatively small, with some 2700 individuals currently in Israel; at the maximum it could reach 7900 (to take the most generous estimate of the number of Bnei Menashe practicing Judaism in India.) About 95% of them are literate and they doesn't have any problem in integrating with host society.

Hashem's willing we will resume our aliyah program this year and more of our brethren will join us in this Holy Land. With more number of strength, we will one day be free to roam about Israel proudly as Bnei Menashe son of Yoseph the Righteous.

May Hashem be with us and hasten the redemption of the exiled.

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009

Back to TOP