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Monday, June 18, 2012

Freund's List

Yesterday, I watch again Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster “Schindler’s List”, what Schindler did was similar to what Michael Freund do with the Lost Tribe, especially with Bnei-Menashe. Schindler save Jews from Holocaust while Freund save Lost Tribe from exile. We have witness another Schindler in our generation.

Michael Freund, Chairman Shavei Israel
Summer is here and the season of joy for Bnei-Menashe is set to burst and we have a reason to smile again this year. The man behind the screen is the man who does not need any introduction, especially to Bnei-Menashe. A man of word, who commands respect, the men who is going to rewrite the history, a men who is crazy to spend enormous amount of money to let the lost tribe return to their ancestor’s land. Like Oscar Schindler, who save thousands of Jews from Nazi-Germans during the Holocaust. Why did he do that? Schindler spent about 4 million German Marks – which was enormous amount during that time. Was he crazy risk his life to rescue his Jews in the shadow of Auschwitz?  Oscar Schindler does not exactly fit the description of guardian angel very well! We think we know what goodness looks like. No one will ever know exactly what made this complex man do what no German had the courage to do. Oscar Schindler was a sentimentalist who loved the simplicity of doing good. 

We, the Bnei menashe, in our generation, have witness another Schindler, Michael Freund, who, like Oscar, live his life to save Bnei-menashe from the holocaust of exile, spent millions of dollars, stands to protect our honor. A G-d fearing man he is, and his goal is to fulfill what I termed “The greatest mitzvah of our generation” – that is – helping the lost tribe to connect to their ancestor’s land.

Schindler made list of people to work in his factory and be saved. His inner motivation was to save as much Jews as possible from the horrible Nazis. Any person listed were saved, Oscar factory was even considered as haven and anyone made it to the list does not die in the hands of Nazis.

Freund on the other had his own list of people, list of families among Bnei-Menashe to be saved from exile and be connected to their forefather’s land this summer. In contrast with Schindler’s of that time, the bnei menashe does not suffer any annihilation or persecution in India. However, the feeling to be connected and made aliyah to the promised land, the yearning and eagerness to witness the land in their life time, the land which was related from father to child, for more than 2000 years, as it were fairy tales, made them feel as they were in the time of holocaust. The holocaust of exile made the bnei-menashe crazy to be in the land soon.  

In the Movie, Schindler’s List, Krause, who live in Krakow under false paper, made request to Schindler to add her parents to his list, “They are old people, and they are killing older people..they bury them in the forest, I don’t have money..” Freund’s List comprise of G-d fearing-bnei-menashe-families, yet another list will be in the next few months,  most of the member in the list had one or two related families who made aliyah. Some made request like Krause, in the movie. From general point of view, I can understand Krause, she was saved, and had better relation with Schindler, obviously, she will request him to list her parents. Likewise, there are many among us who already made aliyah, but still make request to have their family among Freund’s list. What about those people who do not have anyone living in Israel, like me. Never mind, Heaven willing, all Bnei-menashe will under be Freund’s List. Thanks to Michael Freund, for his loving-kindness he bestow on us, Oscar Schindler for bnei-menashe. Again, We hope and pray that Heaven be with you to achieve your goals and fulfill what I termed “the greatest mistvah of all time” – bring back the lost tribe to hasten coming of the Messiah!

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