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Lost tribe of Israel...
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 13-02-2004 15:35    Post subject: Lost tribe of Israel... Reply with quote

Hello,

Anyone ever heard of one of the lost tribes of Israel called the SENA? Supposedly they came from a land they called SENA or HEAVEN, and they settled in Africa, and now Archeologists are trying to uncover the actually place.

WW
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InhabitantOffline
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PostPosted: 13-02-2004 15:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are they the same as the Ethiopian Falashas? They practice a form of Judaism and are meant to be descendents of one of the lost tribes. I beleive they're recognised by the state of Isreal as Jews and are entitled to Isreali passports (should they want them!)
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Sifaka317Offline
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PostPosted: 13-02-2004 22:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understood that, during the mid 1980s famine, most of the Falashas were airlifted out of Ethiopia by the Israeli government.
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MrRINGOffline
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PostPosted: 13-02-2004 22:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are the Falashas at all related to the Rastafari movement?
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naitakaOffline
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PostPosted: 16-02-2004 14:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

These people are called the Lemba. The PBS show 'Nova' filmed an investigation of them by anthropologist Tudor Parfitt. DNA tests showed that they do indeed have Jewish roots.

A very comprehensive website about the research, the search for the actual location of Sena, and the Lemba connection to Great Zimbabwe:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/israel/
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BosbabaOffline
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PostPosted: 16-02-2004 15:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tribe located in Ethiopa was designated as the remnants of the tribe of Dan.

Even though they live in Israel now, they are not accorded entirely the same status as Ashkenazi Jews and their descendants. For instance, they are not permitted to donate blood - this caused quite an uproar when it was announced a few years (I think) ago.

There is rumoured to be Israelites/Jews settled along India's coastlines, at least they claim to be of Jewish descent. I have not looked into this much so cannot comment.

There has long been a rumour that the Danes themselves are in part descended from one of the lost tribes of Israel, though again this is a line I have not followed up.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 16-02-2004 15:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

An issue of Fortean Times about 2 years ago had an article on the Lemba people. Their tradition is that they originated in the Yemen area of the Arabian peninsula and genetic research showed there could be a link. Sorry I can't remember what issue of FT it was in....
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PostPosted: 16-02-2004 16:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I believe there are also practising Chinese Jews?
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TheQuixoteOffline
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PostPosted: 18-08-2004 22:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought this might be of interest, I hadn't heard of this Lost Tribe before:

Quote:

India's 'lost Jews' wait in hope

By Geeta Pandey
BBC correspondent in Imphal, Manipur

A team of senior Israeli rabbis is due to rule soon on whether thousands of Indians who say they are members of one of the lost tribes of Israel can settle there.

Shlomo Amar recently led a delegation of rabbis to the north-eastern Indian states of Manipur and Mizoram where members of the Benei Menashe tribe live and practise Judaism.
At the Beith-el Synagogue in the Manipur capital, Imphal, nine men wearing knitted skull caps read silently from the Old Testament.

Four others stand on a wooden platform in the centre of the room as a young man reads from the holy book under the supervision of an elderly priest.

These people claim to be one of the lost tribes of Israel.

Recent discovery

Tongkhohao Aviel Hangshing is the leader of the Benei Menashes in Imphal.

Quote:

We found that the stories, the customs and practices of the Israeli people were very similar to ours
Tongkhohao Aviel Hangshing


"We are Benei Menashe, because we belong to the Menashe tribe," he says.

"Menashe is the son of Joseph, who was one of the 12 sons of Jacob. So we are the lost tribe of Israel."

Mr Hangshing says for thousands of years they did not know they were lost.

"We found out only 27 years ago," he says.


"When the Bible was translated into our language, in 1970s, we studied it.

"And we found that the stories, the customs and practices of the Israeli people were very similar to ours. So we thought that we must be one of the lost tribes."

Saturdays are observed by Jews the world over as the Sabbath, the day of rest, and the members of the Benei Menashe community meet for morning prayers at the synagogue in Imphal.

A lamb-skin scroll of the Torah, is unrolled and then rolled up again as each reader finishes his part.

Hope

There are more than 300,000 Benei Menashes in Manipur but most of them follow Christianity.

Only about 5,000 have converted to Judaism, most of them during the 1970s.

Mr Hangshing says although India has treated them quite well, they do not consider it their home.

The recent visit by a delegation of rabbis from Israel has given new hope to the members of this community.

Caleb, a 24-year-old college student, wants to go to Israel because he says it is the land of his forefathers.

Amram is studying to be a lawyer. He says Israel is the promised land, for him and the others too.

"In Israel it will be easier for us to practise our religion."

In a chamber partitioned from the main prayer hall, about a dozen women join in the Sabbath prayers.

Lucy Vaiphei is the caretaker of the synagogue.

Her parents and six siblings have emigrated to Israel in the last few years and she is now looking forward to making the move herself.

Michael Freund, director of Amishav - an organisation that helps Jews move to Israel - says he firmly believes that Menashe is one of the lost tribes of Israel.

"We have brought over 800 of them to Israel," he says, "and the remaining people also want to emigrate".

Mr Freund says that last year the new Israeli interior minister, Avraham Poraz, suddenly declared his opposition to bringing the Benei Menashes into Israel.

"But I'm confident that if the chief rabbi issues a ruling saying that the Benei Menashes are indeed descendents of the Jewish people and should be allowed back home, then he will have no choice but to let them in."

So while the rabbis in Israel take a decision on whether or not to grant the right to emigrate to Israel to the Benei Menashes, this community here is waiting with bated breath - and praying.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/south_asia/3575716.stm

Published: 2004/08/18 10:19:44 GMT

© BBC MMIV
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 20-08-2004 05:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inhabitant wrote:

And I believe there are also practising Chinese Jews?

Being Jewish is a different concept to being, say, a practising Catholic.

The Chinese Christians I've met are Christians by virtue of having been raised by parents who practised Christianity. They also happened to be Chinese.

The Jews I've met are Jews by virtue of their mothers having been Jewish. They vary in their practise of Judaic ritual and tradition. They also vary in their definition of themselves as either Australian Jews or Jewish Australians.

If you had been born in China, or had a Chinese father, and had a mother who identified as Jewish, even if her own father was Chinese, then you would qualify as a Chinese Jew. Or Jewish Chinese. What rituals and traditions you practised, and how rigorously, would be your own business.
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stunevilleOffline
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PostPosted: 20-08-2004 07:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr X wrote:

If you had been born in China, or had a Chinese father, and had a mother who identified as Jewish, even if her own father was Chinese, then you would qualify as a Chinese Jew. Or Jewish Chinese. What rituals and traditions you practised, and how rigorously, would be your own business.
In fact, and this is perfectly true, there is (or was) a kosher Chinese restaurant in Manhattan called.... Genghis Cohen's.

Genius!
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 20-08-2004 11:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had heard before about Jewishness being passed on through the maternal line - it makes sense because you can always be pretty sure who the mother of a child is, proving who the father was has been difficult until recently.

However I have also read articles that 'prove' Jewishness on the basis of a gene component that is unique to men of 'Cohen' ancestry, apparently they descend from a Jewish priestly caste. This test is used in cases where people far removed from the Middle East, and who do not appear racially to be Semites, claim that they are Jews.

So which is it, what proves you are a Jew?
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 20-08-2004 12:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

What proves who you are in general? I have been thinking about having one of those tests that trace back your genealogy from your DNA. I think I have Jewish Ancestry, but I'm not 100% sure. It's just that my family is HUGE and mixed like a bowl of leftovers and there are stories, handed down through the generations, of various exploits of various ancestors, so I am confused. What am I? Who am I? Who exactly were my ancestors? It's so hard being me. lol

WW
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 20-08-2004 13:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's funny you should mention that, Scarlett. I raised a similar point with my wife and her brother last night. (They're Jewish.) I asked them, since Jewishness is passed through the mother, why do Jewish youths, at their bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah, take a Hebrew name which means "son/daughter of [father's name]"? (They shrugged.)

Your question mingles two different aspects: claiming an ethnic identity for oneself, and ascribing a racial identity to others. Jews say "I am Jewish because my mother was Jewish" - they claim an ethnic identity for themselves based on a particular criterion. Molecular biologists, however, studying the Cohen line, say "They are Cohenite Jews because their DNA contains these markers which they inherited from their fathers." They ascribe a racial identity based on a different criterion than Jews use to claim their ethnic identity. The ethnic identity combines a family heritage with a cultural tradition. The racial identity is simply another way of saying "They have these particular genes."

Clear as mud, I hope. Wink
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 20-08-2004 16:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, a bit clearer I think. Still confused though, which one is the religious identity then? Racially not all semites are Jews of course. Maybe it is via the mother that the religious heritage is passed on? (I know it is all up to the individual whether they practise or not, but I mean in terms of what the Jewish religion would regard as the passing on of Jewishness). I am beginning to confuse myself here!

I heard of those tests to determine ancestral origin, seen ads for them in which the organisers specifically sought MEN of a certain surname for testing. This is quite offensive, I am as much genetically a member of my family as the men. I realise the DNA they study must be from the 'Y'. But anyway, isn't the maternal mitrocondrial DNA the most reliable source of information?
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