Tuesday, December 25, 2012

‘Lost tribe’ of Indian Jews return to Israel 

Nearly 50 members of the Indian community believed to be descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel have arrived in the Jewish state, completing their immigration.

The members are linking up with family members, who have already settled in Israel.

The Indians said that they are the descendants of the 10 tribes who lived in the kingdom of Israel in Biblical times and who were dispersed, after the invasion of the Assyrians in 721 BC, according to the Bible, news.com.au reports.

Nachshon Gangte, 47, waiting for an older sister he has not seen for 12 years, said that after thousands of years of exile, he has finally returned home.

The people were welcomed at the airport by dozens of family members, amid a festive atmosphere.

The Bnei Menashe are members of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo tribe who live in the northeastern Indian states of Mizoram and Manipur near the border with Myanmar (Burma), the report said.

Their oral history tells of a centuries-long exodus through Persia, Afghanistan, Tibet and China, all the while adhering to certain Jewish religious practices, like circumcision, it added.

According to the report, in India, they were converted to Christianity by 19th-century missionaries and, in reading the Bible, recognised stories from their own traditions that convinced them they actually belonged to the Jewish faith.


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