UPDATE: ROCKET ALERTS IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL LAST NIGHT. TERRORIST ATTACK IN THE SINAI. CARS STONED IN ISRAEL THIS MORNING. SEE BREAKING NEWS TICKER FOR DETAILS.
Another lost tribe of Israel is coming home.
It is easy for truly amazing stories to get lost in all the Palestinian-Egyptian-Turkish news that seems to perpetually surround Israel. But the next two weeks will see final immigration approval for 7,232 members of the Bnei Menashe, one of the ten lost tribes of Israel. It is the incredible culmination of an effort on their part that has taken 2,736 years.
Deported and exiled during the Assyrian conquest of the northern kingdom of Israel during the years 740 BCE-715 BCE, the tribe of Menasseh (Bnei Menashe=Sons of Menasseh) apparently wandered from place to place through central Asia for centuries until finally settling in what is now the border area of India, Myanmar, and Bangladesh.
They were never able to get home until now.
This immigration is largely due to the efforts of Michael Freund and his Shavei Israel, an amazing Jerusalem organization whose mission is to identify ‘lost’ Jewish communities and facilitate their return to Israel.
You are encouraged, dear reader, to visit the Shavei website to see how Jewish communities are being discovered around the world. As an example, you might want to read about the Lemba of Zimbabwe, Malawi, and South Africa–a 70,000 person community who claim to have migrated to Africa through Yemen (click on this link) or the Bnei Ephraim who claim to be descendants of the tribe of Ephraim (click on this link).
It is interesting to note that Jews believe that the Third Temple will not be built until all the tribes have regathered in Israel. With the arrival of the tribe of Menasseh, we are one step closer to that moment. Your humble servant can already hear the mellifluous sounds of construction coming from the Temple Mount.