Black Ethiopian Jews
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- This topic has 68 replies, 17 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 6 months ago by ujm.
November 14, 2021 1:52 pm at 1:52 pm #2027955
Given that Jews worldwide share a common ancestry, and that Jews from Spain (Sephard), Europe (Ashkenaz), Yemen (Teiman), Roman (Italkim) and the Middle East (Mizrachi) none have black-African skin color, how can a small population of black Africans, who are of a different race than any other Jews (and in modern times have proven to have non-related DNA to other Jews, unlike all the aforementioned Jews who do share some DNA) claim to be Jews who are the only ones of a different race, if they allegedly share a common ancestry with the Jews?November 14, 2021 3:14 pm at 3:14 pm #2028147zman7777Participant
Is your premise correct? Genetic studies say otherwise in terms of shared ancestry amongst the groups you mentioned.November 14, 2021 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #2028165Shimon NodelParticipant
Because Jewish men settled there and took local wives. (They converted them of course.) Is it proper? It happened already, so get over itNovember 14, 2021 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #2028168
Genetic studies show shared ancestry between all the groups I mentioned, other than Ethiopian Jews.November 14, 2021 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #2028174anonymous JewParticipant
Ujm, name the studiesNovember 14, 2021 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #2028215AviraDeArahParticipant
Do Ethiopians have the “cohen” gene? Also, I don’t like involving genes in yichus discussions…the Ethiopian population has chashashos that made most gedolei yisroel not go with the radvaz’s shitoh in our time, except for rav ovadia yosef. They don’t have a mesorah, they have tremendous errors in their torahs, have no gemara, and many other issues. The chances that an individual Ethiopian is Jewish is about the same as people who claim to be marranos…we do a gerus, and don’t assume that they sre Jewish.November 14, 2021 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #2028219
AJ: There’s a number of them. But here’s just a cursory quote:
“A study of Lucotte and Smets has shown that the genetic father of Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews) was close to the Ethiopian non-Jewish populations. This is consistent with the theory that Beta Israel are descendants of ancient inhabitants of Ethiopia, not the Middle East.
Hammer et al. in 2000 and the team of Shen in 2004 arrive at similar conclusions, namely a genetic differentiation in – other people in the north of Ethiopia, which probably indicates a conversion of local populations.
A 2010 study by Behar et al. on the genome-wide structure of Jews observed that the Beta Israel had similar levels of the Middle Eastern genetic clusters as the also Semitic-speaking Ethiopian non-Jewish Tigrayans and Amharas.”November 14, 2021 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #2028238hujuParticipant
The OP puts too much emphasis on race as evidence that Ethiopian Jews are not Jewish. Race is an unsound genetic construct. If the genetic links among different groups of Jews are as the OP says, then race does nothing to support his/her position. I am not familiar with the genetic links among various groups of JewsNovember 14, 2021 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #2028244
huju: Putting aside genetics for a moment, even if we’re to only consider race, how can it be that all segments of Klal Yisroel are essentially the same race, but one group that at best has a very tenuous claim to Jewishness, despite not having practiced authentic Judaism, is of a completely different race than virtually all other Jewish groups?November 14, 2021 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #2028248
Next topic: ashkenazi Jews have suspiciously similar noses, probably correlated to a small number of Jewish men they come from, while larger variety of non-Jewish women they married. I am pretty sure if Ethiopean Yidden would be the first to settle in EY recently, this would the question they’d raise.November 14, 2021 6:56 pm at 6:56 pm #2028252Abba_SParticipant
They probably converted in the King Solomon era and never married into the general jewish population. They moved back to Africa which explains why they have none of the Jewish genetic markers.November 14, 2021 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm #2028253TS BaumParticipant
1. The ethiopian jews show us how important it was that the mishna and gemara was written down. If it wasn’t, then we could have been like them, or worse.
2. They are assumed to be froom the 10 Shevatim of Malchus Yisroel, which was brought to galus and scattered around the world by Sancheirev YM”S and only now they are being revealed. One of the promises that Moshiach is nearing is that they will be known and united with the other Yidden.
3. There were some Kohanim & levi’im that were exiled with the 10 Shevatim, so they could have some Kohanim & levi’im.November 14, 2021 7:15 pm at 7:15 pm #2028279
What do you attribute their practicing a religion different than Torah Judaism, missing parts of the Torah, not knowing Hebrew and rather only using holy books in a foreign language, among other large variances greatly differentiating their practices from Judaism?
And their marriage regulations weren’t limited to only marrying each other — they married outsiders as well. They didn’t have any “halacha” counting only maternal descendants as part of their tribe.November 14, 2021 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm #2028316
you spend a couple of thousand yeas in a jungle and we will see what you will remember. Some people I met are pretty dedicated to what they do. for example, they would not let those relatives who convered to another religion into their dwellings, treating them as tumah.November 14, 2021 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm #2028325AviraDeArahParticipant
Ujm – when a community is distant from gedolei torah and yeshivos, this will be their unfortunate fate. The same thing happened to the keifeng chinese Jews… I don’t personally see how their claim of being from the 10 shevatim makes sense. Eldad hadani testifies a lot about them and doesn’t mention anything about an Ethiopian community that was one of them.
I’ve met Pakistani people in Brooklyn who’ve told me that they’re from shevet Dan…they have certain minahgim and simanei yisroel, but have no yichus and no ability to verify who they are.
Many goyim in the time of bayis rishon and sheni believed in judaism but fell short of converting; yosifon writes about how a million goyim believe in the mesorah of klal yisroel in his time. Lulai divrei haradvaz i would think that’s what happened here and in Pakistan.November 15, 2021 7:33 am at 7:33 am #2028354
Before coming to Israel they didn”t read Hebrew, have Hebrew names, have a Torah, follow halacha, etc. The vast majority of Ethiopians who came to Israel are practicing Christiana. There are a minority sincere Ethiopian converts; the few converts I met I found to be wonderful, very refined in chacter.
Rav Ovadia Yosef zt”l relied on Radbaz ruling on the Falashas, however the Radbaz clearly rules that they are Karaites. And this was 500 years ago. They subsequently likely assimilated into the Abyssinian population according to many contemporary gedolim who ruled that the Ethiopian Falashim who are Karaites accepted gentiles and were not converted according to halacha and therefore they are Safek Akum and their identity as a Jew is in doubt.
The Ethiopians are not Jewish, they are Safek Akum and definitely Karaites. There is a community of Karuim in Ukraine, will they be considered full Jews as well by the “Jewish state”?November 15, 2021 7:34 am at 7:34 am #2028367RomainParticipant
Ethiopian jews beg to be alowed into israel and then when alowed
Riot and complain say free palestine and dont keep any mitsvosNovember 15, 2021 7:35 am at 7:35 am #2028378ZSKParticipant
You’re not on the level of Radvaz or R’ Ovadia Yosef. Shut it.November 15, 2021 9:42 am at 9:42 am #2028427akupermaParticipant
1. All Jewish communities had many converts, which usually required forgery of yichus records to conceal they were converts since conversion to Judaism was usually a capital offense (considered to be heresy which was related to treason). How do you think Ashkenazim got to be so light skinned with many blonds among us?
2. There has always been substantial migration between Yemen and the Horn of Africa. And Yemen has had a well documents Jewish community. It should also be noted that the Ethiopian goyim have many customs that appear to be of Jewish origin, and that Jews in adjacent regions (Egypt and Yemen) were aware there were Jews in Ethiopia. The Ethiopean Christians knew there were Jews in their county and persecuted them.
3. If a Jewish community doesn’t emphasize learning Torah, their observances are likely to become corrupted over time. A Jewish community of Baal ha-Batim that doesn’t support a community of “batlanim” will mess up a lot. That would explain the halachic errors of Ethiopean Jews (and many others isolated Jewish communities – you really can’t be properly frum without a strong commitment to learning Torah).November 15, 2021 11:14 am at 11:14 am #2028485
apukerma, I am not saying that there were no gentile European converts but having blond hair and blue eyes does not indicate anything regarding ancestry. Regions have a profound effect on physical appearance that is why people from Africa are black, people the Middle East ( excluding the Levant) are darker, people from Europe are generally lighter. Ashkenazi Jews have lived in Europe for over 1500 years so it definitely will have an effect on the physical appearance of Ashkenazi Jews.
Physical appearance does not get affected by living in a region for one or two generations, but certainly over a millennium it will have an effect on the physical appearance of a people.November 15, 2021 1:25 pm at 1:25 pm #2028535
ZSK, I am allowed to bring the Radbaz’s rulings and the majority of our contemporary gedolim’s rulings am I not? Or do you you have a problem with that because I didn’t write what you want to hear?November 15, 2021 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm #2028557ZSKParticipant
@philosopher – I was actually speaking to the OP, whose barely concealed racism is showing once again. Sorry for not being sufficiently clear.
You can cite whatever rulings you want.
Keep in mind: (1) the contentiousness of the issue; (2) the fact that Radvaz and Rav Ovadia are sufficient to rely upon, even if some sort of giyur lechumra or formal renunciation of Karaism is required; and (3) keep in mind that there are two Ethiopian communities in question here, the larger of the two definitely being safek akum and the other one being more likely Karaites. But I’m no expert and this is definitely above my pay grade.
Again, no issues with you at all. My issue is the barely concealed racism and bigotry that the OP constantly spews, as well as his blatant disrespect of anyone who is not Yeshivish/Chassidish. It’s tired, old, childish, divisive and quite frankly irritatingly stupid.November 15, 2021 2:19 pm at 2:19 pm #2028560🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
” It’s tired, old, childish, divisive and quite frankly irritatingly stupid.”
hear, hearNovember 15, 2021 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #2028592
Jews from all the groups you mentioned have taken on superficial racial characteristics of the countries that they lived. Ashkenazi Jews are lighter-skinned than Jews from Sepharad, who are lighter-skinned than Jews from Morroco, who are lighter-skinned than Jews from Yemen. Indeed, there are Teimani Jews with skin just as dark as Ethiopian Jews.
The DNA argument, even if you give it halachic credit, is tenuous at best. They don’t say that Ethiopian Jews don’t have Middle Eastern DNA, they say that they don’t have any more ME DNA than the surrounding population. But a lot of the surrounding population claims descent from Jews as well (they just converted to Christianity) and we don’t know what percentage of the original Beta Israel population was born Jews and what percentage were converts.
The Ethiopian Jews went through tremendous persecution over the millenia. The Church did not let have books other than the OT and (IIRC) they were not permitted to be written in Hebrew. It is for this reason that they lost 95% of their Torah shel bal peh. But they were not Karaites. They had some Oral Law and kept traditions (like muktzah and harchakos) that were not kept by Karaites.
The Beta Israel community sacrificed for thousands of years to keep their connection to Judaism in an extremely hostile environment. Thousands, maybe millions, died al kiddush Hashem. It seems very unlikely to me that they would have had the fortitude and hashgacha to withstand such pressures if they were not genuinely Jewish klapi shmayim galia.November 15, 2021 4:36 pm at 4:36 pm #2028578
The so-called Beta Israel have little to do with Karaism. They simply practiced a completely different religion, with no Torah and not even any Hebrew.
That said, even the actual Karaites (from Europe, Egypt, etc.) are an issue because they never had valid Gittin, so there’s mamzeirus that’s now untraceable (due to the passing centuries). Aside from that, the Karaites at different times in history accepted converts, who halachicly remain Goyim, that they intermarried with.
The Falash Mura outright practiced Christianity.November 15, 2021 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #2028604
Benignuman: Where are you obtaining your information regarding how the other Ethiopian tribes treated the Beta Israel or that they “sacrificed for thousands of years”? Their history is hardly documented anywhere remotely close to that long. And from what little history is documented and known, there’s no documented time that they had the original Torah Shebksav or that they ever practiced authentic Judaism. I’m not sure where you found that they were killed in large numbers, but either way we know that Christians and other religions have had religious wars between themselves and/or otherwise willingly dying for their religion.
From what is known, they were treated the same bad ways all the many African/Ethiopian tribes treated other tribes during their never-ending wars and persecutions of each other, depending whenever whichever tribe has power on a local or regional level, in the areas.
Additionally, it should be noted, that European Jewry were persecuted for thousands of years far far more than any other (real or purported) Jewish group and heroically laid down their lives rather than surrender their Torah.
Please note that throughout history, from ancient times down to our own contemporary times (Hello Black Hebrews in Manhattan) there have been numerous gentile groups claiming to be Jewish and practicing some form of crypto-pseudo Jewishness.
Regarding your comment on the DNA analysis, you appear to be arguing that the at-large Ethiopian non-Jewish population is as much genetically Jewish as the Beta Israel, since the rest of the surrounding Ethiopian population of tens of millions also has (an equal) amount of Jewish heritage. That sounds quite fantastical.November 15, 2021 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #2028605akupermaParticipant
Philosopher: The DNA of Ashkenazim shows that while there were a fair number of converts a long time ago, and then a steady trickle (which matches all historical records), but remember that we are 100 generations since the Churban Bayis Sheini, and that is a very long time for a trickle to become noticeable. In addition, light skin and blond hair had a survival advantage for Ashkenazim since they would have an easier time hiding during pogroms . Also remember that Ashkenazim were for the most part living in areas where the goyim tend to have much lighter skin and blonder hair than was the norm in the middle east. When someone, such as the original poster, complains that Ethiopian Jews are “too dark”, he/she/it should realize that from the point of view of Jews who stayed closest to Eretz Yisrael, most Ashkenazim are “too light”.November 15, 2021 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #2028611
ZSK, ok sorry for the misunderstanding.November 15, 2021 7:17 pm at 7:17 pm #2028684
I’m getting my information from the writings of Ethiopian Jews discussing their tradition of their history. When Christianity took over Ethiopia in the 4th Century (CE), the Beta Israel refused to convert and were involved in various wars with the new Christian Kingdom.
This persecution and refusal to convert repeated itself from that time through the 19th century (just like in Europe). From about the year 1400 onward there is a lot documented persecution by the Ethiopian empire (I would post links if it were allowed). The Christian Ethiopian empire conducted forced baptisms, massacres, forced Jews into slavery, and forbade Jews from owning land at various times. This is quote from the Encyclopedia Britannica:
I would recommend the book From Sinai to Ethiopia by Rabbi Sharon Shalom. In their he discusses how the Ethiopian Jews had their seforim destroyed and many were lost to history. He compares Ethiopian Jewish practice with halacha in numerous areas.
I’m not aware of any group in ancient times that steadfastly claimed they were Jewish for even hundreds of years to the point of being willing to be slaughtered or sold into slavery rather than convert to Christianity. What group, ancient or modern, can you name?
I’m not saying that all of the Ethiopian non-Jewish population has Jewish genes. I’m arguing that it is likely that the people closest to them geographically, whom the studies compared them to, had a large mixture of Jewish genes. That doesn’t mean their Jewish, just that they had some Jewish ancestors. Halacha doesn’t follow genes.November 15, 2021 7:19 pm at 7:19 pm #2028685Shimon NodelParticipant
It’s interesting to note that Judaism was the official religion of the Ethiopian royal family until the 3rd century CE when the Romans pressured them to convert to Christianity. They still identified as Jewish until the king was dethroned in 1974.
This shouldn’t come as a major surprise. There were several ancient Kingdoms or city states of which the ruling class practiced Judaism, comprised of either local Jewish tribes or converts.
Ethiopia is an interesting case because they were isolated yet simultaneously already known by other Jewish communities. It is also very probable that Jewish men settled there and married local women. That last scenario is a more compelling case to validate their status as Jews. That practice was not uncommon in ancient Jewish communities, and even in not so ancient times. Just look around you today. How many people are able to get away with converting their goyish girlfriends? Except that now, it’s done בחשאי. It used to be almost acceptable.November 15, 2021 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #2028714
1. How do you explain the poskim that oppose accepting their claims to being Jewish?
2. How do you explain even those that are accepting, still demand they undergo a formal conversion?
3. How can you know that the contemporary group known as Beta Israel has any viable connection to any historical group of Jews that lived in Ethiopia many hundreds of years ago?
4. How can you ascertain the veracity of any historical writings of Ethiopian Jews that you reference?
P.S. Your EB quotation didn’t make it into your comment.November 15, 2021 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #2028718
benignman, if so many Ethiopians refused to be forcibly converted to Christianity then why are most Ethiopians claiming to be Jews and emigrating to Israel practicing Christians?November 15, 2021 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm #2028741
These are separate issues – whether they are halachik Jews and whether they are descendants of Jews following some remnants of Judaism. In regards to the second, there is a remarkable number of opinions here claiming “without evidence” that these people are Christians, Karaims, etc. This would be remarkable if similar opinions would not have been here regarding multiple other groups that are not like a group you are coming from.November 15, 2021 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm #2028749
I have no idea what happened with the quote I tried to put in from Encylopedia Britannica. But it disappeared and the rest of what I wrote was italicized so it looked like the quote that didn’t make it in. Here is the actual quote from Encylopedia Britannica:
“Although the early Beta Israel remained largely decentralized and their religious practices varied by locality, they remained faithful to Judaism after the conversion of the powerful Ethiopian kingdom of Aksum to Christianity in the 4th century CE, and thereafter they were persecuted and forced to retreat to the area around Lake Tana, in northern Ethiopia. Coming under increased threat from their Christian neighbours, the disparate Jewish communities became increasingly consolidated in the 14th and 15th centuries, and it was at this time that these communities began to be considered a single distinct “Beta Israel.” Despite Ethiopian Christian attempts to exterminate them in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Beta Israel partly retained their independence until the 17th century, when the emperor Susenyos utterly crushed them and confiscated their lands. Their conditions improved in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, at which time tens of thousands of Beta Israel lived in the region north of Lake Tana.”November 15, 2021 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm #2028743
> why are most Ethiopians claiming to be Jews and emigrating to Israel practicing Christians?
And when did you stop hacking your spouse?November 15, 2021 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #2028779
How do you explain the poskim that rule that they are Jews or the poskim that rule that they are a safek and should only have geirus l’chumra?
1. I don’t know the rationale of those that hold that there is no tzad that they are Jews at all. Every posek I have seen on the issue holds that they are at least a safek.
2. IIRC, those poskim mostly hold that although the Beta Israel believed themselves to be Jewish it is not clear whether (a) the founders of the community were actually Jews (according to one tradition they are descendants of a son of Shlomo HaMelech with the Queen of Sheba and Shlomo slaves) or (b) the conversions they conducted over the years were halachically valid. To put it in context, the DNA studies indicate that 50% of the early female Ashkenazi Jewish population was not Jewish. We presume they did proper conversions k’halacha and so we are all Jewish. But the Beta Israel may not have known the proper requirements for conversion and never properly converted their wives.
3 & 4. This question applies to all Jewish communities everywhere. The Beta Israel have long oral traditions and are referred to in Christian writings throughout these periods. There were numerous wars, edicts and other official Ethiopian Empire acts against the Beta Israel. There’s no reason to thing there was some kind of great switcheroo. I can’t personally ascertain the veracity of any of these writings. But I don’t have any reason to doubt them.November 15, 2021 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #2028783
In the 19th century, there was a sizable group of Ethiopian Jews that gave in (like the maranos of Spain) and converted. So they were shunned by the main Ethiopian Jewish community but also never fully accepted by the Ethiopian Christians. They were not part of the Ethiopian Jews that the State of Israel rescued from Ethiopia in the 1980s and 90s.
Recently, some have this group have tried to move to Israel (presumably for a better quality of life). Is that what you are referring to?November 16, 2021 6:32 am at 6:32 am #2028797
benignman, most Falashim in Ethiopians in Israel are practicing Christians. They have many huge Christian institutions in Israel. I am not familiar about Ethiopian Christians being shunned by other Ethiopian groups. Do you mean the Beta Israel shunned the Falashim? I’m not sure about that, just an assumption but the Falashim are practicing Christians claiming to be Jews.November 16, 2021 6:32 am at 6:32 am #2028798
AAQ, not sure what you mean by that…
Anyway, I stand by what I said. Most Ethiopians who came to Israel are practicing Christians although many of their children are secular.November 16, 2021 6:35 am at 6:35 am #2028802
Rav Ovadia Yosef zt”l paskened that they are Jewish according to the Radbaz who said that they are Jewish but Karaites. If we go according to Rav Ovadia Yosef who based his teshuva on the Radbaz then they are Karaites. In fact, the Beta Israel practice what in Israel is refered to as “Haymanot” which is not Rabbincal Judaism which in that case would be the religion of the Karaites.
The Ethiopian Beta Israel who converted to Christianity (most, bit not all, were forced conversions) in the 19th and 20th centuries and their descendants are called the Falash Mura. At this time the Falash are the majority of Ethiopians who came to Israel and they are still, for the most part, practicing Christians. Rav Ovadia Yosef also considered them Jews, but I wonder if the Radbaz would pasken the same as he did to the Beta Yisroel who did not practice Christianity at the time. In fact, the Falash Mura themselves did not consider themselves to be Jewish until after the Beta Israel’s first wave of immigration to Israel.November 16, 2021 8:36 am at 8:36 am #2028857
Benignuman: “although the Beta Israel believed themselves to be Jewish it is not clear whether (a) the founders of the community were actually Jews (according to one tradition they are descendants of a son of Shlomo HaMelech with the Queen of Sheba and Shlomo slaves) or (b) the conversions they conducted over the years were halachically valid.”
If it isn’t clear the founders of this community were Jewish, and we know they definitely didn’t conduct a proper halachic life, and they accepted “converts” into their community for marriage, which clearly wasn’t done halachicly, some kind of legend that they descend from the Queen of Sheba does not a Jew make.November 16, 2021 9:26 am at 9:26 am #2028879
Where are you getting the idea that “Most Ethiopians who came to Israel are practicing Christians.” That isn’t true at all. The vast majority are practicing Jews.
Only very recently have any of the Falasha Mura come to Israel and many of them have renounced their Christianity and returned to living as jews.November 16, 2021 9:26 am at 9:26 am #2028892
philosopher? I stand by what I said. Most Ethiopians who came to Israel are practicing Christians
You are repeating this without any proof or at least an explanation how you came to this conclusion. There were similar claims about Russians here, I looked at the numbers and they were not correct. I started looking up numbers here and they do not look correct either.
If your claim is based on personal observation, you may be confused by the timeline. Judaic Beta Israel were the first to come to Israel, possibly before you were born. Many of them did not want anything to do with remaining converts. The more time passes, the more remaining ones are those who come from converts. I do not know enough whether they are serious about their teshuva or just opportunists to get out.November 16, 2021 9:26 am at 9:26 am #2028896
You asked me to explain those that hold it is a safek so I explained the “not Jewish” side of the safek. But there is also the “Jewish side” of the safek. There are two other traditions for the origin of the community: (a) they are descendants of Jews that went to Egypt and then Ethiopia after the destruction of the 1st Bais Hamkidosh (and they were supplemented by further immigration during various persecutions in Egypt and Yemen); (b) they are descendants of Shevet Dan and others of the aseres hashvatim who were exiled there during Bayis Rishon. These two traditions match better with other Jewish sources that reference the existence of a Jewish community in Africa.
For example, the posuk says in Yeshayah (11:11): וְהָיָ֣ה בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא יוֹסִ֨יף אֲדֹ’ שֵׁנִית֙ יָד֔וֹ לִקְנ֖וֹת אֶת־שְׁאָ֣ר עַמּ֑וֹ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִשָּׁאֵר֩ מֵֽאַשּׁ֨וּר וּמִמִּצְרַ֜יִם וּמִפַּתְר֣וֹס וּמִכּ֗וּשׁ וּמֵעֵילָ֤ם וּמִשִּׁנְעָר֙ וּמֵ֣חֲמָ֔ת וּמֵֽאִיֵּ֖י הַיָּֽם. This is describing the return of Bnei Yisrael from their golus in the times of Moshiach. It lists the places that Bnei Yisrael were exiled to during, or immediately following, Bayis Rishon and includes Kush. There are various other pesukim that reference a Jewish community in Kush or Jewish going to golus to Kush. It makes sense that the Beta Israel would be their descendants.
Moreover, it isn’t clear at all that their conversions weren’t halachically valid. The Gemara says that a person can convert, accept ol malchus shamayim, without much knowledge of the details of mitzvos. The Beta Israel had mikvah and mila. So why wouldn’t their conversions be valid?November 16, 2021 9:26 am at 9:26 am #2028897
Regarding their lack of many of traditions we have: I heard a claim that they do so because they come from a very early community. Thus, they do not do Purim and Chanuka, etc. Is there any factual basis for this claim? That is, can we look at their traditions and lack thereof and see where they came off?
Do they have full Tanach? Takanot Ezra? 2nd day of yom tov? haftorah?November 16, 2021 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #2029010
IIRC, they do not have Chanuka at all. Some had a version of Purim but some did not (perhaps because of fear of the Christian population) and their holier people fasted three days before Purim. They have a full Tanach in Ge’ez which is not Hebrew but is a semitic language. However, I believe that their Tanach is the same as the Old Testament used by Ethiopian Christians. And there was definitely a period where they were not allowed to have other, non-Christian approved, books.
They keep one day of Yom Tov. And count Shavuos from the last (7th) day of Pesach, not the first day of Pesach. So their Shavuos is on the 12 or 13 of Shevat. They celebrate it as both a harvest festival and Matan Torah.
I need to look up if they have haftorah or takanos Ezra.November 16, 2021 2:21 pm at 2:21 pm #2029106
AAQ, I never said that the Beta Israel, ( I never heard of the term Judaic Beta Israel…) didn’t come first to Israel. In fact, I said the opposite, the Mura Falash decided that they were Jewish AFTER the Beta Israel migrated to Israel. The Falash ARE practicing Christians.
As for Russian immigrants in Israel, there are hundreds of thousands who are not even Jewish, never mind not religious. No one claimed that they are practicing Christians as the majority of Russians became secular under communism so most are not practicing Christians. But a very big percentage of Russians are non-Jews. They are creating a spiritual churban in Israel right now.November 16, 2021 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm #2029107
Why is Israel bringing Ethiopian Christians to Israel? It’s makes a lot of $$$$$$$ for many Israelis who are involved.November 16, 2021 7:14 pm at 7:14 pm #2029373
philospher, you said “Ethiopians” are mostly Christians. So are Americans, as you are. Maybe I missed the context of the discussion.November 16, 2021 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm #2029493
The Christian Old Testament the they used as their Bible is not Torah.
Indeed, if a Jew were to ever have a copy of it, he would need to discard it.
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