This is, perhaps above all else, what Israel is truly about…this is, in the greatest sense of the word…Israel.
From the Jerusalem Post:
‘Lost tribe of Israel’ coming ‘home’Group believes it descended from biblical patriarch
BY: Aaron Klein
JERUSALEM – The Israeli government has given permission for about 150 Indian citizens who believe they are one of the “lost tribes” of Israel to move legally to the Jewish state.
This decision clears the way for the arrival here of some of the remaining 7,200 members of the Bnei Menashe in India, who believe they are the descendants of Manasseh, one of the biblical patriarch Joseph’s two sons and a grandson of Jacob.
“With so much economic and political turmoil in the world, it is comforting and reassuring to see that the Divine process of the Ingathering of the Exiles continues,” said Michael Freund, chairman of Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based immigrant organization working with the “lost” Jews.
“Just as the prophets foretold, God is gathering in the Bnei Menashe, one of the Lost Tribes of Israel, and bringing them home to Zion,” Freund told WND.
Over the last decade, several organizations, most notably Shavei Israel, have brought more than 1,300 members of the Indian group to the Jewish state, where they were successfully integrated into religious Israeli society, holding professional jobs, attending universities, becoming rabbinic leaders and serving in the Israel Defense Forces. Shavei is a private organization that relies on individual donations.
Freund said the new batch of 150 Bnei Menashe will arrive here on a special charter flight in January. He said they would settle in the Galilee, “where the landscape and pastoral setting resemble the land of their birth, making it an ideal place for the Bnei Menashe to start their new lives in the Jewish state.”
Tribe members live in the two Indian states of Mizoram and Manipur, to which they say they were exiled from Israel more than 2,700 years ago by the Assyrian empire.
According to Bnei Menashe oral tradition, the tribe was exiled from Israel and pushed to the east, eventually settling in the border regions of China and India where most remain today. Most kept customs similar to Jewish tradition, including observing Shabbat, keeping the laws of Kosher, practicing circumcision on the eighth day of a baby boy’s life and observing laws of family purity.