Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Israel's Civil War,Ceding From the Family Union:

Nadene Goldfoot                                               
                          So, it all started with King Solomon.
King Solomon, son of King David and Bathsheba
and from the tribe of Judah
Reigned from 961 BCE to 920 BCE
Known for building the first Temple in Jerusalem
and his wisdom in judging people's problems
He was known to have 1,000 wives and concubines.
His kingdom stretched from Egypt to the Euphrates River.
However, his forced labor policy impoverished the country.
Edomites and Arameans began to revolt.  
Solomon deciding on who the mother of a child was of 2 women

The problem started with King Solomon's death in 920 BCE.  He had been taxing all the 12 tribes heavily in building the Temple.  His  superintendant of forced labor during Solomon's reign, Jeroboam, an Ephraimite succeeded him as king of Israel ruling from 933 to 912 BCE. 
Joseph wasn't given any tribal land.  Instead, his allotment went to his 2 sons.  His first son was Manasseh. the other-Ephriam.
Jacob, Joseph's father, had conferred on them an equal portion along with his own 11 other sons in the division of Canaan.  
. Jacob also blessed Ephraim over his older brother (Genesis 48:20).Joseph had been kidnapped earlier and wound up in Egypt as the Viceroy with important duties.  

 He had led a northern tribe  revolt and had left to be in Egypt.  He returned when Solomon had died, leading  a delegation of the northern 10 tribes  demanding changes in forced labor.  This was refused  by Solomon's son, King Rehoboam and the northern tribes declared a ceding from the union.  Since this important meeting was in Shechem, Shechem became their capital. 
Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem with the help of the king of Tyre

 The tribe of Judah had been fighting with the others over this so had their own king being Solomon's son, Rehoboam.   His mother was Naamah, an Ammonite,  Rehoboam was king  from 933 to 917 BCE.   Judah, Simeon  and most of Benjamin remained loyal to him and back him in his refusal to let up on the taxation Solomon had put in place, even though the the northern tribes had demanded relief from it.  Then  King Shishak of Egypt (originally of Libya) took advantage of the split and overran Judah and plundered the Temple for riches in Rehoboam's 5th year as a king.  When Jeroboam had fled to Egypt, he had stayed with Shishak!  
Ethiopian Jewish immigrants on the last flight to Israel
Assyria attacked the 12 tribes in 722 BCE and the next year in 721 BCE, taking away the best of the people.  From Eldad Hadani who reported their history, the tribe of Dan that lived along the coast, was a strong warrior tribe that went into voluntary exile when the Israelite kingdom was divided after Solomon's death because they didn't want to participate in the imminent civil war between the Kingdoms of Judah and the Kingdoms of Israel.  He was right.  A war was waged later, and according to the report we read in Chronicles 13, half a million people were killed.  Dan had migrated from Israel to Egypt and continued along the Nile to Ethiopia.  This tradition has been supported by the great Sages down the ages.  Today Israel has taken in Ethiopians as citizens who have claim to be Jewish.  The Radbaz, a past sage, wrote "Those who come from the land of Ethiopia are certainly from the tribe of Dan, and because there were no sages and Cabbalists among them they only followed the written law of Moses.  Rabbi Jacob Kastro, the Maharikas, wrote, "We are commanded to redeem and restore the Ethiopian Jews, although they behave like the Karaites, because they are of the Dan tribes and didn't learn from Zadok and Boethus."  As for DNA, the Ethiopians do not show a connection to others, but their culture does.  Perhaps DNA doesn't show ancient DNA at the time of their testing for comparisons with today.  Give it time.  It will.  However, the rabbis have concluded according to reliable evidence and testimonies that the Ethiopian Jews do come from the tribe of Dan and in light of this halakhic tradition agreed with by the Chief Rabbi of Israel the Jews of Ethiopia have already begun to immigrate to Israel.  By 2012, their numbers in Israel are estimated at some 80,000 which does include converts to Christianity who are called the Falashmura.  Most have already reached Israel and have become Israeli citizens.  The Amishav Organization has information about them, but many other organization have been involved in bringing them to Israel.  They were facing dangerous times being persecuted for their religion by the surrounding peoples.  

King Saul was Israel's first king and was a Benjamite.  After the brief period of the united kingdom of IsraelBenjamin became part of the southern kingdom of Judah following the split into two kingdoms.  After the destruction of the northern kingdom, Benjamin was absorbed into the southern kingdom. When the southern kingdom was destroyed in the early sixth century BCE by the Babylonians,  Benjamin as an organized tribe faded from history.  But DNA remains.  Pashtuns claim to be from the tribe of Benjamin and from King Saul's grandson, Afghani.  
Bnei Menashe community of northeastern India is returning to Israel.  These
belong to the Tribe of Manasseh who had been dispersed from Israel by the Assyrians some 2700 years ago.

The tribe of Manasseh was made up of a half of a tribe and were carried away by Pul, King of Assyria and Tiglath-Pilneser, also king of Assyria along with the Reubenites and the Gadits and brought them to Halah, Habor and Hara, and to the river Gozan.  (This is found in 1 Chronicles, 5:23-26.)

As for Manasseh several modern day groups claim descent, with varying levels of academic and rabbinical support. The Samaritans claim that some of their adherents are descended from this tribe. Further afield, in northeast India, the Kuki-Chin-Mizo Jews claim descent from Manasseh, and call themselves Bnei Menashe; in 2005 Shlomo AmarSephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, announced that he regarded this claim to be true, which under the Law of Return allows them to emigrate to Israel, as long as they formally convert to Judaism in accordance with halachic standards.

The Reubenites were one of three tribes (Gad, East Manasseh) occupying land east of the Jordan River. These three tribes became known as the Transjordan Tribes.
The tribe of Reuben, as well as those of Gad and East Manasseh, were known for their large herds and flocks. They, thus, required much grazing land. Did they find the same sort of place to live in Afghanistan or Pakistan?  
Descended from the Tribe of Dan 2,739 years ago
at least when Assyrians attacked our Northern Tribes
They have been living in Ethiopia

I had the amazing experience of seeing the Ethiopian Jews in Israel as they lived across the street from my apartment in Safed.  They came in being quite ill and were taken to the hospital for treatment before living in the apartments.  Now, Safed is in the North, and it is cold in the wintertime.  Of course, this would happen that people from Africa would be placed in the colder northern part of Israel. As it turned out, this was the place where there were empty apartments.   They came dressed in sheets and were barefooted.  The community of Safed opened an empty apartment and turned it into a clothing shop so the new arrivals could pick and choose clothing themselves.  Soon, they were acting just like the rest of Israelis in the supermarket.  There was an art exhibit of their work in a center that I remember.  Such beautiful people, I remember, with a delicate bone structure and beautiful faces.  

Dr. Navras Jaat Aafreedi in Jerusalem, a Pashto.
Behind him is the Wall, the Kotel where Jews say prayers

Israel is to fund a rare genetic study to determine whether there is a link between the lost tribes of Israel and the Pashtuns of Afghanistan and northern Pakistan.

Resource:  The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Book:  The Tribes of Israel-The Lost and the Dispersed, by Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail, from Jerusalem

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