Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Struggling for the African Jewish Communities

There are many African Jewish communities that expressed a desire for Torah, for Judaism. However, Judaism does not proselytize. Its not a proselytizing religion. It is a way of life -folks used to encourage others to join, but not anymore.

So when these African communities express this desire, the radars of all the proselytizers catch it.  Then swoops in all the Christians, all the Muslims, all the Hebrew Isrealites, all the Messianic Jews (more Christians).  And then the community must face them and the lies ("oh, we're Jewish too, look Jesus is Jewish too. We'll show you how to be Jewish...") all the threats ("submit or die!") all the negative emotions ("well white folks don't like you!") thrown at them. The have to swim upstream to find the Jewish community that's not even reaching out to them! (And good for them for doing this, because at the end of the day its about knowledge, uniting against Amalek, coming closer to God, and living consiously).

What difficulty!

Great honor to those communities who pushed and arrived. My heart goes out to those who are still trying to get through all the static. At least kulanu and Shavei Israel are trying to help them by building synagogues, sending teachers, sending books, etc. And they need volunteers, y'all!

The added problem is that anyone who becomes Jewish has the "right of return" which means potentially if Israel's Rabbanut converts too many too soon, all those "many" could come to Israel by this law.  I don't know if the country can physically handle that. (Some would happily translate that into racism).  And then comes the real actual racism -some rabbis may not want to work with these communities for that reason.

So, what to do?

What to do?

What to do?


Anonymous said...

Shalom Miriam,
For years I've thought about becoming a volunteer to one of these African groups,but health problems have prevented me from doing so.But who knows what my situation will be like in a year or so.

I have heard people talking about these Africans wanting to profit from becoming Jews and that is the only reason they are interested in converting.I do know one thing and that is that the Hebrew Israelites are fast at work in Africa and have "missions"to Ghana and have many followers there.

In fact the lady I buy my African dresses from is from Ghana and goes "home"every year.I was curious as to how she came to the Hebrews in Ghana and she told me that they were there more than 30 years ago,because she's been in Israel for 30 years!

I am very glad that there are Jews doing outreach to these people because I've always thought that if only they had met kosher Jews and in particular kosher Black Jews,the Hebrews wouldn't have become as popular as they've become.

They may very well be putting their lives in danger as all the countries where these groups and communities exist,Ghana,Nigeria,Uganda,have numerous Muslims who may not appreciate anyone wanting to become Jewish.

So we must do what we can to help them and I'm very glad that you,Miriam,are involved in this vital work.

Miriam said...

שלומ יונה

I think that the ones who insist that they are looking for profit are (1) maybe nervous about their own profit lol or (2) are trying to find an okay pretext not to admit them or (3) well, maybe they are looking for profit.

But from what I've seen, I doesn't seem like it. Some really do have a history. The Lembas in Zimbabwe, for example, have Jewish DNA -Kohen at that. I don't know too much about genetics but I thought that was certainly not grown out of want for profit lol!

Baruch HaShem progress is underway. I am sure I would be able to do more once I get over my fear of flying over there. Even my husband expressed interest in going there for a month or so if he got a stipend from somewhere.

Right now, I'm just really assigned to read and learn. What I do on the side is not part of any organization. In fact I was about to create my own. Thank God I didn't have to, cuz at the Akko Mashachnasah Dept. they asked for 7 signatures to create a non-for profit organization.

Anyway, no pressure, but if you want to join, I am sure there is plenty to do. The hard part is the realization that things will happen long after we've gone.

The hardest part is finding a beit din who will do the conversion -an Orthodox conversion preferably so that there will be no questions afterwards by anyone.

With Islamization in full swing around the world, I do worry for them. I hope that the unity with them and Israel happens sooner than any attacks from whoever (God forbid!)

Well, God willing, our will has to be greater than our fear that its unsurmountable. That's all I can say.