Incredibly, after an extra-ordinary 2,700 year-exile the Bnei Menashe tribe (the Sons of Manasseh) located in India, are heading back to Israel, the land sworn by God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. About 1,700 members of the tribe, including 35 years old Tzvi Khaute, have so far emigrated to Israel.
“A hundred years ago, my forefathers thought the land of Israel was not on this earth, they thought it was something in heaven,” smiled Mr Khaute.
It was only when the state of Israel was created in 1948 that some of the Bnei Menashe began to believe they were descended from Ancient Israelites and started dreaming of return. That process accelerated when one of their members had a vision instructing him to lead his people back to the land of their ancestors, whom he judged to be original Israelites.
Some 7,000 other members of the tribe are anxiously waiting for their opportunity to make aliyah (i.e. emigrate) to Israel. But they are being hampered, first by the process needed by Israeli rabbinate to confirm that the Bnei Menashe are indeed stocks of Israel. Then there was on the other end, difficulties with Indian authorities who frown at what it regarded as missionary activities on their indigeneous citizens. However, the will of the Bnei Menashe and a number of NGOs committed to bringing them back home to Israel seems set to win the day – after nearly three thousand years! Another eloquent and amazing testimony to the immutability of God’s word who made these predictions, defying all odds and logics! (see Ezekiel 37!)