Origins of Ethiopian JewsBeta IsraelBeta Israel, also known as Ethiopian Jews, are a Jewish community, that developed and lived for centuries in the area of the Kingdom of Aksum and the Ethiopian Empire, that is currently divided between the Amhara and Tigray Regions of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Most of the community emigrated to Israel in the late 20th century.en.wikipedia.orgThe People of Ethiopia, Jewish and Christian, share the belief that they are descendants ofKing SolomonSolomonThis drama was the ninth in a series of made-for-TV features dramatizing famous stories from the Bible. Solomon (Ben Cross), the son of David (Max Von Sydow), inherits his father’s kingdom and becomes the ruler of Israel. While Solomon consolidates power through his marriages, it is hi…and the Queen of Sheba, through their son MenelikMenelik IIMenelik II GGCB, GCMG was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to his death in 1913 and Negus of Shewa. At the height of his internal power and external prestige, the process of territorial expansion and creation of the modern empire-state was completed by 1898, which expanded the Ethiopian Empire to the extent of the historic Aksumite Empire. Menelik was also remembered for leading Ethiopian troops against t…en.wikipedia.org, who returned to Ethiopia with his attendants after studying in Jerusalem.
Who are the Ethiopian Jews?
Ethiopian Jews ( Falasha or Beta Yisrael) – The Jewish community of Ethiopia. The People of Ethiopia, Jewish and Christian, share the belief that they are descendants of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, through their son Menelik, who returned to Ethiopia with his attendants after studying in Jerusalem.
Are Ethiopian Jews descendants of Solomon?
Origins of Ethiopian Jews The People of Ethiopia, Jewish and Christian, share the belief that they are descendants of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, through their son Menelik, who returned to Ethiopia with his attendants after studying in Jerusalem.
Was Ethiopian Christianity influenced by Judaism?
Only a Christianity of a nation or community that first practiced Judaism would incorporate Jewish religious practices and make the effort to convince its faithful to observe Sunday like Saturday. In short, the Jewish influence in Ethiopian Christianity seems to originate from those who received Christianity and not from those who introduced it.
Are Ethiopian Beta Israel Jews?
In the early 1970s, both the chief Sephardi and Ashkenazi rabbis ruled that members of the Ethiopian Beta Israel communities were full-fledged Jews. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ruled unequivocally that Ethiopians’ Jewish identities were not in question.
Why did Faitlovitch start the American Pro Falasha Committee?
Faitlovitch established the American Pro Falasha Committee to raise money for the education and welfare of the Beta Israel. He opened a school in Addis Ababa in 1923. He also helped 40 * young Ethiopian Jews enroll in school in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany and Jerusalem. Faitlovitch hoped these students would return to their villages to teach them about Judaism and what they had learned in the outside world. To his regret, few of the students fulfilled his goal.
Why did no one go to Israel after Faitlovitch died?
In fact, no one was sent to Israel after Faitlovitch died in October 1955, largely because he had been the only one vigorously pushing the government to help the Ethiopian Jews.
What did the neighbors call the Falashas?
But their neighbors called them Falashas – the alien ones, the invaders. And even three hundred years of rule, even the black features that matched those of all the people around them did not make the Jews of Ethiopia secure governors of their destiny in Africa 
Why did Beta Israel decline?
By the end of the 19th century, the Beta Israel community had significantly declined because of the invasion of Muslim raiders from the Sudan, epidemics and famines and the persistence of missionaries. It was not until 1904 that one of Halevy’s students in Paris, Jacques Faitlovitch, took enough of an interest in the Ethiopian Jews to make the long, difficult journey to their villages. When he reached them, he estimated no more than 60,000 remained. Like his mentor, Faitlovitch was convinced of the authenticity of the Beta Israel and urged the AIU to establish schools in Ethiopia, but the request was again denied.
How long did the Ethiopian Jews remain isolated?
It is remarkable that the Ethiopian Jews remained isolated for centuries. It is perhaps even more surprising, especially given Jewish history elsewhere, that this community became a powerful force in society rather than a persecuted minority. In fact, the Ethiopian Jews had a great deal of power for several centuries, though little first-hand documentation exists on their society.  The Beta Israel never wrote down their own history, and their ancestors did not leave behind any artifacts. Most of what we know about them comes from first and second-hand accounts by non-Jewish visitors who provided subjective observations.
What does Isaiah 18 mean?
Isaiah 18 is devoted to a description of Cush and the people living there.  In the 9th century, the story of Eldad ha-Dani became well-known.
How did European missionaries influence Beta Israel?
The missionaries began to arrive in the 17th century and persisted for the next three hundred years in their efforts to convert the Jews. The missionaries also began to relate stories about the exotic Jews of Ethiopia, thereby stimulating the interest of other missionaries, curiosity seekers and, eventually, other Jews.
How old was Moses when he began to reign over Cush?
132): Twenty-seven years old was Moses when he began to reign over Cush [Kush], and forty years did he reign.
When did Aksum become a kingdom?
While Kush was already a flourishing kingdom by 1700 BC, and rose as a Mediterranean empire in the eighth century BC, Aksum did not emerge as a recognizable kingdom until the first century CE.
What is the name of the Nile Valley civilization?
It wasn’t until recently that scholars realized that the name Ethiopia, in ancient and medieval sources, denoted the Nile valley civilization of Kush, also known today as ancient Nubia, in what is today Northern Sudan.
What does the name Beta Israel mean?
They traditionally referred to themselves as the Beta Israel, and were referred to by other Ethiopians as Falasha, meaning “strangers” in the indigenous Semitic language Ge’ez. Thus, the term Beta Israel will be used throughout this article to label the community.
What is the origin of Ethiopian Jews?
The conventional theory among historians today attributes the origin of the Ethiopian Jews to a separatist movement that branched out of Christianity and adopted Judaism between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries (e.g. Quirin, 1992a, 1992b; Shelemay, 1989; Kaplan, 1995). The theory essentially holds the Ethiopian Jews to be the descendants of indigenous non-Jewish Ethiopians, and their belief in ancient Jewish descent to be just a matter of myth and legend. Proponents of the theory have been praised for being “thought-provoking” (Waldron, 1993) and for “demythologizing” (Gerhart, 1993) the history of the group. Consequently, scholars, and historians in particular, have been steered to ignore the compelling evidence for the ancient origins of the group.
Why is Beta Israel called Beta Israel?
In this account, it seems that the name Beta Israel was used as propaganda to symbolize the disobedience of the Jews to conversion. (Of course the idea that Kaleb himself was a Beta Israel is also subject to speculation).
Where did the Beta Israel live?
Until they were forced to leave Ethiopia in the 1980s, Ethiopian Jews lived in small villages scattered in the northwestern region of the Ethiopian plateau around Lake Tana and in the Semien mountains area.
What is the oldest Jewish community in Ethiopia?
THE EARLIEST record of a Jewish community in Ethiopia is the 9th century work, The Book of Eldad ha-Dani. Eldad ha-Dani (literally ‘from Dan’) …
How many souls are there in Ethiopia?
The community that remains today in Ethiopia numbers approximately 8,000 souls: 2,000 in the nation’s capital Addis Ababa, and 6,000 in Gondar in the North.
Who said the Jews of Ethiopia are descendants of the tribe of Dan?
WRITING IN the 16th century, the Radbaz, Rav David ibn Zimra, rules that the Jews of Ethiopia are indeed descendants of the tribe of Dan, affirming the account of Eldad ha-Dani (Teshuvot ha-Radbaz 4:219; 7:9). In another responsa he is emphatic that they are unquestionably of Jewish lineage according to Jewish law (ibid, 7:5). A student of his, Rav Ya’akov Castro issued a similar ruling (Erech Lechem, Yoreh De’ah 158). In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Christian missionary groups began aggressively targeting the Jewish community for conversion. Missionaries like Samuel Gobat, John Martin Flad and Henry Aaron Stern describe the Jewish community and document their missionary activities during this period in books they would later publish.
Where did Menelik go to visit Shlomo?
According to the legend, Menelik travels to Jerusalem to visit Shlomo, and the king sends him back with Jewish servants, who subsequently become the Jewish community in Ethiopia.
Who are the descendants of Dan?
According to Eldad, the Jews of Ethiopia are the descendants of the tribe of Dan. Following Eldad’s visit to the Jewish community of Kairouan, Tunisia, the community sends a letter to the leading authority, Tzemach Gaon of Sura, questioning Eldad’s account. Rabbi Tzemach Gaon replies that indeed his account is reliable, as are the laws he teaches.
Who is Eldad cited by?
Yet Eldad is cited by many of the major medieval authorities such as Rashi, Raavad, Rabbeinu Asher, Rashba, Semag and Maimonides’ son Rav Avraham among others, as a reputable source. Later authorities would likewise rely on his testimony and quote the laws he taught. Some even call him rabbi!
Who was the Chief Rabbi of Israel in 1912?
Visits to Ethiopia by Jewish scholars and educators followed. In 1912, Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook wrote a letter expressing his sincere support for sending teachers to Ethiopia to educate the community (Igros ha-Ra’ayah 2:432).
What are the origins of Ethiopian Jews?
Origins of Ethiopian Jews. The People of Ethiopia, Jewish and Christian, share the belief that they are descendants of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, through their son Menelik, who returned to Ethiopia with his attendants after studying in Jerusalem. Supposedly, they brought with them the original tablets of the law of Moses, …
Why did Ethiopian Jews fight?
Like Jews elsewhere, Ethiopian Jews had to fight continuously to maintain their identity against attempts at conversion, forced or otherwise, and, after losing their independence about 1620, they had to struggle against economic adversity imposed by denial of the right to own land.
When was the Falasha dynasty renewed?
The first written citation in Ethiopian records that might refer to the Falasha or Ethiopian Jews is in records dating from the 14th century , when the Solomonic dynasty was renewed in Ethiopia, under Amda Seyon who fought a "people like Jews.".
What is the Jewish holiday of 29th of Heshvan?
The Beta Israel have a unique holiday, known as Seged or Sigd, that falls on the 29th of the Jewish month of Heshvan. In the past the day was called Mehella – similar to an Ethiopian Christian holiday. The acts of bowing and supplication are still known as mehella.
How many Jews were there in Ethiopia in the 17th century?
As late at the 17th century there were as many as half a million Jews in Ethiopia (Kessler, 1996 p. 94). Our knowledge of the history of Ethiopian Jews is sketchy and comes mostly from their rare contacts with the outside world as well as from the records of their persecutors.
What is the name of the mountain that the Kessim drew?
The Kessim, equivalent to rabbis or elders of the community, drew a parallel between the ritual mountain and Mount Sinai.
How long did Operation Solomon take?
In return for money and the promise of asylum for regime officials, the disintegrating Mengistu government permitted the airlift of Operation Solomon. In 36 hours Israel Air Force C-130s and El Al passenger aircraft flew 14,325 passengers to Israel. On May 24, 1991, a single Boeing 747 carried 1,122 passengers from Sudan to Israel. This world record was made possible because the malnourished refugees weighed so little.
Why did the rabbi not use the Mikveh attendant?
The rabbi, who is responsible for supervision of Jewish law in the municipality and is a state employee, directly challenged the mikveh attendant’s Jewish identity, and urged women not to use her services because of her Ethiopian ethnicity. The case follows other recent examples of racism within Israel’s State religious establishment.
What is the ITIM lawsuit?
Last week, ITIM, the Jewish life advocacy organization I direct, filed a lawsuit in an Israeli regional labor court on behalf of an Ethiopian-Israeli mikveh (ritual bath) attendant discriminated against by a municipal rabbi. The rabbi, who is responsible for supervision of Jewish law in the municipality and is a state employee, directly challenged the mikveh attendant’s Jewish identity, and urged women not to use her services because of her Ethiopian ethnicity.
What is the result of rejecting the law of the Bible against mixing?
The result of rejecting the law of the Bible against mixing is that Jews in the world today look like the United Nations — from blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jews like actor Paul Newman to black afro-Jews like Lenny Kravitz — or the Ethiopian “Beta Jews.”
What is the Jewish tradition of character defamation?
Jewish tradition teaches that character defamation or the ruining of an individual’s reputation is tantamount to murder. Yet this is exactly what resulted from the rabbi’s words and actions. For the next three years, the rabbi’s supporters ridiculed and publicly humiliated the mikveh attendant and her children.
Why did Israel allow black people to live in Chicago?
Israel originally allowed these black “Jews” — whether from Chicago or Ethiopia — for the same reason — as a P.R. stunt to prove to the world that Israel is not a racist “apartheid” state.
When did the Jewish tradition change?
And Jewish rabbis and historians aren’t even sure when this change in Jewish tradition first took place, but they believe it happened — according to their records — sometime around 200 AD, or about 130 years after the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem.
Was the Israelite father a patriarch?
The Israelites of the Old and New Testaments were clearly a patriarchical people whose identity is passed down to the children through the Israelite father — after their patriarch Jacob — on condition that the wife was either an Israelite herself or she came from an unmixed Adamic people of the Genesis 10 nations, as we demonstrated in our essay, A Closer Look At Deuteronomy 23.
What did the Hebrews look like?
Tacitus: Hebrews Looked Like Ethiopians and Egyptians. One argument Eurocentric Christianity like to make is that Israelites look “Middle Eastern” or “olive”, but we know from the Bible that’s not True. Tacitus is one more nail in the coffin.
Why is Tacitus a problem?
Tacitus words present a huge problem for those that teach a European / light / olive Egypt because we know for a fact that Ethiopians are not European. There’s no logical reason anyone would ever confuse a European with an Ethiopian. In addition to the Old Testament clarification, Tacitus also confirms an incident in the New Testament.
What is the significance of the testimony of Tacitus?
The importance of the Testimony of Tacitus is that he was a European (Roman) historian, and he is often quoted by Europeans as a credible source of history. Tacitus lived from (55 A.D. – 117 A.D.), which overlaps the lifetime of the apostle Paul, who was believed to have died in 64 A.D.
What is the origin of Hebrew?
Tacitus described Hebrew origins as possibly Egyptian or Ethiopian. This is important because it puts perspective an Old Testament Bible verse:
Was Paul mistaken for Egyptian?
If Hebrews looked European, Paul wouldn’t have been mistaken for an Egyptian, nor would the guard have assumed he didn’t speak Greek, and the people in the time of Tacitus wouldn’t have mistaken them for Egyptians and Ethiopians.
Who was the leader of the surplus population of Egypt during the reign of Isis?
“ A few authorities hold that in the reign of Isis the surplus population of Egypt was evacuated to neighboring lands under the leadership of Hierosolymus and Judas.
How many people died in the Ethiopian famine?
Hundreds die. A famine begins in Ethiopia as the world awaits the deaths of over 8 million people in danger of starvation. The Jewish community fails to react. The Struggle to Save Ethiopian Jewry is formed to awaken world Jewry’s conscious.
How many Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel in 1977?
1977-1984 – Approximately 8,000 Ethiopian Jews are brought to Israel by covert action.
Why did Israel sell arms to Ethiopia?
After taking office in 1977, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin was eager to facilitate the rescue of Ethiopia’s Jews, and so Israel entered into a period of selling arms to the Mariam government in hopes that Ethiopia would allow Jews to leave for Israel.
How many Ethiopian Jews were rescued?
A total of 14,324 Ethiopian Jews were rescued and resettled in Israel, a modern exodus of the grandest design. Operation Solomon rescued twice the number of Jews in Operation Moses and Joshua, in a mere fraction of the time.
What century was Ethiopia isolated from the Christian world?
7th Century – With the spread of Islam, Ethiopia is isolated from most of the Christian world. The Beta Israel enjoy a period of independence before the power struggles of the middle ages.
What happened in Ethiopia in the 1980s?
In the early 1980’s, Ethiopia forbade the practice of Judaism and the teaching of Hebrew. Numerous members of the Beta Israel were imprisoned on fabricated charges of being “Zionist spies,” and Jewish religious leaders, Kesim, (sing. Kes) were harassed and monitored by the government.
Why did the Sudan mission end?
Because of news leaks (blamed primarily on a December 6 article in the Washington Jewish Week and full page advertisements placed by the United Jewish Appeal), the mission ended prematurely as Arab nations pressured the Sudanese government to prevent any more Jews from using Sudan to go to Israel.