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Biblical understanding about Israel
The Israeli cabinet has finally decided to give the green light to the return of the Bnei Menashe Jews. The Bnei Menashe (sons of Manasseh) claim descent from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, who were sent into exile by the Assyrian Empire more than 27 centuries ago. Their ancestors wandered through Central Asia and the Far East for centuries, before settling in what is now northeastern India, along the border with Burma and Bangladesh. Throughout their sojourn in exile, the Bnei Menashe continued to practice Judaism just as their ancestors did, including observing the Sabbath, keeping kosher, celebrating the festivals and following the laws of family purity. And they continued to nourish the dream of one day returning to the land of their ancestors, the Land of Israel.
In recent years, the Israeli-based organization Shavei Israel has brought some 1,700 Bnei Menashe back home to Zion. Another 7,200 still remain in India, waiting for the day when they too will be able to return to Israel and the Jewish people.
Christians for Israel is supporting this project, as part of our worldwide Bring the Jews Home campaign. It is critically important that we as Christians not only teach about Israel, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem, but that we also throw our resources behind the return of the 12 tribes to the land. We have a unique opportunity to become involved in what God is doing in the world today – bringing His people home from the four corners of the earth.
Michael Freund, Chairman of Shavei Israel wrote on 28th October:
“The day of deliverance has arrived! The decision regarding the Bnei Menashe aliyah was formally approved and even given a number – Government decision 5180! The 274 Bnei Menashe immigrants are coming home!!
The Bnei Menashe are extremely excited that the aliyah has received all the necessary approvals to resume. As you know, it was frozen by the previous government back in 2007, so we have been unable to bring any Bnei Menashe for the past five years. But G-d, through His infinite kindness, has now removed the obstacles!
We are finalizing details with the airlines in India, but it appears that we will bring the 274 immigrants on or around December 18. We have rented out a facility at Givat Haviva in Israel, where the immigrants will reside for their first 3 months in the country, during which time they will complete the conversion process and other bureaucratic paperwork. Once that is complete, they will all settle in Israel’s Galilee – we have arranged with the municipal officials in Acre, Migdal HaEmek and Maalot to take them in.
As I mentioned previously, the costs of this undertaking fall squarely on our shoulders [Shavei Israel is responsible for financing and implementing this project – ed.], and now that the final permission has been given, I am racing to raise the necessary funds in the next two months so that we can bring the immigrants here in a timely fashion. Anything that Christians for Israel can provide would go directly toward these efforts.
I have managed with G-d’s help to raise most of the money needed to cover the cost of the flight to Israel (approx. $330,000), but still need to raise another $350,000 towards the cost of absorption. Thanks for your prayers and support.”
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