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Judaism in Africa

Over 2,700 years ago, the Assyrians exiled the ten tribes of the Kingdom of Israel. « In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and he carried them away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of Medes. » In the years 722-721 BC (over 2700 years ago), the Ten Tribes who comprised the northern Kingdom of Israel disappeared. Conquered by the Assyrian King Shalmaneser V, they were exiled to upper Mesopotamia and Medes, today modern Syria and Iraq. The Ten Tribes of Israel have never been seen since. The mystery of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel has fascinated people through the ages. Explorers claim to have discovered Photo : Voici les femmes, les collègues de Laurence kahnevidence of them from Australia to Siberia, but few claims have been backed up by solid evidence. Now a provocative possibility about the whereabouts of one of the tribes has emerged in Southern Africa. Host and explorer Josh Bernstein retraces the amazing journey that the Lemba people claim they made centuries ago. Photo : Oui, la shrita ici pas de problème Since Biblical times, the Jewish people have had close ties with Africa, going back to Abraham’s sojourns in Egypt, and later the Israelite captivity under the Pharaohs. Some Jewish communities in Africa are among the oldest in the world, dating back more than 2700 years. Today, Jews and Judaism in Africa show an ethnic and religious diversity and richness almost unparallelled on any other continent. African Jewish communities include. Scattered African groups which have not maintained contact with the wider Jewish community from ancient times, but which assert descent from ancient Israel or other connections to Judaism. The Lemba or Lembaa are a group of people in southern Africa. Although they speak Bantu languages similar to their neighbours, they have specific religious practices similar to those in Judaism, and a tradition of being a migrant people with clues pointing to an origin from Yemeni Jews. They have restrictions on intermarriage with non-Lemba, with it being particularly difficult for male non-Lemba to become part of the tribe. The presence of a disproportionate number of particular polymorphisms on the Y chromosome known as the Cohen modal haplotype suggests an ancestral link to the Kohanim or priests, a distinct subgroup of Israelites. This Y chromosome marker is present in 50% of Jewish men while it was found that roughly 85% of Lemba men had the Cohen modal gene-marker. While it is certain that the Lemba are descended from Jewish tribes, they have not practiced Judaism
for many centuries.

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