Ethiopian Jews

Susan Michael, U.S. Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem wrote the following: ( )

“The origin of the Ethiopian Jews is a bit of a mystery. Most agree that they are descendants of Israelites who migrated to the area at one time or another. One theory allows for migrants as early as Moses’ time, another during King Solomon’s reign, and still another theory posits that some of the tribe of Dan made their way to the region when fleeing the Babylonians in the sixth century BC. Genetic tests indicate that some may have intermarried with Yemenite Jews who fled to Ethiopia during several different periods of conflict in Yemen.

“Whatever their origins may be, the fact is thousands of Jews lived in the northeast region of Ethiopia for centuries. They were cut off from the rest of the world and faithfully observed the Jewish faith as it had been practiced before the destruction of the temple and the influence of Rabbinic Judaism. They developed their own interpretations of the law and added some of their own feast days. They knew no Hebrew because their Scriptures were written in Ge’ez, and they spoke Amharic.

“Ethiopian Jews had no contact with the outside world; therefore, they thought they were the only Jews left on the planet and subsequently endured generations of hardship to sustain their Jewish identity. They practiced their form of Judaism and longed for the day when they would return to Zion. They called themselves “Beta Israel” (House of Israel) while their neighbors derogatorily called them “Falashas”—the alien ones.

“Their mysterious story is one of a beautiful, simple faith alongside centuries of difficulty. They suffered from dictators, famines, and wars along with their fellow countrymen, but they also faced discrimination because of their faith. They were neglected by the larger Jewish world, and, more recently, by Israeli bureaucracy—all the while hoping for a return to the ancient homeland they had read about in their Scriptures.

"Over the last 40 years, some 100,000 Ethiopian Jews have made Aliyah to Israel. However, there are another 9,000 who await their turn—many separated from family members who immigrated 15–20 years ago.”

Ron Taylor – The return of Ethiopian Jews represents prophecy fulfilled as they return to the Holy Land. The day is coming when all descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will return to Israel, as prophesied by Isaiah 11:12, 49:22, 60:4, and 60:9.

May the Lord’s will be done. May He always be praised!

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