India's Bnei Menashe Community Celebrates Sukkot
The Bnei Menashe Jewish community in northeastern India celebrated Sukkot this week, and within their prayers, they requested to make aliyah to Israel—as has been the dream of the community for years.
The Bnei Menashe ethnic group is said to number at around 10,000 total, and are believed by many to be descended from one of the Ten Lost Tribes, specifically that of Menashe. They were recognized as members of a lost tribe in 2005 by then-Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Atar, though he did specify they would need to formally convert.
To date, more than 4,000 members of the community have made aliyah to Israel—some 6,500 still live in India. Within their "exile," the community observes and practices Jewish tradition (i.e. observe the sabbath, keep kosher and celebrate the holidays on the Jewish calendar).
In partnership with the Absorption Ministry and the Interior Ministry, around 722 Bnei Menashe will be making aliyah following the High Holy Days. (JPost / VFI News)
You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. - Leviticus 19:34
“God, we ask that you bless the Bnei Menashe people—and that you bring them safely to Israel, to be accepted with loving arms.”