You cannot change your race; it is in your DNA, but you can change your religion, convert to Judaism and then become a Jew. Many Jews worldwide share common ancestry, as shown by genetic research:
Read more: Jewish Genealogy:
The Cohanim/DNA Connection:
Isaiah 66:21 "And I will also take from them for Cohanim (priests) and Levites, says the Lord." "That is to say, even from among those who were sunk among the gentiles in far-off islands [the British Isles, the Americas, Australia, Japan etc. etc.] and who did not go up from the exile together with their brothers the House of Israel and who may possibly have changed the religion somewhat, I will nevertheless take Cohanim and Levites from them – i.e. those who were originally from priestly and Levitical families: I will take them to be priests to minister before Me and Levites to sing and play harps and lyres" (RaDaK).
People of many different races have become Jewish over the centuries, living according to the set of rules of "Judah-ism," that is, the religion of the Yehudim. ”Jew” is referring to all physical and spiritual descendants of Jacob.
The Bible describes the 12 tribes as descendants from the sons and grandsons of Jacob (Genesis Chs. 29-30, 35:16-18, 48: 5-6). The tribes together are referred to as “Israel” because of their origin in our patriarch Jacob whom is also known by the name Israel. Israel is the name given to Jacob after his fight with the angel of God, the prince (guardian angel) of Esau. Genesis 32:25,29 "And Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. And he (the angel) said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, because you have commanding power with [an angel of] God and with men, and you have prevailed." Isra-el is a term denoting a prince (sar) and a chief, i.e., "prince of God.
"And God said to him, "I am the Almighty God; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a multitude of nations shall come into existence from you, and kings shall come forth from your loins" (Genesis 35:10-11) . The kings were Saul and Ishbosheth, who were of the tribe of Benjamin.
After the death of Moses Joshua leads the Jewish people for 28 years. The Book of Joshua describes the conquest and settlement of the Land of Israel. After the land is conquered it is divided into separate tribal portions via a divinely guided lottery. The Book of Joshua also describes the Biblical boundaries of the Land Of Israel. At this time the so-called Promised Land is bounded by the Egyptian empire to the south and the Mesopotamia to the north. But it is not ruled by either of them. In fact, there is no one power ruling this section of land, rather it is settled by seven Canaanite tribes who inhabit 31 fortified city-states scattered all over the map, each ruled by its own "king."
Jericho is one of these city-states, so is Ai, so is Jerusalem, where Canaanite tribesmen called Jebusites dwell.
At the beginning period of settlement in The Land, the tribes had no prescribed method of leadership. God sent “Judges” to help the tribes in times of need and battle. Shiloh served as the center of worship/sacrifices for all the tribes and housed the Ark of the Covenant under the leadership of the priestly family headed by Eli (1 Samuel 1:3, 12:27). Before Eli's sun set, the sun of Shmuel (Samuel the prophet) the Ramathite rose (Kiddushim 72b). Interesting to note: The iniquity of the house of Eli shall not be expiated with sacrifice or offering (Samuel I 3:14). With sacrifice or offering it is not expiated [for their iniquity dealt with the sacrifices (Metzdat David)], but it is expiated with Torah study and with seeds of kindness (Rosh Hashanah 18a).
As a result of military pressures, the tribes turned to the leadership of Samuel and requested that he set up a monarchy. Saul was crowned King to rule over the tribes. Upon Saul’s death, his son was accepted as successor by the tribes with the exception of Judah and Simeon who preferred David. After a political struggle with the house of Saul, David prevailed and ruled as King over all the tribes of Israel from Jerusalem.
Each of the tribes enjoyed relative autonomy until the great dispersion of the 10 Northern Tribes. During several invasions between 762-676 B.C., the Assyrians conquered and deported the ten northern tribes known as the “Kingdom of Israel.” They were deported hundreds of miles to the Land of Media on the shores of the Caspian Sea in Northern Mesopotamia. From there they became further scattered around the world and lost to history.
The only surviving identifiable tribe was Judah, and when they were conquered by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC, the captives became known as Jews - a word that developed from 'Judeans'. Esther 2:5-7 "There was a certain Jew in Shushan the castle, whose name was Mordecai... a Benjamite, who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives that had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther,.."
This modest Jewish maiden becomes the Queen of Persia. Together with the hidden hand of God, Esther leads her people from certain death to victory over their enemies. Thanks to her influence and competence, the chosen People become the moral leaders of their time.
Queen Esther had two names: Esther, her Persian name, and Hadassah, her Hebrew name. Though the name Esther is Persian, it is phonetically similar to the Hebrew word for "hidden" -- hester. Its significance in the story of Purim is that, in it, the hand of G-d was "hidden." Unlike other times when the Jews were delivered from their enemies, there were no overt miracles. G-d's involvement was manifested in hidden and earthly ways.
Hadassah is the feminized version of the word for "myrtle," hadas. The myrtle leaf is shaped like an eye - representing God's watchful eye over Queen Esther and over his chosen people (The Book of Esther).
Hebrew Micro-Calligraphy Art From Israel by
Ellen Miller Braun
When the Jewish exiles returned to the Land, they were henceforth known as Jews, and the name Judah was loosely used to refer to the region they occupied. Thus the word 'Jew' was derived from the name of the tribe and kingdom of Judah which suffered in the seventy year Babylonian captivity. From there, they went on to build two glorious Temples in Jerusalem and to rule the Land until dispersion of most of the Jews at the hands of the Roman Empire with the destruction of the 2nd temple in the year 70 AD.
1 Kings 16:23-33 "In the thirty-first year of
Asa the king of Judah, Omri ruled over Israel
twelve years-in Tirzah, he ruled six years. And he (Omri) bought the mountain of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; he built up the mountain and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, the lord of the mountain, Samaria. And Omri did what was bad in the eyes of the Lord, and he was more wicked than all those that preceded him. He went in all the ways of Jeroboam, the son of Nabat, and in his sin, that he caused Israel to sin, to anger the Lord, the God of Israel with their false gods."
When Omri died, his son (Ahab) became King and ruled over the Northern Kingdom. He was very evil, led the people to idolatry and built a temple to Baal inside the walls of the city of Samaria. The prophet Amos referred to Ahab's luxurious palace as an “ivory dwelling (1 Kings 16:23-33, 22:39, Amos 3:15). The idolatrous capital of the Northern Kingdom, Samaria received the condemnations of Hosea, Amos, Micah, Isaiah and Elijah.
The widow of Tzorphath who courageously gave Elijah her last remaining food even at the height of a famine is symbolic of Knesset Israel – the Assembly of Israel – who had descended to the very bottom in the time of Ahab, yet were restored through the spiritual power of the prophet. Thus the widow's son (identified with the prophet Jonah) was if not actually clinically dead at the very least no longer breathing (v 17) when Elijah performed his miraculous resuscitation. The prophet's ability to revive the lifeless lad (Hosea 11, Exodus 4:22-23) is a sign that God's redeemer will save Israel from even the worst decline. While Moses was the agent of God's redemption of Israel from Egypt , Elijah will be His agent to redeem them in time to come (Malachi 3:23-24).
By the middle of the 8th century B.C., the Assyrians gained control of Syria. After a three year siege, they captured Samaria, dispersed the tribes of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and led most of the descendants of Jacob/Israel into a dispersion so vast that they became known as The Ten Lost Tribes. None of their descendants can be identified with even a significant degree of historical evidence... Yet, they have some things in common.
Members of a ´Lost Tribe of Israel´ Return to Zion: "A sub-group of the Shinlung tribe, who reside in the northeastern Indian states of Mizoram and Manipur, near the border with Burma and Bangladesh, the Bnei Menashe claim descent from the tribe of Menashe (Manasseh), one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel exiled by the Assyrians over 2,700 years ago. A legendary ancestor of theirs, known variously as Manmasi, Manasseh or Menasia, is identified among the Bnei Menashe as the Biblical Manasseh son of Joseph. In addition, the community has several traditions strongly indicative of Israelite origins" (Israel National News, 11/22/06).
India's Bnei Menashe Celebrate Chanukah: "For most of their sojourn in exile, the Bnei Menashe did not observe Chanukah nor were they aware of its existence until the modern era due to a very simple reason: their ancestors were exiled from the land of Israel some 560 years before the historical events which the holiday commemorates," said Shavei Israel Chairman and Founder Michael Freund" (Israel National News, 12/13/09).
India's Bnei Menashe mark Yom Haatzmaut: "For 27 centuries, our ancestors wandered in Exile, but they never forgot who they were or where they came from, and they passed down to us a precious legacy - a love for Zion and a deep longing to return to her and to embrace her holy soil," they declared" (Israel National News, 04/23/10).
Israeli Government Allows 7,000 Bnei Menashe to Make Aliyah:
Throughout their exile, and even after their one copy of the written Torah was lost, the Bnei Menashe have continued to observe Jewish traditions, including the Sabbath, keeping kosher, celebrating the festivals, following family purity laws, and remembering the Exodus from Egypt (INN, 06/24/11).
Peru´s ´Jews of the Jungle´ Receive Rabbi: Comprising several hundred people, the Tarapoto community consists of descendants of Moroccan Jews who migrated to the area in the late 19th century. Settling in towns in Peru's Amazon basin such as Iquitos in the 1880s, many became involved in local trade and commerce. From there they spread out to other parts of the country's northern interior, such as Tarapoto.
"Assimilation and intermarriage took a heavy toll on the Moroccan Jews who chose to remain in the area," noted Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund. "Now, however, their children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren have begun to return to their Jewish roots."
"It is remarkable that even in the remotest corners of the Peruvian jungle, the pintele Yid (Yiddish for the spark of Jewishness) inside every Jew continues to live on," Freund said. "No matter how far a Jewish soul may have wandered, the fact is that it will eventually find its way back home to its Land and its people" (Israel National News, 02/14/06).
Just as it is written Ezekiel 37:9-11: "Then said He unto me: 'Prophesy unto the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.'
"From every place where their souls went to wander in all four directions of the world they will be gathered in" (Rashi ad loc.).
So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great host. Then He said unto me: 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say: Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off."
Rabbi Yonasan said they were dry because they were the bones of people who "did not have in them the moisture of a mitzvah", i.e. they did not observe any of the commandments of the Torah.
From Kaifeng to Kibbutz: Chinese Descendants of Jews Come Home: A group of seven descendants of the Jewish community of Kaifeng, China has moved to Israel. The city of their birth, Kaifeng, sits on the banks of the Yellow River and was home to a flourishing Jewish community for more than a millennium. "I am very excited to be here in the Holy Land," said Yaakov Wang, one of the new immigrants. "This is something that my ancestors dreamed about for generations, and now thank G-d I have finally made it."
At its peak, during the Middle Ages, Kaifeng Jewry numbered about 5,000 people. But widespread intermarriage and assimilation, as well as the death of the community's last rabbi, brought about its demise by the middle of the 19th century. Scholars say there are still hundreds of people in Kaifeng who cling to their identity as descendants of the city's Jewish community. In recent years, a growing number have begun to express an interest in studying Jewish history and culture (Israel National News, 10/21/09).
Isaiah 49:12 "Behold, these shall come from far; and, lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim." Some Scholars have associated Sinim with China.
Jerusalem Day is Day of Remembrance for Ethiopian Jews: Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Unification Day – is the day Ethiopian immigrants memorialize the thousands who died or were killed on the their trek through the Sudan to reach the planes that would bring them to Israel in Operation Moses, the first aliyah from Ethiopia (Israel National News, 05/12/10).
VIDEO: Operation Solomon on Friday May 24, 1991: Over the course of 36 hours, a total of 34 El Al Hercules c-130s - with their seats removed to maximize passenger capacity - flew non-stop. 14,325 Ethiopian Jews came home to Israel, to be greeted by thousands of Israelis who gathered at temporary absorption centers, hotels and hostels to welcome their brethren. Operation Solomon saw the rescue of twice the number of Ethiopian Jews in Operations Moses and Joshua put together.
Report: DNA tests support Zimbabwe tribe's claim of Jewish roots: British scientists have succeeded in proving the Lemba tribe of Zimbabwe and South Africa descended from Jewish ancestors, according to a report by the BBC. According to the report, the scientists conducted DNA tests on a large sample of the Lemba people, which confirmed Semitic origins dating back more than two millennia.
The BBC says that the 80,000 Lemba tribe members abstain from eating pork, wear yarmulke-like skull caps, conduct ritual animal slaughter, and even put a Star of David on their gravestones. The report says the tribe has an oral tradition that links them to the ancient Jews. They also circumcise their male children, which is not a common practice in Zimbabwe, but is one of the basic principles of the Jewish faith. Members of the priestly clan of the Lemba even have a genetic element also found among the Jewish priestly line - known as Cohen (Haaretz, 07.03.10).
Taliban of Jewish Descent? Experts are Checking: Experts at the National Institute of Immunohaematology in Mumbai, India believe a large group of Taliban Muslims might be descended of the lost Ten Tribes of Israel – and an Israeli rabbinical expert agrees. Rabbi Eliyahu Avichayil, says he does not need or trust genetic testing for this purpose: “Rashi’s explanation to Jeremiah 31:20 implies that the way to identify the Ten Lost Tribes will be via the Jewish customs that they maintain – and in this case, there are many of them.”
Set up markers for yourself, place small palms for yourself, put your heart to the highway, the road upon which you went. Return, O virgin of Israel, return to these your cities" (Jeremiah 31.20). Just as Judah was about to go into exile with the destruction of the First Temple, the prophet instructs them to make "road markers" so that they will be able to retrace their steps back to Jerusalem when the time for restoration arrives. The "road markers" are the mitzvoth which the Jews took with them into exile and continue to observe as a sign that one day they will be restored.
Rabbi Avichayil says that the Jewish-like customs that have been found among the Pathans - many of whom are now of the Taliban tribe - include sidelocks, ritual circumcision at eight days, cities of refuge for accidental killers, four-cornered garments, ritual immersion for women, and more. They also practice levirate marriage - not according to Moslem custom, which allows for various relatives of the deceased to marry a widow, whether or not she has children, but rather closer to Jewish custom, in that only brothers can marry only childless-widows (Israel National News, 01/12/10).
Timeline: From Abraham to the founding of the State of Israel
VIDEO: Memories from "Magic Carpet" - 1949 Immigration of Yemen Jewry
Jewish Exodus from Yemen: Most of the country's remaining Jews are planning to emigrate due to Muslim persecution. Harrassment of Jews are reported; murder, beatings and kidnappings (Israel National News, 08/14/09).
Yemen's Jews fear for their lives, yet refuse to make aliyah: Remaining members of Yemenite Jewish community say they have paid heavy price for radicalization of country, but won't leave for fear they will lose property, will not be able to return. "Yemen is not the same country anymore," said Y., who insisted on conducting the interview in Hebrew, after making sure he was not being listened to. "The Taliban took control over the whole northern region; it is not easy being a Jew or a Christian here. We do not hide, but we still prefer to travel in large groups so that we do not attract the attention of the Muslims," he said. According to Y., the tense reality caused several members to convert to Islam. "We are among the few that are still Jewish. We have a community life, but there are no more operational synagogues, and so we pray in our houses. Radical Islam has taken control of everything. If they were to find out I am speaking in Hebrew they would have me murdered," he said (YnetNews, 01.07.10).
Today, the descendants of the remaining Southern Kingdom (Judah/Benjamin) have come to reclaim the ancient land. Not only does this have immense Biblical significance but it has enormous strategic importance. Samaria ensures the preservation of vital Israeli interests, including: the territory required for Israel’s basic security against threats to its existence, the territories necessary for current security (the prevention of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians), the protection of Greater Jerusalem, the preservation of water resources, and the defense of Israeli settlements.
And Jews have come from countries all over the world. Israel, a country populated by people from some 120 countries, is a multi-lingual country. Hebrew, is the language of the Bible, and Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages of the State of Israel. Many Israelis are speaking English, Russian, Chinese, French, Spanish, Yiddish, Romanian, Polish and Ladino and tens of other tongues. As it is written Ezekiel 38:12, "...the people that are gathered out of the nations,.. that dwell in the middle of the earth." Ezekiel 39:27 "...I have brought them back from the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands,..."
"Shall prey be taken from a mighty warrior (Esau), or shall the captives of the righteous (Jacob) escape?" For so said the Lord, "Even the captives of a mighty warrior can be taken and the prey of a tyrant (Ishmael) shall escape, and with your contender will I contend, and your sons I will save. And those who taunt you-I will feed their flesh, and as with sweet wine they shall become drunk [from] their blood; and all flesh shall know that I am the Lord Who saves you, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob" (Isaiah 49:24-26). "For the Lord has redeemed Jacob and has saved him out of the hand of him (Esau/Edom, Genesis 25:23) who is stronger than he. And they shall come and jubilate on the height of Zion, and they will stream to the goodness of the Lord, over corn, wine, and oil, and over sheep and cattle, and their soul shall be like a well-watered garden, and they shall have no further worry at all" (Jeremiah 31:10-11).
"In the years following Israel's independence in May 1948, 600,000 to 800,000 Jews from Arab North Africa and the Middle East (approximately as many as the number of Palestinian refugees who left Israel in 1948) arrived in the new state, as a direct result of official and popular anti-Semitic actions against them. Israel received them as returning countrymen, granted them citizenship and helped them begin new and productive lives. There is currently no visible sign of their being "refugees," since they have long since been absorbed into Israeli society. Nevertheless, they still have substantial claims against those countries which forced them to flee, often penniless, and these must be addressed in any comprehensive resolution of the refugee problem.
Throughout Arab lands, 1948 Jewish populations have been decreased to next to nothing. To where did these Jewish refugees vanish? The majority went to Israel, often living in tent camps for up to 12 years, just as the Palestinian refugees. However, they got citizenship in Israel and did not remain permanent refugees" (What happened to the Jewish refugees from Middle Eastern countries? at palestinefacts.org).
"The Arab state which had encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help these refugees." (The Jordanian daily newspaper Falastin, Feb. 19, 1949). Read more: Arab leaders caused refugee problem by Joseph Farah.
PLO Against Bnei Menashe:
The Palestinian Authority on Monday chided Israel for its decision to help 7,000 Jews from northeast India make aliyah to Israel.According to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news service, PA spokesman Ghassan Khatib said the Israeli decision was “in line with Israel’s policy to bring non-Israeli Jews to Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people.” Meanwhile, he added, Israel prevents the “Palestinians” from returning to their homeland to live there (INN, 06/28/11).
It is time for Arab nations to absorb their brethren who are “refugees” ("pawns in their war to destroy Israel") from the 1948 war. Palestinian refugees must not live in the illusion of achieving the “right to return.” Arab countries must search for a place for them in their lands to RESETTLE there (NY UNRWA: Time for Arab Nations to Absorb 'Refugees' (INN, 10/31/10).
"In the years following Israel's independence in May 1948, 600,000 to 800,000 Jews from Arab North Africa and the Middle East (as many as the number of Palestinian refugees who left Israel in 1948) arrived in the new state, as a direct result of official and popular anti-Semitic actions against them.
Israel received them as returning countrymen, granted them citizenship and helped them begin new and productive lives. There is currently no visible sign of their being "refugees," since they have long since been absorbed into Israeli society (palestinefacts.org). See 'Arm of the Lord'
The Fatah charter call for the "demolition" of the State of Israel, as well as "the eradication of the Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.” The charter endorses "armed struggle" as "a strategy and not a tactic, to uproot the Zionist existence."
The Fatah organization, headed by Abbas, also calls on the world community "to prevent Jewish immigration" to Israel. Fatah, "opposes any political solution." (American Jewry: Fatah Charter Calls to 'Eradicate' Israel, INN 11/20/07).
This is in line with Washington's and international policy, which "wants to see a stop to settlements," "a freeze on settling towns in Judea and Samaria," Obama reiterated that no settlement expansion also includes “natural growth,” Abbas says, "No Jews will be allowed in Palestine,.." etc.
And for the sake of 'peace,' Israel is willing to make expulsions, painful territorial concessions and jeopardize it’s national security.
Most of the descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes cannot be identified with even a significant degree of historical evidence... Yet, they have some things in common; Zionism.
A love for Zion and the Jewish people, a longing to return to their Jewish roots. Observing traditions of Israelite origins. Interested in studying Torah, Jewish history and culture, etc.
The Bnei Menashe passed its heritage on orally from one generation to the next, manifested in the observance of clearly Jewish customs such as circumcision on the eighth day, Shabbat, Passover rituals and more (Shofar 62, Shuva Israel, Dec 2004).
Some years ago Shuva Israel assisted the absorption of groups of B'nei Menashe to the communities of Shavei Shomron and Einav in Samaria, Israel.
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"The Qur'an refers to the exiles, but leaves it open for return... saying to the Jews that if they keep their promise to God, then God will keep the divine promise to them" (Prof. Khaleel Mohammed, The Koran and the Jews By Jamie Glazov FrontPageMagazine).
Deut. 4:27-31 "When you are distressed (Dan. 12:1, Jer. 30:7-11), and all these things happen upon you in the end of days (the choice between the blessing or the curse, i.e., whether to accept the Torah or not), then you will return to the Lord your God and obey Him." (See Deut. Ch. 30, Isaiah 24:1-6, See also Hosea 3:4-5, 14:2-3). "For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not let you loose or destroy you (see Isaiah 48:17-19); neither will He forget the covenant of your fathers, which He swore to them." See Lev. Ch. 26, Deut. 11:26-28, Ch. 28.