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Brit-Am Now no. 1866: Ten Tribes Studies.
26 April 2012, 4 Iyar 5772
1. More Concerning the Lemba of South Africa.
2. Alistair Williams: Does the Book of Daniel Refer to Google?
3. New Article.
Ronald Reagan and Belief
in the Ten Tribes


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1. More Concerning the Lemba of South Africa.
Marianne wrote:
Dear Yair

Thank you for your answer.  As previously said, the Zionist Federation, as
well as the Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, SA. Confirms that they
are legally of Jewish ancestry/descent, as proven by DNA tests....


Brit-Am Reply:
The Lembas are mostly Christians or Muslims. Some practise Jewish-type rites.

Black African groups adopting Jewish customs and claiming to be Jewish or Israelite are not uncommon. Quite a few are also to be found in South Africa.
The Lemba, once referred to as 'Kruger's Jews' (because President Paul Kruger, President of Transvaal during 1883'1900, was thought to have discovered them), are commonly referred to as the 'black Jews' of South Africa. Their claim of Jewish origin is based on slim evidence: a persistent oral tradition of uncertain antiquity and a number of suggestive customs, from circumcision to food taboos, which appear to be 'Judaic' but could be Muslim or, indeed, in the case of circumcision, African (Mandivenga 1983). Lemba tradition holds that the tribe came from 'Sena in the north by boat.' The original group is said to have been entirely male, with half of their number having been lost at sea; the remainder made their way to the coasts of Africa. Once there, they rebuilt their city of Sena, later leaving it to build a second city of the same name. 'Sena' is variously identified by the Lemba as Sanaa in Yemen, Judea, Egypt, or Ethiopia (Ruwitah 1997; Parfitt 1997). The first clear and unambiguous reference to the Lemba as a separate tribe and perhaps polity is from a Dutch report from 1721 (Liesenbang 1977). Today the religious life of the Lemba is highly syncretistic. Many of them belong to various Christian churches (e.g., the Zion Christian Church and Pentecostal groups), whereas some in Zimbabwe are Muslims. Others, however, claim to be Lemba by religious practice as well as by ethnic identification. The religious practices of these Lemba do not have much in common with Judaism as it is practiced elsewhere. There are thought to be ~50,000 Lemba spread over South Africa and Zimbabwe, with some closely connected groups in Malawi (Parfitt 1997). At some time in the past they became scattered among the more powerful neighboring tribes, where they served particularly as 'medicine men,' iron and copper workers, traders, and officials with ritual responsibilities. They traded throughout southern Africa.
The Lemba have >12 clans, some of which appear to correlate with place names in the Hadramaut (Parfitt 1997). The Buba clan is recognized as being the senior clan, both the oldest and, for some ritual purposes, the most important. Parfitt (1997) has claimed to have discovered the original Sena of the Lemba in the eastern Hadramaut in the Yemen.

Community and Conscience: The Jews in Apartheid South Africa
Gideon Shimoni
At first the Afrikanner Boers considered the Lemba as Islamized Africans calling them "slamzie".
Later they were referred to as "Kruger's Jews" which does indicate a possible Jewish association.
Mutenda Bulengwa founded the Lemba Federation in 1947. He was a teacher who for a time had worked for a Jewish family. He had observed Jewish customs and introduced them.
Professor Gina Bujis attributes the Lemba's Jewish activities as an attempt under what was then apartheid conditions to advance the material welfare of the Lemba community.
# However, this explanation does not preclude the possibility that there is some veracity in the Lemba myth of Jewish ancestry. #

What do we know?
It would seem that a group of Yemenites who may have been Jewish (or Jewish in part) from the Hadramaut in Yemen came to Africa. They intermarried with local women or they intermerged with a group that had already partly mixed with Arabs or Somalis or both.
Today the Lemba  may be defined as a  black people who had come under Arab Islamic influence as well possibly intermarrying with an Arab or Yemenite group. that may have included Jewish males amongst them. This is not certain.
How much Jewish customs they actually had before encountering Europeans is not certain.
Groups amongst them did adopt more Jewish customs later. This materially helped them. Jewish and Christian philanthropists helped them and still help them because of their alleged Jewish antecedents.
Some of them have Semitic features which could be due to intermixture with Ethiopian types, Arabs, Yemenites, or Jews.
This is not much to go on.

What Does the DNA evidence Really Say?

DNA tests show that the Lamba on the whole are ca. 88% Bantu African.
The findings for what they are worth say that the mtDNA (female derived) is entirely African i.e. all the women ancestors were local Africans.
Lemba tradition itself says that same i.e. that their ancestors were males from elsewhere who married local women.
Concerning the males Jenkins said that "50% of the Lemba Y chromosomes are Semitic in origin ' 40% are Negroid, and the ancestry of the rest cannot be resolved. These Y-specific genetic findings are consistent with Lemba oral tradition."

There is the so-called Cohen gene. This is found in about 10% of Sephardi Jews, 15% of Ashkenazis, and almost 50% of  Jewish Cohens.
It was also found in ca. 9% of the Lamba and in 13.5%  of the Lemba priestly class descended from someone called Buba.
This could indicate a Jewish connection but it is not absolute since the CMH is also found in other peoples of the Middle East.
Members of the CMHg were observed throughout the world, with significant frequencies in various Arab populations: Oman (20.1%), Iraq (15.2%), Palestine (9.5%)
Source: An Updated World-Wide Characterization of the Cohen Modal Haplotype. J.E. Ekins et al.


More recently, Mendez et al. (2011) observed that a moderately high frequency of the studied Lemba samples carried Y-DNA Haplogroup T, which is considered to be of Near Eastern origin. The Lemba T carriers belonged exclusively to T1b*, which is rare and was not sampled in indigenous Jews of Near East or North Africa, but shares a similar estimate expansion time with the T1* Somalis. T1b* has been observed at low frequencies in the Bulgarian and Ashkenazi Jews as well as in a few Levantine populations.[23]

Anyway, we cannot prove anything definitely but DNA is consistent with a possible input from Jewish males alongside that of others including Africans, Arabs, and Somalis.

Regarding your statement that the Zionist Federation recognized the Lemba
I do not know what you base your information upon.
The Zionist Federation did not recognize the Lemba as Jews neither would they be able to do so. They may have given them some material assistance.

The Lemba Cultural Association has approached the South African Jewish Board of Deputies asking for the Lemba to be recognized as Jews by the Jewish community. The Association complained that "we like many non-European Jews are simply the victims of racism at the hands of the European Jewish establishment worldwide" and threatened to start a campaign to "protest and ultimately destroy 'Jewish apartheid'".[5]
According to Gideon Shimona in his book, Community and conscience: the Jews in apartheid South Africa[5]:

In terms of halakha the Lemba are not at all comparable with the Falasha [Ethiopian Jews]. As a group they have no conceivable status in Judaism.

Rabbi Bernhard stated that the only way for a member of the Lemba tribe to be recognized as a Jew is to undergo the formal Halakhic conversion process, after which they "would be welcomed with open arms."[5]

If certain Gentile groups believe they have at least some Jewish or Israelite ancestry and adopt Jewish customs this does not make them Jewish.
They may not want to be Jewish. If they do, then the Orthodox Jewish establishment may or may not accept them. This is up to them.
Apart from that they are human beings.
It might be good for them to adopt Jewish customs as well as developing their own forms of worship as they are doing. Sociologically this could help keep them together, give them a sense of purpose and meaning, and help them get along. It could also help them materially. There is nothing wrong with this. There is also nothing wrong with them requesting help from Jewish and non-Jewish groups who are interested in them and are in a position to help them.
Ultimately  all of mankind will worship the God of Israel.

This matter does not concern Brit-Am.
Brit-Am is interested in the Lost Ten Tribes as determined by the BIBLE.
The Bible places the Ten Tribes amongst Western Peoples and that is what Brit-Am deals with.

2. Alistair Williams: Does the Book of Daniel Refer to Google'
Subject: You Lucky People!

Shalom Yair.
Below I quote a verse from Daniel
Daniel 12
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Recently I read a report that said that the Hebrew for 'run to and fro' is used today with regard to searching the internet.
We say 'google' the subject, the Hebrew equivalent of 'google' in this context, the author of this report claimed, also means 'run to and fro'. Is this true?
Just a query you might be able to help me with.
PS. Have my copy of 'The Tribes' halfway through, feel drawn to the Bible, read the ESV first time, now on King James, not as hard going as it was when my Dad and Mum held bible study in our house years ago.

Brit-Am Reply:
Brit-Am Reply: The Hebrew expression translated as 'run to and fro' in Daniel 12:4 is Yishotatu from the root ShTT connoting wander, roam. Colloquially it is often used e.g. Shotat be-Internet, i.e. wander around (or surf on) the Internet. Another word (golesh i.e. surf) is used more often but Shotet is also common. To explain Yishotatu in Daniel 12:4 as meaning surf on the Internet is a possibility.

3. New Article.
Ronald Reagan and Belief in the Ten Tribes
President Ronald Reagan.
Reagan and the Jews, Selected Extracts.
Did President Reagan Believe Like Brit-Am?
Interim Conclusion.

President Reagan said he was descended from Irish Kings, that their capital had been named Tara, that Tara meant Torah, and that they were descended from Israelites!

The Tribes - 4th Edition Full Cover Spread.

All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860).

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