"Brit-Am Now"-538

1. The Food Taboos of Old Scotland
2. David Jackson: A New Solution to the Problem of Relative Population Sizes (Deut 33:17).
3. Questions from Peoples Not Identified as Israelite by Brit-Am
(a) Japan
(b) India

1. The Food Taboos of Old Scotland
Donald A. MacKenzie examined the existence of food prohibitions amongst the Scottish. His findings were that:
In Northeast England (bordering Scotland),
"fishermen dislike reference being made to the pig in connection with their work".
In Scotland an aversion to the pig is deep rooted even now and was much stronger in the past. This aversion exists amongst both Highlanders and Lowlanders. "There are still thousands of Highlanders and groups of Lowlanders who refuse to keep pigs or to partake of their flesh".
MacKenzie quotes from Sir Walter Scott ("The Fortunes of Nigel"):
"Sir Munko cannot abide pork, no more than the King's most sacred majesty, nor my Lord Duke Lennox, nor Lord Dalgarno...But the Scots never eat pork strange that! Some folk think they are a sort of Jews."

"The Scots [i.e. Lowlanders] till within the last generation disliked swine's flesh as an article of food as much as the Highlanders do at present".

Also from Sir Walter ("The Two Drovers") we have an account of execration in Gaelic of a Highlander cursing some Englishmen who had been ridiculing him: "A hundred curses on the swine eaters, who know neither decency nor civility!"

James-vi of Scotland (who became James-i of Great Britain) "hated pork in all its varieties".

In the English Civil War, a song against Scottish partisans of the Rump Parliament (1639-1661) went:
"The Jewish Scots that scorns to eat
The Flesh of Swine, and brewers beat,
'twas the sight of this Hogs head made 'em retreat,
Which nobody can deny."

J.G.Dalyell (1691):
"Why do Scotchmen hate swine's flesh?"....
"They might borrow it of the Jews"...
"The same prejudice, though infinitely abated, still subsists. Yet it is not known that swine have been regarded as mystical animals in Scotland. Early in the seventeenth century the aversion to them by the lower ranks, especially in the north, was so great, and elsewhere, and the flesh was so much undervalued, that, except for those reared at mills, the breed would have been extirpated".

A certain Captain Burt on duty in Scotland in 1730 wrote:
"Pork is not very common with us, but what we have is good. I have often heard that the Scots will not eat it..........It is here a general notion that where the chief declares against pork, his followers affect to show the same dislike..."

Mackenzie says that, "Burt also refers to the Scottish prejudice against eating eels and pike"23.

Dr.Johnson (1773):
"The vulgar inhabitants of Skye, I know not whether of the other islands, have not only eels but pork and bacon in abhorrence; and accordingly I never saw a hog in the Hebrides, except one at Dunvegan".

Rev.L.Grant (1793):
"the deep rooted prejudice against swine's flesh is now removed..."

Dean Ramsay (1793-1872):
"The old aversion to the `unclean animal' still lingers in the Highlands....I recollect an old Scottish gentleman who shared this horror, asking very gravely, `Were not swine forbidden under the law and cursed under the gospel?'".

John Toland (1714):
"You know how considerable a part of the British inhabitants are the undoubted offspring of the Jews and how many worthy prelates of this same stock, not to speak of Lords and commoners, may at this time make an illustrious figure among us....A great number of 'em fled to Scotland which is the reason so many in that part of the Island have a remarkable aversion to pork and black puddings to this day, not to insist on some other resemblances easily observable'24.."

D.A.MacKenzie continued to discuss the swine taboo in chapter ii of his work. He claimed that the taboo preceded Christianity and that the coming of Christian missionaries to Scotland actually weakened the prohibition. Mackenzie stated that after examination it appeared to him that in ancient Scotland there were two different cults or attitudes, one of which regarded the pig with abhorrence while the other revered it. The Picts in northern Scotland had two clans, one called the Clan of Boars (?) (Orcs) and the other The Clan of Cats. Ancient pictures of wild boars have been found engraved on rocks. A first century BCE grave in Scotland contained what appears to have been a pig offering and other finds indicate the consumption of swine..

MacKenzie connects the pig taboo with the Galatians in Galatian Anatolia. These were a small group of Galatians (also called "Galli") who had gravitated to Anatolia (modern Turkey), conquered Phrygia and formed their own kingdom called Galatia in which they ruled over the natives. Lucian ("De Dea Syria") wrote concerning the Galli of Galatia:

"They sacrifice bulls and cows alike and goats and sheep; pigs alone which they abominate, are neither sacrificed nor eaten. Others look on swine without disgust, but as holy animals". Pausanius drawing upon a source from the 300s BCE said that the Galatae in Anatolia [Ancient Turkey] ceased to eat pork because Attis the god of the region had been slain by a boar. Attis is connected with the cult of the Great Mother and MacKenzie supposes that the Galatae adopted this cult. Later, he suggests, mercenaries from the Celtic west who came into contact with the Galatians of Galatia also received the pig taboo and somehow through them it reached Scotland25. At all events, the ultimate source of this pig taboo came from the Middle East. Mackenzie brings numerous sources showing that in Gaul, in Ireland, in other parts of Britain, pigs were both plentiful and respected. The boar was a favourite symbol. Pigs were reared for meat all over the Celtic area and the Continental Celts even had a developed industry curing swine meat which they sold to the Romans and were famous for. Archaeological findings often reveal preserved swine flesh in various receptacles. All of these areas had frequent contact with the region of Scotland and their influence is enough to explain all evidence (which in fact is not so plentiful) of pig meat in ancient Scotland. On the other hand, the suggestion of influence on Scotland from the Galatian area in distant Anatolia is unconvincing. Despite Pausanius we cannot be really sure that the Galatians did not bring their pig taboo with them to Anatolia instead of adopting it there. At all events, why should only far-away Scotland have been influenced by the Galatians of the east?

Another point is that a good portion of the population of Scotland only arrived there well after ca.200 BCE They came to Scotland via Ireland or via Spain or via Scythia and the north. Different groups settled in different areas yet the pig taboo was accepted all over Scotland by a good proportion of the populace and the prohibition was deeply entrenched in popular consciousness. Eels, and hare and are also forbidden by the Mosaic code and the Scotts had prejudices against all of these and refused to eat them though they are popular foods amongst the neighboring English. The obvious place to look for the source of these prohibitions is in a past exposure to and acceptance of the Mosaic Law and this was the source to which observers in the past usually traced them. It is interesting to note that from time to time certain fish and fowl which the Mosaic Code (of Ancient Israel) does permit came under a ban but only in the case of those expressly prohibited by the Law of Moses did the taboo last or become widely accepted.

"Julius Casar found that the ancient Britons tabooed the hare, the domestic fowl and the goose. The hare is still taboo to many Scots"26.

In Western Brittany [Northwest France opposite the British Coast] the hare was also tabooed27.

It should be noted that abstaining from foods prohibited by the Mosaic Law may have physiological advantages conducive to long-term physical and emotional stability.

Our examination of the religious practices of the early Christian Celts revealed that not only food taboos but also a large number of other practices were taken directly from the Mosaic Law and also that there existed a conscious identification with the Jews and ancient Levis. Some of these practices had proven parallels in ancient Druidical pre-Christian custom which taken together with other facts proves that at least a portion of these people were of Israelite descent.

Main Source: DONALD, A. MACKENZIE, "Scottish Folk Lore And Folk Life. Studies in Race, Culture, And Tradition", London & Glasgow, 1935.

2. David Jackson: A New Solution to the Problem of Relative Population Sizes (Deut 33:17).

Reading this verse, Deuteronomy 33:17, where it speaks of the future blessing of Joseph:

"His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh."

It seems like it could be interpreted to mean that the "tens of thousands" of Ephraim and the "thousands" of Manasseh refers to the numbers of people pushed together, not the number of people in Ephraim and Manasseh, respectively. In other words, is it saying that Ephraim will affect greater portions of the globe and mankind than Manasseh? Is this reading possible in the original Hebrew?
Dave Jackson
Texas, USA

The reading you suggest is possible in the Hebrew. Not only that but some (maybe most?) of the Rabbinic traditions interpret the verse as you suggest.
This is how we interpreted the verse:
He will received his glory from the firstling of his bull [Ephraim];
His (Menasseh) horns are immensely powerful like those of a Raem:
PEOPLE": Hebrew "amim" i.e. peoples in the plural.
With these horns he shall batter other peoples
They (Ephraim and Manasseh) will be together until the ends (extreme points when the Land of Israel is the center) of the earth
and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, that are multiplied a thousands times over together with those of Manasseh.

Nevertheless the Sages tend to interpret the verse along the same lines as you did
For example, Midrash Yalkut Shimeoni says that an example of THE TEN THOUSANDS OF EPHRAIM were the Canaanite Kings wiped out by Joshua who came from Ephraim. [This is just one example I opened up at random but all the Early Commentators seem to go along the same lines. A brief search would probably come up with even more explicit examples].
Ginzberg's legends (based on the Sages) also sums it up nicely:
"as the unicorn with his horns pushes away all other animals, so, too, shall Joseph's sons rule the nations, even to the ends of the earth. The Ephraimite Joshua shall destroy myriads of heathens, and the Manassite Gideon thousands of them." " [927]
Legends of the Jews, By Louis Ginzberg
The sages were saying that examples of an ongoing trait that would accompany Ephraim and Manasseh could be seen in the persons of Joshua and Gideon.

This suggestion would solve the problem that we had with this verse in the light of our identifying Ephraim primarily with Britain and Manasseh with the USA.
The British Empire did indeed directly affect many more people that the USA has done.
The British Empire also did reach to the ends of the earth.

Despite all the above I repeat our own somewhat convoluted explanation may still have something to it:
I admit that
Your explanation (and that of the sages) does offer a more simpler, acceptable, and authoritative solution.
Since the Sages in this case were only offering their commentary we do not have to accept their explanation.
We explained the verse according to our understanding.
If in this case we were mistaken then so much the better.
What we said was:
Ephraim is Britain and daughters
Manasseh is the USA
The TEN THOUSANDS OF EPHRAIM versus THE THOUSANDS OF MANASSEH somehow refers to relative population yet the USA has more people than Britain and Company and in the Bible Manasseh was a more populous tribe than Ephraim. It may be that in fact the USA ALSO contains many from Ephraim (especially in the South) though Manasseh is dominant. This way Ephraim as a whole could be far more numerous than Manasseh and the Manasseh could still be represented through the USA.

I am still not convinced that our explanation in this case was wrong though it may have been.

3. Questions from Peoples Not Identified as Israelite by Brit-Am
(a) Japan
From: Melody
Subject: Lost tribes and Japan?

Hello Yair Davidiy,

I am listening to the Tamar Yonah interviews on CD which you participated in with Rabbi Feld.
I have a question regarding the lost tribes of Israel. I am part Japanese (part American) and have heard and observed many similar customs between ancient Israel and Japan. I was wondering if this information is credible and am interested in your opinion.

This website presents the similarities between the Japanese culture, especially the folk religion and customs of Shinto, and Israel.

Israelites Came to Ancient Japan:

I would appreciate it if you could give me any headway. Thank you very much.



Melody Shalom,
Glad to hear from you.
It may be that Israelites did reach Japan.
In our book "The Tribes" we show how at one stage Israelites were in Central Asia and Northern China and there were movements from those areas to Japan.
Our impression however is that these movements affect only a minority.
We hope to write an article or series of articles concerning Japan in our magazine shortly.
The ancestors of the Japanese may also have been in part from Amon, Moab, and Edom.
At all events, the emphasis of Brit-Am studies is on the Lost Ten Tribes as cohesive groups that had a dominating influence on the national character and that were prophesied about in the Bible as being Israelite in the End Times.
We also apply criteria of our own that only partly fit the Japanese.

1. Blessings: Economic and Physical Blessings as promised to Israel in Scripture.

2. Indications of Scripture: Biblical Evidence predicting whereto the Lost Ten Tribes would go, what type of religion and government they would have, etc.

3. Groundwork: Historical, Archaeological, and Related Proofs showing paths of migration.

4. Judah: This entails proven feelings of kinship and sympathy with the Jews and a Relative Lack of Anti-Semitism when compared with others.

5. Originality: Innovation and Intellect: A minimal degree of national Intellectual Wisdom and Honesty.

6. Bravery: Proven Military Prowess in the past at least and at present in potential

7. Empathy: The Doing of Social Justice.

In the case of Japan it may be that points 2 and 7 are of questionable applicability and there are other considerations.
Together with this no-one appointed us "Guardians of the Gate".
We receive similar inquiries concerning the Amerindians, Africans, and Indians of India.
It is possible that in each case Israelites were amongst them and also (as Scripture says, Ezekiel 47:22) people will come from them and attach themselves to Israel.
I would suggest that all those who are interested in these matter familiarize themselves with what the Bible says, what Brit-Am says and also with what others say concerning their individual situation and may the Almighty through Scripture be your guide.

(b) India Subject: Inquiry

Shalom my Brother!,

I am interested to find out if you have any writings or done any research into what connection, if any, is there between the people of India and any of the lost 10 Tribes. I am a believer and is very interested in this connection. As you can guess by my name I am of Indian descent, and sincerely believe that there is some connection. I await your learned commentary.

Shalom Shalom!! Dr. David

Shalom, Concerning India we found that peoples identified with as Israelite did invade OR OTHERWISE MOVE INTO into India on several occasions. They were not however a majority in most areas and may not necessarily have remained there.

Isaiah indicates that Israelites in the Last Days will be in "Cush" (Isaiah 11:11 18:1 43:3 cf.Zephaniah 3:10) and that people from "Cush" and Saba of Cush (Isaiah 45:14) will attach themselves to Israel. "Cush" in Biblical terms can mean both Africa and India as well as other areas. Apart from that I cannot tell you much except refer you to an answer ([given above]) I gave to someone from Japan and suggest you apply it to your own situation.

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