Do you know their Name?
it was great meeting Brother Daniel Lis Here in Oldenburg. The Book Study the Igbo Jews among Nigeria Was Nice book,that Every Igbo people have to read and also keep,because it is very very Important for the new generation of Igbos,Because Most of the Igbo Children will wake up any time,any day,and ask their parents many questions that they will not get the answers,or they may get it half and half,some may go to school in time of history,they will fail,because they have spend much time reading bible,and living a bible history,but they dont know Igbo history,Igbo culture,and igbo tradition,because no one teaches them,when I was young I always keep asking my Elders where did we come from?because Igbo Elders believe in reincanation,I am one of those that is reincanated,so as early as 7,8,9,and so on,I keep asking my Elders where did Igbo people come from,?and some said Israel,Jew,Nri,Aro,Awka ,Oka,Eri Oka,Isu,Ado,Ide,Edo,etc,When a child like me started getting such answer and things have fall apart from that land,even Biafran war,and where everything was destroid by war,when our lives have turned down,but even right there inside ,our minds keep telling us that where we are living is not our Place,but where We lost still exists in our mind,and our Ancestors keep telling us that We are not Nigeria,but We were Born in Nigeria,and been Colonized by the British,and been giving a name by Niger Area,It was Great Meeting with Brother Daniel Lis,and Family,all the way from Swtzerland right here in Oldenburg ,I call Him Brother because He is a Brother ,
Originally when the Igbos or Ibos settled in the present day Eastern Nigeria, they arrived with three leader two were spiritual leaders and the youngest of the three a hereditary King known as Obi a King by birthright. The first was the Eze Nri of Awka a Priest King, Of which I am their Son,also Their Younger Spiritual one, the second the Eze Aro of Arochukwu a King and the third the Obi of Nnewi a political and war ruler,Biafrans Reincated from The Three,and Cousins and Relatives who cames Across with them,Like,Some Yorubas,and Some Hausas,Because We migrated there in Different ways and Dirrection,But We are The Hebrews,or Jews,and I am also happy because the first thing I do in primary school was try to know how to read english,and Nigerian Government have been hiding our Identity for us,by killing our culture and tradition,teaching about another things but never teach us about our history,Many of us do not know our history because they did not learn in the school,no one teaches us,Most of our history still kept Oral,from Ancestors to Ancestor to Children,and that is the History that we are writing today,a lot of us Still living in other side of Africa undiscovered,I am happy when I saw many Igbo Jews writers writing everything they knows about our Jews Origin,Some like me who Is from Aguata,in Anambra State,Umu Nri,will be confirming some of them one by one,those that I knows because I can not write all the Igbo History,but if any igbos will tell us who the who is and where the mother come from we will knows who the Father is,Inu Igbo,Like One of My Brother Remi Ilona,have dome well,In Writing a lots of Books and His Interview in many places.
TORONTO — It’s remarkable that finding the lost tribes of Israel, who were forcibly dispersed from the Holy Land some 2,800 years ago, still stirs the imagination.
The Jews of Ethiopia, said to be the descendants of the tribe of Dan, are the best known. Most of them now live in Israel.
There’s evidence the Pashtuns of Afghanistan consider themselves descendants of ancient Israel’s first king, Saul, while other groups have surfaced around the world staking a claim to the ancient Israelite heritage.
Now, a barrister in Nigeria, Remy Ilona, asserts that the Igbo people of that western African nation are likewise Israelite descendants.
“As a boy, I heard, like every other Igbo heard, that the Igbo people came from Israel. In primary school, you’re bound to hear that Igbo people came from Israel,” he said in a video lecture delivered last weekend.
Ilona will speak through a recording at Congregation Darchei Noam to be held on Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. during Black History Month. The event, sponsored jointly with the Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue and the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, included an excerpt of the new film, Re-Emerging: the Jews of Nigeria by director Jeff Lieberman, which will première at the festival in April.
About 10 years ago, Ilona began serious researching the Israelite heritage of the Igbo people. His father, he explained, “always talked about Israel with special interest.”
The research confirmed “what the Igbo always believed, that the Igbo descended from ancient Israelites,” he said.
Ilona believes “97 per cent of Igbos agree that they are Jewish,” while the other three per cent don’t want to be associated with whites, who they see as colonial oppressors.
Ilona dismisses those concerns. Reclaiming one’s heritage has nothing to do with colonialism, he maintains.
Skeptics, however, suggest the Igbo affinity for things Jewish dates back only to western colonial times. One writer on the AfricaIsrael website states this is due to “outside influences and that they were very much a part of the colonial discourse of the British imperialists over their colonized subjects.”
However, a 2012 book review in the Nigerian Voice website offers the opposite conclusion, that the Igbo may have imbibed western culture, but the groups’ origins lie in the Holy Land.
Igbo elder George Ojingwa writes in Igbo Kwenu that the people’s history goes back 4,000 years to the Shechnigbo clan, domiciled in the northern tip of Negev desert, south of Jerusalem. The author associates the Shechnigbo with the tribes of Benjamin and Judah, and according to him, in 740 BCE, they fled for safety when the Assyrians besieged Samaria. Moving south to Ethiopia, they eventually joined others heading to southern Sudan and finally to the northern Nigeria, arriving around 600 BCE.
Ilona said the Igbo and the Jews share many customs. Like the Jews, the Igbo circumcise their male chidren on the eighth day; Jews marry under a chupah, Igbo under a similar canopy; both groups bury their dead quickly; the Igbo, like the Jews, mourn for seven days and around a month after the death, have a ceremony to mark the occasion. Both groups maintain a day of rest.
In his book, The Igbos: Jews in Africa, Ilona records Nigerian oral traditions about the Igbo’s origins. One suggests the Igbo are the descendants of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants; another places the Igbo as the descendants of the tribe of Menashe; others say they are part of the tribe of Levi; still another records their ancestors as Yemeni or Baghdadi princes
In an email correspondence, Ilona said census figures indicated “there are between 17 and 20 million Igbos in Nigeria, and perhaps another 15 million living outside Nigeria.”
About two per cent practice the traditional Igbo religion that is called Ome na ana.
“Up to 90 per cent would say that they are Christians; one per cent would be Muslims; 5,000-50,000 practice rabbinic Judaism, five per cent practice Sabbatharianism, and the rest practice New Age religions.
“Until recent times, every Igbo proudly declared that they have Israelite heritage. But by now we can say that those that identify themselves as descendants of the Israelites would constitute 99.5 per cent of the Igbo population. And these 99.5 belong to all the religions that exist among the Igbos.”
Ilona said the Igbo are generally well off: “Many Igbos are wealthy, but they became wealthy because they worked hard. Working hard is not the traditional way to getting rich in Nigeria. Corruption, cronyism, patronage are the traditional and acceptable ways, and through these route Igbos get less income and wealth than other Nigerians, because Igbos have effectively been kept away from political power in Nigeria”
The Igbo have been caught up in the factional fighting that is racking Nigeria. “I say caught in the middle, because even though the Igbos are seen as predominantly Christians, which they are, they have also been killed by Nigerian Christians from other ethnicities. And also the Igbos are in the firing line. They own up to 90 per cent of the retail shops in Nigeria, and these retail shops are the targets of looters whenever the ethnic-cum-religious riots begin.”
As for the Igbos connections to the wider Jewish world, Ilona states in his video presentation that the group, Kulanu has provided support for the Igbo, along with a number of individuals and rabbis, who have sent numerous religious texts. Kulanu is a New York-based organization that states it “works around the world to support isolated and emerging Jewish communities who wish to learn more about Judaism and (re-) connect with the wider Jewish community.”
As for himself, Ilona leads a Jewish lifestyle, worshipping in a synagogue, living according to a Jewish calendar, celebrating Shabbat and festivals.
“We follow every Jewish ritual as it is followed,” he stated.
in 4th grade, my girlfriend Laurie told me I don’t have a Jewish nose. She hinted that I must have had a nose job. I hinted that she must be nuts to think a 10 year-old would have cosmetic surgery for such a thing. That was the closest I ever came to anyone questioning my Judaism.
I was born a Jew, but it didn’t become relevant until decades later.
When I attended Bible Study and church with a group of born-again Southern Baptist friends in high school, my story could have ended another way. When I fell in love with a man who knew so little about the Jewish people that he thought Jews were a separate race, my story could have ended differently.
Chasdei Hashem, thanks to the many blessings Gd has bestowed upon me, I live today as a religious Jew in Israel. True, I had a ladder to climb to get to this point and there were trials along the way. But, except for Laurie, I never had anyone question my Judaism. I never had to prove my right to reclaim the heritage of my ancestors.
It’s 2002. I am living in the US and working for an Israeli institution. I don’t yet know how dreams of aliyah will come to inhabit my every waking moment.
I get an email from a stranger. I cannot tell from the name if this stranger is a man or a woman. The stranger, who turned out to be a man, told me about his people – the Igbo of Nigeria. As a result of British colonialism in the 19th century, the majority of Igbo are Christians. Of the 20 million or so Igbos still in Nigeria, most believe they are descended from the ancient Israelites. His group includes 5,000-7,000 people who left Christianity and are actively living a halachic Jewish lifestyle. The State of Israel has not yet officially recognized the Igbo Jews as one of the Ten Lost Tribes, but they continue to practice Judaism as best they can.
My original correspondent, Remy Ilona, an attorney and community activist in Nigeria and himself a member of the Igbo Jewish community, has been researching the numerous connections between Igbo practice and Judaism. He recently sent me two publications that reflect his momentous life’s work – connecting the Igbo Jews with the rest of the Jewish people.
In private correspondence, Remy told me about naming his daughter Aliya. He spoke of the nearly universal desire of the Igbo Jews to be recognized as Jews in Israel and how “many Igbo Jews would love to perform aliya as a religious duty.”
It’s 2006. I am visiting Israel for the 8th, 10th, 12th time. I lost count. Again through email, I connect with a woman named Yaffah tells me she was a lapsed Catholic from Texas, actually descended from those Jews who were forced to convert to Christianity in 15th century Spain and Portugal. As a result of being able to document her matrilineal line, Yaffah underwent a return ceremony, not a conversion, and rejoined the Jewish people. Her case is rare.
Yaffah taught me the word anusim (much preferred over marrano) and told me there are millions of Bnei Anusim (descendants of the original forced converts) in the world today. Should they all return to the Jewish people, we would grow far beyond our current size.
Earlier this summer, we had a house guest who came to us as a stranger and is now a valued friend. He is a member of the Bnei Anusim, living in a place where there is simply no option for a halachic conversion. In order to rejoin the Jewish people in Israel, he and his wife are facing a multi-step process – undergo a non-halachic conversion, make aliyah, live among religious Jews for at least a year and then begin their formal studies for a second conversion according to Jewish law.
It can’t be coincidental that so many people all over the world are longing to be a Jew like me. I have no idea why Hashem keeps directing them my way, but I firmly believe that it is connected to the proximity of the redemption of the Jewish people.
I scan the ranks of my unquestionably halachically Jewish family and friends and I recognize many individuals, all of whom I love, living as if Judaism is among the least relevant aspect of their identities. And then I think of the brave and searching souls I have known over the years whose pining to be recognized as part of Am Yisrael is so desperate, they are willing to turn their very lives upside down.
If you’ll forgive a feeble sports analogy, I imagine that, in this time before the geula, Hashem is busy choosing who will be on His team for the Final Games.
And who won’t.
It appears that Nri had an artistic as well as religious influence on the lower Niger. Sculptures found there are bronze like those at Igbo-Ukwu. The great sculptures of the Benin Empire, by contrast, were almost always brass with, over time, increasingly greater percentages of zinc added.
The bronzes of Igbo-Ukwu pay special attention to detail depicting birds, snails, chameleons, and other natural aspects of the world such as a hatching bird. Other pieces include gourds and vessels which were often given handles. The pieces are so fine that small insects were included on the surfaces of some while others have what looks like bronze wires decorated around them. None of these extra details were made separately; the bronzes were all one piece. Igbo-Ukwu gave the evidence of an early bronze casting tradition in Nri.
Religious beliefs were central to the Kingdom of Nri. Nri oral tradition states that a bounty of yams and cocoyams could be given to the eze Nri, while blessings were given in return. that is the levites,It was believed that Nri’s influence and bountiful amount of food was a reward for the ruler’s blessings. Above all, Nri was a holy land for those Igbo who followed its edicts. It served as a place where sins and taboos could be absolved just by entering it. Even Igbo living far from the center of power would send abnormal children to Nri for ritual cleansing rather than having them killed, as was sometimes the case for dwarfs or children who cut their top teeth before their lower teeth.
Nri people believed that the sun was the dwelling place of Anyanwu (Light) and Agbala (Fertility). Agbala was the collective spirit of all holy beings (human and nonhuman). Agbala was the perfect agent of Chukwu or Chineke (the Creator God) and chose its human and nonhuman agents only by their merit; it knew no politics. It transcended religion, culture and gender, and worked with the humble and the truthful. They believed Anyanwu, The Light, to be the symbol of human perfection that all must seek and Agbala was entrusted to lead man there
HOW TO GET THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH
Right from here in the United States, we are shocked by the pictures showing the level of depravity on the part of the Nigerian security forces in their response to the attempt by some Igbo youths to mark the anniversary of Declaration of Biafra by Colonel Ojukwu on May 30, 1967.
The pictures are shocking, yet very eloquent in depicting the Nigerian government as one without parallel in cynical brutality in modern times. How can human life be so debased to this lowest level like in the pit of hell? How can a government order its army against its own people in such a blood-culling manner and perversity?
Yes, the State has a duty to maintain law and order. But above all, the State has a duty to honor and respect human life and dignity. There is no doubt, judging from these pictures and stories, that the Nigerian State has lost it. It is fast turning into a bloody land of the wicked leaders. Thing should go on like this.
Nothing short of a full and detailed investigation should be conducted to establish what actually happened. This government has to reaffirm its commitment to the constitution and rule of law and the liberty and freedoms of man.
This is extremely alarming and the world must take note. Nigeria is sinking to unprecedented levels in banality and state-sponsored terrorism.
Yes, you don’t like them to talk of Biafra, but this not how to go about stopping them. If the death of over two million between 1967 and 1970 did not stop it, when will a reasonable realize that it cannot be stopped with bullets. The government needs to dialogue, educate and persuade and make necessary changes in the constitution to create a sustainable unity. This government must show it has intellect and imagination. Killing these unarmed people is actually a sign of weakness, not strength, on the part of the State.
Diochi Man from Isuochi.Diochi is a palm wine tapper.and Isuofia Woman.as we knows that Ohia.or Ofia.Is bush.isuofia woman isuochi Man.