A tribal community in India that calls itself Bnei Menashe (Hebrew for “children of Mannaseh”) is claiming to be the the remnant of the Hebrew tribe of Mannaseh, one of the “lost tribes” that was taken into captivity by the Assyrians some 3000 years ago. And the state of Israel is recognizing their legitimacy by according them the “right of return,” whereby all Jews are allowed to immigrate to Israel. Some of the Bnei Menashe have moved to Israel, which some Christian groups are hailing as the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. See ‘Lost Tribe’s’ Return to Israel Fulfilling Prophecy? – Inside Israel – CBN News – Christian News 24-7 – CBN.com.
The tribe does seem to have some traditional songs and legends with echoes of the Exodus. But according to the Wikipedia article, the Bnei Menashe are part of a larger tribal culture of animists and headhunters that converted to Christianity in the 19th century. In 1951, a Pentecostalist preacher in the tribe said that he had a vision from God that the people should turn back to their ancient religion of Judaism. (So do the Christians getting all excited about this believe that this was the work of the Holy Spirit? Telling people to give up their Christianity?) [Read more…]