Igbo Hebrews of Africa – News Report

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Igbo Jews of Africa as detailed in Forward – The Jewish Daily

LAGOS, Nigeria – Efraim Uba was born and raised Catholic in southeastern Nigeria, the homeland of the Ibo ethnic group. He spent 17 years as a Pentecostal preacher before joining a messianic congregation where members wore yarmulkes and tallits but praised Jesus. In 1999, one congregant traveled to Israel and came back claiming that the Ibos were Jews. He convinced the whole congregation to embrace Judaism.

“We believe we are from Israel, and we only recently discovered that so many old Ibo traditions were in fact Jewish ones,” said Uba, 60, who was wearing a large silver Jewish star around his neck. In 1999, he founded the Association of Jewish Faith in Nigeria, an organization with some 20 congregations, most of them in his native region. He is one of an estimated 30,000 Nigerians – a fraction of the nation’s 135 million people – who claim to be Jewish. In recent years, they have abandoned the Christian faith of most southern Nigerians and are longing for official recognition by rabbis and by Israel. Just this summer, four members of the community were the first to formally convert to Judaism.

Following the examples of Ethiopia’s Falashas, the Lembas of South Africa and Uganda’s Abuyudaya, the Nigerian Jews are part of a growing number of sub-Saharan Africans who have embraced Judaism. Nigeria’s Jews, like the Falashas, claim to be descendants of some of Israel’s lost tribes who settled in what is now southeast Nigeria. By comparison, the Abuyudayas do not claim to have blood ties to the ancient Israelites and converted by following a local leader.

“There is a real phenomenon of construction of a Jewish identity in sub-Saharan Africa over the last few decades,” said Edith Bruder, a French researcher who recently published “The Black Jews of Africa: History, Religion, Identity” (Oxford University Press). “You have a belief among some local communities that they are descendants of Jewish communities who settled there since ancient times. This phenomenon has accelerated recently with the Falasha precedent and the globalization of information.”

The Nigerian Jewish claim was bolstered several years ago with the discovery in the area of an onyx stone reportedly bearing the name “Gad” in ancient Hebrew. In addition, the Ibo Benei-Yisrael, as they sometimes call themselves, have traditions bearing some resemblance to Judaism. Among them are the circumcisions of newborn males on the eighth day, the separation of women during the menstrual cycles, the mourning period resembling a shiva and the prohibition of eating the meat of an animal that was not blessed. There is also the blowing of a ram’s horn, akin to blowing of the shofar.

Reluctant to convert

But to be officially recognized as Jewish is a tedious process. Israel granted that recognition to the Falashas only after careful vetting. The Abuyudayas underwent a conservative conversion six years ago, a path the Ibos are reluctant to embrace. Their reasoning is simple: To convert would undercut their claim to be Jewish by ancestry. “We are Israelites. This is our identity, and our religion is Judaism, so being denied inclusion into the Jewish family makes us feel lost,” said Michael Ginika, a 53-year-old accounting teacher. ……………………………..
By Marc Perelman October 2, 2008.

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57 thoughts on “Igbo Hebrews of Africa – News Report”

  1. A jew does not have anything to do with Hebrew Israelites. Jew is an english word that was created in 1775 from Sheridan play call the Rival. The statement was “She has skin of a mummy and a beard of a jew. The word is not in the origianl sckoll. The word “jew appeared in the so-call bible in 1830. The english language was created until 450 AD. I am African American I am a Hebrew and I am from the seed of Jacob. I am not a so-call jew. A jew is not a nationality it is a religion just like christians are of the religion christianity. You need to read the 26 chapter of Leviticus and Deuteronomy chapter 28. He who does not speak the truth is a traitor to the truth. The so-call jews are copycats. Read Amos 9:7 as Jack Nicholas said in the movie ” A Few Good Men” can you handle the truth. Ye shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. Need I say anymore. If you need more feel free to email me I will give you scripture in the so-call bible to prove anythihg I say. The reason I say the so-call bible because there is no verse in the so-call bible that says the bible say. Any verse will say the scriptur says therefore the book is call “The Scripture”

  2. Brother Suleimani:
    I have completed and published my research that traced Abraham to Agukwu in Anambra State, Nigeria. I also confirmed through this same research that Igbo language is not only the true Hebrew language, but the language that God spoke while creating the universe; so, Igbo language is older than the universe. I said that the words “Sh al om” and Sa la m” do not mean peace. They are both Igbo language. Another example is that no Jew or Moslem can tell the world the meaning of “Moslem”, “Mohammad”, “Hindu/Shinto”, and “Buddha” because these words are pure Igbo language. Now those who have read my book , :”BEFORE THE COVENANTS: Tracing Abraham the Hebrew to the Temple at Ezi Kanabo” mayknow the meanings of Hindu/Shinto and Budha, but not the words “Moslem or Muhammad”. This is a book that will stand the test of time because the evidence is there for everyone to see, touch, and confirm. Besides, no scholar Hebrew or Gentile know enough to disprove this finding as Abraham could NEVER EVER be trace to another land besides Igbo land of Nigeria, the home of the kingless race. My Website address is http://www.beforethecovenants.com. Daluzi nu (Thanks to all of you).

  3. Brother Akannam, we wait to read a choisen extract of your book on RastaLivewire.This story of who are and from were originate jews need clarification.Last day i read about a snake’s cult called Tyamaba in Senegal that the practionners originate from Sinai in a place called Tor .

  4. Well, Brother Sadi,

    Jews are not a race or a people, but a religion of people from different races. The term “Jew” developed from the word “Judea” which identifies the occupants of the promised land after the 42,300 people of southern Kingdom retuened from Babylonian captivity. This group included the Canaanites, Edomites, other non-Israelite Hebrews, and the Europeans (Rpmans) who rule Judea at the time. In fact, King Herod, who ruled Judea at the time of Jesus was not an Israelite, but a Jewish descendant of Esau. You should never allow the term Jew to over shadow Israel and Hebrew because anyone can become a Jew, but not everybody can become an Israelite unless you are born of Israel. And to make matters complicated, the Bible teaches that not all that are descended from Israel are children of Israel. My friend, Israel (Isiaraelu – the first born of the land of heaven) is truly of the highest. For white the Hebrews from which Israel branched through Abraham are relatives of God, Israel is the son of God; hence the children of Israel represewnted as a people by this masculine individual name are special God’s possession. People should read the Bible more closely for it already has answers to most of the things you want to know. Blessed is the Holy One of Israel.

  5. I am from the Igbo tribe. We are Hebrews not jews. Jew is not a nationality. The word jew was created in England in Sheridan paly “The Rivals” The phrase goes like this “She has skin of a mummy and a beard of a jew. That is the first time the word was ever mention. There is no “j” in the Hebrew alphabet and the word jew is english. The soft “j” was created in 1066AD by the Normans in England and the hard “J” was created 300 hundred years later. The Hebrews are under a curse read Lev. 26 and Deut. 28. Also read Amos 9:7 the Hebrews are black not white. The word jew was put in the so-called bible in 1885 and the english language was created in 450AD. The so-called jews are where they are suppose to be in our land. They will be there until the prophesy is fulfilled. Do your homework like I did we will have to wait until Yahushua the Messiah comes back. Check the so-called King James bible of 1611 and you will not find the word “jew” or “jesus” in the bible. In Matthew Yah said fear not for whatever is covered shall be revealed and whatever hid shall be known. Read the book of Matthew and you will learn a lot. The so-called jews are Turks, Germans, Russia, Polands and Hungarys. They learned our customs from the Sephardim jews who are Edomites. Jacob brother Esau was a Edomities, The Edomites taught the peoples our customs and that is why they know what they know. You will not find in any verse that says the bible says it will say the scripture says. The word bible came in existed in 400AD. The Messiah is Hebrew not english and no one name can be translated into another language .The religion judiasm is actually Pharisees. Hitler said ” The great mass of people will be a big lie rather than small one. Lucky for rulers men do not think.” Dr. John Whitman Ray said ” Contempt, prior to complete investigation, enslaves men to ignorance.” Are you afraid of the truth? Go to your search engine and type in ” Israelite Heritage” and learn who you are. I am going to give you something to think about ” The earth does not move” if you are not afraid of the truth you will reply. I will tell you where to look in the bible. There was no king name King James. I am Hebrew not a so-called jew.

  6. I am from the Igbo tribe. I am a so-called African American, my DNA says I am from the Igbo tribe. The Igbo Tribe are not jews, they are Hebrew Israelites. There is no “j” in the Hebrew alpha-bet. The word jew is english and was created in Sheridan play in England in 1775 called “The Rival”, the phrase goes like this “she has skin of a mummy and a beard of a jew. That is the first time the word jew was ever mention. Shakespeare quoted from the bible many time and he never mention the jew. The word jew was nver mention in the bible until 1885. Check any bible before 1769 and you will never see the word jew in the bible. The King James Bible of 1769 was revised in 1885 and the word jew was added to make people think the word jew was present. A jew is a person who believe in so-called Judaism, anyone can become a jew. Sammy Davis Jr. was a jew, but he was not born a jew. The word semitic has nothing to do with people it just a word create to fool people. DNA comes from a man and not a woman. The so-called jews are living in Israel and thats where the bible say they are supposed to be. When the prophesy is fulfilled they will be kicked out by Yah our Creator. In Gensis Yah said the Yapheth would dwell in the teht of Shem and that where they are now in our land. The letter “j” was createdin 1066 by the Normans in England and three hundred years later the hard “J” was created. Read Amos 9:7 Are you not like the people of Kush to Me, O children of Israel? “declared Yah. Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt and the Philistines from Kaphtor, and Aram from Qir? There is a lot verses in the bible that tell us that we are Yah chosen people.

    1. Being that the word JEW is an ENGLISH word as well as the letter J…. your argument is pointless and without merit. OF COURSE THERE IS NO J in the Hebrew language.. there is also no ABCDEFGHIKLMNOPQRSTUVWXY or Z! lol. The Ibos are JEWS ..they don’t belong to some made up Christian off-shoot called “Hebrew Israelites” who are clueless about the traditions and culture of those whom they say are their ancestors, who reject the writings and rulings of the judges and think like their Greco-Roman Gentile oppressors and speak some ghetto made up negro-ized fraudulent version of “Hebrew” .

      As a matter of fact, no one would ever find the term “Hebrew Israelite” in English OR in Hebrew anywhere in the “Bible” in any language. A “Jew” is NOT just someone who believes in “so-called Judaism” .. according to the laws codified by the Shoftim, the children of Jews are Jews as well, even if they turn to idolatry, the don’t stop being Jews and their obligation to Torah doesn’t end. ARE YOU NOT AWARE that according to the TORAH anyone who was a “stranger” and not a member of Israel could convert and JOIN themselves unto the nation of Israel and would be TWICE as blessed as those born in the bloodline and were not to be treated any differently?

      Your DNA claim is also SILLY. You claim that “DNA comes from a man and not a woman”… yet the very same DNA company you claim you used TESTS FOR THE DNA in the MATRILINEAL line.. that would be the MOTHER! I won’t say stop speaking while you are ahead because you started far below the curve. Again ENGLISH letters are beyond IRRELEVANT! They have nothing to do with the Yehudim of the world.. not in ancient times and not in modern. If you’d get out that Xian bible and that Greek book of “Revelation” and turn to HEBREW culture and scripture as it is written, you might get somewhere. You have SOME Ibo ancestry, but surely that is not all of your ancestry.. after all, you won’t bother looking at your Matrilineal Dna because you don’t believe that females pass it on! smh.

    2. You guys are 100% correct!!! Here is the catch; the Igbo/Hebrew Israelites are the true descendent of Jacob and the proof is in the book (bible). The problem with us, we continue to ignore the first commandment. We know that those who claim to be us have falsified the scriptures. First, let me clear something up, OUR FATHER YAHUWAH is not a GOD(s) nor is his heavenly family. This claim came from outside of the Israelites camp. The father never did refer to himself as a god. This is what the first commandment deals with. Have no god(s) before me! This is the GREATEST sin!!! Denounce the gods! Cast them out! Then shall the end come! From this sin (idolatry) comes all the rest. This what the scripture means, when they say ” come out of her my people). Come out of them and be separate. They gods are nothing more than idols. I rest my case!

      I love you Israel, forever!

      1. By the way, Idolatry=SLAVERY! And the Israelites (We) are still in the lands of captivity! We are under the yoke of our enemies. This is our lot! We turned our backs on our creator/maker for the gods of this world. Serving the gods of the nations, so he gave us over to them to be their slaves, and no one, I mean no one will save us, except HIM! He is our redeemer and savior! Because we ‘re kinsmen! We must call on his Name that we might be saved! Then the nations can know him, through us; the true Israelites! That’s the message that our prophets of. We are their SONS!

  7. There is a big difference between a Jew and an Israelite. Jews are not Israelites. Most of the Jews are descendants of Japheth. Japheth descendants who live in the Jacob-Israelite landmass and thier descendants are the Jews. The Jews are labeled as Israelis, because they live in the landmass, but are not called Israelites.

    The Ashkanz Jews are the origianal people of Germany. The original name for Germany is Ashkanzland. Because of what they went through with Hitler, everybody assumed they were the real Isrealites. That wouldn’t of happened if the Roman Catholic Church hadn’t of concealed the true idenity of the real Israelites, which are a black people and not white. Catholics should have went on and told the truth then, but they didn’t.

    The Ashkanz Jews are the true Jews, but are not Israelites. The word Jew is a tribal name for the descendants of Japheth. The Jews practice a religion called Judaism, but have converted people from other forefather descendants (nationalities), and those people are considered Jewish because they practice Judaism, but are not of the true bloodline Jew. The word Israelite is a tribal name for the bloodline descendants of Jacob-Israel and these people are God’s choosen people, but not the Jews. The Israelites practice a religion called Hebrew and can convert other forefather descendants (nationalities) too, but they will never be Israelites, because the Israelite is a tribe.

    Hebrew Israelites are descendants of Jacob-Israel. Israel is thier nationality by birth right. The Hebrew Israelites (the majority of them), fled into Africa and were desperse all over Africa, before being put on those slave ships and dispersed all around the world.

    Nobody in the Ibo tribe should be trying to get approval from the Jews, because Ibos are not Jews. Ibos shoud be connecting with Israelites in Africa that the people who were put on those slaves ships came from, and with the descendants of slaves in Africa, America, Europe, Asia, etc., because they are your people. No matter where the Israelites live at by now, a majority of us know we are the real Israelites and not those Jews over there in Israel who are claimming to be us. Ibo tribe, the Jews are not your people and will only destroy you Israelites, because they are our enemies. Do not forget that before the Jews would air lift any Falasha to Israel, the Jews made the Falashas convert to Judaism. Research what the Jews are during to the Falasha tribe.

    The Falasha’s were a Holy people in Ethoiphia. Now them white folks got them during some of everything. They got them just like they got the Negroes in the USA. Most of the Falasha black men are in jail or prision in Israel, the Falasha women are having children outside of marriage and by five and seven different men. They are partying and during drugs, alcohol and marrying whites. Them white folks are ruining black folks, (Falasha) over there. The Falasha’s donated a lot of blood, and the Jews threw all thier blood away. Before they can get married or get any kind of help they have to convert to Judaism again.

  8. I am IGBO and knows where the stone is and have been there severally. It is In Agulueri (Agulueri simply means ERI’S FARM). Eri is in the Tuo Orah (Torah).

    +Siyabulela….Shalom simply means Shi Ala oma or Shi ala di nma( hope there is peace on the ground)? the same way Messiah was Chimezieya and many more. There is no single doubt about the IGBOS and their children in both slavery and captivity. Even as we speak, igbos are still being scattered to every single corner of this planet (Like mentioned in Deutronomy 28 curse). There is no single village nor town spared. Looking at the dates and time above comments written here, I would say that it was in a different time than now. The time we are now is actually awakening time. I AM AWAKE AS AN IGBO and knows who I am. He (The Most High Yah) is the only one enlightening us now of our heritage. He is the one waking us up. Do you people realise that I can literally translate every single name in Tuo na Orah (Torah) to IGBO names? We say Yahusha Hamashiarch and it simply means Ya Hushili Ma mashikwa Ihe nile (one that sees and knows everything)…..and when you say AHAYA (meaning HIS NAME) would be the time Our people kept asking Moses of His name (kedu AHAYA)…and then when you call Him Yahweh, it simply tells me that you are saying (nya nwa) (HE), That would only mean that BECAUSE HE HAD NOT REVEALED HIS NAME TO THE IGBOS THEN, would be the reason that whenever Moses would come back from the mountains where he would go to meet with HIM, that on his return, our people would ask Him again questions. He would explain to them and they would then ask him GINI BU AHAYA (meaning what is HIS name)…he would say I do not know. Then when he would tell them all the great things that HE(Mighty YAH) promised, they would simply ask him again in both in amzement and surprised…WHO SAID OR PROMISED ALL THAT, then Moses would say (Nya nwa). Yahweh was corrupted from Nyanwa. The same way Hebrew was corrupted from IGBO (first to Heeboe and then EBER to Hebrew). There was nothing like Hebrew,. The name Hebrew was derived or corrupted from IGBO. The right name was IGBO. it was corrupted to suit our oppressors agendas or perhaps time did that. Shalom or Shi Ala Oma!

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