Re-uniting B’nei Menashe Families

July 31, 2017
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(M.Freund/www.shavei.org)

We were transfixed as we listened to Michael Freund, head of Shavei Israel, an organization which is finding lost tribes of Israel and helping them to come home. “Bringing these people home is part of the Divine plan.” He explained that most of the Jewish people in Israel are from the tribe of Judah (and Benjamin). But the Scripture doesn’t just say that Judah would come home! Consider what Isaiah said:

“He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isa. 11:12).

The B’nei Menashe is one such lost tribe—the tribe of Manassah—one of the 10 tribes of Israel. After they were taken captive by the Assyrians in 722 BC, this group settled in northeast India. They never forgot who they were, but they were lost in the eyes of their Jewish (Judean) kinsmen.

Tvi’s parents, Baruch and Rachel (M.Freund/www.shavei.org)

Tvi is a leader in the B’nei Menashe community. He came to Israel with his wife and young child in one of the first groups 17 years ago. Today they have five children (four born in Israel). Tvi has dedicated his life to bringing the other members of his community to Israel. So far 3,000 have arrived, with 7,200 waiting in India to come to their real home—Israel. Tvi’s parents are among those longing to come. They have never met four of their grandchildren. Tvi told us, “I love my children, but I think the love of a grandparent is even greater. Yet, my parents don’t even know four of their grandchildren! They long to join us in Israel. My first son is in the army, and the second will be inducted this year. They are growing up without their grandparents.”

If you are a grandparent maybe you can feel the pain of this family as the separation becomes longer each year. Many of the B’nei Menashe families are separated in this manner. In many cases the younger generation has paved the way and now it is time for their families to join them.

(Laura Ben-David/www.shavei.org)

Tvi’s parents are packing their suitcases. The plan is that they will be in the next group to come! Tvi and his children are ecstatically waiting for this joyous reunion. These precious grandparents are waiting with 200 of their fellow tribe members. They are praying that the funds needed to give them a start in their new home will be raised. They are waiting for us to raise the funds to bring them home. Michael Freund has asked Bridges for Peace to partner with him again. We have helped hundreds of the B’nei Menashe who are already in Israel. When speaking with Michael, I told him that our hearts are with him, our prayers are with him, and we would ask our Christian partners to give generously to bring the next group home.

Your gift will re-unite families! Your gift will show the people of Judah and Israel that Christian love is real. We don’t just talk about love. We do it. When you give to bring the covenant people home, you are partnering with God. It will cost millions of dollars to bring the entire community to Israel, and help them become established. That sounds impossible, but each year we are bringing a few hundred, and with God’s help the whole community will eventually arrive. Please give generously today. Tvi’s parents are counting on you.

Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO