The Pashtun-Israelite Connection: A Historical Tapestry Woven with Five Threads
*Note this article is updated when new info is attained. Last Update: September 14, 2023
The Pashtun people, a large ethnic group residing primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan, have long been the subject of a fascinating theory: that they are the descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel. This theory is supported by a compelling array of evidence that forms a tapestry woven with five threads: Jewish customs, cultural practices, genetic evidence, historical records, and oral traditions.
Thread One: Jewish Customs
The Pashtuns adhere to a set of customs that are strikingly similar to Jewish traditions, yet distinct from Islamic practices. These include the women lighting candles Friday evening, circumcision on the eighth day after birth, and the wearing of a side curl by men, among others. Dr. Eyal Be’eri, an expert on the subject, asserts that these unique customs form one of the four original pillars of evidence supporting the Pashtun-Israelite connection.
Thread Two: Cultural Practices
Certain cultural practices among the Pashtuns echo ancient Israelite customs. For example, Pashtuns practice Levirate marriage, a tradition where a man marries his brother’s widow, a custom also found in the Tanakh. Additionally, Pashtuns follow the dietary law of not mixing dairy and meat, a practice observed by Jews.
Thread Three: Genetic Evidence
Recent genetic studies have revealed that the Pashtuns have a high frequency of the J1 haplogroup, which is associated with the Middle East and is common among Jews. This genetic link lends further credence to the theory of a Pashtun-Israelite connection.
Thread Four: Historical Records
Historical records and accounts also suggest a link between the Pashtuns and the Israelites. The writings of the 10th-century Jewish traveler, Eldad the Danite, mention a Jewish tribe living in the region where the Pashtuns reside today. Similarly, the 19th-century British orientalist, Sir Henry Yule, noted the tradition among Pashtuns of being descendants of the lost tribes of Israel.
Thread Five: Oral Traditions and Tribal Names
Many Pashtuns have oral traditions that trace their lineage back to the Israelites. These traditions passed down through generations, form a crucial part of their identity. Moreover, some Pashtun tribal names bear a striking resemblance to the names of the Israelite tribes. For example, the Rabbani tribe of the Pashtuns is similar to the Reuben tribe of the Israelites, and the Levani tribe of the Pashtuns is similar to the Levi tribe of the Israelites.
Given the compelling evidence across Jewish customs, cultural practices, genetic markers, historical records, and oral traditions, the theory of a Pashtun-Israelite connection presents a captivating narrative of shared origins and cultural ties. These connections, if further substantiated, could have profound implications for our understanding of historical migrations and cultural exchanges. However, it’s crucial to remember that this theory, while fascinating, is still a subject of ongoing research and discussion among scholars. As such, it invites us to continue exploring, questioning, and seeking a deeper understanding of our shared human history.
History of the Pashtun
1. **Biblical Times (Before 722 BCE):** According to the Bible, the Kingdom of Israel was divided into two after the death of King Solomon (around 930 BCE): the Kingdom of Israel in the north, and the Kingdom of Judah in the south. The Kingdom of Israel was composed of ten tribes.
2. **Assyrian Conquest (722 BCE):** The Assyrian Empire conquered the Kingdom of Israel, leading to the exile or displacement of the ten northern tribes. These tribes came to be known as the “Lost Tribes of Israel.”
3. **The Displacement (722-500 BCE):** Members of these lost tribes migrated eastwards, crossing Persia (modern-day Iran) to reach the regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the Pashtun populations primarily reside today.
4. **Establishment of Pashtun Tribes (500 BCE-700 CE):** Over centuries, these displaced Israelites became the Pashtuns, maintaining a tribal society that echoes the clan structures of ancient Israelite tribes.
5. **Islamic Conquest (7th Century CE):** The Pashtuns, like many other groups in the region, converted to Islam during the Islamic conquests. Despite this, they maintained some of their Judaic traditions, reflected in customs, tribal laws, and possibly in some elements of the Pashto language.
6. **Medieval Times to Modern Era (8th-20th Century):** The Pashtun tribes expanded throughout Eastern Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, often in conflict with invading empires, including the Mongols, Persians, British, and others.
7. **20th Century to Today:** In the 20th century, many Pashtuns were involved in various conflicts in the region, including the Afghan Civil War, the Soviet-Afghan War, and ongoing conflict with the Taliban and other groups. Pashtun nationalism has been a significant factor in the politics of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The potential Israelite ancestry of Pashtuns has been used in political discussions, sometimes suggesting a connection between Pashtun groups and Jewish diaspora.
Collection of Videos
Collection of Article Summaries & Links
– Rabbi Yehuda Leon Ashkenazi, known as “Manitou,” focused on the Hebrew identity of the various branches and tribes, including the identity of Yehuda, Yosef, Binyamin, Esau, and Ishmael.
– He used a Kabbalistic and anthropological perspective in his studies and emphasized the significance of the return to Zion and the establishment of the Jewish state.
– According to Manitou, the descendants of the Ten Tribes, primarily located in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and northern India, are considered to be part of the identity of the Ten Tribes.
– The identity of the Ten Tribes is also relevant among secular Zionists who engage with the cultural aspects of the tribes.
– Manitou highlighted the phenomenon of non-Jews who have an affinity for the Jewish people and identified them as descendants of the Ten Tribes.
– He discussed the return of the Ten Tribes in relation to the messianic era, the establishment of a Jewish state, the building of the Temple, and the gathering of the scattered people of Israel.
– According to Manitou, the return of the Ten Tribes will occur in stages, with the first stage involving the Messianic era and the establishment of the state, followed by the construction of the Temple, and finally the gathering of the scattered people.
– The return of the Ten Tribes is seen as a distinct group within the Jewish people, both through the process of conversion and the return of the scattered descendants.
– Manitou’s teachings align with the secular Zionist identity from an anthropological perspective.
Please note that this summary is based on the provided text and may not encompass the entirety of Manitou’s teachings on the subject.
– The Pathans of India, who migrated from Afghanistan, have a rich genealogical history that has been preserved in the hands of the Bara-Hazari family.
– The family has maintained books of genealogy for nearly the last 500 years, documenting marriages, births, and deaths among the Pathans and the Saiyads, both Muslim communities.
– The texts are written in the Dhundhari dialect, one of the eight dialects of the Rajasthani language, with a mixture of words from Pashto, Urdu, and Aramaic.
– The physical state of these books is quite dire, and they are vulnerable to the whims of the weather and the bites of insects and mice.
– Carbon-14 testing indicated that the books are from the 17th century A.D.
– The genealogy in the books begins with the 24 generations from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, and from Abraham to Ismael, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s 12 sons.
– The 35th generation from Abraham is that of Malik-Taluth (King Saul). The Pathan books of genealogy trace Malik-Taluth to both the tribe of Benjamin and to the tribe of Judah.
– The discovery of these genealogical books allows a big step forward in the research of the Pathans, providing a historical record that goes beyond myth and anecdotal evidence.
– The Pathans’ identity as Children of Israel is only one part of their multifaceted identity. They are Muslims, but they limit themselves with regard to some Islamic customs. They also identify themselves as Indian citizens in a democratic country in the 21st century.
– Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in a rare 2005 interview, expressed that Afghanistan would be open to establishing diplomatic relations with Israel if a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is achieved.
– According to a former diplomat, the only significant achievement of Palestinian nationalism is the construction of a dividing wall between Israel and Muslim countries, which has prevented direct military conflict between Israel and these nations.
– Recognizing the significant influence of religious leaders in Muslim countries, it is important for Israel’s rabbis to take an active interest in international relations, particularly regarding countries in the Islamic world.
– Israeli leaders should adopt a strong stance against Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, especially if Israel is pursuing discreet relations with Muslim nations. It is crucial to address Saudi Arabia’s support for terrorism and Pakistan’s involvement in aiding extremist groups.
– Israel should not ignore lesser-known conflicts or tribes, but instead utilize any possible leverage to exert pressure on Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, highlighting their detrimental actions and behaviors.
– It is essential for talented rabbis to expand their knowledge beyond Jewish law and engage in the study of international relations and interfaith dialogue, broadening their understanding of global dynamics.
– Israelis should seek to educate themselves about the Pashtuns, their historical connection to Israel, the challenges they face, including wars and poverty, and the overall situation in Afghanistan.
– Increased awareness and understanding of the Pashtun people and their struggles within Israeli society can lead to more practical actions and initiatives in fostering positive relations.
– People interested in building connections can join Facebook groups where Israelis and Pashtuns engage in thoughtful conversations, discussing shared interests and envisioning a better future together.
– A conference was held in Jerusalem to discuss the status of Pashtun, a tribal nation of tens of millions of Afghani and Pakistani Muslims who believe they are descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.
– The Association of the Bani Israel of Afghanistan, which coordinated the conference, is working to connect Israel and the Pashtun.
– The Pashtun, an Iranic ethnic group of 50 million Muslims, refer to themselves as the “Bani Israel,” very similar phonetically to the Hebrew term for the “children of Israel,” Bnei Yisrael.
– Many Pashtun have family traditions identifying with specific tribes. Those from the tribe of Yusufzai, for example, believe they are descended from Joseph, Lewani from Levi, Rebbani from Reuven, Afridi from Ephraim, Gaghai from Gad, and Benyamin from Benjamin.
– Pashtun men wear four-cornered fringed garments that are similar to Jewish prayer shawls.
– Many of the Pashtun light Sabbath candles in their homes on Friday evening, and many wed under a cloth canopy as is customary for Jews.
– The Pashtun also circumcise male infants on the eighth day after birth as Jews do.
– Some Pashtun have a tradition of covering the blood from the slaughter with sand, as the Jews do. They also refrain from eating the meat or milk from camels, popular among Muslims of that region, and from eating crustaceans. Many Pashtun do not eat milk and meat together.
– The Pashtun do not intermarry with other Muslims and marrying outside of their tribe is strongly discouraged.
– Rabbi Harry Rozenberg, an advocate for connecting with the Pashtun, believes that this connection will create a bridge across the entire region and a barrier against Iran.
– Dr. Shalva Weil, an anthropologist and senior researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has been researching the Pashtun for many years. She believes the connection between the Pashtun and Israel will not be a simple one.
– Nadav Sofy suggested that current events indicate that the timing for the conference is indeed auspicious, citing a verse in Isaiah.
– The Pashtuns, a large ethnic group in Afghanistan and Pakistan, believe they are descendants of the lost tribes of Israel. This belief is based on oral traditions, customs, and physical characteristics that align with those of the Jewish people.
– The Pashtuns suffer from the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, with 80% of the battles taking place in Pashtun areas. Most Pashtuns live in poverty, earning less than a dollar a day.
– The Pakistani government is accused of supporting the Taliban and other terrorist organizations, such as ISIS, Mujahideen, and Al-Qaeda. The Taliban is seen as a “commando” of the Pakistani army operating against Afghans.
– The Pashtuns believe that Pakistan is their number one enemy and has been interfering in Afghanistan’s affairs since the last king was overthrown.
– Despite the belief in their Israelite ancestry, the Pashtuns are divided on how to approach this issue. Some believe they should focus on the present and accept Islam, while others want to explore their Hebrew heritage.
– The Pashtuns hope that all tribes of Israel will unite and return to Israel. However, due to the restrictions of the Muslim regime, they cannot establish contact with Jews worldwide.
– The Pashtuns are working to deepen their relationship with the Jewish people, focusing on national issues. Religious matters and immigration are not currently the main focus.
– The Taliban, like Hamas, is a populist movement that was established with the encouragement of countries that fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan during the Cold War. These countries also funded and armed the Mujahideen fighters.
– After the fall of the Soviet Union, the US and UK stopped supporting the organization, but Pakistan continued to support the Islamic fighters who began to take over parts of Afghanistan until the regime fell in the mid-90s.
– Taliban schools, mainly on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, continued to recruit young people to the organization, mainly Pashtuns. “Most Pashtuns do not belong to the Taliban, but 90% of the Taliban are Pashtuns,” says Dr. Weil.
– Despite the fascination and mystery surrounding the discovery of the lost tribes, it is clear to Nadav Sofy, who works to promote awareness and connection between the ancient tribes living in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, and modern Judaism, that even if the Pashtuns are recognized as descendants of the children of Israel whose connection with them was severed over 2,500 years ago, it is not realistic to bring tens of millions of people who have lived for thousands of years in a mountainous and isolated area to Israel. “Currently, we are asking to deepen the connection with the Pashtuns, and later we will learn how this connection can benefit all parties. We are working to deepen the connection with the Pashtuns and focus only on the national issue. Religion and immigration are currently not the main activity.”
- Amram Yosef-Zai, a Pashtun resident of the Swat district in Pakistan, identifies as a descendant of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.
- The Pashtun people, also known as Pathans or Paktuns, claim to be descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.
- The ancestors of the Pashtuns were taken from Israel and Syria and moved around the region of Afghanistan, where they named places after Jewish themes, such as the Desert of the Jews, Solomon’s Mountain, and Zebul’s Land.
- British colonialism divided the Pashtun people and spread lies about their origins, claiming that they were Aryans, Persians, or a mix of Greeks, Turks, and Persians.
- The Pashtuns have always identified themselves as Israelites, despite these claims.
- The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 led to the rise of the Taliban, which Yosef-Zai compares to Hamas.
- Yosef-Zai criticizes Pakistan for supporting the Taliban, which he says has led to many of their current problems.
- Despite the challenges they face, the majority of Pashtuns do not wish to leave Islam or migrate from their homeland in Afghanistan.
- The Pashtuns wish to stand together with Jews on Mount Zion and show the world that the people of Israel live on.
- Yosef-Zai invites readers to join their Facebook group, which he says is currently the only place where they are in contact with Jews.
- Nadav Sofy, the founder of The Association for the Bani Israel from Afghanistan, believes that the Pashtun or Pathan tribes, who make up the majority of the Taliban, are of Israelite origin. (Source: Israel Rising)
- The older generation of Pashtun did not hide their Israelite descent, but some of the younger generation have suppressed this knowledge due to the current political climate. (Source: Israel Rising)
- The Pashtun tribes, numbering over 15 million, are divided into distinct local tribes reminiscent of the names of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel. (Source: Israel Rising)
- The first president of Israel, Itzchak Ben-Zvi, in his book, The Exiled and the Redeemed, devoted a chapter to the purported Israelite origins of the Pashtuns. (Source: Israel Rising)
- According to Pashtun tradition, King Saul bore a son named Jeremy, whose descendant Afghana’s descendants fled to Jat in Afghanistan. Many of today’s Taliban terrorists claim descent from Ibn Rashid, a descendant of Afghana who was entrusted by Mohammed with the task of spreading the Islamic word. (Source: Israel Rising)
- Many Afghan and western scholars have provided “proofs” of the Israelite origins of the Pashtun, including their ancient code of hospitality, known as Pukhtunwali, and their practice of revenge (badal), which is one of the driving forces of Pashtun society. (Source: Israel Rising)
- Despite their devout belief in Islam, the Pashtuns are considered Israelites due to their bloodline. An Israelite who changes religion does not stop being an Israelite. (Source: Israel Rising)
- Israel can help the Pashtuns by allowing Afghans to visit, approaching Pashtun organizations in Europe and the US, and letting Afghans come as foreign exchange students. (Source: Israel Rising)
- The Association for the Bani Israel from Afghanistan aims to make all Jews aware that the other tribes have been found and to make all the Pashtun realize how much they care. They plan to do a Pashto-Hebrew duet, write a book with the sources of the Pashtuns’ Jewish customs, and do a series of Pashto and English lectures. (Source: Israel Rising)
- The association is called the Association for the Bani Israel from Afghanistan because all the Pashtuns are considered Afghans and are from Afghanistan, despite the creation of Pakistan 70 years ago. (Source: Israel Rising)
The article titled “The Pashtuns are the Tribes of Israel” on the website Israel Rising presents the argument that the Pashtuns, who live in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, are descendants of the ten tribes of Israel. This belief is based on a tradition that is widespread among some Pashtun tribes. The article attempts to prove this claim through various arguments and evidence.
- **Tradition**: Some Pashtun tribes have a tradition of being the people of Israel (Bene Israel), meaning they descended from Jacob (Yaakov). This tradition is prevalent among many Pashtun tribes, including Lewani, Benyamin, Afridi, and Shinwari.
- **Origin of the Tradition**: The article explores three possibilities for the origin of this tradition if it were false: someone forced the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel, someone convinced the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel, or some Pashtuns created this tradition in a major conspiracy. The author argues that each of these scenarios is highly unlikely, leading to the conclusion that the tradition is true.
- **Common Traditions**: The article lists several common traditions between Pashtuns and Jews, including lighting candles before Saturday (Shabbat), not eating certain non-kosher animals, circumcision on the 8th day, and using similar names. The author argues that these commonalities further confirm the tradition of Pashtuns being Bene Israel.
- **DNA Testing**: The author mentions a study that found almost half of Indian Afridi Pathans are genetically close to Jews. However, the author also notes that DNA testing is not conclusive and can be debated.
- **Language**: The author suggests that Pashto, the language of the Pashtuns, could be the equivalent of Yiddish for Jews, a language used for daily communication.
- **Implications**: The author argues that being Israelis should be a source of pride for Pashtuns, as it means they are the children of Prophet Yaakov and were the first to believe in the one and only God.
The article concludes by asserting that the tradition of Pashtuns being Bene Israel is true and that they are descendants of the ten tribes of Israel who were taken to Afghanistan thousands of years ago.
- Pashtun traditional law, known as Pashtunwali, is a significant part of the dynamics of Taliban governance and social authority in Afghanistan. It is not openly embraced by the Taliban but has a base among the Pashtun, who dominate the group.
- The Pashtun people are the dominant ethnic group in southern and eastern Afghanistan and the Tribal Territory of western Pakistan. They claim to comprise a majority of the population of Afghanistan.
- Pashtunwali is grounded in principles such as hospitality and asylum to all guests, justice through the law of Moses, the defense of women/family, treasure, and land, and personal independence.
- The correct performance of social duties is essential to maintaining a sense of personal honor for both men and women. Honor is often used to define or translate the essence of Pashtunwali.
- The public role of Pashtun women is highly circumscribed despite their very active internal role as decision makers within their families. They must adhere to all the friendships and feuds of their marital family, and any offense against a family member must generate an immediate retaliation in defense of honor.
- Pashtun marriages are arranged by mothers and mothers-in-law with an eye towards enhancing clan alliances and increasing family economic and social power. Most marriages are within the tribe.
- Tribal identity and traditional beliefs founded in Pashtunwali hold far greater sway over most Pashtun than national, class-based, or even gender identity. Tribal traditions and customs remain very strong among most Pashtun, and determine not only marriage alliances, but political allegiances.
- The jirga system is a forum for making decisions, reducing conflict, and maintaining group identity. It is a convocation of adult males called to deal with various issues affecting the whole clan.
- Under the Taliban, forms of tribal government like the jirga system were undermined. The Taliban introduced a different system of forming jirgas, using the Arabic term shura (council) for the new assembly and appointing the village Mullah as its head.
- Israel is funding a genetic study to determine whether there is a link between the lost tribes of Israel and the Pashtuns of Afghanistan and northern Pakistan.
- Historical and anecdotal evidence suggests a connection between the lost tribes of Israel and the Pashtuns, but definitive scientific proof has never been found.
- Some leading Israeli anthropologists believe that the Pashtuns, or Pathans, have the most compelling case among all the groups in the world who claim a connection to the 10 lost tribes.
- The ultra-conservative Islamic Taliban movement in Afghanistan emerged from the Pashtuns.
- Pashtuns themselves sometimes talk of their Israelite connection, but show few signs of sympathy with, or any wish to migrate to, the modern Israeli state.
- An Indian researcher, Shahnaz Ali, has collected blood samples from members of the Afridi tribe of Pashtuns who today live in Malihabad, near Lucknow, in northern India.
- Shahnaz Ali is to spend several months studying her findings at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa.
- A previous genetic study in the same area did not provide proof one way or the other.
- The Assyrians conquered the kingdom of Israel some 2,730 years ago, scattering 10 of the 12 tribes into exile.
- The two remaining tribes, Benjamin and Judah, became the modern-day Jewish people, according to Jewish history.
- The search for the lost tribes has continued ever since, with claims of finding traces of them in modern day China, Burma, Nigeria, Central Asia, Ethiopia, and even in the West.
- It is believed that the tribes were dispersed in an area around modern-day northern Iraq and Afghanistan, which makes the Pashtun connection the strongest.
- The Pashtuns have a proud oral history that talks of descending from the Israelites.
- Their tribal groupings have similar names, including Yusufzai, which means sons of Joseph; and Afridi, thought by some to come from Ephraim.
- Some customs and practices of the Pashtuns are said to be similar to Jewish traditions.
- DNA might be able to determine which area of the world the Pashtuns originated from, but it is not at all certain that it could identify a specific genetic link to the Jewish people.
- Navras Aafreedi, an academic at Lucknow University, himself a Pashtun from the Afridi tribe, believes that the Pashtuns’ roots stretch back further to the tribe of Ephraim.
- Other groups that claim Israelite descent, including those known as the Bnei Menashe in India and some in Ethiopia, have migrated to Israel. That is unlikely with the Pashtuns.
From Kulanu 2019 Fall
– The article is written by Dr. Eyal Be’eri, who has spent the past 15 years researching Jewish communities in India, particularly the Pathan communities. He has been formulating evidence of their Jewish origin.
– The Pathans, also known as Pashtuns, are one of four major Muslim communities in India who arrived in the 11th and 12th centuries from what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan. There is much research linking these people to the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.
– The Pathans call themselves Bnei Yisrael, hold ancient genealogy books that indicate their origins from the Yehuda and Binyamin tribes, and follow a series of customs that conform to Jewish, rabbinic, and Karaite customs.
– Dr. Be’eri has been working to build a bridge between the Pathans and the Israelis and is an active partner in the founding of the Israeli-Pathan Research Institute.
– The document also discusses the Bene Ephraim communities in Andhra Pradesh, India. These communities identify as the descendants of the tribe of Ephraim and have been considered for centuries to belong to the untouchable Madiga and Mala castes, the lowliest segment of Indian society.
– The Bene Ephraim communities have a dream to formally convert and visit Israel.
– The document also mentions five Noahide communities in the surrounding area of Andhra Pradesh: Eluru, Rajamundry, Tuni, Payakarao-Peta, and Nakkapalli. Some of these communities have remained loyal to their unique path, carving out a lifestyle within the framework of the seven Noahide commandments, while others have asked to take a step further and join the world of Orthodox Judaism.
– The Beth El community in Visakhapatnam is a Noahide community that has been visited by Dr. Be’eri. This community is eager to learn and has a school where Torah portions are taught.
– The document concludes with the sentiment that the spirit of God helps men, women, and children who feel that they have been robbed of their identity to find it once more. Deep within them, they hear an inner voice calling out and telling them to join something old that is also new.
– The interviewer first heard about the Israeli origin theory of the Pashtun tribes through his friend, Rabbi David Avichail, the son of Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail, who extensively researched the Ten Lost Tribes in 1977.
– The spiritual importance for Jews in exploring the Ten Lost Tribes lies in completing the Israeli identity, as emphasized by Rabbi Kook in his article in the book “Ma’amarai Re’iyah.”
– The strength of the Ten Lost Tribes compared to Jews lies in their distinct social structures and characteristics, as explained in Rabbi Kook’s article “The Lamentation in Jerusalem.”
– The reason Jews returned to the Land of Israel while the Ten Lost Tribes did not is attributed to a greater fault within the Samaritan community.
– To establish a full connection between Jews and the Ten Lost Tribes, there needs to be a genuine ideological bridge-building effort, especially considering the rise of extremist Islam since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Genuine intentions and a spiritual desire to connect with the Jewish people are necessary.
– The simple person living in Islamic countries can contribute to peace by promoting values such as respect for life and fulfilling the Seven Noahide Laws.
– For a Pashtun individual seeking to deepen their Israeli roots, it is advised to read the Bible, including the books of Beni, Kuzari, and the practical aspects of Jewish Halakha, as taught by Rabbi Lau.
– If one had the power, progress in establishing connections with the Ten Lost Tribes would involve distinguishing between genuine interest in the subject and attempts to gain military and political support for tribal struggles. If genuine interest is identified, action should be taken to establish a permanent committee dedicated to the topic and the creation of a dedicated branch under the Prime Minister’s Office.
– There is an ongoing genocide of the Pashtun ethnic minority in Pakistan, perpetrated by the Pakistani regime and military.
– The murder of Naqib Ullah Masud, a 27-year-old man from Waziristan, in January 2018 sparked outrage among Pashtuns. He was killed in Karachi by the police, accused of alleged ties with a terrorist organization Tehreeq-i-Taliban.
– The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), a movement for Pashtun human rights, has organized peaceful protests against extrajudicial killings of Pashtuns. The movement also calls for respect for Pashtun constitutional rights and the release of all abducted individuals.
– PTM leader Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen has become the voice of the Pashtun community. He calls for investigations against those allegedly tied with terrorists to be launched and carried out as per law.
– Pashtuns worldwide are raising their voices in hopes for the campaign to gain global attention and support. Protests have recently taken place in the US and across Europe.
– On June 25th, a protest against Pakistani military atrocities took place in front of the second-largest United Nations Office at Geneva. At the same time, Mr. Aurang Zeb Khan Zalmay, a Pashtun rights activist, gave a speech in front of the UN Human Rights Commission.
– Pashtuns have been suffering from terror for many years, and influential people from Pashtun communities are systematically killed, tortured, and removed from their homes.
– On June 27, Pakistan was officially added to The Financial Action Task Force grey list, an intergovernmental organization whose main task is to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
– Pashtuns are believed to be descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel. This belief is supported by historical accounts and research, including work by Israel’s second president, Yitzhak Ben Tzvi, and Dr. Shalva Weil from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
– The author, Dana Soffi, and her husband have taken interest in The Lost Tribes of Israel and have created a closed group on Facebook called The people of Israel’s jirga – Pashtuns and Jews. They also helped create The Association for the Bani Israel of Afghanistan, a non-profit organization aiming to raise awareness among both Pashtuns and Jews of their common ancestry.
– The text discusses the concept of the return of the ten lost tribes of Israel, connecting it to aspects of Jewish religious and spiritual life.
– This return is linked with spiritual resilience, the return to the Torah, and purity of life in contrast to Western culture.
– The return of the ten tribes and the preservation of holiness and purity are seen as interlinked, as part of the concept of no one being left behind after dispersal due to sin.
– The spiritual repair of the purity of the covenant is connected with the gathering of the ten tribes of Israel, all strengthening each other spiritually.
– Our redemption is strongly tied to the gathering of the scattered, as per the Rabbi’s conclusion.
– The text calls for the revelation of the redemption through the manifestations of three types: those who have disappeared (presumably referring to lost tribes), the thirst and longing for their united communication, and the unity of brotherhood.
– The Rabbi encouraged Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail to continue his work on the important task of finding evidence for the ten lost tribes. Rabbi Avichail had reported observing Jewish practices and elements in regions of Afghanistan and beyond, dating back to the Assyrian exile.
– The text emphasizes that any conclusions and actions about the return of the ten tribes should be under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate and guided by the most senior halachic authorities, in order not to undermine their authority.
– The Chief Rabbinate is the only entity authorized to decide on matters relating to national issues such as the return of the lost tribes, in accordance with the laws of the Torah.
– In contrast to the “Law of Return” which allows anyone with a Jewish familial connection to immigrate to Israel, the ten tribes’ return involves Jews who may have assimilated over generations but remained Jewish to this day. However, due to the passage of time and partial assimilation, they would still need to undergo conversion by a court approved by the Chief Rabbinate.
– Before this return, a great deal of preparatory work is needed, including clear halakhic criteria for who is a Jew in the case of assimilation several generations ago, and a clear decision that everyone, without exception, must undergo conversion according to Jewish law.
– The laws of conversion precede the gathering of the lost tribes, just as the divine idea precedes our national idea.
– The text concludes with a blessing: to merit seeing the gathering of the dispersed from the four corners of the earth soon, both the house of Israel and the house of Judah together, under the leadership of God and to witness the redemption and near salvation of the nation of God, with elevated status, and the light of full repentance, out of love, by which the Redeemer will come to Zion soon.
- The mystery of the disappearance of the Ten Tribes and the possibility of their return has fascinated the imagination for over 2,500 years.
- The author presents new facts that have never been published, discovered thanks to joint research on the Ten Tribes, which will undoubtedly prove that they are no longer lost.
- The author lists four conditions that a group must meet to be identified as the Ten Tribes: a tradition that they are Israel, evidence that their land is the land of the Ten Tribes according to the Bible, Jewish customs, and evidence that they have not assimilated.
- The Pashtuns, who live in Afghanistan and Pakistan, are one of the peoples, if not the only one, in which the tribe of Ephraim is found.
- The Pashtuns have a tradition documented in history by Pashtuns and foreigners about their connection to the Children of Israel.
- The Pashtuns do not eat crabs, shrimps, insects, meat in milk, camels, horses, camel milk (but yes honey).
- The Pashtuns have a custom to pierce the ear of a male baby, and some claim that this symbolizes his being a slave to Pharaoh.
- The author concludes that the Pashtuns are the descendants of the Ten Tribes.
- The author invites everyone to join the Facebook group called The People of Israel – Pashtuns and Jews, and to bring the son of David who will rule over us and them as the prophet Ezekiel (37) says, soon in our days, Amen.
- Naqibullah Isaczai, a Pashtun who fled the Taliban for the USA, believes that the Pashtuns are of Israelite origin.
- Isaczai’s family, the Khans, were leaders of the Pashtuns in northern Afghanistan. In 1984, they fled to Pakistan along with 3000 other Pashtun families to escape war and communist regime bombings.
- Isaczai was born in Pakistan in a refugee camp. He later returned to Afghanistan, where he studied Mining and Natural Resources Engineering at Balkh University in Mazar-i-Sharif.
- After graduation, Isaczai worked for a nonprofit organization that educated women about their basic rights according to Islam and the Afghan constitution. He was targeted by the Taliban and decided to move to the United States.
- Isaczai explains that the Taliban, most of whom are Pashtuns, are encouraged by the Pakistani establishment to continue their jihad. They are either brainwashed into becoming suicide bombers or threatened to perform attacks in exchange for their families’ safety.
- The Taliban targets both the worst and the best people in Afghan society. They target corrupt officials to gain the support of the local population and also target community servers like doctors, teachers, and engineers to prevent Afghanistan from developing.
- Isaczai is proud of his Bani Israel ancestry and feels a connection with Israel. He hopes to inspire the Afghan and Israeli governments to establish friendly relations.
- Isaczai mentions several Pashtun customs that are similar to Jewish customs, such as not mixing meat with dairy, not eating an egg if it has a drop of blood inside, and not eating certain animals and sea creatures.
- Mixed marriages are not common among Pashtuns. A person who marries a non-Pashtun is often excluded from the community and their children are treated like non-Pashtuns.
- Isaczai wants to assure Jews and Israelis that Pashtuns do not consider them enemies. He sees them as their own blood and wants the new generation to know that Pashtuns and Israel are one nation that is not supposed to stay divided forever.
- The majority of the Taliban, who are largely made up of members of the Pashtun or Pathan tribes, are actually of Israelite origin.
- The older generation of Pashtun did not hide the fact of their Israelite descent, but some of the younger generation have suppressed this knowledge in light of the present political constellation.
- The Taliban are fundamentalist Sunni Muslims, who wish to impose their brand of Islam and their interpretation of Sharia law on others. They despise western democracy and secularism, are notorious for their treatment of women, and ferociously oppose the US and Israel.
- The Pashtun tribes, who constitute the largest single tribal grouping in the world, numbering over 15 million, are divided into distinct local tribes reminiscent of the names of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.
- The first president of Israel, Itzchak Ben-Zvi, in his book, The Exiled and the Redeemed, devoted a whole chapter to the purported Israelite origins of the Pashtuns.
- Many Pashtun agree that they are Israelites, even if they generally disassociate themselves with the modern state of Israel.
- According to Pashtun tradition, King Saul bore a son by the name of Jeremy, whose birth is not recorded in Jewish texts. Jeremy fathered a royal prince called Afghana, whose descendants fled to Jat in Afghanistan.
- Many of today’s Taliban terrorists claim descent from Ibn Rashid, a descendant of Afghana who was entrusted by Mohammed with the task of spreading the Islamic word.
- Many Afghan and western scholars alike have made detailed investigations into the subject from historical, anthropological, and philological points of view, and provided “proofs” of the Israelite origins of the Pashtun.
- The Pashtuns’ ancient code of hospitality, known as Pukhtunwali, by which generosity (khegara) and protection of guests are paramount, is seen by some as proof that they are affiliated with Israelites and hence Jews.
- Like the ancient Israelites, revenge (badal) is one of the driving forces of Pashtun society. If attacked, or pride wounded, the Pashtun, who make up the rank and file of the Taliban, will partake in a jihad (holy war) against the invaders.
- Eyal Beeri, a librarian and student adviser in the Lander Institute of Jerusalem, visited Malihabad, a township 25 kilometers from Lucknow, India, in search of the lost tribes of Israel.
- The 10 Israelite tribes of the northern Kingdom of Israel were exiled by the Assyrians invaders in 721 BC and are believed to have settled in various parts of the world, including India.
- The Afridi Pathans of Malihabad are believed to be descendants of these lost tribes.
- Beeri’s visit aimed to study the customs and traditions of the Pathans and find any resemblance to Israeli traditions. He also aimed to educate the Pathans about Israel and help them form relationships with the Jewish community worldwide.
- Beeri visited Pathan settlements in Rajasthan and found some of their traditions to have resemblances with Jewish customs. For instance, one of the tribes circumcised their male child six days after birth, similar to the Jewish tradition of circumcision eight days after birth.
- In Malihabad, Beeri visited the family of Qavi Kamal Khan, the oldest Afridi Pathan in the area. Khan was not in favor of being linked with Jews but welcomed Beeri warmly.
- Navras Jaat Aafreedi, a research scholar and an Afridi Pathan himself, escorted Beeri. Aafreedi has conducted research supporting the theory of Jewish origin of the Afridis.
- Aafreedi suggests that the word “Pathan” may have been derived from “Pithon”, the name of the great-grandson of King Saul, the first King of Israel.
- Many Pathan tribes came to India between 1202 AD and 1761 AD along with Muslim and Afghani invaders and later settled in different parts of the country.
- The Afridi Pathans of Malihabad are believed to have come from the Khyber tribe of the North Western Frontier Province, now in Pakistan.
- Today, the Afridi Pathans are largely ignorant about their Jewish origin and have even forgotten their ancestral language. They speak in local dialects and have produced great Urdu poets like Josh Malihabadi.
- Since the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, life in the capital has become a challenge for many, including the Pashtun, a large ethnic group consisting of more than 15 million people.
- The Taliban originated as a Pashtun tribal movement and still hold great power in the Pashtun’s cultural heartland in Afghanistan’s south. However, not all members of the ethnicity sympathize with the new rulers of the country.
- Many Pashtuns served in the Afghan National Army, and both of the country’s recent former presidents are Pashtun.
- Theories exist that suggest that the Pashtuns are descendants of the lost tribes of the Israelites, with some feeling connected to the Mediterranean state.
- Although most Pashtun are Sunni Muslim, some feel a strong connection to Judaism and to the theories about their Israelite origins.
- Israeli anthropologist Prof Avigdor Shachan suggested that the lost tribes of Israel settled in Afghanistan following the Assyrian conquest of Israel in 856-732 BCE.
- Shachan also suggested that we can find clues of Hebrew culture in the names of Afghan cities such as Kandahar, which he claims is similar to the Hebrew expression “The Mountain.”
- One Pashtun from Afghanistan who feels a strong connection to Israel is H., a former Afghan official who asked to remain anonymous due to fear of the Taliban.
- In 2019, H. made contact with Israeli right-wing activist Prof Hillel Weiss, who tried to promote a UN-like body, based on the Torah Laws, named “70 Nations.”
- H. doesn’t dismiss the option of immigrating to Israel but maintains he would not do so as an asylum seeker. He also said he would not convert to Judaism, although he does feel a strong connection to Israel and to the Jewish people.
- Another Pashtun-Afghan who asked to remain anonymous is S., who now lives in Peshawar, Pakistan. S. has lived in different cities around the world and worked in the shipping industry. He expressed a desire to make contact with the Israeli authorities and start an immigration process.
- Recently, Israeli lawmaker Gabi Lasky from the left-wing Meretz party said that Afghan migrants should be let into Israel. However, she didn’t specifically refer to the Pashtuns.
- The future is unclear for the Pashtun people, especially for those who supported the previous regime. Some are considering moving to Australia or Canada.
- Dr. Eyal Be’eri conducted talks with Pashtun refugees from Afghanistan to illuminate the Pashtun-Israeli connection point.
- Recent research suggests that the study of the Pashtuns in Afghanistan and the Pathans in India deals with the remains of another Jewish exile.
- The Pashtuns, among all population groups claiming the crown of the lost tribes, are the most proven group, with self-definition as “Israelites”, chronological sources, ancient genealogies, remnants of customs different from Muslim customs, and DNA tests that confirm this.
- Most of the Pashtun communities have forgotten their identity, and efforts are being made to establish relationships with those who are interested and initiate future activities with them.
- Dr. Be’eri traveled to Switzerland to listen to the stories of Afghan refugees who were rescued from the Taliban.
- The refugees shared their harrowing journey from the mountains of Afghanistan to Switzerland, facing numerous hardships and dangers along the way.
- The refugees stressed that despite being Muslims, their Arabness is not a biological figure and Islam was forced upon them in some historical era.
- The refugees believe they could be descendants of Aryans, an immigrant community that emerged from the Iranian plateau and settled in the Hindu Valley in the 15th century BC, or the descendants of Alexander the Great, or the descendants of “Bnei Yisrael”.
- The refugees shared their personal stories, including their childhood memories, cultural practices, and experiences under the Taliban regime.
- The refugees emphasized that there is no connection between them and the Taliban, as the Taliban was founded by Arabs.
- The refugees are living in dire conditions under the Taliban regime, facing persecution, economic hardship, and threats to their lives.
- The Taliban completely oppose the education of girls and do not allow women to go out to work, leading to a cultural regression in Afghanistan.