God Has Not Forgotten Them
The Bnei Menashe (Sons of Manasseh), a group of more than 9,000 people from India’s northern-eastern border states, are descendants from one of the ten lost tribes of Israel. Shavei Israel, an Israel-based Jewish organization, helped about 1,700 make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) before the Israeli government stopped granting them visas. They recently reversed this policy and will allow the remaining 7,200 Bnei Menashe to make aliyah over the next several years. During 2012-13, a group of 275 of them returned to the Land.
These faithful Jewish people were too poor to even dream of actually touching the walls of their beloved Jerusalem, but they never let go of their Jewishness, even in the face of extreme poverty and persecution. Shavei Israel is funding and organizing their aliyah, and Operation Exodus is privileged to be able to partner with them as they take the lost tribe of Manasseh back home to Israel. For the Bnei Menashe, this aliyah is the impossible made possible. To them it is the proof that God has not forgotten them and He will always fulfill what He has promised.
In November 2013, the government gave a sanction for another 899 Bnei Menashe Jews to make aliyah. The first group of 40, from the state of Mizoram in India, made aliyah on 25 December, flying from India’s capital, New Delhi. It was indeed a privilege to be part of this historic miracle for a tribe of Israel that was lost for the last 27 centuries.
Our Indian National Coordinator, who joined them for part of their long trip, reports: “The long trip from the hotel to the airport with the Bnei Menashe, Michael Freund, and Shavei Israel was an emotional and joyous one. All of them had the same story to tell: “We have always dreamed of Israel and considered Israel as our homeland!”
They were like those who dream and their mouths were filled with laughter (Psalms 126:2).
Peals of laughter from the olim (immigrants) kept ringing through the bus from all sides—for no other reason than the joy of aliyah! The joy of witnessing the faithfulness of God! The joy of sensing the smile of God over the return of His beloved people!”