Reconnecting the Tribal Dots

“Ben Yemini”: the son of my right hand. Why does Yaakov/Israel call Benyamin by this name? The right side in Kabbalah is the side of the chassadim – of loving-kindness. It is the giving nature. It is the generous nature. It is the side of overflowing love of G-dliness.

Why is it that David and Jonathan loved each other so deeply? It is because they balanced each other. Jonathan was from the side of Benjamin, of the right side. David was from Judah, from the left side of judgments and boundaries, reflections and acknowledgements. They mirror the same duality as Rachel and Leah. Two wings of the same bird, two sides of the Sefirotic system, two elements of pure G-dliness.


Oh Jewish friends and family, we are so alone in this world. We are a lamb among wolves. Or so we think. Our mindset isolates us as much as the reality of the truth of our experience. But things are changing. “Jews,” we are Judah, we are Levi, we are Cohen, and we are some Benjamin, but where are the rest? They aren’t lost. They are right near us. They are so close to us. They are everywhere but in our hearts and minds. They are lost because we have forgotten them. They are lost because we have closed our hearts to them.

Family disputes are rampant these days; all over the place. There is almost no way to escape them. Will we, the younger generation, grow up and learn to be civil with each other? Will we learn that everyone has their place in this world, and we all simply need to do our personal tikkunim (rectifications), without too much stress on what everyone else is doing? Will social media help us or be our doom?

We are smarter than ever, oh young Jews. Yet, are we wiser? Will we grow wiser than our elders, and learn to get along with each other? The oldest family dispute we must care about today is that of the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel. When we were split, we were separated, and the ‘first’ Temple was destroyed soon after. Do we care? Do we remember why this matters?

Modernity teaches to let go of our archaic roots and instead embrace science and hi-tech. Our job as Jews is to lift the world up to G-d and to bring the Knowledge of G-d down into the physical realms: into the iPhones, the WWW, the Amtrak. We aren’t Amish people. We’re Jews. English speaking Jews. We are light years ahead, and yet, we have embraced a foreign culture and we are in exile. We can’t forget that we’re in exile. We can’t forget that we are without a temple. We can’t forget that the tribes split in two and our long lost brethren are out there, waiting. They are waiting for us. Are we waiting for them? It’s in the prayers, but have the prayers become dead to us? Or have we become dead to the prayers?

The Assyrians took away the tribes of Israel to modern day Afghanistan (and some of what’s been deemed Pakistan) and they’re still there. They are called Pashtuns, and for various political reasons, very few are going to speak publicly about this. But they’re there. They call themselves “Bani Israel”. The names of their enormous tribes include Rabani, Shinwari, Levi, Mussazai, Yosefzai, Barakzai, Binyaminzai, Isakzai, Zevulunzai, Ashuri, Efridi and so on. (“Zai” means “sons of”). Their traditions include marrying under a chuppah, laws of niddah, separation of milk and meat, not eating non-Kosher animals or sea creatures, separation of dishes, lighting candles Friday night, circumcision on the 8th day, Talit/ prayer shawl, cities of refuge, levirate marriage, rubbing blood of slaughtered animals on doorposts, and much more.

Do we care yet? What does it mean? Why is it important that the Tribes of Israel reunite? Do we remember? Have we been learning our tradition? Or have we assimilated entirely?

Pashtuns number around 50 million people in the world and they are struggling for their independence. The creation of nationstates has been problematic and challenging, but they are a holy, holy, holy people and I know they will endure. Just as we have. We are eternal.

After the destruction of the Temple, the family of King Saul headed east to the land that the Assyrians took the tribes of Israel (ten tribes) to, and centuries later, became their kings there. Being from Judah, David’s line, we decided to write down the oral tradition, and thereby became dramatically different than the other tribes immediately. We became literate, but we also became less connected to G-d’s spirit, in a way. From this perspective, our exile is thicker than theirs. Ultimately, if any of us are in exile, we all are. We await the redeemer to rule over all of us, and we await the day that we will all become prophets again, with clear channels to G-d. We are very far from that day, but we can’t forget the path that has been laid out for us.

King Saul’s family is known as the Mahmadzai Family. The last kings of Afghanistan up until the late 1970s were descendents of Jonathan son of King Saul and this fact is documented throughout history books. The Afghan Jews can also verify this. The royal family known as the Musahiban dynasty can also testify to this.

In the late ‘70s, the Soviets murdered their king and family in a bloody coop and the remaining family was forced to flee – 100 families. They mostly settled in the Silicon Valley of Northern California. (That’s just proof that they’re the royal family, isn’t it?) Sadly, the internet has gotten that event all confused, and again, political interests have twisted those events in various directions. Still, ever since then, the country of Afghanistan has gotten nearly as messy as its half-recognized neighbor, “Pakistan”. Afghanistan turned from a cultural epicenter into “the Islamic republic of Afghanistan” where a new constitution doesn’t allow criticism against Mohammad or Islam. I personally spent a week with the Musahiban family and found them to be some of the most beautiful, loving, mystical, holy, cultured & fascinating people on Earth.

I’m grateful G-d didn’t allow the United Kingdom of Israel to last for very long. G-d showed us how wrong we were to request kings by creating the whole story of David and Saul. We were told over and over by the prophets not to ask for kings, and yet we persisted, and this is what we got. Now, we are stuck in our own ego of: who is better, who is more educated, who is more true to source, who is a better Israelite. However, we tribes must reconnect purely – from the heart – understanding that we are all puzzle pieces and that we have much to learn from each other!

This is not about conversions or relocations of masses of people. It is about love and familial peace. If we yearn for world peace we must start with peace in ourselves, our communities, and our nation. Why is there a Messiah son of David and a Messiah son of Yosef? It’s the symbolization of the reunification of the Kingdoms of Judah & Israel.

We must recall that our nation is much bigger than the Jewish people.  We are dumb and blind if we think otherwise.

Nadav Sofy: “The Pashtun are children of Yaaqov, our brothers and sisters”

As many of our readers know Israel Rising has always been at the cutting edge of social currents and events as they relate to Israel’s unfolding redemption.  In recent years this has taken me and this site into the subject matter known collectively as the Lost Tribes of Israel.  I for one have always been interested in dicovering exactly who and where our lost brothers are and so as time as gone I have also dicovered that others too have had the same drive and desire as myself. While there are many groups around the world with some parallel customs to Israel, two groups of people in very opposite locations share a great deal of Israelite customs.  These would be the Igbo of southern Nigeria and the Pashtun of Afghanistan/Pakistan.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Nadav Sofy, the founder of  The Association for the Bani Israel from Afghanistan a number of questions concerning his views on the Pashtun of Afghanistan and why he believes they form the central population center of the Lost Tribes of Israel.

DM: When and how did you become interested in the connection between the Pashtun and Israel?

NS:  About 3 years ago my wife got me interested in lost Jewish communities. From that topic we naturally moved to read about the lost tribes who’ve been lost to the Jews for about 2600 years. When we read about the Pashtuns we were amazed how so much strong evidence is going for them, yet their story being Israelites is completely unknown to the majority of the Israeli public. So I started looking for ways to talk to them on the web… At first I ran into Pakistanis with great resentment at me, being from Israel. Later I found out that most of that Pakistani resentment doesn’t come from the Pashtuns of Pakistan, but actually from other ethnicity in Pakistan, who, believe it or not, sometimes even pretend to be Pashtuns and curse Jews to scare them off from getting involved with Pashtuns. I learned that when I met such people who claimed to be Pashtuns, but could not answer a simple question in Pashto. Luckily I didn’t give up and finally met Pashtuns both from Afghanistan and Pakistan. I haven’t stopped since.

DM: What is your logic behind your belief they are in fact the lost tribes?

NS: The logic is simple. First, the lost tribes, and even Jews in general, were and still are spread across different areas. During the first exile of the Jews, the diaspora centers were Babylon and Persia, but during the second exile, the Jews did not have a center. For the ten tribes the situation is expected to be like for the Jews in their first exile – the Ten Tribes might be found in multiple places, but according to the Bible, we expect to find their diaspora center somewhere in central Asia. We now know exactly which nations live there, and the Pashtuns are not only the best match, but actually the ONLY match in terms of having an ancient tradition that they are Israelites, having more than 40 Jewish customs, and being in the correct location according to the Bible. If it isn’t them, it is no one, and even objectively they fit even better than expect. The Pashtuns are surely the lost tribes, and even if some portions of the lost tribes went elsewhere too, certainly Afghanistan is the diaspora center of their exile.

DM: Can you share some examples of parallel customs?

NS: Of course. One example what be Netilat Yadayim, which basically mean washing hands before eating meals specifically with a tool. Some even pour water 3 times on each hand, just like King Solomon commanded us. Some Pashtuns never count their children or other Pashtuns, and I was even told that one of the reasons no one knows how many Pashtuns live in the Federally Administrated Tribe Area is because whenever there is a census, the Pashtuns give false information because they don’t count people. They keep Kosher, I think more than any Jew might have ever expected from the lost tribes, including not eating meat and dairy products together and even don’t use the same dishes, they don’t marry outside the Pashtun people, they cover blood of slaughter animals, and some even don’t sleep in the same bed during woman’s period. They have more than 40 such customs which is completely amazing after so many years.

DM: What do we do about their devout belief in Islam?

NS: Well, did any of us expect to find the ten tribes Jewish? I didn’t. We as Jews know that according to the Halakha, Israelism runs in the blood. You can join us, but you can’t leave us, so an Israelite who changed religion does not and can never ever stop being an Israelite. They are children of Yaaqov, our brothers and sisters, even though we don’t agree over which commandments G-D wants us to follow. Until now, with the exception of some religious extremists, we receive great love from them, and we give them a lot of love back. In the end, blood and nationalism is the strongest bond between people.

DM: How can Israel help them given the fact that Afghanistan does not have diplomatic relations with Israel?

NS: Unfortunately, Afghanistan’s government tries to be more Arabic than Arabs, when even the Arabic Jordan and Egypt, who tried to destroy Israel multiple times, have diplomatic relations with Israel. We are told that this is because of pressure from Iran, but anyway, it certainly makes our life harder and we hope it will change soon. For now, Israel can make a move to finally reunion with the other tribes, by letting Afghans visit or by approaching Pashtuns organizations in Europe and the US. Israel can also let Afghans come as foreign exchange students, and those are just some minor examples of things Israel can do easily, practically without even spending a lot of money. There are also ways in which Afghans can help Israel, so it doesn’t have to be a one sided thing. Right now one of our hopes is that some people in our govenment will wake up, and it must be soon. Our state of Israel was not called Israel for nothing. When we came back from the first exile, we called our kingdom Yehuda. So why are we now  called Israel? Any child knew back then, from the Bible, that we will be destroyed before we reunite with the other tribes, and any child knows today that we will never be destroyed again and that we will, without any doubt, be reunitd with the tribes. So we are called Israel, not Yehuda, a state for the whole nation of Israel which includes the other tribes too. I should say that right now we don’t have any governmental support, we are an NGO of Jews who believe the Pashtuns are the Bani Israel and thus integral part of our nation.

DM: The British intentionally put the Durand Line through the middle of Pashtun territory i an attempt to break their cultural cohesiveness. This is a pattern that was replicated across much of the British colonies. The powers at be are far stronger than Israel.  How can Israel help and reverse the demonization of the Pashtun the West has created without causing a major rift?

NS: Well the Durand just might be the biggest issue in Pashtuns’ politics. To understand the complexity of the situation you have to see the discussion. What we see on a daily basis is nationlistic Pashtuns being murdered, which makes them afraid to speak up. Then the non nationalistic Pashtuns, who either see themselves as Pakistanis or nation-less Muslims, meet the Afghans on the web and start cursing them. The Afghans don’t alway differenciate and sometimes just curse back at any Pakistani Pashtun, even if he is actually nationalistic. Meanwhile, Pashtuns are literally blown up by suicide bombers who “strangely”only attack Pashtuns, and then the same Pashtuns are targeted and punished for the suicide bombings that were directed at them! So at the diplomatic level, and at the morale and world-view level, Israel can certainly help. The divide and conquere of the British and the forces that followed Britain really made the Pashtuns divided. If the Pashtuns from both sides will unite with us at least spiritually, by that, hopefully they will also unite between themselves. Pashtuns on both sides heard from their parents they are Bani Israel, and this is the banner we can all carry, to finally stop the evil Pashtun genocide that has been happening for decades. Some Pashtuns are scared of openly saying they are Bani Israel, because some countries would not like that, but those same countries are the ones who are sending their Taliban pigs at the Pashtuns, so I always tell them that I don’t think it can get too much worse than it already is. At least there will finally be a way out, a light in the end of this endless war.

DM: Tell us a bit about your organization’s activities and what’s next after your successful conference last week.

NS: We can’t know exactly which opportunities will be opened in the future, as this is the first time on earth that two parts of the same nation try to become one nation again, and it gets even more complex because we don’t agree on religion and we are not closed geographically. But right now, our job is possible. The first and most important thing to do right now is to make all the Jews know that the other tribes are found, and to make all the Pashtun realize how much we care, so finally we could stop seeing comments like “so what, we are Muslims now”, because they are Muslim not just now, but for a long time, and we still care. We wanna do a Pasho-Hebrew duet that will rock the Pashtun and Jewish world, we wanna write a book with the sources of the Pashtuns’ Jewish customs, we wanna do a serie of Pashto lectures, and English ones, to draw everyone’s attention, and in the end, when the awareness will be high enough, we hope that Afghanistan and Israel will be friends, and tons of opportunities will immediately become available. I must say that with Pakistan things are different. I think no one expects Pakistan to have diplomatic relations with Israel, because their ruling people are not Pashtuns and think they are the worst enemy of the Jews, even though we never even heard about them.

DM: This will be my last question. Why are you called the association for the Bani Israel from Afghanistan when there are millions of Pashtuns in Pakistan?

NS: Pakistan was created 70 years ago. Thus all the Pashtuns are Afghans and are from Afghanistan.

DM: Thanks Nadav for taking the time.  I know you are very busy.

NS: Anytime.  It is a pleasure spreading the truth about our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan and I am excited to be involved in such an amazing movement.

LOST TRIBES: Reconnecting the Pashtun to Israel Has Now Begun

Something is happening.  After thousands of years of disconnection, the Lost Tribes of Israel are beginning to come back and reconnect with the “remnant of Judah.”  Whether it is the Igbo in western Africa or Bnei Menashe of east India, no where can this be seen more clearly than the awakening amongst the Bani Israel in southern Afghanistan.  Tribally called the Pashtun, the Bani Israel are made up of tens of millions of people that have many customs very close to those of Jews.

Some of these customs include the circumcision on the eighth day, a four cornered shawl with fringes, lighting Shabbat candles on Friday night, family purity laws, and many more. The Pashtun place their laws called the Pashtunwali above that of the Koran. The Pashtunwali appears to be ancient Biblical Law.

The Pashtun themselves have a strong internal tradition that they are in fact the descendents of the Lost Tribes of Israel arriving in Afghanistan around 700 CE, which is shortly after the ten tribes were exiled to what is today Kurdistan.  From there many anthropologists say the Lost Tribes would have moved east concurring with the timeline the Pashtun present.

This Thursday the first ever conference between Israel and the Pashtun is taking place in Jerusalem.  The conference, titled the Conference for the Ten Lost Tribes of Afghanistan is being organized by The Association for the Bani Israel of Afghanistan and iTribe.

Persecution of the Bani Israel

The Pashtun or Bani Israel dwell in the mountains of southern Afghanistan and Pakistan, on both sides of the Durand line.  This is the artificial boundary drawn up by British colonialists, seemingly on purpose to split the indigenous Pashtun population.  Over the years this division has weakened the Pashtun handing many younger Pashtun into the hands of radical Islamists thus destorying their ancient Israelite customs.

With the new awakening amongst the Pashtun, there is a chance that Israel can forge a pathway back to its lost brothers and restore the full house of Israel. It won’t be easy. Many of todays Pashtun believe in Islam and have forgotten their old traditions.

This Thursday’s conference is a powerful opportunity to break the neo-colonial attempt by the Western World to divide the descendents of Jacob and reunite the 12 Tribes under a renewed Kingdom.


As Chaos Grips Britain, Its Chickens Come Home to Roost

The fall of Theresa May and the rise of Jeremy Corbyn has thrown the British political system into chaos.  True, May could very well hold on with the help of a small Northern Irish party, but the undercurrents that led to Corbyn near victory are not going away anytime soon. Great Britain as a cultural and national entity is no more united than the former Yugoslavia.  Whether it is London, with its Muslim mayor, Scotland’s desire for independence, or the rise of the austerity craving multi-cultural youth that drove Corbyn’s election surprise. This is why the Conservatives who are trying to recruit Boris Johnson to take the reigns of their party are missing it, Britain as we know it, is finished.

In a sense the British empire has been repaid what it has dished out over the years.  Great Britain has over the years sowed chaos through much of its colonial holdings in order to ensure its continued control of these areas. Moreover, they encouraged Islamic forces in each colony to displace the rightful indigenous owners.

Nigeria, India, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel are perfect examples of Britain’s chaos strategy through the years.

In Nigeria, the British forced three independent areas together and gave the keys to the Islamic Hausa in the country’s north. The Hausa forced the Judeo-Christian Igbo to the south in Biafra into a subservient relationship in order to provide the oil located their to their British backers.

In India, the Hindu leaders and society suffered from the British backed Muslim minority until India became independent in 1947.

Iraq, is also a British construct, designed to produce oil for the empire.  Three groups were forced to share the colony together. The indigenous Kurds to the north, the Sunnis in the center, and the Shiites to the south.  The British always sided with the Arabs in the country, despite their late arrival and helped to keep down the country’s indigenous Kurdish populations.  Oil in the north was transferred to the country’s south by way of Arab control in a similar set up as Nigeria.

In Afghanistan, the indigenous Pashtun were displaced by the British created Durand Line, simply because the British wanted to drain the Pashtun of their power to exert control over the are through their willful servants in Kabul and in Pakistan.

In Israel, the Jews were the majority population of Jerusalem since the mid 1800’s.  Not only that, until the Turks pushed Arabs from Syria to migrate southward in the early 1900’s the Jews were on their way to fast becoming the majority of the entire Land of Israel. When the British created Palestine in 1917 as the Jewish Homeland, they did so out of confidence that a Jewish population who was indebted to them would act in subservience. When this did not happen they quickly returned to the policy of the Turks and encouraged Arab immigration to Israel while blocking the same for Jews. Furthermore, they encouraged Arab riots in 1920, 1929, the 1930’s and supplied weapons to the attacking Arab armies in 1948. In both Jerusalem, and Hebron where the riots took place, the Jews who were ancient residents in both places were driven from their homes.

The chaos in Britain is a long time coming. They allowed their country to be cannibalized from within. The irony that not only Israel and India are becoming global powerhouses, but Biafra and Kurdistan may soon gain their independence as oil producers while Britain descends into the netherworld of a once powerful empire should not be lost.


Prophecies that Came True and What’s Next

In this article I’ll outline some of the prophecies about the people of Israel that already came true and what’s going to happen next.

First I have to say that I’ll mention 2 types of prophecies. First are prophecies that are written in the bible. Second are events that were predicted by the prophets but were not written and were only passed orally, until our Rabbis wrote them later on in the Midrash or in the Talmud. What I won’t mention are vague prophecies that can be interpreted in a lot of ways, but will only mention explicit prophecies.

All the prophecies are written in Hebrew or Aramaic, and unless I specified otherwise, all the translations are mine.

What Has Already Happened

The Prophet Moses said about the exile of the people of Israel, more than a thousand years in advance (Deuteronomy 28:62-64):

“And only a few of you will remain after you’ve been a huge people like the stars of the sky, and God will spread you to all lands all over earth”.

Moses further said about the time of this exile that it’ll be tough for the people of Israel, and predicted anti-Semitism (Deuteronomy 28:37):

“And you’ll be laughed at amongst all people…”

He also wrote about that exile (Deuteronomy 28:65, 28:67):

“And amongst those people you won’t have peace…. And God will make you anxious and afraid and bring sorrow to you souls, and you’ll be scared in nights and days and you won’t believe in your life. In the morning you’ll pray to live until the night, and at nights you’ll pray to live until the mourning, because you’ll be scared that much from what your eyes will witness”.

He further said (Leviticus 26:38-39)

“And you’ll be lost in the countries of other nations, and the countries of your enemies will exterminate you. And the ones who are left would suffer greatly for their sins in the countries of their enemies, and because they sinned themselves, they’ll suffer greatly even for the sins of their ancestors”.

Jewish Exile
Depiction of Jews going to exile after destruction of the Holy Temple

Moses also wrote (Leviticus 26:32):

“And I’ll make the land (the holy land) a desert, and your enemies won’t be able to build it, so the land will be a desert and your cities will remain in ruins”.

Moses predicted that the enemies of the people of Israel won’t be successful in this land, although they’ll try. And so said the Ramban in his commentary on this verse, about 800 years ago. And Mark Twain (The Innocent Abroad 1867) said that the land of Israel is a desert and it is like it is cursed. Now that the people of Israel returned to it there’s no curse any more.

Prophet Moses also said that the people of Israel would survive the exile (Leviticus 26:44):

“And even when they’ll be in the countries of their enemies, I (God) won’t be so disgusted of them as to kill them all, and by that to break my covenant with them, because I am their God. And I’ll remember the covenant I made with their ancestors when I saved them from Egypt in front of other nations, and called my name upon them, I am God!”

Not only did Prophet Moses know the people of Israel would survive the exile, but he explicitly said the people of Israel would return to their land (Deuteronomy 30:4-5):

“If you’ll be lost in the end of the sky, even from there God will unite you and take you. And God will bring you to the land he gave your ancestors and it’ll be given to you, and he’ll bring blessing to you and make you prosper even more than your ancestors”.

Well this prophecy is still in the process of coming true, waiting for the rest of the people of Israel to return to the holy land (Jews abroad as well as the Igbo, Pashtuns, and other lost Israelites) and for the great blessing to come. This process has obviously begun.


It is written in the book of Zohar (a Midrash of Kaballa) on page 116 about the following prophecy that was passed orally to the Rabbis who wrote the book:

“In the year 5600 (5600 years since Adam and Eve according to the Hebrew calendar) the gates of wisdom will be opened above, and the springs of lower wisdom too, and the world we get prepared to be fixed for the 7th millennium” (‘springs’ is a literal translation from the Aramaic word ‘Mabuee’, which doesn’t fit perfectly in English).

According to the Hebrew calendar, this year, 2016, is 5776, so 5600 is 1840, which is the last year of the Industrial Revolution when the “lower wisdom” (science) advanced tremendously. Some think the “higher wisdom” is the Hassiddic branch of Judasim, but this is less obvious than what the “lower wisdom” that advanced was.

It is written in the Talmud on Megila, page 6:

“Rabbie Yisshak said, what does this verse mean (Psalm 140:9): ‘God, do not grant the desires of the wicked; do not let his thoughts succeed, for they are constantly haughty (Chabad translation)’? Yaakov said to God, ‘the king of the world, don’t grant Esaw (Yaakov’s brother) his desires, don’t let his thoughts succeed’. This is Germanya of Edom (recognised by the commentaries of the Talmud, hundreds of years ago, as today’s Germany, which is called in Hebrew Germanya). If they do not go, they destroy the world. And Rabbi Hama son of Hanina said, there are 300 kingdoms in Germamya of Edom (Germany), and 365 dukes in Rome, and every day they go out one against the other and one of them is killed, so they are too bothered for uniting under one king.”

According to this oral prophecy, Germany’s 300 kingdoms would not unite because they fight the Romans, and once they’d stop fighting them, they’d destroy the world. The “Holy” Roman Empire ruled over more than 300 kingdoms of Germans prior to 1806. Then came Napoleon and conquered the Germans. As a result, The Germans united. In 1882, Italy joined forces with Germany and Austria-Hungary, so they officially stopped fighting. In 1914 Germany started WW1, which caused the death of over 16M people (about 9M of them were civilians). In that war Italy actually didn’t help Germany even though they made a pact, but a few years later, Germany started WW2 with the help of Italy, which caused the death of 50M-85M people, which basically means they destroyed the world.

Prophet Yehezkel wrote (36:20-24) (Chabad translation):

“And they entered the nations where they came, and they profaned My Holy Name, inasmuch as it was said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and they have come out of His land.’ But I had pity on My Holy Name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they had come. Therefore, say to the house of Israel; So says the Lord God: Not for your sake do I do this, O house of Israel, but for My Holy Name, which you have profaned among the nations to which they have come. And I will sanctify My great Name, which was profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord-is the declaration of the Lord God-when I will be sanctified through you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations and gather you from all the countries, and I will bring you to your land.”

In the book of Zohar, second part, page 124, it is written:

“Rabbi Hiya said: Because the people of Israel are getting circumcised, they beat their enemies and get their land”.

Based on those prophecies, the Ramban wrote in his commentary of Song of songs chapter 8:

“After he mentioned the redemption of Efrayim, who are the 10 tribes (who are the Pashtuns who will return to Israel soon), he mentioned the redemption of Yehuda (the Jews), and said ‘even with the blood of your Brith I sent you away’ (meaning that in general, circumcision should prevent the people of Israel from being sent away from the holy land, and this case was special because even though they were circumcised, they were still sent away). He hinted here that at the end of days, there will be a generation that is all bad, the Torah will be forgotten from them, there’ll be a lot of insolence in that generation, but one right they’ll all have – circumcision”.

Biafrans in support of Israel
Biafrans in support of Israel

Now, those 3 writings fit reality very accurately. Basic theology says that the righteous get a reward, so it might come as a huge surprise that after 2000 years of keeping the Torah, and even giving up life for keeping it, refusing to convert religion, it was a generation of secular Jews who didn’t keep the Tora who returned to the holy land and created the state of Israel. Surprising as it might look, Prophet Yehezkel said that returning to Israel won’t be a reward, but an action of God protecting His name. By letting the secular Jews return to Israel he also saved a lot of secular Jews from mixing with other people, and, by that, stopping their Jewish lineage (The high mixing percent of the secular Jews in the US and Europe prove just that.) And here comes the Ramban and analyzes that prophecy and the prophecy-hint in the Song of songs, saying that generation will have one thing going for it – circumcision. In fact, those secular Jews who returned to the holy land, although being secular, were all circumcised and they all circumcised their children, even though this commandment is one of the strangest of all the commandments of the Torah. (By the way, please notice that the realization of these prophecies is very bad news for those who thought God left the people of Israel.)

It is also written in the book of Zohar, in Va’Erah, page 32 (written before Islam and a lot before the Arabs conquered the holy land):

“Damn that moment that Yishmael (Ismail) was born and got circumcised. What did God do? He kept the chlidren of Yishmael away from being mentally close to him and gave them a grip on the holy land, as a reward for their circumcision. And in the future (our present) the children of Yishmael would control the holy land when it is empty of anything, like their circumcision is incomplete, and they’ll prevent the people of Israel from returning to their land, until their reward for their circumcision will be over”.

What’s Next?

In the book of Zohar, it is written (Va’Erah, page 32):

“The children of Yishmael will start big fights in the world, and they’ll make the people of Edom (Europe, Russia, US) unite and attack them. They’ll fight them in the sea and in the land, and there will be a fight close to Jerusalem. And Edom will control Yishmael, but the holy land would not be given to Edom. Then another nation from the end of the world will start a war against the evil Romans (Edom), which will last 3 months, and a lot of nations will unite against that nation but they’ll fall, until all the people of Edom (Europe, Russia, US) will unite, and then God will say enough is enough”.

ISIS are playing out that prophecy accurately. We would expect something in the sea, although maybe all those ships that are firing on Syria is a fight in the sea. Then the Europeans/Russia/US/All of them would conquer some countries of the Arabs. A fight near Jerusalem might occur in Jordan. Then some other nation, who knows who (China? Iran who aren’t Arabs? Korea?) will attack Edom in the last war.

We also know that the tribes of Israel (the Pashtuns, Igbo, Lemba, and others) will come back (Deuteronomy 30:4-5, already written above):

If you’ll be lost in the end of the sky, even from there God will unite you and take you. And God will bring you to the land he gave your ancestors and it’ll be given to you, and he’ll bring blessing to you and make you prosper even more than your ancestors.

We know that from other prophecies too (Jeremaya 31:16):

(God tells Rachel, the mother of Binyamin and Josef (father of Yusufzai, Afridi – Pashtun tribes, and Menashe), but actually talking to the people of Israel who are called by her name, like we are called by our father’s name Israel/Yaakov) “There is hope for those who remain of your children, said God, and sons will return to their land”.

Yishaaya 51:11:

“And those who were saved by God will return, and they’ll come singing to Zion (Jerusalem), with a huge happiness with them. they’ll have joy and happiness, and all graveness and sorrow will be gone”.

Yehezkel 37:16-22:

“(God is telling prophet Yehezkel) And you, son of Adam, take a piece of wood and write on it “for Yehuda (the Jews) and for Benei Israel his friends”, and take another piece of wood and write on it “for Yosef, the tree of Efrayim (Afridi. The tribes that lived in the kingdom of Yehuda were called simply Yehuda and the other tribes were called simply Efrayim/Yosef), and for all the house of Israel, his friends (the friends of Efrayim – the rest of the Pashtun tribes)”. Bring them closer to each other, make them one in your hand. When your people will ask you – what is your business with those? answer them: The lord God has spoken – I am taking the wood of Yosef which is in the hand of Efrayim and the tribes of Israel, his friends, and I’m putting on it the wood of Yehuda, and I am making them one wood, so they will all be one in my hand. (God keeps on speaking to prophet Yehezkel) And put those pieces of wood in your hands in front of their eyes and tell them – So has spoken the lord God: I am taking Bene Israel from the other nations where they went, and I’ll unite them from all corners and bring them to their land. And I’ll make them one people in their land – the mountains of Israel, and one king will rule them all (son of King David), and they will never be separated to 2 kingdoms again”.

Jews of KaiFung China
Jews of KaiFung China

We also know this from a lot of other prophecies. And how will that happen? In the book of Magid Mesharim, an angel told Rabbi Yossef Karo (Ssaw, right before the part on slaughtering):

“(Kings 2, 7:9) ‘This day is a day of tiding’, like you thought. Prophet Yishaaya said about that day (41:27): ‘The first one to Zion, behold, behold them, and for Jerusalem I will give a herald’ (Chabad translation). The way of the world is that when a king comes back to its house, a few heralds are coming to give the tiding of the king’s return. The first one says that the king is coming in 10 days, the second says he’s coming in 5 days, the fourth says the king’s coming in 4 days, etc. Finally the last one says the king is very close to the city. The prophet said that at the redemption of the people of Israel, it won’t be like that, but it would happen all of a sudden, and the first herald will say that they are here! the tribes of Israel are here, and their return will be so sudden that even though they’ll be very close, the people of the city won’t notice them until the herald will tell them that in Zion – the palace of the king…”

From here we learn that some time in the middle of the predicted war between Yishmael and Edom, or during the last war, the tribes of Israel, who are mainly the Pashtuns as well as other groups like the Igbo, Bnei Menashe, Lemba, and others will return to their land very quickly. This will happen so quickly that the Jews in Israel will notice it only after a lot of them will already be in Israel.

We also know that in that time, the people of Israel won’t be too righteous (maybe most will be secular like they are now), because Prophet Malaahi said (3:22-24):

“Remember the Torah of my servant Moses, whom I commanded in mount Sinai, laws and justice over all the people of Israel. I’m sending you Prophet Eliya before the big day of God. That he may turn the heart of the fathers back through the children, and the heart of the children back through their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with utter destruction” (partly Chabad translation).

Let’s all remember a rule the prophets taught us – good prophecies will surely come true, but bad ones depend on our ways. If we fix our ways, a punishment (bad prophecy) can be cancelled. And lets all wait for this great and awesome day, when all the people of the world will know God is one and only one, blessed Him, and He’ll show us great miracles, even greater than those our ancestors witnessed in Egypt and the Sinai desert, more than 3000 years ago.

Pashtuns and Pashtunwali

Pashtun is a Central Asian nation that lies between the rivers Oxus and Indus. Pashtun is also known as Afghan, Pakhtun and Pathan; the latter name, however, is construed as offensive by the Pashtun people because, it is said, that the name ‘Pathan’ was given to the Pashtun by the British during their rule in India. The land of Pashtun is called Loy Afghanistan, Pashtunistan and Pashtunkhwa. Since Pashtuns of Pashtunkhwa or Pakhtunkhwa were fighting for their freedom against the British Imperial might, they had a great contempt for the colonizers and everything about them. It is also said that the word ‘Pathan’ is actually derived from ‘Fatey-Heen’  meaning  ‘conquerors’, as the Afghans came to India as conquerors where the word ‘Fatey-Heen’ was mistakenly pronounced as ‘Pathan’ by the British.

The Pashtun social life has an unwritten code of ethics known as Pashtunwali. Every Pashtun is expected to abide by Pashtunwali, which is based upon centuries of collective wisdom of the Pashtun. Pashtunwali consists of important principles that guide social and individual life such as:

Pashtun Hospitality
Pashtun Hospitality

Melmastiya which means an open-hearted hospitality; Pashtuns are famous for their hospitality.

Nang means chivalry, a moral and social virtue or a noble deed. To stand up for the weak is the very essence of Nang.

Nanawatey is derived from the verb meaning “to go in”. This is used for the protection given to a person, who requests it, against his/her enemies. The person is then protected at all costs. It can also be used when a vanquished party is prepared to go in to the house of the victors and ask their forgiveness. This is a peculiar form of “chivalrous” surrender, in which an enemy seeks “sanctuary” at his enemy’s house.


Badal defines an obligation to seek revenge by retaliation although the performance of Nanawatey means one can obtain forgiveness in his enemy’s house. Through the tradition of Nanawatey, a typical Pashtun will always forgive the killer of his dear ones in the presence of a Jirga.

Jargah or Jirga a council of Pashtun elders through which justice is sought. Settling disputes through negotiation is the basic objective of Jargah: in other words, Jargah is a form of direct democracy in Pashtun society, where every individual has the right to speak.

Namoos the respect of women, country, and property.

Attan - Pashtun Women Dancing
Attan – Pashtun Women Dancing

Attan is an Afghan national dance, performed before war and after the victory. It is also performed at various cultural celebrations in Pashtun society. Every Pashtun man and woman is trained to dance the Attan as well as being the best in playingRabaab and singing Tapa – a typical Pashto song.

Pashto or Pakhto is not only a language in Pashtun society, but is synonymous with the Pashtun code of life – Pashtunwali (the Pashtun values). Pashtuns love their mother tongue Pashto and claim that in paradise they will speak Pashto instead of Arabic; it is pointed out that according to the teachings of Islam, Arabic is the only language that will be

spoken in the world hereafter. However, a well-known Pashto poet, Hamza Khan Shinwari (Hamza Baba), in one of his poetic verses responding to the teachings of Islam and Mullahism, says:

“The rivals (Mullahs) name Pakhto as the tongue of hell,

 But I (Hamza) will go to paradise with Pakhto.”

(Hamza Baba)

Ghani Khan, the great Pashto poet of 20th century, is of the view that “a typical Pashtun is kind and gentle but hates to show it. He loves fighting but hates to be a soldier. He loves his new
rifle and his old wife. He will


forgive you anything, if you do it bravely enough. In a historical perspective the Pashtun bears close resemblance to the people of great civilizations. His villages have Greek names. His tribes have Greek customs. Like the Greek he is a great poet and a great warrior and like the Greeks, almost all his wars are over women.”

Pashtuns are basically a proud people, as former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, in his book ‘The Malakand Field Force’, says, “Any poor Pathan (Pashtun) here is ready to look into the eyes of the Queen of England and say, I am no less than you”.

Pashtuns have a great love for Pashtunkhwa which is their historical land, but unfortunately, British-India occupied part of it and later, in 1893, divided it by drawing a line, called the Durand Line, through its centre, effectively cutting the Pashtun nation in half. With the withdrawal of the British from the subcontinent, the land came under the jurisdiction of Pakistan in 1947. To date, Pashtuns in Pashtunkhwa are occupied by Pakistan, but the spirit of freedom among the Pashtuns will never die. Yes, it can be weakened by fate and time, but stays always strong in will. PoetExpressing love for the land of Pashtunkhwa, Ahmad Shah Abdali, the founding father of the modern state of Afghanistan, spoke in his poetry in 1760, “I forget my Delhi throne when I recall the mountain peaks of my beautiful Pashtunkhwa. If I conquer the whole world, even then I can never forget thy beautiful gardens.”

Now the Pashtun land is divided into many parts and almost all occupied by their neighbors. The Durand Line is considered with hate, dividing the Pashtun as once the Berlin Wall divided Germany. Now, it will not be wrong to say that Pashtun cannot be called a nation, but rather groups that are divided and scattered and the uneducated Pashtuns, are unable to realize the dilemma of their disintegration. In Pakistan, Pashtuns are not taught their own history, but that of the Indo-Pak and Jihad in Islam. The Pashtuns are indoctrinated into the belief that they are born to fight against   infidels, for the sake of Allah and Islam. In Pakistan, the Pashtuns are appreciated for their fighting skills but not for their intellectual abilities. Their language Pashto has been replaced by Urdu and as a result the majority of the Pashtuns living under the jurisdiction of Pakistan, cannot read or write their own Pashto language and only a few are able to understand news bulletins in the original and pure Pashto. The Pashtuns are being pushed into darkness and ignorance by the Pakistani establishment. By doing so, Pakistan can easily use the Pashtun for their own purposes, especially for proxy wars in the name of Islam, proclaiming that Islam is in danger. As a result, Pashtun society is falling apart politically, socially and economically.

Historically speaking, the Pashtuns, as individuals or a people, are a great people having done great deeds, but Pashtun as a modern nation has failed and for centuries, they have done nothing to forward a collective national cause.

Pashtuns will always have a dynamic character with a great zeal for music and dance, poetry and art, but in contrast to his poetic nature, the Pashtun is a warrior too. The best example of this contradiction is the great Khushal Khan Khattak.


At the present time Pashtuns are unfortunately the most unfortunate people because they live in a society where

religious Mullahs have dominated all the powers in the name of Islam, and have declared love, art and music as taboos. But if one looks through the pages of Pashtun’s history, they will find a culture full of creativity and art of any kind was not considered a taboo. In Pashtun society there is an institution known as ‘Hujra’, the essential symbol of Pashtunwali. Hujra is the site of great learning, for the promotion of art, poetry, music and culture in the Pashtun society. It is a common sitting or sleeping place for men in the villages, as Pashtuns are basically people of villages rather than cities, and guests and unmarried young men (bachelors) would sleep there. The Rabab and Mangay are two old Pashtun musical instruments and the real ornaments of Hujra and it is a well-established custom among the Pashtun to welcome guests with music. Hujra is also the decision-making forum of the villagers and provides vivid picture of the real Pashtun society and traditions. Today, the Hujra tradition is on the verge of disappearing, constituting a great loss for the culture. Although one can still see Hujra in some parts of Pashtun society, it exists in a very wretched form. Due to the dominance of the Mullah, Hujra has lost its important significance and the decision making process now takes place in the mosque instead.  The mosque and the persons connected to the mosque are at full gallop to grab away the powers of Hujra.

The Rabab and Mangay in Hujra actualize the Pashtuns’ basic love of art, music and poetry that the


religious Mullah has declared taboo in the name of Islam. With the banning of love, art and music in Pashtun society, religious extremism has been increased and the society altogether looks orthodox. This is not only a threat to all liberal Pashtuns but also an attack on the cultures throughout the rest of the world as the religious extremism benefits Mullahs in the recruitment of Mujahideen (Jihadists). Yet there is a group of cultured and progressively-minded Pashtuns who prefer Pashtunwali – the Pashtun code of life, to religious law ‘Shari’a’ for the conduct of matters. Such liberal people strongly proclaim that first, they are Pashtuns and then, Muslims.

(This article originally appeared in The Pashtun Times)

[Podcast] Global Israel is Rising

Rabbi Harry Rozenberg joins me for a deep discussion on the growing global awakening among crypto Israelite communities around the world. His groundbreaking work on iTribe brings together these Israelite communities onto one social platform.

The following subjects are covered:

  • Law of Return?
  • Global Israel
  • Igbo, Bassa, Pashtun, Bnei Menashe
  • Biafra
  • Israel needs to wake up and accept these Crypto Israelites

The Pashtuns are the Tribes of Israel

The Pashtuns, who live in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, have a very special tradition, which says they are Bene Israel, and is widely spread among some of the Pashtun tribes. In this article we intend to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this tradition is true, and they are in fact the descendants of the 10 tribes of Israel, who were taken to Afghanistan thousands of years ago.

The fact is that some Pashtun tribes have a tradition of being the people of Israel (Bene Israel), meaning they descended from our father Yaakov. It is even told that the Afghan king once asked the Afghan Jews from which tribe they are, when they answered they don’t know the king said that the Pashtuns do, and that the king is from the tribe of Benyamin. In particular, I heard myself from Pashtuns from the tribes of Lewani, Benyamin, Afridi, Shinwari and more, that their grandfathers told them they are Bene Israel, and it is well known that this tradition is spread through most (or all) of the Pashtuns tribes.

Some Pashtuns, especially from young generations, are doubting that this is true. In this article I’ll explore the possibilities of how this tradition could have originated. From this exploration it will become clear that doubting the truthfulness of this tradition is irrational. I would also outline some common traditions of Pashtuns and Jews, some of them are based on the Torah, which further confirm that this tradition is true and that Pashtuns are really Bene Israel. I’ll then say a few words about DNA testing and finally talk about the implications of this tradition.

The possibilities for the origin of the tradition

There are 2 possibilities for how this tradition could have originated. The simple one is that it is true. The more complex one is that it is false. If it is false, it had to originate somehow. There are 3 possible ways this tradition could have originated if it is false:

  1. At some point in time someone forced the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel.
  2. At some point in time someone convinced the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel.
  3. At some point in time some Pashtuns created this tradition in a major conspiracy.

Anyone who has doubts in this tradition must explain how it originated. We will now go through those possible explanations (assuming the tradition is false) and show that each of them is far-fetched and as close to impossible as it gets.

Someone forced the Pashtuns into believing in this tradition

According to this explanation for the origin of this tradition, at some generation A, someone (or a group of people) came along and threatened the Pashtuns that if they won’t teach their children they are Bene Israel, something terrible is going to happen to them. Time had passed, and at generation B the tradition was already so acceptable, that not only many (probably most) of the Pashtuns believed it, but they completely forgot that once, at generation A, someone forced their ancestors into believing it (it is a fact that now no one remember of such a person who forced the Pashtuns into believing in this tradition).

For this explanation to be rationally accepted, we have to believe that:

  1. Someone had a motive for forcing the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel.
  2. That person had the means to force generation A into believing it.
  3. In some of the generations that followed generation A, there had to be someone who shared this motive and those means, or else, after 1-2 generations this tradition would have been recognized as false and it would have disappeared.

I think that it is safe to say that we have no rational reason for believing that any of those conditions is true, because:

(1) It doesn’t seem reasonable to believe that anyone had ever had a motive for forcing the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel.

(2) In addition, we clearly see today that Pashtuns would not let go of their traditions without a fight, and we have no reason to think it was different in any previous generation. Therefore, even if anyone had the motive, he would probably have to kill many Pashtuns before he could force this tradition upon them. If that happened, it would have been remembered, both by the Pashtuns themselves and by their neighbours, and there would have been some archaeological and historical records of this genocide. As far as I know, there isn’t any such evidence.

(3) Finally, if believing it was possible at one generation is far-fetched, believing some people did that for many generations is close to insanity.

(4) Even if we ignore the problems outlined above, it would still be highly unlikely that this event of forcing this tradition upon the Pashtuns would have been forgotten.

Therefore, the belief that Pashtuns are not really Bene Israel cannot be rationally based on this explanation.

Someone convinced the Pashtuns into believing in this tradition

According to this explanation for the origin of this tradition, at some generation A, someone (or a group of people) came along and convinced the Pashtuns that they are really Bene Israel, although they never heard of it before. Time had passed, and at generation B the tradition was already so acceptable, that not only many (probably most) of the Pashtuns believed it, but they completely forgot that once, at generation A, someone invented it and convinced their ancestors it is true.

For this explanation to be rationally accepted, we have to believe that:

  1. Someone had a motive for convincing the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel.
  2. That person had such strong arguments that he managed to convince people they are something they are not.
  3. In some of the generations that followed generation A, people who questioned this tradition were convinced again and again that it is true using those arguments.
  4. The Pashtuns at generation A had to have no tradition of their true origin, or they let go of their previously held tradition because the arguments they are Bene Israel were so strong.

I think that it is safe to say that we have no rational reason for believing that any of those conditions is true, because:

(1) Like we said before, it doesn’t seem reasonable to believe that anyone had ever had a motive for convincing the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel.

(2) What could have been those arguments? If we ignore the tradition the Pashtuns are Bene Israel, even with the other common traditions of Pashtuns and Jews, there aren’t strong enough arguments to convince anyone, especially not the Pashtuns themselves, that the Pashtuns are something they are not (remember that at generation A the Pashtuns didn’t have any tradition of being Bene Israel according to this explanation).

(3) Even though some people are stupid, there are always, in every nation, those who are smart and ask questions. If enough people, at generation A or at the following generations, were smart, there’s no way this tradition would have been accepted, and I don’t think it is rational to believe that some generations of Pashtuns were so stupid. In fact, a lot of Pashtuns are very intelligent people, and from that we can safely conclude that their ancestors were intelligent too.

(4) There’s no historical record for this event of convincing the Pashtuns they are something they are not.

(5) It is unlikely that the Pashtuns in generation A let go of a previously held tradition, no matter what arguments were given to them. We’d have to believe they had no idea who they are.

(6) Even if we ignore the problems outlined above, it would still be highly unlikely that this event of convincing this tradition upon the Pashtuns would have been forgotten.

Therefore, the belief that Pashtuns are not really Bene Israel cannot be rationally based on this explanation.

Some Pashtuns created this tradition

According to this explanation for the origin of this tradition, at some generation A, some Pashtuns decided they are Bene Israel. Then they convinced or forced the other Pashtuns, although no one has ever heard of it before. Time had passed, and at generation B the tradition was already so acceptable, that not only many (probably most) of the Pashtuns believed it, but they completely forgot that once, at generation A, some Pashtuns invented it and convinced or forced others it is true.

The same arguments that were given above are all relevant to this explanation, only now the problems are much more profound, because we have to believe that the ones who forced or convinced other Pashtuns were Pashtuns themselves (and if it was done by convincing, they had to be superb liars).

Therefore, the belief that Pashtuns are not really Bene Israel cannot be rationally based on this explanation.


We previously outlined taxonomy of all the possible explanations for the origin of the tradition that Pashtuns are Bene Israel, assuming it is false. Because all of the explanations are irrational, we must conclude that the tradition is true, and at some generation A the Pashtuns really lived in the land of Israel and knew for a fact they are Bene Israel. They were then taken to Afghanistan and the area around it (according to the bible, they were taken by the Assyrians), where they lived and passed this tradition from generation to generation.

Common traditions of Pashtuns and Jews

Although the common traditions of Pashtuns and Jews might not be enough on their own to prove Pashtuns are Israelis, they can certainly be used for further confirmation that our conclusion is correct. Amongst the common traditions are:

Lighting candles before Saturday (Shabbat):

Not eating sea-creatures such as lobsters, shrimps, and crabs, and animals like camels and horses, and meat with cheese. These are, in fact, not Kosher (cannot be eaten) according to the Torah given to the people of Israel by God through Moses.

Circumcision on the 8th day:

The days of the week are called by their numbers, like in Hebrew, except for Friday which is called by its Arabic name Jummah جمعه (it is a holy day for Muslims) and Saturday which is called Shambah, in the Torah (and in Hebrew) it is called Shabbat (Shabath).

Wearing a small hat, In Hebrew they are called Kipa:


Wearing a square piece of clothing by men. In Hebrew it is called Talith. In Pashtun, it is Shawl/Sadaar:

PI Talith

A man marries his dead brother’s widow if the brother didn’t have children. In the Torah it is called Yibum.

In Weddings there’s a piece of fabric hanging above the marrying couple. In Hebrew it is called Hupa. In Pashto it is called Dolaye,

In some Pashtuns weddings, the bride breaks a glass (in particular, I heard it is done by Pashtuns in Kandahar). In Jew’s weddings the groom breaks it. This is actually a relatively new tradition that Jews do for the remembrance of the destroyed Temple, so it is likely that Pashtuns heard of this tradition after they have already been exiled and added it to their other Israeli traditions.

Some Pashtun women grow side brows (called Kamsai in Pashto). A lot of Jewish males do that too (mainly Hasidim (Ashkenazi) and Yemen Jews). Jews and Pashtuns are probably the only ones in the world who do this:

PI sidebrow

Using names like Yaakov (Christians use Jacob but only Jews and Pashtuns use it as it should be pronounced), Israel, Barak, Asaf, Benyamin, Kenan, Tamir, Timor, Shir, Sahar, etc.

Other evidence includes names of places in Afghanistan and Kashmir that resemble ancient towns in Israel that are mentioned in the bible. And some say that until not so long ago, one of the names of the Amu Darya (River Oxus) was Gozan, which is mentioned as one of the placed the damn Assyrians exiled the people of Israel to. There are also the names of tribes that resemble the children of Yaakov (the names of the Israeli tribes), like Lewani (Lewi), Daftali (Naftali), Yusufzai (children of Yussuf-Yossef), Rubanni (Reuven), Afridi (Efrayim) etc. Also parts of the Pashtunwali resemble some parts of the Torah.

Some Pashtuns also have Jewish artifacts. For example, I heard first hand from a Lewani Pashtun that his grandmother had these jewelries:

PI Artifacts

If we add those traditions to what we said above, we can be confident that our conclusion is correct.

DNA Testing

Here it is said that almost half of Indian Afridi Pathans are very close genetically to Jews. I heard from some Pashtuns that Pathans are actually Pashtuns that mixed with other nations, so I was set to try to do a DNA test myself on friends of mine who are pure-blood Pashtuns. I already got an offer from a commercial company, when I suddenly remembered something I read not long ago – a Wikipedia article about Jewish genetics. I’ll outline some of the conclusions of those studies, and explain their relevancy afterwards.

Male linage studies: A book published in 2012 that surveys previous studies concluded that all major Jewish groups share a common Middle Eastern origin, and claimed that the theory that some Ashekenazi Jews are Khazars is refuted. Another study done in 2012 claimed to prove that North African Jews are genetically close to European Jews. Another showed that Ashkenazi Jews from Germany are much closer to Sfaradic Jews than to non-Jewish Germans. Another study in 2013 found no Khazar evidence for Ashkenazi Jews and again concluded that most of the Ashkenazi Jews have common Middle Eastern origin as the Sfaradic Jews.

Female linage studies: In 2008 someone found that about 40% of Ashkenazi Jews had 4 female founders (consistent with Jewish tradition of being the children of Yaakov’s wives – Lea, Rahel, Zilpa and Bilha), but that the same is not true for Sfaradic Jews (basically claiming that many women converted to Judaism and married male Jews). In 2013 someone said the exact opposite – that about 88% of the Ashkenazi Jews had non-Middle Eastern female ancestors, suggesting that Jewish males migrated to Europe and took new wives from the local population, and converted them to Judaism. In 2014 another study contradicted both other studies.

Other studies: Looking at the whole genome, one study concluded that most Jews from all communities are descendants of ancient Hebrew and Israelite residents of the Levant. Some studies concluded that some Ashkenazi Jews are in fact descendants of Khazars. There are many other studies; many of them contradict each other.

Now to our point, we clearly see that most studies are consistent with the Jewish tradition of being mostly children of Yaakov (except for non-Israelis who accepted the Israeli religion). But, and this is a huge but, some studies (especially in the maternal case) show something completely different.

One explanation for the inconclusiveness of the DNA testing of Jews, especially in the maternal linage (which is the more important one, because according to the Torah (implicit) and Ezra (explicit) being Israeli is determined by the mother), is that a lot of women around the world converted to Judaism, but it wouldn’t be a full explanation of the facts, because we would then expect that all studies would show this or that percent of non-Middle Eastern maternal origin.

A better explanation is that DNA testing is over-hyped, and it will take some more development until we could rely on it. Commercial companies and researchers would surely disagree, but they have a personal interest.

Because we showed that it is basically impossible to believe that Pashtuns are not Bene Israel, DNA is not necessary for proving this tradition. It can only be used for proving another Pashtuns tradition – that Pashtuns did not mix with other people, but I personally think that given the current knowledge of DNA and mutation frequency, and how much the environment affects it, any result of a DNA test could be debated.


Some Pashtuns think that because Pashto is not a Semetic language it means Pashtuns are not Semetic, but it isn’t a strong enough evidence to contradict what we said above. To contradict what we said one has to explain how this tradition originated, and it is impossible.

Anyway, we should say that not only this evidence is not strong enough; it is actually not evidence at all. Jews in Europe spoke 3 languages – Hebrew, the language of their country (French in France, German in Germany etc) and Yidish. Yidish has only a few Semetic elements and is closer to German, and was used for daily communication between Jews in Europe. Jews in Spain and Portugal also spoke 3 languages – Hebrew, Spanish and Ladino. Ladino was the Yidish of the Jews in Spain and Portugal. In Arabic countries, again, the Jews spoke 3 languages – Hebrew, Arabic and Judeo-Arabic. The later was the Yidish of Jews in Arabic countries.

It is true that the Pashtuns do not speak Hebrew, but I think it is highly probable that Pashto is the Yidish of Pashtuns. It is also possible that Pashtuns didn’t need another foreign language (like Jews needed to know German or Spanish) because unlike Jews, Pashtuns had their own territory. It might be just a wild theory, but it might have been used, like Yidish, so that Pashtuns won’t mix with other nations.

Other nations who claim they are Bene Israel

From the same reasons outlined above, I believe every nation that has a wide-spread tradition of being Bene Israel, are really descendent of Bene Israel. That said, being Bene Israel and having our father Yaakov as an ancestor is not the same thing. There are 2 types of nations who are Bene Israel:

  1. People who kept the religion of Moses and Israel (what is called now Judaism) all along. They are Bene Israel because non-Israelis who married them, accepted the religion too, and Moses taught Bene Israel that if someone accepts that religion and goes through a certain process (called Giyur in Hebrew), he becomes an Israeli himself (Moses’ own wife, Sipora, was actually a convert).
  2. People who are descendents of Bene Israel who didn’t keep the religion of Moses and Israel, but didn’t mix with other people.

The faces of all the people who claim they are Bene Israel prove they mixed, and they generally do not deny that they mixed. Jews mixed too, but they kept Judaism, so they fall in to the first category (Jews who married non-Jews were thrown out of the Jewish community and were considered dead to them. This is still true for today’s religious Jews, and until not long ago, all Jews were religious). On the other hand, those other people who both mixed and did not keep Judaism, although they are descendants of Bene Israel to some extent, they are not Bene Israel themselves, as they do not fall into either category.

What’s special about the Pashtuns is that although Pashtuns do not keep Judaism today (except for some small portions like not eating some non-kosher animals), according to Pashtuns’ tradition, they did not mix. And unlike other nations who have the tradition of being descendants of Bene Israel, the face of the Pashtuns prove they did not mix.

So the question is whether one believes the tradition that Pashtuns didn’t mix with other nations or doesn’t. It is less provable than the tradition of being Bene Israel, because if Pashtuns did mix and stopped mixing at some generation A, it is possible that the tradition of not mixing was created at a later generation B, if they didn’t mix for enough generations.

That said, I think it is more likely that they didn’t mix than that they did. One reason is because the current situation is that most Pashtuns are not mixing. Another reason is that I can’t find a good reason why at some generation A they’d stop mixing after they mixed before that. And finally, we know from Moses (Deuteronomy 30), from Yehezkel (37), from Yirmiya (31), Yishaaya (51, 27), and from many other prophecies that the Bene Israel are out there (those who were exiled by the damn Assyrian). Because we know they don’t keep Judaism, the only possibility for them to exist as Israelis is by not mixing, and there is one, and only one, nation that fits those conditions, and it is the Pashtuns.

I should note that if some of the Pashtun tribes are descendants of Bene Israel and others aren’t, and the Pashtuns mixed within themselves, that would exclude Pashtuns from category 2. Yet, as far as I know, mixing even between tribes is rare (or at least was rare until recently). So I guess that if you are a Pashtun and the elders of your tribe say you are Bene Israel and that your tribe’s ancestors didn’t mix with tribes that aren’t Bene Israel, then you are Israeli. Otherwise, there might be some doubts in case some tribes (those that don’t have this tradition) weren’t original Pashtuns but adopted the Pashtuns’ culture at some point in history.


Well, as a Jew who prayed for and dreamt of meeting the other (non Jews) Bene Israel, I am extremely excited. If you are a Pashtun and you don’t want to admit being an Israeli, I think you are not being rational.

First, being Israelis is a source of pride. It means you are the children of Prophet Yaakov. It means you were the first to believe in the one and only God, more that 1500 years before the Arabs. Your ancestors prayed to the one and only God while the Arabs were complete pagans, bowing to all sorts of idols who don’t have power over anything. It is also very likely that other prophets are your forefathers. For example, it is very likely you are descendants of Prophet Moses himself if you are Lewani. Your great great… great grandfather might have been Moses’ best student – prophet Yehoshua if you are Afridi, etc. Your ancestors saw with their eyes what God did to Egypt – stuff that no other nation but the Egyptians themselves have witnessed. They heard God talking to them on Mount Sinai, etc.

Second, If you think Israel or Jews are some kind of evil maniacs, then you should read this. Once you learn the truth you could be happier with being from the same nation as the Jews. In that article you can also find out why Jews are so excited to realize the Pashtuns are Bene Israel.

So if you are a Pashtun and you are comfortable with the fact that we are you and you are us, you are invited to our facebook group – The People of Israel – Pashtuns and Jews. If you are a Jew and you are excited you are welcome too of course. PI Veameha

Side note for Jews

Some Jews might doubt the un-provable (given current genetics science) tradition of Pashtuns not mixing. I would like to prove to them that our Rabbis of the Mishna and Talmud knew that they won’t mix. First of all, there are many prophecies that the 10 tribes are going to return to the holy land (like Yehezkel 37, Yirmiya 31, Yishaaya 51 and 27, and many others, that talk about the 10 tribes specifically).

Second, if a non-Israeli marries an Israeli woman, they are not really married according to Halacha (Jewish law), but if he is Israeli from the 10 tribes, then they are really married and she must get divorced according to Halacha if she wants to marry an Israeli. On this topic, the Talmud says in Yevamot 16: “If a non-Jew married an Israeli woman according to Halacha, we are concerned that they might actually be married, because he might be from the 10 tribes”. The Talmud then asks: “But when someone is in front of us and we don’t know who he is, we assume he came from the majority of people, and the majority of people are not from the 10 tribes, so we shouldn’t be concerned”. The Talmud then says that this is only true in their land – the land where the 10 tribes live, because over there they are the majority. So the Talmud believes that the 10 tribes are still the majority in their land. If they had mixed this would not have been the case, unless there was only a little mixing going on.

Finally, we have the Mishna in Sanhedrin 10:3, where Rabbi Akiva said the 10 tribes don’t have a part in the next world, while Rabbi Eliezer said they have. Rashi simply said that they talked about the generation that was exiled, but even Rabb Akiva admits that their descendants surely have a part in the next world. There’s no doubt this is the case, otherwise Ribbie Akiva would be in a disagreement with Yehezkel, Yishaaya and Jeremaya, and we know he can’t be.

So the prophets and the Talmud all say that the 10 tribes are out there, in their land they are the majority, and they are still Israelis, even after all these years. There’s one, and only one, nation that doesn’t look like they mixed, has Torah-based traditions, has a tradition of being Bene Israel, and even has a tradition of not mixing. They are the Pashtuns, our brothers, Bene Israel.

So a Jew who believes in the prophets and that our Talmud’s Rabbies knew what they were talking about shouldn’t doubt the tradition of the Pashtuns not mixing with other nations. And I’m not a Rav myself, but I think there might be a consequence for Halacha here – if we meet a random Pashtun, we can’t ask him to do something that is forbidden on Shabbat, serve him anything not Kosher (from the non-Kosher stuff they do eat – some of the Kosher laws the Pashtuns do keep), etc, because as the Talmud said, in their land they are the majority.

The author originally published this piece on the Pashtun Times

Lost Tribes And The Garden Of Eden

This is a story of a close group of friends bound by fate, adventure, and purpose as they are led down a road they could only have dreamed of.

When I arrived in Tsfat for a summer to study, the rosh yeshiva told me, “You don’t choose Tsfat; Tsfat chooses you.” I arrived at my dorm room and saw a photo of my roommate on the wall. I got goose bumps when I noticed myself in the background of the photo taken at the Kotel. Months before I knew I would ever end up in Tsfat, there was a picture of me on my dorm-room door.

In Tsfat, I experienced many life-changing moments. Most significantly, I was given as a gift Torah CDs about the redemption by Rabbi Shimon Kessin, and I read the book Eim HaBanim Semeicha by Rabbi Yissachar Shlomo Teichtel.

Rabbi Teichtel’s book discusses the precious mitzvah to settle the land of Israel, and the history and future of the people of Israel and their homeland. In the book, he imparts a strong piece of advice that would change my and my friends’ lives forever. He teaches that there is a tremendous amount of blessing stored in the heavens yearning to descend to the world. However, humans don’t receive the blessing themselves; they receive it only through their handiwork. Rabbi Teichtel advises to gather a group of friends who share unconditional love and a common desire to settle the land of Israel, and to create a vessel that can receive the blessing. Whatever entity is created will be guaranteed success and inevitably foster the settlement of the land of Israel. In my eyes, this was a promise from the Torah, and we accepted the challenge.

A close group of friends gathered and founded a nonprofit organization and a brewing company as vessels to receive the blessing. We flew to Israel and sought out land on which to live—and make beer. We found many hidden gems in distressed kibbutzim and moshavim, but were met with nothing but bureaucracy. While in Israel, however, we did find out that two of the Lost Tribes of Israel that had returned to the land—the Ethiopians, believed to be from shevet Dan, and the Bnei Menashe from India—had delicious ancient beer recipes that they were willing to share with our crew. We gained the blessings of the tribal leaders to scale up the beverages and bring them to market.

Shortly after launching our brewing company in the U.S., Lost Tribes Beverage, our team began receiving e-mails from around the world from groups claiming to be from the Lost Tribes of Israel.

Nearly three thousand years ago, the twelve tribes of Israel were split into two nations—the Northern Kingdom called Israel, and the Southern Kingdom called Judea. Today’s Jews descended from the Judeans, while the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom were sent into exile, towards the Far East, by the Assyrians. Every day in Jewish prayer, the prophetic reunion of the kingdoms is spoken of in terms of the two separate entities, Yehudah and Yisrael.

The Pashtunim Are Our Lost Brothers

Research from organizations such as Amishav reveals that many tribal names in Afghanistan today are identical to the tribes of Israel: the Ashuri, Rubeni, Gadi, and Yosefzai (zai meaning “son of”), among others. Tribal practices include levirate marriage and cities of refuge, both major concepts of Mosaic Law. These tribes were forcibly converted to Islam, yet maintain their own legal code, called Pashtunwali, that supersedes the Koran. They refer to their collective nation as Bani Israel (the children of Israel). This 2,700-year-old nation resides in a location referred to as the graveyard of empires, as no nation was ever able to conquer them—not Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, the Soviets, the British, etc.

My friends and I started to search the tribal names on Facebook, making “friends” and inquiring whether the legend was true. Were they the lost tribes of Israel? Almost every time the answer was “Yes, we were told by our grandparents that we are Israelites, and we await the son of David to come and redeem us.”

Throughout the Silk Road, there is evidence of the legends and customs of these tribes from Afghanistan to Japan, the oldest monarchy in the world. The Japanese Empire was founded in 660 BCE. The Israelite exile was said to have happened 722 BCE, just 82 years prior to the founding of the Empire.

We learned that the Japanese claim to have been a chosen nation exiled from their homeland and resettled in the Far East. Their alphabet resembles the Hebrew alphabet. Their holy temple on Mount Moriyah—the same name as the Temple Mount that hosted King Solomon’s temple—contains three chambers: an outer section for people to celebrate, an inner chamber where priests practice animal sacrifice, and an inner chamber with a golden ark on four poles adorned with sculptures of birds, and with three symbolic items kept inside. The priests, called Yamabushi, all wear headgear strikingly similar to tefillin (phylacteries) and blow a horn resembling a shofar.

It was also fascinating to discover that there are large tribes in Africa that claim decent from the Judean kingdom from the time of the destruction of the First Temple. One of those groups in South Africa, the Lemba, practice circumcision, eat kosher, and observe the Shabbat. A professor from Duke University traveled there and did DNA testing on the tribe. His findings were astonishing. They all have Semitic genes, with 10 percent of them having the Kohen gene!

Meet the Igbo

In Nigeria, the Igbo tribe, numbering in the vast millions of people, claim to be descendants of Israelite slaves sold into Africa. Many of the slaves brought to America were from the Nigerian ports. Community activists such as Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks are very vocal about the roots of the many descendants of the slaves in America. Mr. Stoudemire and other groups collaborate to educate and return exiled communities to their ancestral heritage.

The phenomenon of hidden Jews also stretches into Arabic-speaking communities in Israel, who claim to have been the descendants of forced converts to Islam. They sometimes have tefillin and mezuzot hidden under floorboards from hundreds of years ago, as documented by Tsvi Misinai and written about by the first prime ministers of Israel. They are actually antagonized today by other Arabic-speaking communities, which call them “musta arabim,” the Arabic version of a Marrano.

We pray on the Holy Days for an “agudah achat,” a united community. As well, the prophecies speak of a time when the borders of Israel will greatly extend themselves. The Jewish people regularly chant a song whose lyrics speak about the anticipated time of the stretching of Israel’s borders. We know these expansions will not happen through military conquest, but rather when nations raise their hand asking to be included in the people of Israel. Whether these groups are Jewish or not may be irrelevant. Having hundreds of millions of people identifying with Israel is something that deserves the attention of the Jewish people and forces us to figure out how to best elevate this desire towards global peace and sustainability.

Amid all this discovery and networking, our crew found a wonderful plot of land in the lower Galilee, in the location where Reish Lakish states in the Talmud (Tractate Eiruvin) the entrance to the Garden of Eden might be located. Acquiring it was difficult, but, believing strongly in the promise of Rabbi Teichtel, we decided to move ahead.
When it came time to make the down payment, our team was still empty-handed. With just days left, a descendant of Rabbi Yitzchak Yaacov Reines heard about the struggle and was inspired to lend the money, interest-free. This was miraculous, but we still needed to secure the final payment. With only days left before the payment was due, the pressure was on.

Meanwhile, a tribal leader was elected by the heads of the Afghan Israelite tribes to reach out to the Jewish people and to declare that the time had come for the two groups to begin working together after centuries apart. This message was brought to the Amishav organization—founded at the request of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef—with which our team was already in discussions about building a social network called iTribe to identify these groups across the globe.

Humbled by the magnitude of this development, we called Rabbi Shimon Kessin, who called an emergency meeting that night. We mentioned to the rabbi that we were having trouble making the final payment on the farm in Israel.
Rabbi Kessin introduced us to an investor and philanthropist who greeted us with open arms and allowed me to make our “elevator pitch.” Thirty seconds in, we were met with a smile and an assurance the deal would close in time. We were graciously granted an additional no-interest loan.

And there it was! A tribal leader from the house of Joseph reached out to the tribe of Judah, and directly stimulated the needed financing to purchase a beautiful farm in the location of the Garden of Eden.

Ezekiel prophesied: “And you, son of man, take for yourself one stick and write upon it, ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel his companions’; and take one stick and write upon it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel, his companions.’ . . . And say to them, ‘So says the L‑rd G‑d: Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side, and I will bring them to their land’” (Yechezkel 37:16–21).

Originally posted in 5TJT