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Hundreds of the lost Menashe tribe arrive in Israel from India

By Mason White 4:12 PM June 22, 2014
Bnei Menashe members arrive at Ben Gurion Airport 

By: Anav Silverman
Hundreds of Bnei Menashe members arrived to Israel from India, the Tazpit News Agency reported.

On Thursday, forty-three members of the lost Tribe of Bnei Menashe, arrived at Ben Gurion Airport.

The new immigrants to Israel, hail from the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, and they bring the total number of Bnei Menashe who came to Israel this month, to 250.

Since the start of the year, 410 Bnei Menashe have come to Israel, the largest number that has ever been recorded.

The immigrants were brought to the Jewish state by the Jerusalem-based Shavei Israel organization, which received permission from the government to bring 900 Bnei Menashe members to Israel by next year.

“It is so moving to see the lost Tribe of Bnei Menashe returning to Zion, and rejoining the people of Israel,” said Shavei Israel Founder and Chairman Michael Freund.

“After 2,700 years, the Bnei Menashe are returning to our people and our land, and we won’t stop until all the remaining 7,000 community members still in India, will be able to come here,” Freund added.

“This is a great day for me and my family, and for all of the Bnei Menashe members,” said Bnei Menashe community chairman Yochanan Phaltual, who came to Israel last week from India, and was reunited with his father and siblings in Israel. “It is a dream come true, the dream of our forefathers, and we thank God that we have come home,” he added.

The Bnei Menashe are descendants of the tribe of Menashe, one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel who were exiled by the Assyrian Empire after King Solomon’s death more than 2,700 years ago. In recent years, Shavei Israel has brought some 2,400 Bnei Menashe back home to Zion. Another 7,000 still remain in northeastern India, waiting for the day when they too will be able to return to Israel and the Jewish people.