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Home > Secteur-English > General > From Carthage in the South, there is G-d. By Abraham Ben David (...)

From Carthage in the South, there is G-d. By Abraham Ben David Habib

African Judaism is an interesting topic, because always, those who approach it without respect very quickly reveal their own lack as Edith Bruder.

Seeing the Assyrians and Babylonians reliefs depicting soldiers of ancient Israelites, we notice immediately that they look nothing like Edith Bruder.
Perhaps in ancient times the only representatives of its type are found among Vikings ?

The Mishna Treaty Nega’im reported some physical aspect of the general population at the time of Rabbi Ishmael. They were Askeroa color, the shaft ebony.
But there were Israelites who had of course other complexions. And stories complexions were not useful for our Master, as to identify leprosy in different skin types, not to authenticate ethnicity.
About the Sages of the Torah is not to question the authenticity of genetic those who claim Judaism.
In the Middle Ages, the poet Rabbi Yehuda Jewish Moor haLevi, offered an important book on Jewish thought presented to the world. This book is called Sefer haKuzari. the Kuzari is an overview of the Jewish faith, which illuminates the major themes of the spiritual route proposed by the Judaism of all humanity. The book is based on history, common to the time of Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, the king of the Khazars and their dialogue with a Jewish rabbi, at the conclusion of which the king and all his people adopted the Jewish faith.
Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, author of the Kuzari, Moor was a Jew.
The Moors were mostly Africans, Berbers from North Africa, Senegal and the Sahel. Between them, white, brown, black, no color complex existed.
Often called Saracens, they were an ethnic mixture whose only commonality was their predominantly African origin, with ethnic additions came from the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, and the Middle East.
Their civilization, part of Africa, stretching north to the shores of the Mediterranean, including a large part of the Iberian Peninsula, of Sicily, Malta, Corsica, Sardinia and other territories.
The Kuzari, so history told by a Moor, speaks proudly of the adoption of Judaism by a people who the author was part of the "Franj", as the Moors named the Europeans.
In his book, Rabbi Yehuda Halevi describes a spiritual conquest to Judaism, made ​​in a respectful and peaceful dialogue.
It is not for the author to establish a precedent for later discredit the authenticity of Judaism Khazars descendants on a genetic basis.
Such absurdities are reserved for anti-Semites, and those obsessed by notions of pure breeds.
That are Judaized Khazars, it is to their credit, because they are part of the adventure from Judaism, sharing the joys and sorrows of the people of Israel, named after them.
There is no need to go count the percentages of genes they carry their exclusively European origin, against the percentage of ’Jewish genes of origin they carry through marriage, and other nonsense like that.
Jews Africans, who also claim their affiliation to the Torah, should not be subject to the sieve of authenticity, genetic or otherwise. It would be an insult to Judaism. Of course African Jews have inherited from their ancestors who lived on the African continent since biblical times, their culture and their faith. But this culture and faith is not based on a position of superiority "natural". Human value in Judaism, is an achievement that comes from individual effort. Even if you are the son of Cohen Gadol, the value is not guaranteed.
There has certainly been African Jews, centuries before there were European Jews.
But this in itself does not mean anything, because in Judaism, the spiritual contract between the individual and God will prevail.
We say to our brothers in faith from Europe, we accept you as full Jews, if you follow the tenets of our culture, which is the Oral and Written Torah.
Despite saying the Jerusalem Talmud that says "From Carthage to the south, there is Gd., but the North of Carthage no Gd." which means that for them, Europe was in itself symbolic of disbelief for us that time is thankfully over. Maimonides, the leader of Egyptian Judaism in his day, was investigated and its decisions eventually met by the Jewish communities in Europe. Same for Rabbi Yosef Caro, another Jewish civilization Moor. The Baal Shem Tov was in Europe all his spiritual revolution based on the Zohar, a Moroccan tradition. (see the introduction of Gold haH’ama R. Abraham Azoulay, comment approved by the Hasidism)
Even the Baal Shem Tov said that the greatest spiritual authority of his time, was Rabbi Haim Ben Attar, a Moroccan Master.
When we hear such things, we are proud of our European brethren.
In the tradition of the Master of Morocco, there are many stories about Judaism intra-African, as the stories of Beney Moshe, the Qahina, and Jewish tribes in southern Niger.
The Zohar contains passages from the Book of Enoch, which was preserved by the Beta Israel of Ethiopia and authenticated (to Europeans) by the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The beauty of the Torah, and the timeless value of its precepts is what counts.

Edith Bruder, presenting a book that speaks of African Judaism as a myth, sets up a problematic racial character, book sadly was funded by Jewish institutions
The Holocaust is a tragedy obviously related to the changes in racial discourse, delusional speech that perpetuated the myth that the Jewish nation is basically a ’race’, thus denying the fact that Judaism is primarily a cultural phenomenon.
Not only the concepts of ’race’ disintegrated by modern science, but they are also at odds with about Judaism.
From what is known about the quasi-institutional racism against blacks in general, and Jews in general have been, it is rather disappointing to date, from a racist attack against the Black Jews, with attempt to deny or erase their existence, and invalidate their culture.
A similar thing happened in the Orthodox community. There were Europeans rabbis who, doubting the "authenticity" of Ethiopian Jews, suggested that they go through a conversion process. But Rabbi Obadia Yosef told the rabbis that Europeans should not require such things of Ethiopian Jews, or themselves could face demonstrate their own Jewish origin, which could cause a lot of problems.
Following this proposal, the opposition immediately subsided. Simply because there is no way to make such a move. And do such a thing could be a disaster in the case of European Jews, who are mostly European purely genetic heirs. Why go in such a direction ? Jewish culture it is not rich enough to inspire anyone to join the Israelite family ? The suffering of the Jews "self-proclaimed" which, in Europe as in Ethiopia, refused to leave their Jewish culture, and reject to adopt that of their persecutors for centuries, often at the cost of their lives, are they not sufficient evidence ?
Famous converted to Poland as Abraham ben Abraham, burned at the stake, and Gordon converted Scotland who also paid with his life for having chosen Judaism instead of Christianity, and countless converts all ages, do not they deserve not to be inheritors of the culture of their choice ?
In daily prayer, converted, like any other Jew, said : "Our D & D of our fathers, Abraham Isaac and Jacob" .... And the children of this converted all his descendants, will not be considered converts, but Israel itself. This is the reality of the Jewish people, away from all the qualifications of myths and alleged authenticity.
Millions of Jews today may very possibly be descendants of "converted". But they will never know. Why ? Because in Judaism, it absolutely does not matter.
Whether to reveal his Jewish origin, as is the case for African communities can inspire a return to the Torah, what can be better ? That descendants of families and ancient Jewish communities return to Judaism, as is the case in Portugal, Brazil, Sao Tome, Spain, Ethiopia with Beta Abraham, Zimbabwe, Mali, and even Poland, what is the problem that this could be ? In Jewish culture, no !
But for those who have ulterior motives, money, or political affiliation (related to money), this awakening to Jewish identity can be problematic.
It’s like the story of the death of the dog for which the millionaire rabbi must Kaddish, with the famous Rabbi exclamation : "But you did not tell me your dog was Jewish !!!" This is of Jewish humor, so it hides some truth behind the joke. Such people exist for whom Judaism also can be a promotional tool or division. A steak to share only with those who are of a certain social class.
If a billionaire is a Christian convert who carries a cross in front of the Rabbi, it is assumed for these people find charm in his actions and conduct. By cons, if an African from a poor country like Ethiopia, is said to be ethnic Jewish, it pouts, there are doubts.
It’s too obvious to those with three grains of salt in mind. And too heartbreaking.
Edith Bruder is one of those who shamelessly dare to speak of Judaism, when they have neither the knowledge nor the values ​​that represent the culture.
The question arises : is this what scares Edith Bruder behind the phenomenon of African Judaism, is the power of Judaism ? The ability of our culture, foster an intellectual and spiritual awakening, which goes far beyond the satisfaction of belonging to a private club ?
Judaism, which she claims, without being able to fulfill the precepts, can he inspire millions of others that they could achieve this accomplishment ?
People like her, can not set itself up as guardians of the Jewish culture, because they are basically ignorant, and thus could even be suspicious.
The Sages of Israel expected that hypocrites like this would come and try to take control of the Jewish culture. To do this, they let us traditions traditions midrashim on midrashim, halakhot on halakhot. With such a rich culture, hypocrites and ignorant immediately show their face.
We can not, we will never be that that one is or claims to be, reducing Judaism to wear the Yellow Star. This reduction has a insulting to victims of anti-Semitism, and to the beauty of the culture that celebrates Jewish life and always overcomes his detractors. Cynics of all stripes, whether Semitic, followers of racial theories, or even Jews who refuse to see that the scope of Judaism goes beyond victimization, can not play the role of decision-makers who is Jewish, and play a game of duplicity is not without recalling the laws percentages of Jewish ancestry practiced by vile fascist regimes of the second world war.
The narrowness of their stifling universe can not survive in the light of intelligence that characterizes the cultural richness that is the heritage of every Israelite.
Judaism, in all its power, awakens in Africa.
The Talmud, the Zohar, the Rambam, the Ben Ish Hay halakhot of the stories of the Saints of Morocco, the Sefer Chanoch, Kessim traditions of the Beta Israel of Ethiopia, the stories of the 10 tribes, their laws, Midrashim, are studied. Daily prayers, Shabbatot, festivals and fasts are practiced.
Children will begin their education in Pirkey Avot and Shabbat reading Tehillim with Taamim. That is, which is Judaism, not a racial, economic prejudice or geographical.

Beyond Edith Bruder, we can at least be astonished to see that institutions such as the Foundation of the Shoah Memory and the Foundation of French Judaism has played an important part in achieving this rant.


Habib Abraham Ben David

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