Hachrazah 5770 Tishrei 27
Informal translation from Hebrew of the 27 Tishrei, 5770 (15 October 2009) statement:
Meeting with Bedouins - Summary
Last night a visit was arranged of Sanhedrin Rabbis in the Bedouin community of Rahat.
After the Roman conquest of the Land of Israel at the end of the Bar Kochba Rebellion, millions of Jews were killed and many more were exiled. However, as experience shows us, when a state conquers its enemy, it is interested in the conquered territory continuing to be active, as it is then possible to collect taxes from it. Thus the Assyrian and Babylonian kings did, as it is written: Kings 2 24 (11) And Nebuchadnezar, King of Babylon, came upon the city, and his servants besieged it. (12) And Jehoiachin, king of Judah, went out to the King of Babylon, him and his mother, and his servants, heis ministers, and his officers, and the king of Babylon took him, in the eighth year of his reign. (13) And he took out from there, all the treasures of the House of G-d, and the treasures of the King’s house, and he cut off all the golden vessels which Solomon, King of Israel, made in the Temple of G-d, as G-d has said. (14) And he exiled all of Jerusalem and all of the ministers, and all of the mighty men, ten thousand exiles, and all of the craftsmen, and smiths, no one remained, but the poor people of the land. (15) And he exiled Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king’s mother, and the king’s wives, and his officers, and the chief men of the land, he lead in exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. (16) And all the men of might, seven thousand, and the craftsmen and smiths, a thousand, all of them, might men of war, and the King of Babylon brought them to exile in Babylon.
Thus also the Romans acted. But it was done in an intense process at the end of which Jews were left in distant places without leadership.
This population represented, without spiritual leadership, easy prey for the armies of Islam as they galloped northwards. The Muslim regime of Mohammed’s rule, by the sword little by little forcefully converted to Islam all the descendants of the survivors that the Romans left behind. Joining them were also many of the tribal Jews of Arabia that fled the destruction that Mohammed perpetrated against the Jews of Arabia, who were also converted by force to Islam over the course of generations.
That being said, the descendants of these Jews hold in their heart (apparently with pain) the memory of them being of the seed of Israel, and they are connected to the ground of the land (of Israel), the land of their forefathers, zealously. It is proper to assume that in their understanding that their religion is Muslim because of the persecution and threats on their fathers and mothers does not add sympathy in their hearts to the Islamic religion (in conservative language). Normally these people married amongst themselves, which raises the chance that assimilation is not a widespread concern. Historical, geographic, and genetic studies prove that this population is very similar to the Jewish population, in particular to the Ashkenazi population, for the Ashkenazi Jews were the ones that the Romans exiled to Europe. So much so that from a genetic perspective there is closer kinship between Ashkenazi Jews and “Palestinians” than from Ashkenazi Jews and Yemenite Jews. The opinions regarding their status, Jews, doubtful Jews, gentiles, still needs to be studied in full halachic depth.
By the Bedouins, whose forefathers adapted themselves to desert fluctuations, the Roman hand was less upon them than the Jewish farmers in the land, and therefore it becomes clear that in spite of their dark appearance, they are even closer to Jews genetically and in their customs.
The “Palestinian” population is accompanied with Jewish traditions in different fields. Circumcision on the eighth day (not like in Arab countries), village names with the word “Kafr” (like the Hebrew “Kfar”) like Kafr Kassam, Kafr Kana, etc, that is a Hebrew word that doesn’t appear in the names of Arab communities outside of the Land of Israel. Many of them refrain from eating camel meat, which is permitted according to Islam. They slaughter animals like the Israelite custom.
Translation in progress
This ruling in the news
- Sanhedrin Sponsors Unique Bedouin-Jewish Get-Together - Arutz 7 (10/13/09)