Bringing Israel's Lost Tribe Home

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One of the great mysteries of ancient history has been the fate of the lost tribes of Israel.

But one Jewish organization believes it has found the lost tribe, called Bnei Menashe, and plans to bring them home.

Daniel is part of the Bnei Menashe tribe in India. They are believed to be descendants of the 10 lost tribes of Israel who were exiled from their homeland almost 3,000 years ago.

The Bnei Menashe practice Judaism, observing the sabbath, keeping kosher and even celebrating Jewish festivals-- all while living in India and hoping to someday return to the promise land.

Michael Freund is working to bring the Bnei Menshe to Israel.

"They see it as the fulfillment of the of biblical prophecy. which i believe it is," he explained.

So far, his organization, Shavei Israel, has helped more than 1,400 members of the tribe make the journey.

Once they arrive, Shavei Israel helps them find jobs, learn the language and adjust to the culture.

"Bringing them into Israel is...a beginning to their new journey, and we want to ensure that they are fully absorbed and successfully so within the country," Freund said.

He hopes to bring the more than 7,000 members of the Bnei Menashe tribe still living in India to Israel, and it doesn't stop there.

Jews from Spain, China, Russia, and Italy have made aliyah through the help of Shavei Israel.

"I think we are privileged to live in a very special time," Freund said. "It's a time where we are witnessing the ingathering of the exiles, just as the prophets foretold."

Freund is asking Christians and Jews alike to share in fulfilling that prophecy.

"Pray for the success of our efforts and plead with God to put it into the hearts of our decision makers to open the door so that our lost brethren can come home again," he said.

*Originally published April 20, 2009.

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