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Israelite, descendant of the Hebrew patriarch Jacob , whose name was changed to Israel after an all-night fight at Penuel near the stream of Jabbok (Genesis 32:28). In early history, Israelites were simply members of the 12 tribes of Israel. After 930 bce and the establishment of two independent Hebrew kingdoms in Palestine, the 10 northern tribes constituting the kingdom of Israel were known as Israelites to distinguish them from the southern kingdom of Judah . The northern kingdom was conquered by the Assyrians in 721 bce, and its population was eventually absorbed by other peoples.
education: Ancient Hebrews.
Like all preindustrial societies, ancient Israel first experienced a type of education that was essentially familial; that is to say, the...
In liturgical usage, an Israelite is a Jew who is neither a cohen (descendant of Aaron , the first high priest) nor a Levite (descendant of early religious functionaries). The distinction is significant, for if a cohen is present for synagogue service, he must be called up first for the reading of the Law; he is then followed by a Levite. Normally, therefore, an Israelite is not called up until the third reading.
education: Ancient Hebrews.
Like all preindustrial societies, ancient Israel first experienced a type of education that was essentially familial; that is to say, the mother taught the very young and the girls, while the father assumed the responsibility of providing moral, religious, and handcraft instruction for….
biblical literature: Background and beginnings.
…ethnic groups, such as the Hebrews, were involved in the mixture of peoples and cultures. The exact origin of the Hebrews is not known with certainty, but the biblical tradition of their origin in a clan that migrated from Mesopotamia to Canaan (Palestine) early in the 2nd millennium.
Palestine: Late Bronze Age.
…comparatively easy for the incoming Israelites to occupy most of the hill country east of the Jordan River and in western Palestine during the closing decades of the 13th century.
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For citizens of the modern State of Israel, see Israelis . For other uses of Israelite, see Israelites (disambiguation).
The Israelites ( /'?zri?la?ts/ ; Hebrew : ??? ?????? Bnei Yisra'el)  were a confederation of Iron Age Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East , who inhabited a part of Canaan during the tribal and monarchic periods .      According to the religious narrative of the Hebrew Bible , the Israelites' origin is traced back to the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs Abraham and his wife Sarah , through their son Isaac and his wife Rebecca , and their son Jacob who was later called Israel , whence they derive their name, with his wives Leah and Rachel and the handmaids Zilpa and Bilhah .
Modern archaeology has largely shown that determining the historicity of the religious narrative is impossible,  with many scholars viewing the stories as inspiring national myth narratives with little historical value.
Based on the archaeological evidence, according to the modern archaeological account, the Israelites and their culture did not overtake the region by force, but instead branched out of the indigenous Canaanite peoples that long inhabited the Southern Levant , Syria , ancient Israel , and the Transjordan region    through a gradual evolution of a distinct monolatristic —later cementing as monotheistic —religion centered on Yahweh . The outgrowth of Yahweh-centric monolatrism from Canaanite polytheism started with Yahwism , the belief in the existence of the many gods and goddesses of the Canaanite pantheon but with the consistent worship of only Yahweh. Along with a number of cultic practices , this gave rise to a separate Israelite ethnic group identity. The final transition of their Yahweh-based religion to monotheism and rejection of the existence of the other Canaanite gods set the Israelites apart from their fellow Canaanite brethren.    The Israelites, however, continued to retain various cultural commonalities with other Canaanites, including use of one of the Canaanite dialects , Hebrew , which is today the only living descendant of that language group.
In the Hebrew Bible the term Israelites is used interchangeably with the term Twelve Tribes of Israel . Although related, the terms Hebrews , Israelites, and Jews are not interchangeable in all instances. "Israelites" (Yisraelim) refers to the people that the Hebrew Bible describes specifically as the direct descendants of any of the sons of the patriarch Jacob (later called Israel), and his descendants as a people are also collectively called "Israel", including converts to their faith in worship of the god of Israel , Yahweh . "Hebrews" (?Ivrim), on the contrary, is used to denote the Israelites' immediate forebears who dwelt in the land of Canaan , the Israelites themselves, and the Israelites' ancient and modern descendants (including Jews and Samaritans ). "Jews" (Yehudim) is used to denote the descendants of the Israelites who coalesced when the Tribe of Judah absorbed the remnants of various other Israelite tribes.
During the period of the divided monarchy "Israelites" was only used to refer to the inhabitants of the northern Kingdom of Israel , and it is only extended to cover the people of the southern Kingdom of Judah in post-exilic usage. .
The Israelites are the ethnic stock from which modern Jews and Samaritans originally trace their ancestry.       Modern Jews are named after and also descended from the southern Israelite Kingdom of Judah ,            particularly the tribes of Judah , Benjamin , Simeon and partially Levi . Many Israelites took refuge in the Kingdom of Judah following the collapse of the Kingdom of Israel. .
Finally, in Judaism , the term "Israelite" is, broadly speaking, used to refer to a lay member of the Jewish ethnoreligious group , as opposed to the priestly orders of Kohanim and Levites . In texts of Jewish law such as the Mishnah and Gemara , the term ????? (Yehudi), meaning Jew, is rarely used, and instead the ethnonym ?????? (Yisraeli), or Israelite, is widely used to refer to Jews. Samaritans are not and never call themselves "Jews" ?????? (Yehudim), but commonly refer to themselves and to Jews collectively as Israelites, and they describe themselves as Israelite Samaritans  .
The Merneptah stele . While alternative translations exist, the majority of biblical archaeologists translate a set of hieroglyphs as Israel, representing the first instance of the name Israel in the historical record.
The term Israelite is the English name for the descendants of the biblical patriarch Jacob in ancient times, which is derived from the Greek ?s?a???ta?,  which was used to translate the Biblical Hebrew term b'nei yisrael, ?????????? as either "sons of Israel " or "children of Israel". .
The name Israel first appears in the Hebrew Bible in Genesis 32:29 . It refers to the renaming of Jacob, who, according to the Bible, wrestled with an angel , who gave him a blessing and renamed him Israel because he had "striven with God and with men, and have prevailed". The Hebrew Bible etymologizes the name as from yisra "to prevail over" or "to struggle/wrestle with", and El ( God ).   However, modern scholarship interprets El as the subject, "El rules/struggles".   .
The name Israel first appears in non-biblical sources c. 1209 BCE, in an inscription of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah . The inscription is very brief and says simply: "Israel is laid waste and his seed is not" (see below). The inscription refers to a people, not to an individual or a nation-state. .
In modern Hebrew , b'nei yisrael ("children of Israel") can denote the Jewish people at any time in history; it is typically used to emphasize Jewish ethnic identity.[ citation needed ].
From the period of the Mishna (but probably used before that period) the term Yisrael ("[a member of the People of] Israel") acquired an additional narrower meaning of common Jews who are not Levites or Aaronite priests ( kohanim ).[ citation needed ].
In modern Hebrew this contrasts with the term Yisraeli (English " Israeli "), a citizen of the modern State of Israel , regardless of religion or ethnicity.[ citation needed ].
The term Hebrew has Eber as an eponymous ancestor. It is used synonymously with "Israelites", or as an ethnolinguistic term for historical speakers of the Hebrew language in general.[ citation needed ].
The Greek term Ioudaioi ( Jews ) was an exonym originally referring to members of the Tribe of Judah , which formed the nucleus of the kingdom of Judah , and was later adopted as a self-designation by people in the diaspora who identified themselves as loyal to the God of Israel and the Temple in Jerusalem.    .
The Samaritans , who claim descent from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (plus Levi through Aaron for kohens ), are named after the Israelite Kingdom of Samaria , but until modern times many Jewish authorities contested their claimed lineage, deeming them to have been conquered foreigners who were settled in the Land of Israel by the Assyrians , as was the typical Assyrian policy to obliterate national identities. Today, Jews and Samaritans both recognize each other as communities with an authentic Israelite origin. .
The terms "Jews" and "Samaritans" largely replaced the title "Children of Israel"  as the commonly used ethnonym for each respective community.
Several theories exist proposing the origins of the Israelites in raiding groups, infiltrating nomads or emerging from indigenous Canaanites driven from the wealthier urban areas by poverty to seek their fortunes in the highland.  Various, ethnically distinct groups of itinerant nomads such as the Habiru and Shasu recorded in Egyptian texts as active in Edom and Canaan could have been related to the later Israelites, which does not exclude the possibility that the majority may have had their origins in Canaan proper. The name Yahweh , the god of the later Israelites, may indicate connections with the region of Mount Seir in Edom. .
Ramesses III prisoner tiles depicting precursors of the Israelites in Canaan: Canaanites from city-states and a Shasu leader.   .
The prevailing academic opinion today is that the Israelites were a mixture of peoples predominantly indigenous to Canaan, although an Egyptian matrix of peoples may also have played a role in their ethnogenesis,    with an ethnic composition similar to that in Ammon , Edom and Moab ,  and including Habiru and Šosu .  The defining feature which marked them off from the surrounding societies was a staunch egalitarian organisation focused on the worship of Yahweh, rather than mere kinship. .
The language of the Canaanites may perhaps be best described as an "archaic form of Hebrew, standing in much the same relationship to the Hebrew of the Old Testament as does the language of Chaucer to modern English." The Canaanites were also the first people, as far as is known, to have used an alphabet , as early as the 12th century BCE .
The name Israel first appears c. 1209 BCE, at the end of the Late Bronze Age and the very beginning of the period archaeologists and historians call Iron Age I , on the Merneptah Stele raised by the Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah . The inscription is very brief:.
Yeno'am is made as that which does not exist.
?urru has become a widow because of Egypt. .
As distinct from the cities named ( Ashkelon , Gezer , Yenoam ) which are written with a toponymic marker , Israel is written hieroglyphically with a demonymic determinative indicating that the reference is to a human group, variously located in central Palestine  or the highlands of Samaria . .
Over the next two hundred years (the period of Iron Age I) the number of highland villages increased from 25 to over 300  and the settled population doubled to 40,000.  By the 10th century BCE a rudimentary state had emerged in the north-central highlands,  and in the 9th century this became a kingdom.  Settlement in the southern highlands was minimal from the 12th through the 10th centuries BCE, but a state began to emerge there in the 9th century,  and from 850 BCE onwards a series of inscriptions are evidence of a kingdom which its neighbours refer to as the " House of David ." .
After the destruction of the Israelite kingdoms of Samaria and Judah in 720 and 586 BCE respectively,   the concepts of Jew and Samaritan gradually replaced Judahite and Israelite. When the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity , the Hasmonean kingdom was established[ dubious – discuss ] in present-day Israel , consisting of three regions which were Judea, Samaria, and the Galilee. In the pre-exilic First Temple Period the political power of Judea was concentrated within the tribe of Judah , Samaria was dominated by the tribe of Ephraim and the House of Joseph , while the Galilee was associated with the tribe of Naphtali , the most eminent tribe of northern Israel.   At the time of the Kingdom of Samaria, the Galilee was populated by northern tribes of Israel, but following the Babylonian exile the region became Jewish. During the Second Temple period relations between the Jews and Samaritans remained tense. In 120 BCE the Hasmonean king Yohanan Hyrcanos I destroyed the Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim , due to the resentment between the two groups over a disagreement of whether Mount Moriah in Jerusalem or Mount Gerizim in Shechem was the actual site of the Aqedah , and the chosen place for the Holy Temple , a source of contention that had been growing since the two houses of the former united monarchy first split asunder in 930 BCE and which had finally exploded into warfare.   [ dubious – discuss ] 190 years after the destruction of the Samaritan Temple and the surrounding area of Shechem, the Roman general and future emperor Vespasian launched a military campaign to crush the Jewish revolt of 66 CE, which resulted in the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE by his son Titus , and the subsequent exile of Jews from Judea and the Galilee in 135 CE following the Bar Kochba revolt .  .
Map of the Holy Land , Pietro Vesconte , 1321, showing the allotments of the tribes of Israel. Described by Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld as "the first non-Ptolemaic map of a definite country" .
Model of the Mishkan constructed under the auspices of Moses , in Timna Park , Israel.
The Israelite story begins with some of the culture heroes of the Jewish people, the Patriarchs . The Torah traces the Israelites to the patriarch Jacob , grandson of Abraham, who was renamed Israel after a mysterious incident in which he wrestles all night with God or an angel. Jacob's twelve sons (in order of birth), Reuben , Simeon , Levi , Judah , Dan , Naphtali , Gad , Asher , Issachar , Zebulun , Joseph and Benjamin , become the ancestors of twelve tribes, with the exception of Joseph, whose two sons Mannasseh and Ephraim , who were adopted by Jacob, become tribal eponyms ( Genesis 48 ). .
Zilpah (Leah's maid): Gad, Asher ( Genesis 35:22–26 ) .
Jacob and his sons are forced by famine to go down into Egypt , although Joseph was already there, as he had been sold into slavery while young. When they arrive they and their families are 70 in number, but within four generations they have increased to 600,000 men of fighting age, and the Pharaoh of Egypt, alarmed, first enslaves them and then orders the death of all male Hebrew children. A woman from the tribe of Levi hides her child, places him in a woven basket, and sends him down the Nile river. He is named Mosheh, or Moses , by the Egyptians who find him. Being a Hebrew baby, they award a Hebrew woman the task of raising him, the mother of Moses volunteers, and the child and his mother are reunited.  .
At the age of forty Moses kills an Egyptian, after he sees him beating a Hebrew to death, and escapes as a fugitive into the Sinai desert, where he is taken in by the Midianites and marries Zipporah , the daughter of the Midianite priest Jethro . When he is eighty years old, Moses is tending a herd of sheep in solitude on Mount Sinai when he sees a desert shrub that is burning but is not consumed . The God of Israel calls to Moses from the fire and reveals his name, Yahweh, and tells Moses that he is being sent to Pharaoh to bring the people of Israel out of Egypt. .
Yahweh tells Moses that if Pharaoh refuses to let the Hebrews go to say to Pharaoh "Thus says Yahweh: Israel is my son, my first-born and I have said to you: Let my son go, that he may serve me, and you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will slay your son, your first-born". Moses returns to Egypt and tells Pharaoh that he must let the Hebrew slaves go free. Pharaoh refuses and Yahweh strikes the Egyptians with a series of horrific plagues, wonders, and catastrophes , after which Pharaoh relents and banishes the Hebrews from Egypt. Moses leads the Israelites out of bondage  toward the Red Sea , but Pharaoh changes his mind and arises to massacre the fleeing Hebrews. Pharaoh finds them by the sea shore and attempts to drive them into the ocean with his chariots and drown them. .
Yahweh causes the Red Sea to part and the Hebrews pass through on dry land into the Sinai. After the Israelites escape from the midst of the sea, Yahweh causes the ocean to close back in on the pursuing Egyptian army, drowning them to death. In the desert Yahweh feeds them with manna that accumulates on the ground with the morning dew. They are led by a column of cloud , which ignites at night and becomes a pillar of fire to illuminate the way, southward through the desert until they come to Mount Sinai. The twelve tribes of Israel encamp around the mountain, and on the third day Mount Sinai begins to smolder, then catches fire, and Yahweh speaks the Ten Commandments from the midst of the fire to all the Israelites, from the top of the mountain. .
Moses ascends biblical Mount Sinai and fasts for forty days while he writes down the Torah as Yahweh dictates, beginning with Bereshith and the creation of the universe and earth.   He is shown the design of the Mishkan and the Ark of the Covenant , which Bezalel is given the task of building. Moses descends from the mountain forty days later with the Sefer Torah he wrote, and with two rectangular lapis lazuli  tablets, into which Yahweh had carved the Ten Commandments in Paleo–Hebrew . In his absence, Aaron has constructed an image of Yahweh,  depicting him as a young golden calf , and has presented it to the Israelites, declaring "Behold O Israel, this is your god who brought you out of the land of Egypt". Moses smashes the two tablets and grinds the golden calf into dust, then throws the dust into a stream of water flowing out of Mount Sinai, and forces the Israelites to drink from it. .
Map of the twelve tribes of Israel (before the move of Dan to the north), based on the Book of Joshua.
Moses ascends Mount Sinai for a second time and Yahweh passes before him and says: 'Yahweh, Yahweh, a god of compassion, and showing favor, slow to anger, and great in kindness and in truth, who shows kindness to the thousandth generation, forgiving wrongdoing and injustice and wickedness, but will by no means clear the guilty, causing the consequences of the parent's wrongdoing to befall their children, and their children's children, to the third and fourth generation'  Moses then fasts for another forty days while Yahweh carves the Ten Commandments into a second set of stone tablets. After the tablets are completed, light emanates from the face of Moses for the rest of his life, causing him to wear a veil so he does not frighten people. .
Moses descends Mount Sinai and the Israelites agree to be the chosen people of Yahweh and follow all the laws of the Torah . Moses prophesies if they forsake the Torah, Yahweh will exile them for the total number of years they did not observe the shmita .  Bezael constructs the Ark of the Covenant and the Mishkan, where the presence of Yahweh dwells on earth in the Holy of Holies , above the Ark of the Covenant, which houses the Ten Commandments. Moses sends spies to scout out the Land of Canaan , and the Israelites are commanded to go up and conquer the land, but they refuse, due to their fear of warfare and violence. In response, Yahweh condemns the entire generation, including Moses, who is condemned for striking the rock at Meribah, to exile and death in the Sinai desert. .
Before Moses dies he gives a speech to the Israelites where he paraphrases a summary of the mizwoth given to them by Yahweh, and recites a prophetic song called the Ha'azinu . Moses prophesies that if the Israelites disobey the Torah, Yahweh will cause a global exile in addition to the minor one prophesied earlier at Mount Sinai, but at the end of days Yahweh will gather them back to Israel from among the nations when they turn back to the Torah with zeal.  The events of the Israelite exodus and their sojourn in the Sinai are memorialized in the Jewish and Samaritan festivals of Passover and Sukkoth , and the giving of the Torah in the Jewish celebration of Shavuoth .  .
Forty years after the Exodus , following the death of the generation of Moses, a new generation, led by Joshua , enters Canaan and takes possession of the land in accordance with the promise made to Abraham by Yahweh. Land is allocated to the tribes by lottery . Eventually the Israelites ask for a king, and Yahweh gives them Saul . David , the youngest (divinely favored) son of Jesse of Bethlehem would succeed Saul . Under David the Israelites establish the united monarchy , and under David's son Solomon they construct the Holy Temple in Jerusalem , using the 400-year-old materials of the Mishkan, where Yahweh continues to tabernacle himself among them. On the death of Solomon and reign of his son, Rehoboam , the kingdom is divided in two. .
The kings of the northern Kingdom of Samaria are uniformly bad, permitting the worship of other gods and failing to enforce the worship of Yahweh alone, and so Yahweh eventually allows them to be conquered and dispersed among the peoples of the earth; and strangers rule over their remnant in the northern land. In Judah some kings are good and enforce the worship of Yahweh alone, but many are bad and permit other gods, even in the Holy Temple itself, and at length Yahweh allows Judah to fall to her enemies, the people taken into captivity in Babylon , the land left empty and desolate, and the Holy Temple itself destroyed.  .
Yet despite these events Yahweh does not forget his people, but sends Cyrus, king of Persia to deliver them from bondage. The Israelites are allowed to return to Judah and Benjamin, the Holy Temple is rebuilt, the priestly orders restored, and the service of sacrifice resumed. Through the offices of the sage Ezra , Israel is constituted as a holy nation, bound by the Torah and holding itself apart from all other peoples.  .
In 2000, M. Hammer, et al. conducted a study on 1371 men and definitively established that part of the paternal gene pool of Jewish communities in Europe, North Africa and Middle East came from a common Middle East ancestral population.  Another study (Nebel et al. 2001) noted; "In comparison with data available from other relevant populations in the region, Jews were found to be more closely related to groups in the north of the Fertile Crescent (Kurds, Turks, and Armenians) than to their Arab neighbors. The authors found that, "Palestinian Arabs and Bedouin differed from the other Middle Eastern populations studied, mainly in specific high-frequency Eu 10 haplotypes not found in the non-Arab groups." and suggested that some of this difference might be due to migration and admixture from the Arabian peninsula during the last two millennia.  A 2004 study (by Shen et al.) comparing Samaritans to several Jewish populations (including Ashkenazi Jews , Iraqi Jews , Libyan Jews , Moroccan Jews , and Yemenite Jews , as well as Israeli Druze and Palestinians ) found that "the principal components analysis suggested a common ancestry of Samaritan and Jewish patrilineages. Most of the former may be traced back to a common ancestor in what is today identified as the paternally inherited Israelite high priesthood (Cohanim) with a common ancestor projected to the time of the Assyrian conquest of the kingdom of Israel." .
^ "Israelite" . Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary .
^ Finkelstein, Israel. "Ethnicity and origin of the Iron I settlers in the Highlands of Canaan: Can the real Israel stand up?." The Biblical archaeologist 59.4 (1996): 198–212.
^ Finkelstein, Israel. The archaeology of the Israelite settlement. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1988.
^ Finkelstein, Israel, and Nadav Na'aman, eds. From nomadism to monarchy: archaeological and historical aspects of early Israel. Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, 1994.
^ Finkelstein, Israel. "The archaeology of the United Monarchy: an alternative view." Levant 28.1 (1996): 177–87.
^ Finkelstein, Israel, and Neil Asher Silberman. The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Sacred Texts. Simon and Schuster, 2002.
Dever, William (2001). What Did the Biblical Writers Know, and When Did They Know It? . Eerdmans. pp. 98–99. ISBN .
After a century of exhaustive investigation, all respectable archaeologists have given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob credible "historical figures" [...] archaeological investigation of Moses and the Exodus has similarly been discarded as a fruitless pursuit.
^ a b McNutt 1999, p. 47.
^ K. L. Noll, Canaan and Israel in Antiquity: An Introduction, A&C Black, 2001 p. 164: "It would seem that, in the eyes of Merneptah's artisans, Israel was a Canaanite group indistinguishable from all other Canaanite groups." "It is likely that Merneptah's Israel was a group of Canaanites located in the Jezreel Valley.".
^ Mark Smith in "The Early History of God: Yahweh and Other Deities of Ancient Israel" states "Despite the long regnant model that the Canaanites and Israelites were people of fundamentally different culture, archaeological data now casts doubt on this view. The material culture of the region exhibits numerous common points between Israelites and Canaanites in the Iron I period (c. 1200–1000 BCE). The record would suggest that the Israelite culture largely overlapped with and derived from Canaanite culture... In short, Israelite culture was largely Canaanite in nature. Given the information available, one cannot maintain a radical cultural separation between Canaanites and Israelites for the Iron I period." (pp. 6–7). Smith, Mark (2002) "The Early History of God: Yahweh and Other Deities of Ancient Israel" (Eerdman's).
^ Rendsberg, Gary (2008). "Israel without the Bible". In Frederick E. Greenspahn. The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship. NYU Press, pp. 3–5.
^ Robert L.Cate, "Israelite", in Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard, Mercer Dictionary of the Bible, Mercer University Press, 1990 p. 420.
Eisenberg, Ronald (2013). Dictionary of Jewish Terms: A Guide to the Language of Judaism. Schreiber Publishing (published November 23, 2013). p. 431.
Gubkin, Liora (2007). You Shall Tell Your Children: Holocaust Memory in American Passover Ritual. Rutgers University Press (published December 31, 2007). p. 190. ISBN .
^ a b.
^ Yohanan Aharoni, Michael Avi-Yonah, Anson F. Rainey, Ze'ev Safrai , The Macmillan Bible Atlas, 3rd Edition, Macmillan Publishing: New York, 1993, p. 115. A posthumous publication of the work of Israeli archaeologist Yohanan Aharoni and Michael Avi-Yonah, in collaboration with Anson F. Rainey and Ze'ev Safrai .
^ The Samaritan Update Retrieved 1 January 2017.
^ Ann E. Killebrew, Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity. An Archaeological Study of Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines and Early Israel 1300–1100 B.C.E. (Archaeology and Biblical Studies) , Society of Biblical Literature , 2005.
^ * "In the broader sense of the term, a Jew is any person belonging to the worldwide group that constitutes, through descent or conversion, a continuation of the ancient Jewish people, who were themselves the descendants of the Hebrews of the Old Testament.".
"The Jewish people as a whole, initially called Hebrews (?Ivrim), were known as Israelites (Yisre?elim) from the time of their entrance into the Holy Land to the end of the Babylonian Exile (538 BC).".
Jew at Encyclopædia Britannica.
^ "Israelite, in the broadest sense, a Jew, or a descendant of the Jewish patriarch Jacob" Israelite at Encyclopædia Britannica.
^ "Hebrew, any member of an ancient northern Semitic people that were the ancestors of the Jews." Hebrew (People) at Encyclopædia Britannica.
Scheindlin, Raymond P. (1998). A Short History of the Jewish People: From Legendary Times to Modern Statehood . Oxford University Press. ISBN .
Adams, Hannah (1840). The History of the Jews: From the Destruction of Jerusalem to the Present Time . London Society House.
Diamond, Jared (1993). "Who are the Jews?" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 21, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
^ Israelite Refugees Found High Office in Kingdom of Judah, Seals Found in Jerusalem Show.
ISBN 1482770814 . Benyamim Tsedaka, at 1:24.
^ John Bowman. Samaritan Documents Relating to Their History, Religion and Life (Pittsburgh Original Texts and Translations Series No. 2). 1977.
^ Scherman, Rabbi Nosson (editor), The Chumash, The Artscroll Series, Mesorah Publications, LTD, 2006, pp. 176–77.
^ Hamilton 1995 , p. 334 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFHamilton1995 ( help )[ citation not found ].
^ Wenham 1994 , pp. 296–97 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFWenham1994 ( help )[ citation not found ].
^ The Jewish Study Bible of Oxford University Press says on page 68 "The scientific etymology of Israel is uncertain, a good guess being '[The God] El rules.'" .
^ Caroline Johnson Hodge, If Sons, Then Heirs: A Study of Kinship and Ethnicity in the Letters of Paul, Oxford University Press, 2007 pp. 52–55.
^ Markus Cromhout, Jesus and Identity: Reconstructing Judean Ethnicity in Q, James Clarke & Co, 2015 pp. 121ff.
^ Daniel Lynwood Smith, Into the World of the New Testament: Greco-Roman and Jewish Texts and Contexts, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015 p. 124.
"Homepage of A.B Institute of Samaritan Studies" . Retrieved March 27, 2015.
ISBN 0-8091-3960-X , p. 59.
^ Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman, The Bible Unearthed , Simon and Schuster 2002, p. 104.
^ a b c K. van der Toorn, Family Religion in Babylonia, Ugarit and Israel: Continuity and Changes in the Forms of Religious Life , BRILL 1996 pp. 181, 282.
^ Israelites as Canaanites.
^ Inside, Outside: Where Did the Early Israelites Come From? By Anson F. Rainey.
^ Alan Mittleman, "Judaism: Covenant, Pluralism and Piety", in Bryan S. Turner (ed.) The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion , John Wiley & Sons, 2010 pp. 340–63, 346.
^ a b c Norman Gottwald, Tribes of Yahweh: A Sociology of the Religion of Liberated Israel, 1250–1050 BCE , A&C Black, 1999 p. 433, cf. 455–56.
^ Richard A. Gabriel , The Military History of Ancient Israel . Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 p. 63: The ethnically mixed character of the Israelites is reflected even more clearly in the foreign names of the group's leadership. Moses himself, of course, has an Egyptian name. But so do Hophni, Phinehas, Hur, and Merari, the son of Levi.
Grabbe, Lester L. (2004). A History of the Jews and Judaism in the Second Temple Period . T&T Clark International. p. 28. ISBN .
^ Sefer Devariam Pereq ??, ?; Deuteronomy 34, 2, Sefer Yehoshua Pereq ?, ?; Joshua 20, 7, Sefer Yehoshua Pereq ??, ??; Joshua 21, 32, Sefer Melakhim Beth Pereq ??, ??; Second Kings 15, 29, Sefer Devrei Ha Yamim Aleph Pereq ?, ??; First Chronicles 6, 76.
Y. Magen. "The Gathering at the President's House" . Israel Antiquities Authority. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1889). Facsimile-atlas to the Early History of Cartography: With Reproductions of the Most Important Maps Printed in the XV and XVI Centuries . Kraus. pp. 51, 64.
^ a b c d e The Jews in the time of Jesus: an introduction p. 18 Stephen M. Wylen, Paulist Press, 1996, 215 pages, pp. 18–20.
"English translation of the papyrus. A translation also in R. B. Parkinson, The Tale of Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems. Oxford World's Classics, 1999" . Archived from the original on October 30, 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
^ Shemoth; Exodus 35 through 40, Wayiqra; Leviticus, Bamidhbar; Numbers, Devariam; Deuteronomy.
Hammer, MF; Redd, AJ; Wood, ET; et al. (2000). "Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes" . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 97 (12): 6769–6774. doi : 10.1073/pnas.100115997 . PMC 18733 . PMID 10801975 .
Nebel, Almut; Filon, Dvora; Brinkmann, Bernd; Majumder, Partha P.; Faerman, Marina; Oppenheim, Ariella (2001). "The Y Chromosome Pool of Jews as Part of the Genetic Landscape of the Middle East" . The American Journal of Human Genetics. 69 (5): 1095–112. doi : 10.1086/324070 . PMC 1274378 . PMID 11573163 .
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On December 10, 2019, a kosher market in Jersey City was attacked by two individuals. The store's owner, an employee, and one customer were killed, as was Detective Joseph Seals. There are reports that the alleged perpetrators may have been members of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement.
There are many sects which refer to themselves with variations of the name Black Hebrew Israelites. Some, but not all, are outspoken anti-Semites and racists. It should be emphasized that the extremist and anti-Semitic sects of Black Hebrew Israelites are unrelated to the thousands of black Jews and other Jews of color in the US, who are genuine members of the Jewish faith. Furthermore, they should not be confused with Ethiopian Jews who mostly live in Israel today. Anti-Semitic Black Hebrew Israelites assert that white people are agents of Satan, Jews are liars and false worshipers of God, and blacks are the true “chosen people” and are racially superior to other ethnicities.
Today there are several noteworthy sects of Black Hebrew Israelites. For example, the Sicarii Black Hebrew Israelites are a San Diego-based anti-Semitic and racist fringe religious group whose followers believe that Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans are the true descendants of the 12 Tribes of Israel. They are an offshoot of the larger Black Hebrew Israelites and echo the majority of the movement’s core principles, including the beliefs that white people are agents of Satan, Jews are liars and false worshipers of God, and blacks are the true “chosen people.” Their leader is Adonis Gaude, who is also known as “Ahlazar BanLawya” or “Hebrew Guerilla.” While preaching in public, members of this sect may attempt aggressively to engage passers-by. Some members have also been involved with violent acts. .
Another sect of Black Hebrew Israelites is Israel United In Christ, a New York-based group with a national and international presence as well, including in Newark, NJ. The leader of the group is Nathaniel Ray (aka Bishop Nathanyel Ben Israel). The group’s mission is to spread the Black Hebrew Israelite ideology and to educate black individuals of their true place in society. They are committed to spreading the ideology globally and recruiting as many black individuals as possible. They rely heavily on social media to promote their beliefs, as well as hosting public activities such as marches and Bible readings. They reject Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, specifically calling Jews “the bastards that funded the slave trade.” They blame Jews and other ethnicities for all social ills plaguing black individuals, and claim that acceptance of this ideology and God will free black people. Further, they assert that Jews and white people worship the devil, and white people will become their slaves in Heaven.
In Miami, Florida, in October 2019, Larry Greene (aka Elijah Israel), a self-identified black Israelite, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly assaulting two people as they were leaving a prayer service at a local synagogue. According to the arrest affidavit, Green threatened to kill the victims with a knife, called them “fake Jews” and told them to “go back to Israel.” This case was treated as a hate crime.
Black Hebrew Israelites (also called Hebrew Israelites, Black Hebrews, Black Israelites, and African Hebrew Israelites) are groups of African Americans who believe that they are the descendants of the ancient Israelites . To varying degrees, Black Hebrew Israelites incorporate certain aspects of the religious beliefs and practices of both Christianity and Judaism , though they have created their own interpretation of the Bible.  Many choose to identify as Hebrew Israelites or Black Hebrews rather than Jews in order to indicate their claimed historic connections.    .
Black Hebrew Israelites are not associated with the mainstream Jewish community, and they do not meet the standards that are used to identify people as Jewish by the Jewish community . They are also outside the fold of mainstream Christianity , which considers Black Hebrew Israelism to be a heresy . .
The Hebrew Israelite movement originated at the end of the 19th century, when Frank Cherry and William Saunders Crowdy both claimed to have received visions that African Americans are descendants of the Hebrews in the Bible ; Cherry established the Church of the Living God, the Pillar Ground of Truth for All Nations in 1886 and Crowdy founded the Church of God and Saints of Christ in 1896.    .
Consequently, Black Hebrew groups were founded in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, from Kansas to New York City , by both African Americans and West Indian immigrants.  In the mid-1980s, the number of Black Hebrews in the United States was between 25,000 and 40,000.  Black Hebrew Israelism is a non-homogenous movement with a number of groups, that have varying beliefs and practices.  Various sects of Black Hebrew Israelism have been criticized by academics for their promotion of historical revisionism . .
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), "Some, but not all [sects of the Black Hebrew Israelites], are outspoken anti-Semites and racists."  As of December 2019, the Southern Poverty Law Center "lists 144 Black Hebrew Israelite organizations as black separatist hate groups because of their antisemitic and anti-white beliefs."  Former KKK Grand Wizard Tom Metzger once remarked to the Southern Poverty Law Center, "They're the black counterparts of us." .
History[ edit ].
The origins of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement are found in Frank Cherry and William Saunders Crowdy, who both claimed that they had revelations in which they believed that God told them that African Americans are descendants of the Hebrews in the Christian Bible ; Cherry established the "Church of the Living God, the Pillar Ground of Truth for All Nations" in 1886 and Crowdy founded the " Church of God and Saints of Christ " in 1896.     The Church of God and Saints of Christ, originating in Kansas, retained elements of a messianic connection to Jesus . .
In the late 19th century, their followers propagated the claim that they were the biological descendants of the Israelites,  and during the following decades, many more Black Hebrew congregations were established. After World War I, for example, Wentworth Arthur Matthew , an immigrant from Saint Kitts , founded another Black Hebrew congregation in Harlem , claiming descent from the ancient Israelites. He called it the " Commandment Keepers of the Living God."  Similar groups selected elements of Judaism and adapted them within a structure similar to that of the Black church .  He incorporated it in 1930 and moved the congregation to Brooklyn , where he later founded the Israelite Rabbinical Seminary, where Black Hebrew rabbis have been educated and ordained.
The group sometimes employs street preaching to promote their ideology. Sidewalk ministers sometimes employ provocation to advance a message that is often antisemitic, racist and xenophobic.    This primarily gained notice in the news through their street preaching targeted towards the students of Covington Catholic. Videos showed them calling them 'racists,' 'bigots,' 'white crackers,' 'faggots' and 'incest kid'. They also alluded to the film Get Out , telling an African American that they would "harvest his organs", they also alluded to the sex abuse scandal. .
Groups[ edit ].
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, dozens of Black Hebrew organizations were established.  In Harlem alone, at least eight such groups were founded between 1919 and 1931.  The Church of the Living God, the Pillar Ground of Truth for All Nations is the oldest-known Black Hebrew group  and the Church of God and Saints of Christ is one of the largest Black Hebrew organizations.  The Commandment Keepers, founded by Wentworth Arthur Matthew in New York, are noted for their adherence to traditional Judaism.  The African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem are widely known for having moved from the United States, primarily Chicago, to Israel in the late 20th century.    Other Black Hebrew groups include the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge , based in Philadelphia, and the Nation of Yahweh , based in Miami.
Church of the Living God, the Pillar Ground of Truth for All Nations[ edit ].
The oldest known Black Hebrew organization is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar Ground of Truth for All Nations .   The group was founded by Frank Cherry in Chattanooga , Tennessee, in 1886, and it later moved to Philadelphia .  Cherry, who was from the Deep South and had worked as a seaman and for the railroads before his ministry, taught himself Hebrew and Yiddish .  Theologically, the Church of the Living God mixed elements of Judaism and Christianity, counting the Bible—including the New Testament —and the Talmud as essential scriptures.  .
The rituals of Cherry's flock incorporated many Jewish practices and prohibitions alongside some Christian traditions.  For example, during prayer the men wore skullcaps and congregants faced east . In addition, members of the Church were not permitted to eat pork .  Prayers were accompanied by musical instruments and gospel singing .  Cherry died in 1963, when he was about 95 years old; his son, Prince Benjamin F. Cherry, succeeded him.   Members of the church believed that he had temporarily left and would soon reappear in spirit in order to lead the church through his son.  .
Main article: Church of God and Saints of Christ.
The former headquarters of the Church of God and Saints of Christ in Washington, D.C. The building is now known as First Tabernacle Beth El and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places .
The Church of God and Saints of Christ was established in Lawrence , Kansas, in 1896 by African-American William Saunders Crowdy .  The group established its headquarters in Philadelphia in 1899, and Crowdy later relocated to Washington, D.C., in 1903. After Crowdy's death in 1908, the church continued to grow under the leadership of William Henry Plummer, who moved the organization's headquarters to its permanent location in Belleville , Virginia, in 1921. .
In 1936, the Church of God and Saints of Christ had more than 200 "tabernacles" (congregations) and 37,000 members.   Howard Zebulun Plummer succeeded his father and became head of the organization in 1931.  His son, Levi Solomon Plummer, became the church's leader in 1975.  The Church of God and Saints of Christ was led by Rabbi Jehu A. Crowdy, Jr., a great-grandson of William Saunders Crowdy, from 2001 until his death in 2016.  Since 2016, it has been led by Phillip E. McNeil.  As of 2005, the church had fifty tabernacles in the United States and dozens more in Africa. .
The Church of God and Saints of Christ describes itself as "the oldest African-American congregation in the United States that adheres to the tenets of Judaism".   Founded by American William Saunders Crowdy in Kansas in 1896, it teaches that all Jews were originally black, and that African Americans are descendants of the lost tribes of Israel .   Members believe that Jesus was neither God nor the son of God, but rather an adherent of Judaism and a prophet . They also consider William Saunders Crowdy, their founder in Kansas, to be a prophet. .
The Church of God and Saints of Christ synthesizes rituals from both Judaism and Christianity. They have adopted rites drawn from both the Old and New Testaments . Its Old Testament observances include the use of the Jewish calendar , the celebration of Passover , the circumcision of infant males, the commemoration of the Sabbath on Saturday , and the wearing of yarmulkes . Its New Testament rites include baptism (immersion) and footwashing , both of which have Old Testament origins.  .
Main article: Commandment Keepers.
The founder of the Commandment Keepers, Wentworth Arthur Matthew holding a Sefer Torah .
Wentworth Arthur Matthew founded the Commandment Keepers Congregation in Harlem in 1919.  Matthew was influenced by the non-black Jews he met as well as by Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League . Garvey used the Biblical Jews in exile as a metaphor for black people in North America. One of the accomplishments of Garvey's movement was to strengthen the connection between black Americans and Africa, Ethiopia in particular. When Matthew later learned about the Beta Israel —Ethiopian Jews—he identified with them. .
Today the Commandment Keepers follow traditional Jewish practices and observe Jewish holidays .  Members observe kashrut , circumcise newborn boys and celebrate Bar and Bat Mitzvahs , and their synagogue has a mechitza to separate men and women during worship. .
The Commandment Keepers believe that they are descendants of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba .  Matthew taught that "the Black man is a Jew" and "all genuine Jews are Black men",  but he valued non-black Jews as those who had preserved Judaism over the centuries.  Matthew maintained cordial ties with non-black Jewish leaders in New York and frequently invited them to worship at his synagogue. .
Matthew established the Ethiopian Hebrew Rabbinical College (later renamed the Israelite Rabbinical Academy) in Brooklyn. He ordained more than 20 rabbis , who went on to lead congregations throughout the United States and the Caribbean.   He remained the leader of the Commandment Keepers in Harlem, and in 1962 the congregation moved to a landmark building on 123rd Street. .
Matthew died in 1973, sparking an internal conflict over who would succeed him as head of the Harlem congregation. Shortly before his death, Matthew named his grandson, David Matthew Doré, as the new spiritual leader. Doré was 16 years old at the time. In 1975, the synagogue's board elected Rabbi Willie White to be its leader. Rabbi Doré occasionally conducted services at the synagogue until the early 1980s, when White had Doré and some other members locked out of the building. Membership declined throughout the 1990s and by 2004, only a few dozen people belonged to the synagogue. In 2007 the Commandment Keepers sold the building, while various factions among former members sued one another.  .
Besides the Harlem group, there are eight or ten Commandment Keeper congregations in the New York area, and others exist throughout North America as well as in Israel .  Since 2000, seven rabbis have graduated from the Israelite Rabbinical Academy founded by Matthew. .
A sign in Dimona .
Ben Ammi Ben-Israel established the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem in Chicago , Illinois , in 1966, at a time when black nationalism was on the rise as a response to the Civil Rights Movement . In 1969, after a sojourn in Liberia , Ben Ammi and about 30 Hebrew Israelites moved to Israel .  Over the next 20 years, nearly 600 more members left the United States for Israel. As of 2006, about 2,500 Hebrew Israelites live in Dimona and two other towns in the Negev region of Israel, where they are widely referred to as Black Hebrews.  In addition, there are Hebrew Israelite communities in several major American cities, including Chicago, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. .
The Black Hebrews believe they are descended from members of the Tribe of Judah who were exiled from the Land of Israel after the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in 70 CE.   The group incorporates elements of African-American culture into their interpretation of the Bible.  They do not recognize rabbinical Jewish interpretations such as the Talmud .  The Black Hebrews observe Shabbat and biblically ordained Jewish holidays such as Yom Kippur and Passover . .
Men wear tzitzit on their African print shirts, women follow the niddah (biblical laws concerning menstruation),  and newborn boys are circumcised.  In accordance with their interpretation of the Bible, the Black Hebrews follow a strictly vegan diet and only wear natural fabrics .   Most men have more than one wife , and birth control is not permitted. .
When the first Black Hebrews arrived in Israel in 1969, they claimed citizenship under the Law of Return , which gives eligible Jews immediate citizenship.  The Israeli government ruled in 1973 that the group did not qualify for automatic citizenship because they could not prove Jewish descent and had not undergone Orthodox conversion. The Black Hebrews were denied work permits and state benefits. The group accused the Israeli government of racist discrimination .  In 1981, a group of American civil rights activists led by Bayard Rustin investigated and concluded that racism was not the cause of the Black Hebrews' situation.  No official action was taken to return the Black Hebrews to the United States, but some individual members were deported for working illegally. .
Some Black Hebrews renounced their American citizenship in order to try to prevent more deportations. In 1990, Illinois legislators helped negotiate an agreement that resolved the Black Hebrews' legal status in Israel. Members of the group are permitted to work and they also have access to housing and social services. The Black Hebrews reclaimed their American citizenship and have received aid from the U.S. government, which helped them build a school and additional housing.  In 2003 the agreement was revised, and the Black Hebrews were granted permanent residency in Israel.  .
In 2009, Elyakim Ben-Israel became the first Black Hebrew to gain Israeli citizenship. The Israeli government said that more Black Hebrews may be granted citizenship. .
The Black Hebrews of Israel maintain a gospel choir , which tours throughout Israel and the United States. The group owns restaurants in several Israeli cities.  In 2003 the Black Hebrews garnered public attention when singer Whitney Houston visited them in Dimona.    In 2006, Eddie Butler , a Black Hebrew, was chosen by the Israeli public to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest .  .
Extremist fringe[ edit ].
In late 2008, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) wrote that "the extremist fringe of the Hebrew Israelite movement" is black supremacist . It also wrote that the members of such groups "believe that Jews are devilish impostors and ... openly condemn whites as evil personified, deserving only death or slavery". The SPLC also wrote that "most Hebrew Israelites are neither explicitly racist nor anti-Semitic and do not advocate violence". .
The Black Hebrew groups that are characterized as black supremacist by the SPLC include the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge ,  the Nation of Yahweh  and the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ .  Also, the Anti-Defamation League has written that the "12 Tribes of Israel" website, which is maintained by a Black Hebrew group, promotes black supremacy. .
As of December 2019, the Southern Poverty Law Center "lists 144 Black Hebrew Israelite organizations as black separatist hate groups because of their antisemitic and anti-white beliefs."  [ needs context ].
A 1999 FBI terrorism risk assessment report stated that "violent radical fringe members" of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement hold "beliefs [that] bear a striking resemblance to the Christian Identity theology practiced by many white supremacists ."   It also wrote that "the overwhelming majority of [Black Hebrew Israelites] are unlikely to engage in violence." .
On December 10, 2019, two people who had expressed interest in the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, were killed in a shootout with police after killing a police detective at Bayview Cemetery and three people at the JC Kosher Supermarket in Jersey City , New Jersey; the Jewish co-owner of the grocery store, an employee, and a Jewish shopper. Authorities treated the incident as an act of domestic terrorism .  Capers Funnye , who has been the rabbi for the past 26 years of the 200-member Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation ,   condemned the attack and said that his community was "gripped by sadness" over "the heinous actions of two disturbed individuals who cloaked themselves in anti-Semitism and hate-filled rhetoric". He also criticized the media reports by saying that it was "unfortunate that the media uses the term ‘Black Hebrew Israelites’ without distinction as if the description is a one size fits all and it is absolutely not!" Funnye emphasized that "we don’t want to be seen as some radical fringe group with a false narrative because we are black and profess Judaism; we are Torah-oriented Jews." .
On December 28, 2019, a man with a machete attacked several Orthodox Jewish people during Hanukkah celebrations in a house in Monsey , New York. Authorities revealed the fact that his journals included what appeared to be a reference to Black Hebrew Israelites stating that "Hebrew Israelites" have taken from "ebinoid Israelites". .
Criticism of theological and historical claims[ edit ].
African American Christian apologetics organizations, such as the Jude 3 Project, have critiqued the theological and historical claims which have been presented by various Black Hebrew Israelite sects. .
Zimbabwan novelist Masimba Musodza has stated that the doctrine which is taught by Black Hebrew Israelites "force[s] their own ideas onto the text to promote their own agenda, which serves no purpose at all except to engender antisemitism in Black communities in western countries."  The historian Josephus , as well as the theologians Emil Schürer and Friedrich Münter , wrote of Jewish slaves who were sold and served as labourers in Egypt and the Roman Empire, contradicting the Black Hebrew Israelite claim that Egypt is a metaphor for the Americas.  Additionally, contrary to what is taught by Black Hebrew Israelites, no Kingdom of Judah existed in West Africa and the Middle Eastern state has no connection with the Kingdom of Whydah .  Black Hebrew Israelites have been criticized for making historical revisionist claims which do not acknowledge the poverty that Jews experienced as immigrants in the United States. .
Fran Markowitz, a Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev , writes that the Hebrew Israelite view of the transatlantic slave trade conflicts with historical accounts, as does the Hebrew Israelite belief that Socrates and Shakespeare were black. .
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Hutchinson, Dawn (2010). Antiquity and Social Reform: Religious Experience in the Unification Church, Feminist Wicca and Nation of Yahweh. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 139. ISBN .
The first was the Church of the Living God, the Pillar Ground of Truth for All Nations founded by F.S. Cherry in 1886 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Cherry preached that Adam, Eve, and Jesus were black and that African Americans lost their Hebrew identity during slavery. Later, William S. Crowdy founded the Church of God and Saints of Christ in 1896 in Lawrence, Kansas. Crowdy taught that blacks were heirs of the lost tribes of Israel, while white Jews were descendants of inter-racial marriages between Israelites and white Christians.
^ a b.
Fernheimer, Janice W. (2014). Stepping Into Zion: Hatzaad Harishon, Black Jews, and the Remaking of Jewish Identity. University of Alabama Press. p. 10. ISBN .
One of these groups, Prophet Cherry's Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth for All Nations is the oldest known Black Judaic sect. It was originally established in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1886. Prophet Cherry argued they were part of the original Israelite tribes chased from Babylonia (and, they claim, into Central and Western Africa where they were later sold into slavery) by the Romans in 70 CE.
^ a b.
Rubel, Nora L. (2009). "'Chased Out of Palestine': Prophet Cherry's Church of God and Early Black Judaisms in the United States". In Curtis IV, Edward E.; Sigler, Danielle Brune (eds.). The New Black Gods: Arthur Huff Fauset and the Study of African American Religions . Indiana University Press. p. 57 . ISBN .
In 1893, Crowdy had a vision that resulted in the establishment of the Church of God and Saints in Christ.
^ a b.
Bleich, J. David (Spring–Summer 1975). "Black Jews: A Halakhic Perspective". Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. 15 (1): 63. JSTOR 23258489 .
Crowdy claimed to be the recipient of a series of revelations in which, among other things, he was told that Blacks were descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel.
^ a b.
The ICUPK starts with a premise about the Middle Passage that isn't all that dissimilar from the one that grounds the AHIJ's historical revisionism, a reading of the transatlantic slave trade that is fairly cut-and-dried: African pagans and Arab Muslims sold Hebrew Israelites into European slavery. Anything else, the ICUPK argue, is a lie, a conspirational rewriting of history. The rest of ICUPK's arguments (about the "lost tribes," about the Bible's true meaning, about figures like Socrates and Shakespeare actually being black) stem from that central interpretation of the transatlantic slave trade, and they are unflinching in their commitment to its paradigmatic purpose.
^ a b.
"Suspects in Jersey City Attack 'Expressed Interest' in Black Hebrew Israelites, Authorities Say" . Southern Poverty Law Center. December 12, 2019.
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^ a b Chireau, pp. 30–31. "The founding dates of the earliest black-Jewish congregations are in dispute. Shapiro notes that F.S. Cherry's Church of God was organized in Tennessee in 1886, but other sources do not confirm this date. Another group, the Moorish Zion Temple, founded in 1899 by a Rabbi Richlieu of Brooklyn, New York, was one of the earliest black Jewish congregations that did not combine Jewish and Christian beliefs, as did the Church of God and the Saints of Christ.".
^ a b.
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Derek Hawkins (December 15, 2019). "Probe of Jersey City shooting leads FBI to arrest pawn shop owner on weapons charge" . The Washington Post.
^ By Zev Chafets for the New York Times, Barack Obama's Rabbi - Capers Funnye - Profile "Funnye, the chief rabbi of the Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in Chicago".
^ By Julia Lieblich for the Chicago Tribune Dec. 13, 2019 "Commentary: Rabbi Capers Funnye, other Black Hebrew Israelites wrongly connected to Jersey City shooters", "'I felt terrible that innocent lives were taken first and foremost,' said Funnye, rabbi for 26 years of the 200-member Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation of Chicago, a member of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and the chief rabbi of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis.".
Shayna Jacobs, Deanna Paul, Maria Sacchetti and Hannah Knowles (December 30, 2019). "Hanukkah stabbing suspect searched 'why did Hitler hate the Jews,' prosecutors say" . Washington Post.
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Ben-Jochannan, Yosef A.A. (1993) . We, the Black Jews: Witness to the "White Jewish Race" Myth. Baltimore: Black Classic Press. ISBN .
Bruder, Edith ; Parfitt, Tudor (2012). "Introduction" . In Edith Bruder; Tudor Parfitt (eds.). African Zion: Studies in Black Judaism. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN .
Chireau, Yvonne (2000). "Black Culture and Black Zion: African American Religious Encounters with Judaism, 1790–1930, an Overview". In Yvonne Patricia Chireau; Nathaniel Deutsch (eds.). Black Zion: African American Religious Encounters with Judaism . New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN .
Dorman, Jacob S. (2006). "Black Israelites". In Gallagher, Eugene V.; Ashcraft, W. Michael (eds.). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America. 1. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. ISBN .
Fauset, Arthur Huff (2002) . Black Gods of the Metropolis: Negro Religious Cults of the Urban North. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN .
Goldschmidt, Henry (2006). Race and Religion Among the Chosen Peoples of Crown Heights. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. ISBN .
Greene, Lorenzo Johnston (1996). Arvarh E. Strickland (ed.). Selling Black History for Carter G. Woodson: A Diary, 1930–1933. Columbia: University of Missouri Press. ISBN .
Isaac, Walter (2006). "Locating African-American Judaism: A Critique of White Normativity". In Lewis R. Gordon ; Jane Anna Gordon (eds.). A Companion to African-American Studies. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN .
Kidd, Colin (2006). The Forging of Races: Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600-2000. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN .
Michaeli, Ethan (2000). "Another Exodus: The Hebrew Israelites from Chicago to Dimona". In Yvonne Patricia Chireau; Nathaniel Deutsch (eds.). Black Zion: African American Religious Encounters with Judaism . New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN .
Moses, Wilson Jeremiah (2003). "Chosen Peoples of the Metropolis: Black Muslims, Black Jews, and Others". In Cornel West ; Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. (eds.). African American Religious Thought: An Anthology . Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN .
Parfitt, Tudor; Emanuela Trevisan Semi (2002). Judaising Movements: Studies in the Margins of Judaism in Modern Times. New York: Routledge. ISBN .
Singer, Merrill (1992). "The Southern Origin of Black Judaism". In Baer, Hans A.; Jones, Yvonne (eds.). African Americans in the South: Issues of Race, Class, and Gender . Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press. ISBN .
Singer, Merrill (2000). "Symbolic Identity Formation in an African American Religious Sect: The Black Hebrew Israelites". In Yvonne Patricia Chireau; Nathaniel Deutsch (eds.). Black Zion: African American Religious Encounters with Judaism . New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN .
Wolfson, Bernard J. (2000). "African American Jews: Dispelling Myths, Bridging the Divide". In Yvonne Patricia Chireau; Nathaniel Deutsch (eds.). Black Zion: African American Religious Encounters with Judaism . New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN .
Wynia, Elly M. (1994). The Church of God and Saints of Christ: The Rise of Black Jews. New York: Routledge. ISBN .
Further reading[ edit ].
Martina Könighofer (2008). The New Ship of Zion: Dynamic Diaspora Dimensions of the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem . LIT Verlag Münster. ISBN .
a descendant of Jacob, especially a member of the Hebrew people who inhabited the ancient kingdom of Israel .
DO YOU KNOW THESE 9TH GRADE VOCABULARY WORDS?
non-Is·ra·el·ite, nounpre-Is·ra·el·ite, adjective, noun.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020.
Example sentences from the Web for israelite.
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Bible a member of the ethnic group claiming descent from Jacob; a Hebrew.
Bible a citizen of the kingdom of Israel (922 to 721 bc) as opposed to Judah.
an archaic and sometimes offensive word for a Jew.
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012.
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The Hebrew Israelite movement is rooted in Black Judaism, a belief system birthed in the late 1800s by black Christians from the South's Pentecostal "Holiness" movement. They claimed to have received a revelation: America's recently emancipated slaves were God's chosen people, the true Hebrews.
The Hebrew Israelite movement is rooted in Black Judaism, a belief system birthed in the late 1800s by black Christians from the South's Pentecostal "Holiness" movement. They claimed to have received a revelation: America's recently emancipated slaves were God's chosen people, the true Hebrews.
According to Black Judaism doctrine, when the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed, the Israelites were first scattered across the African continent and then selectively targeted by enemy African tribes who captured and sold them to European slave traders for bondage in the New World.
"It's a common myth that slaves were randomly shackled up and carried off to slavery," "General Yahanna," leader of the present-day Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge, told the Intelligence Report. Actually, "Slave traders sailed for months and days to get to specific pickup points. They knew what people they were taking — specifically, the lost tribes of Israel.".
Black Judaism leaders preached self-empowerment and economic independence, an early form of black nationalism that was foundational for later groups like the Nation of Islam. Their rhetoric, emphasizing the biblical theme of an oppressed nation being led to a promised land, informed black activist thought right up through the speeches of Martin Luther King Jr.
Although followers of Black Judaism thought of themselves as the descendants of the biblical 12 tribes of Israel, most did not take that to mean that other people deserved condemnation or attack.
One notable exception was F.S. Cherry, a self-declared prophet who in 1886 started a "black Jew" church in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he preached that white people were inherently evil and hated by God. Cherry also instructed his followers that the earth is square and that Jesus would return in the year 2000 to install blacks over whites through a race war.
Just as today's racist Hebrew Israelite sects are hateful but smaller detachments of a larger, non-racist faith, Cherry, who relocated his congregation to Philadelphia in 1915, was far less popular in his time than non-racist Black Judaism founders like the Rev. William Christian and William Saunders Crowdy.
After Cherry, the next major purveyor of racist dogma among black Jews was Eber ben Yomin, also known as Abba Bivens, who in the 1960s broke away from the "Commandment Keepers," then the dominant mainstream black Jewish organization, to launch his own extremist sect, which became known as the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge.
Initially based in a Harlem apartment, this new black Israelite group soon moved to a building on New York City's 125th Street, Harlem's main drag. Three of Bivens' disciples — Ahrayah, Masha and Yaiqab — joined with four "high priests" named Chaazaq, Lahab, Yahiya and Shar to take over leadership of the Israelite School. Collectively they were referred to as the "Seven Heads," the inner-circle governors of the black supremacist Hebrew Israelite movement.
Although they employed the same kind of radical rhetoric and confrontational street theater that other militant black groups of the 1970s did, racist Hebrew Israelites held themselves apart. They rejected the "Muslim" beliefs of groups like the Nation of Islam and refused to join with the pork-eating secularists of groups like the Black Panthers.
In the 1980s, the Seven Heads changed the name of their group to the Israelite Church of Universal Practical Knowledge.
The Israelite Church attempted to expand its visibility in the 1990s by declaring, as F.S. Cherry had before them, that Jesus Christ would return to earth in 2000 to enslave and destroy the white race. Meanwhile, some members began to break away and form their own racist Hebrew Israelite sects. One such member, Yahanna, started a chapter and reclaimed the original name Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge for his group.
When the year 2000 came without the Israelite Church's prophecy coming to pass, its leaders rebranded the organization as the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, the name they still use today. The organization was taken over in late 2000 by "Chief High Priest Tazadaqyah," born Jermaine Grant, who declared himself the "Holy Spirit" and "The Comforter." Grant recently prophesied that a vengeful black Jesus would soon return to earth to kill or enslave all whites. Unlike Cherry, however, he didn't set a date.
Etymology[ edit ].
From the Latin Israelita (“Israelite”), from the Ancient Greek ?s?????´t?? (Israeli´tes, “Israelite”), from ?s???? (Isra?l, “Israel”), from the Hebrew ?????????? ? (Yisra'el, “Israel”).
Israelite (plural Israelites ).
A native or inhabitant of (i) the united nation of Israel (under the Judges, and then kings Saul, David and Solomon), or (ii) the later northern kingdom centered in Samaria, distinct from kingdom of Judah centered in Jerusalem.
German: Israelit (de) m , Israelitin (de) f.
Israelite (not comparable ).
Usage notes[ edit ].
Israeli is the noun and adjective for the modern state of Israel and its people, and is not to be confused with Israelite. The usage to mean "pertaining to a descendant of Jacob" is rare, very narrowly confined to religious (mainly Protestant) contexts.
Translations[ edit ].