Friday, September 10, 2010

The Ten Lost Tribes Part.III

Europeans claimed the “natives “had Semitic features and that their language bore some phonetic similarities to Hebrew. Too, a traveler returning from South America told the rabbi in Amsterdam that the Indians in Peru practiced Jewish rituals. And after seeing his first American native, William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, declared, “I imagine myself in the Jewish Quarter of London.’
The implicit claim was that the lost tribes had somehow managed to cross the Atlantic and to pass their culture on to the native population. Similar claims linking a cultural, religious, or ethnic group to the lost tribes have been made by the Mormons, the Afghans, the Falashas of Ethiopia, the Tatars, and even by the Britons.
The most likely explanation behind the disappearance of the ten tribes is that after their exile from Israel at the hands of the Assyrians, the people of the Kingdom of Israel simply assimilated into the nearby regional cultures. This vanishing is perhaps less dramatic than an ancient crossing of the Atlantic, but in the grand view of history, just fascinating.
One of the most imaginative stories about the ten lost tribes was advanced by Eldad ha – Dan, a 9th century Jewish traveler. He claimed to have seen the lost tribes beyond the River of Sambatyon, the legendary “Sabbath River.” The river was an impassable torrent of stones, which ceased only on the Sabbath. Since for Jews, travel is proscribed on the Sabbath, the lost tribes were forever guarded behind the river. Throughout the ages, historians have sought out the location of this magical river. The Jewish historian Josephus claimed it was in Syria, and Pliny asserted it was in Judea; others searched for it in India, Africa, china, Japan and Spain. Like the Lost Ten Tribes, to this day it has never been found.

Part.I                                                                                                                                   Cont. 

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