Previous month:
July 2005
Next month:
September 2005

5 posts from August 2005

The Trail of Tears - part 5: Ingathering of the exiles

The prophet Isaiah teaches us that an ingathering of the exiles will herald the day of Redemption, for "You will be gathered up one by one, O Children of Israel; It shall be on that day that a great shofar [ram's horn - LB] shall sound, and those lost in the land of Assyria and foresaken in the land of Egypt [and from all the other countries of exile and dispersion - LB] will come [together - LB] and bow down to Hashem on the holy mountain of Jerusalem (Isaiah 27:12-13).

Cherokees coming home: The skeptics don't want to see the writing on the wall, because once a person acknowledges G-d and the eternal truth of Torah, then that person is behooved to make urgent changes for the better. One can act like an ostrich, and put his or her head in the ground, and pretend not to see the imminent redemption. But, one can't deny the evidence that has been rolling in from all over the world, that we are seeing Isaiah's prophecy fulfilled before our very eyes. From a bulging mailbag, I've discovered that Tsa La Gi is not alone; I've heard from for other Cherokee descendants who have concerted or are in the process of converting to Orthodox Judaism (what I call Orthodox is what many others term ultra-Orthodox; Orthodox means that one observes all the laws of Torah). Let me share with you an excerpt from amazing letter from an extraordinary woman, now living in Jerusalem:

...I am convinced that not only was my soul on Mount Sinai with the rest of the Jewish souls when G-d revealed himself and gave us the Torah, but that there are genetic links to the People of Israel throughout my ancestry. I am a fifth-generation Texan; I had a Cherokee great-great grandmother by the name of Laura Broken Bow. I wondered many years ago if the Trail of Tears was not the last stage of assimilation for this "lost" tribe. The similarity to past Jewish experience could not be simply coincidental...I and three of my four children are halachic converts to Judaism and I am personally acquainted with many, many more converts with the same background including another entire family who hails from Oklahoma. The Lost Tribes are returning---some quietly (like us), some more publicly (like the Bnei Menasha from India and the Jews from Ethiopia)---but nevertheless returning, B"H! DST, Jerusalem

Cherokee_elder_by_kathy_baker Cherokee Elder, an original drawing by artist Kathy Baker. Could this brave's great great grandchildren be learning Torah in Jerusalem today? You bet!

Imagine, Laura Broken Bow's great-great granddaughter is now an Orthodox Jewish mother in Jerusalem. Isaiah's prophecy is in the works - Moshiach and the rebuilding of the holy temple are only a matter of time. Back in America, Tsa La Gi feels it too. Here's what he writes in his most recent letter to me:

Rabbi, I  believe that we will see many glorious things ahead. One wonders how glorious it will be to see the complete wonder of the re-established tribes of Israel, repentant and in complete submission to G-d, as they become a light to all nations! I seriously hope I live to see that day, so I can revel in the glory of it, and cheer for the people of Israel as they are sought for wisdom by all the peoples of the world. What a wonderful world that will be! Meanwhile, we have a few bumps in the road to face, and a few more clashes with despots to endure, of that I am certain. I hope no one loses hope or faith in the process, because the outcome is well worth the trials.

Tsa La Gi, with his cogent powers of analysis, hit the nail on the head - the battle is not to lose hope or faith in the process of anticipating redemption. Redemption will require absolute commitment and strength of faith; a person won't be able to skirt both sides of the fence. That brings us to Afghanistan.

Who's afraid of redemption? The Fundamentalist Christians and the missionaries are, because they know that Moshiach will destroy the twenty centuries of lies that they've used to persecute us. The Cherokees don't upset the Fundamentalist Christians and the missionaries so much, because the number of Cherokees returning to Jewish roots hasn't yet reached four figures. On the other hand, Afghanistan - and particularly the Pathans - make them tremble in their boots.

Pathan_children Pathan children - they look strikingly similar to Yemenite Jewish children

The Pathans: The Pathans are proud of several things - one, they've never assimilated; two, they acknowledge their roots from the tribes of Israel (some claim to be Benjaminites while others claim to be Menashe; I concur with the latter opinion); three, although they are offically Moslems, they wear a fringed garment that resembles tzitzit, keep their heads covered, observe the Sabbath, and circumcise their sons at exactly 8 days old. The Pathans are fiercely brave and totally committed, having succeeded to drive the Russian Army out of Afghanistan.

No_compromise_pathan The eyes of conviction: Pathans are no-nonsense and no-compromise

The Pathans have totally frustrated the Christian missionaries. One major group of USA missionaries who have completely struck out in Afghanistan writes, "Since their entire way of life is opposed to change, the Pathan present one of the strongest challenges to the Christian Church today. Much intercession is needed if they are to be successfully reached with the Gospel." 

This morning, I had the privilege of davening with Rabbi BT (hidden tzaddik and kabbalist from Ashdod, who disagreed with Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu and maintained that the Disengagement would happen, as part of the greater redemption process). After the services, I approached Rabbi BT and told him about all of my findings as to the lost tribes, and particularly the Cherokees of the USA and the Pathans of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rabbi BT said that all of the latter are certain descendants of Israel, and many of the former. He also told me that Moshiach will ingather those of the Lost Tribes that haven't fallen victim to Christianity. Do you know what that means? Fifteen million Pathans will recognize the truth of Moshiach, and all will be coming home to Israel.

An end to Disengagement: Modern Israel is also plagued by American-style assimilation. The secular Israelis, eager to live a cheap imitation of American-appetite lifestyle, have thrown away the yoke of Torah and its ethics. A person who denies Torah has no problem giving up parts of the Holy Land in order to gain a few months of imaginary peace in his local pub or cafe, as the typical Israeli secular expression says, "Let's eat and be merry, because tomorrow we'll die". 15 million Pathans, who will undoubtedly cling to the Torah as they've done to their heritage for the last 27 centuries, will horrify the USA, secular Israel (which is decaying anyway), and the Arabs. No longer will Jews in the Holy Land disengage themselves from the duties of the heart as specified in our holy Torah. Like it or not, Israel shall be the palace of Hashem's Divine Presence and a land of Torah. In the King's palace, there's no compromises.

What you can do: Geula, the complete redemption of our people and the ingathering of 27 centuries of exiles is already taking place. There's no more time to sit on the fence, to pray in the morning and to watch Hollywood DVD's in the evening. Now's the time for Torah, Tshuva, and commitment. American Jewry especially has to wake up and declare war on the assimilation that's killing 300,000 American Jews every decade. "Modern" forms of watered-down Jewry are only expediting assimilation. It's about time we put a stop to the centuries-long Trail of Tears, and begin rejoicing in the revival of our heritage, the ingathering of all the exiles, and the imminent coming of Moshiach Tzidkenu, speedily and in our days, amen.

Nvwa-dohi-yadv, danitaga! That's Cherokee for "go in peace, my brother!" May Hashem shine His countenance on each and every one of you always.

***The End of "The Trail of Tears"***


The Trail of Tears, part 4: Birds of a feather

The Indian Act of 1831, Jewish assimilation in America, the death camps of the Holocaust, secular Zionism, the invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11, and the Disengagement in Israel are all birds of the same feather. Here's how:

The Cherokees of Georgia: The Cherokees of Georgia, who in the 1830's were forcefully exiled to Oklahoma, are basically the southern most subtribe of the Iriquois, the mother tribe of the Senecas in Maryland, the Algonquins in New York State, the Creek, the Yuchi, and others. As far as DNA goes, all the Iriquois who have been tested check out as of Middle east origin; some even carry the Y-chromosome of the Cohanim. A tribe of superb nautical prowess (like Zvulon and Dan, their probable ancestors), the Iriquois are believed to have sailed from Northern Israel, exiled by the Assyrians in 722 BCE, eastward along the Mediterranean, rounding Portugal then heading north to the British Isles, and subsequently crossing the Atlantic at the shortest point to Newfoundland - all some two thousand years before Columbus arrived in America. The Cherokees moved south, settling in the Carolinas and Georgia. Essentially, American Independance was a black day for them. The American Christian missionaries found the 18th Century Cherokees to be staunchly monotheistic, and vigorously opposed to the notions of Christianity. The missionaries, furious, began a smear campaign against the Cherokees, portraying them as lewd bloodthirsty savages (see James Adair's "History of the North American Indians). Southern Christian fundamentalists later twisted Andrew Jackson's ear to sign the 'hate bill" of 1830 that lead to the expulsion of the Cherokees from Georgia and the subsequent death march of the tribe to the barren wilderness of Oklahoma. To this day, the nasty Southern Christian stereotypes of the Indians linger on in the media and in the cinema. Ultimately, those Cherokees who remained alive were christened by missionaries; today, there are few pure-blooded Cherokees. Assimilation and the missionaries have taken their toll, and few people of Cherokee descent know much about their own tradition.

The Jews of America: You may want to ask, why didn't the fundamentalist Christian missionaries declare war on the newly-arriving Jewish immigrants like they did on the Cherokee? The answer is simple - they didn't have to. The vast majority of Jews were more than happy to throw off the yoke of their religion, and to adopt the new religion of the greenback dollar. In the last thirty years, the number of Jews in the USA has dropped by nearly a million, from 6.1 million in 1970 to 5.2 million in 2000, while every other ethnic group is growing in leaps and bounds. Frankly speaking, Hitler killed bodies but American assimilation is killing over 300,000 Jewish souls every decade. So, the Christian Fundamentalists in the USA don't have to kill Jews - the Jews themselves are doing the dirty work.

The Death Camps of the Holocaust: Roosevelt and the USA didn't lift a finger to bomb the death trains or the concentration camps, despite the fact that they had aerial maps and intel on both. Roosevelt knew that the Jews in America were killing themselves, and he let Hitler do the dirty work in Europe. As such, the Christain white-collar antisemites of America was having the "Jewish problem" solved without soiling their own fingers as in the case of the Indians. When the Yanks made a show of liberating the concentration camps, only a few thousand walking skeletons remained - too little, too late.

Labor Zionists and the establishment of Israel (see Perfidy, by Ben Hecht): David Ben Gurion and his labor Zionist cohorts hated religious Jews with an insane passion. Ben Gurion thought that the few Haredim (ultra-orthodox) could be maintained in the Mea Shearim section of Jerusalem, similar to an Indian reservation and tourist attraction. The Labor Zionists were given several chances to save the Jews of Europe, but didn't lift a finger. They assured the American Christians that they'd build a non-Jewish secular state, thus receiving limited American support. The Haredim, the National Religious, and the Tshuva movement pose a serious demographic threat to the Labor Zionists, whose goal is to continue their corrupt hold on the Holy Land.

Afghanistan: The Fundamentalist Christian regime in America has used 9/11 as an excuse to nearly wipe Afghanistan off the map (an classic example of Fundamentalist Christian hypocrisy; they preach restrain to when the victims of terror are Jews, such as in Israel). You may argue about the Cherokees, but the 15 million Pathans of Afghanistan - although Moslems today - are clearly of Jewish origin from the Assyrian exile of the Northern tribes. Tomorrow, in Part 5 of "The Trail of Tears", we'll discuss the spiritual and strategic importance of the Pathans, G-d willing. By accusing the Afghanis of harboring Bin Laden, Fundamentalist Christian USA declared the Pathans free game. In my humble opinion, this is another tragic event in a long series of Christian murder crusades.

Disengagement: Labor Zionism backfired; former secular pioneers can now be found on the streets of Los Angeles and Queens. More than 80% of the settlers in Jewish Gaza, Judah, and Sammaria are observant Jews. These fiercely loyal, fervent pioneers don't want the secular side-walk cafe country that was expected to assimilate and die its own death. The Secular Zionists, fueled by corruption, greed, and their addiction to American dollars, are now doing the bidding of Mr. George Fundamentalist Christian president, and are systematically dismantling religious Israel; their war on the Haredim began long ago, and now they've declared war on Religious Zionism. This very minute, with the tears of Jewish Gaza still wet on our cheeks, Ms. Condi Rice is calling for more expulsions.

Netzarim_shul How perfectly tidy for the antisemites: Jews dismantling their own houses of worship. Netzarim, earlier this week.

The Indian Act of yesteryear and Disengagement of today are birds of the same exact feather.

Don't miss tomorrow's concluding Part 5 of The Trail of Tears, which will talk about the coming redemption, G-d willing, and tie the loose ends together.


The Trail of Tears, part 3: The Cherokees, a lost tribe of Israel?

The more Tsa La Gi and I corresponded, the more we felt a mutual bond that seemed to be centuries old. Tsa La Gi fits perfectly the criteria that the Mishna prescribes for recognizing a descendant of Israel - he is modest, generous, and compassionate.

Tsa La Gi writes: "I had "Christianity" forced on me as a kid growing up, but I never made the connection with it. It wasn't voluntary. It was a prerequisite to anything in the small area I came from. I read the Bible, and watched what the church people did and said, and saw a lot of things that conflicted. So much so, in fact, that I decided really quick when I was young that most of them were hypocrites who talked one way in church and acted a very different way on every other day of the week."

Yet, as a child in the hills of Oklahoma, not having met a single Jew, Tsa La Gi felt a deep and personal kinship with the people of Israel in the Bible. "Whenever I read the Bible," he reminisces, "I felt like I was reading about my people, not some foreign civilization that were a part of ancient history. I treasured the stories of King David, the Wisdom of Solomon, and the Psalms. I identified with the suffering of the people of Israel as they endured slavery and escaped from bondage. Moerover, I have a keen sense of history, and learned that various components of the Christian Church had acted atrociously over the years towards outsiders, like the Jews and American Indians." The last phrase hit me like a sledgehammer. Could there really be a connection between the Indian Act of 1830 in the USA and the Disengagement Act 0f 2005 in Israel? Were both tragedies engineered by fundamentalist Christians? (See tomorrow's post, G-d willing, part 4 of The Trail of Tears for more on this subject).

Tsa La Gi is a master strategist. He specialized in anti-terrorist combat and law enforcement. He was one of the officers instrumental in nailing the Oklahoma Bomber of 1995, American neo-Nazi Timothy McVeigh. Later, Tsa La Gi became an Oklahoma State Magistrate. Uncanny, I thought to myself; Tsa La Gi and I became friendly out of his concern for the welfare of real Israel (not the ersatz poor-man's variety that's knocking its brains out to disengage from Hashem and the Torah, heaven forbid). Later, I discover that Tsa La Gi's great uncle and his Cherokee brothers in arms liberated Dachau (see Trail of Tears, part 2), and now I find out that my Cherokee comrade was the the officer that nabbed a neo-Nazi mega murderer. Coincidence? Believers don't believe in coincidence. The Gemorra says that Hashem gives mitzvas in the hands of the deserving. Apparently, the Cherokees in general - and Tsa La Gi in particular - have a special quality that qualify them as deserving.

I looked for a drop of information that connects the Indians of North America to the lost tribes of Israel, exiled and dispersed by Sannherib and the Assyrians in 772 BCE, and encountered a flood of evidence indicating that the Indians, particularly the Cherokees, are certainly one of the lost tribes of Israel - some say Dan, others say Zevulun.

Sitting_bull High cheek bones? Jewish nose? Braided and untouched payis? Fringes on his shirt? Was Sitting Bull really a descendant of Israel? Many say yes.

18th Century explorer, trader, and researcher, James Adair from London, author of History of the American Indians who spent 40 years among the Cherokees, wrote a book named Out of the Flame, listing 23 hard proofs why he believed the Cherokees were descended from Israel. Among other things, the Cherokees were fiercely monotheistic who observed the Ten Commandments to the letter. Harvard professor Barry Fell cites an ancient carving of the Ten Commandments in North America as further proof, another subscriber to the lost tribe theory. Rabbi Marvin Tokayer, former USAF Chaplain and prominent Jewish historian, also holds that the Indians of the Americas are descendants of Northern Israel's seafaring tribes, Dan and Zevulun. The additional list is long and exhaustive.

Even so, I wasn't really convinced until I started learning some Cherokee language. Examine the following table (with thanks to the Cherokees of powersource.com in California for their help):

English

Cherokee

Hebrew

camel

Ge'mili

gamal

dog

Qi'li

qelev

egg

We'tsi

betsa

mosquito

To'si

yetosh

turtle

Du'si

tsav

The Lord

Adon'vido

adonoi

tree

atsina

etz

As you can see, the phonetic similarities are astounding.

Why did America persecute the Indians? What does the common background and common suffering of the Cherokees and the Jews teach us about the future? How does Tsa La Gi envision the future moves of the American government? What does all this have to do with the imminent coming of Moshiach? G-d willing, we'll find out tomorrow, in Part 4 of The Trail of Tears.


"The Trail of Tears", part 2: American Indians liberated Dachau

Following yesterday's post, "The Trail of Tears", many people have been asking all kinds of questions about Tsa La Gi: Where did he get his deep empathy for the Jews? Is there a connection between the Cherokees of Georgia and the Jews? Does Tsa La Gi, with his uncanny insight, see a bigger picture of what's in store for the Jewish people? What's the wierd connection between Tsa La Gi and Lazer, an American Cherokee and an Israeli Jew?

45th_infantry_insignia_28thunderbird29 Tsa La Gi received his deep empathy for the Jewish People from his great uncle, who served as an infantry soldier with the US 45th Division in WWII. The 45th Division had an ancient Indian symbol of the Thunderbird as its crest, suitably so, since it was composed heavily of American Indian soldiers who lived in Oklahoma and other parts of the Southwest. They fought the toughest and bloodiest battles of the war with dignity and valor. Tsa La Gi's great uncle survived virtually all theaters of Europe, and was one of the first soldiers of the 45th Division to witness the scope of atrocities of the Holocaust when the 45th spearheaded the liberation of Dachau in April of 1945, freeing 32,000 prisoners, barely alive. 

Deathtrain02 Soldiers of the "Thunderbird" 45th Division, liberating the death trains of Dachau

Tsa La Gi's great uncle made a personal resolution at the time to pass what he had seen on to future generations, and he did this by telling his grandchildren and grand-nephews what he had witnessed. He also made them vow never to participate in something as evil and murderous as what he had witnessed, even when it was made to appear good by the government. Tsa La Gi wrote me that the lesson took root, because he has never forgotten it to this day.

Dachau_front_gate The front gate of Dachau Concentration camp - could this happen again?

Tsa La Gi writes, "When governments turn against their people and become dangerous, like some seem to have done today, it is up to regular everyday people to stand up and make a difference. Germany didnt become murderous overnight. They did it in steps, and they did it under the pretext of ensuring security for their citizens. Germany is only one country, however. Today, the scope of the newest movement seems to be global, and it is unsettling to say the least. I feel this movement  is rapidly approaching the capability to be genocidal, and it worries me for the safety of Israel."

"College taught me," he continues, "that all genocidal movements of the last hundred or so years have practiced anti-semitism as a core rallying point. The rise in ant-semitism among this movement is a foreboding sign, and it seems to be a rallying point. These are textbook signs of Totalitarianism approaching. It seems that the time to choose sides is rapidly approaching, and I have chosen the right side. Of that I have no doubt. I will cast my fate with your people, Rabbi; I dont think I am alone in my decision, either."

Tsa La Gi is a man of honor and integrity. He has been tested many a time under fire. I asked myself, why do I feel such a kinship, such a bond of brotherhood with this extraordinary individual? Is it only because of our similar past histories? I think it's more than that. Tsa La Gi is a breath of fresh air that's scented with truth. Truth is G-dliness, that draws my soul like a magnet. More than anything, he seems to be my brother. Could that be?

Is there a connection between the Cherokees and the Jews? What's this have to do with Disengagement, the future of Israel, and Moshiach? G-d willing, you'll find out in tomorrow's Lazer Beams. Don't miss part 3 of "The Trail of Tears".


The Trail of Tears - part one: The Indian Removal Act of 1830 and The Jewish Removal Act (Disengagement) of 2005

My very special friend JL from Oklahoma is an extraordinary individual and one of my favorite people. He served for 8 years in the US Navy's highly elite submarine service, and subsequently was a law-enforcement officer in Oklahoma. JL is an American Indian; his Cherokee name is "Tsa-La-Gi" ( pronounced shaw la gee), which means "Trail of Tears". Tsa La Gi sent me the following letter - a rare gem. See for yourself: 

Rabbi Brody:

As you know, I'm not Jewish, but like you, I've had more than my share of tragedy and violence in this life. I count myself lucky to have made it to middle age, and I am very thankful to G-d for the chance to live this long. I wish you a long and happy life, and hope the road rises up to meet you as you walk through life!

Rabbi, I never thought I would live long enough to see my country betray Israel, but I saw it today when the footage of Israeli soldiers carrying out Israeli citizens from various buildings in the Gaza strip was broadcast on the television. Although the "evacuation" was a very smartly packaged piece of propaganda which was slanted to make it appear as a beneficial thing to world peace, I saw it for what it was: anti-semitism at work, a Jewish Removal Act of 2005, and it made me sick.

It seems that every country in the world has decided that Israel is the only impediment to "world peace", and Israel has to be removed from the planet so that they can live in some fantasy world of unity and happiness. It is so incredibly naive that it makes my head spin. It also makes me worry about the safety of the people of Israel, who have suffered so long and hard at the hands of historical hatred.

This is nothing new. In the 1830's, my American Indian ancestors were forcibly relocated across the "Trail of Tears" by the Indian Removal Act . They walked from Georgia to Oklahoma by order of the US Government. Many died from the weather, disease, and starvation. The same exact forces seem to be at work in Israel today, and it sickens me to see it happening with no one to speak out about it. I resolve not to be quiet.

Rabbi, as long as I am alive, I resolve to help the Jewish people, even though I am not Jewish myself. After today, I realize that the depths of historical hatred of the Jewish people must be deep for so many to revel in the anguish of innocent Jewish people like I have seen some do on my television.

Israel must survive in order to continue to provide a safe haven for the worlds Jews, and some gentiles must step up to help them in the future. I resolve to be one of the gentiles who will do all I can to help. I hope and pray others will do the same.

Regards, Tsa La Gi 

PS: Take care of yourself, sir. You are an asset to humanity.

It's amazing how a bond of truth, common suffering, and sincerity can bind an Israeli Jewish heart to an American Indian heart. Tsa La Gi, I cherish your friendship and your concern for the fate of our people. May The Almighty fill your heart with joy always, and may you and your people reap a harvest of peace, justice, and prosperity, amen.

Trail_of_tears "The Trail of Tears", by Robert Lindneux, depicting the expulsion of the Cherokees from their beloved tribal native home in Georgia in the 1830's on the way to their forced resettlement in Oklahoma. A Georgia soldier who took part in the expulsion said, "I've seen loads blood and guts in my time, but the removal of the Cherokees was the hardest thing I ever did." Courtesy of Native American Foundation.