9 posts categorized "Lost Tribes of Israel"

The Blackfeet - One of Ten Lost Tribes?

I've done a lot of research into the connection between Native Americans and the Ten Lost Tribes. Lazer Beams won its first major web award with our 5-part series entitled Trail of Tears. I'm convinced that the Cherokee stem from the Tribe of Zebulon. Furthermore, there's extensive proof that the 5-and-6 holed Native American flutes originate from the flutes of the Land of Israel and our Holy Temple, as you can see here.

Our good friend Howard Lucas sent us a picture of a Blackfoot Indian from 1904. Is this another descendant of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel? You be the judge:

Blackfoot - lost tribe

Blue Otter's Dream

"Blue Otter" is a Tennessee Cherokee. Together with Chief Sitting Owl of the Central Tennessee Cherokee Nation, he travelled nearly 200 miles to meet me in person for the first time and hear me speak in Memphis this past month. A few days later, Blue Otter sent me the following email:

Osyio, Rabbi Lazer!

That night after the lecture, as I was blissfully sleeping in the Chief's "luxury suite," (as he calls it, and I did find it to be very commodious)... I dreamed that wherever you go on earth, there is a square 7' x 7' patch of what looked like "rain" that constantly follows and covers you. That was an interesting dream! I know it's true...

Shalom, Gah gey you e,

Blue Otter

Blue Otter's dream is remarkable. The minimum size of a kosher Succa is 7 tefachim by 7 tefachim. Our sages tell us that this is the smallest area befitting for the "Clouds of Emuna" to hover (in the words of the Zohar, tzila demehaimnuta). May we all be worthy vessels of the Divine Presence, amen.

Blackfoot Indian Story of Creation

For those of you who are new to the Beams, last year we wrote a five-part series about comparing the plight of the Cherokees in the USA and the expulsion of the Jews from Gush Katif. The series, entitled The Trail of Tears, won a silver medal from the Jewish and Israeli Best Blog 2005 awards Best Series division, an earned me an honorary Indian name from the Cherokee Nation as Wa ya Udo, or "Wolf Brother". Since then, I've been in contact with quite a few native Americans, mostly Cherokees, but also Navajo, Nez Perce, Sioux, and Blackfoot. In addition to the mounting evidence, I firmly believe that many American Indians are descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. My very close friend Yonatan Sofer, a brilliant analyst and researcher and brother of Abir Aluf Yehoshua Sofer, thinks so too.

"Calming Waters" is one of my favorite Blackfoot friends. Recently, I received a beautiful letter from him that's very appropriate for the week of Breshis, when the Torah tells the story of creation. Calming Waters is also digging into his roots, and is receiving help from esteemed Cherokee elder and our highly respected friend, Grandmother White Eagle.

Here's what Calming Waters writes:

Shalom Wolf Brother!

May the Creator's blessings fill your day with gladness! Thank you so very much for the message you sent me on 9-28; it was such a blessing to me. Your words mean so much because they are spoken with genuine sincerity from the heart of one who loves the Creator. Your words are poetry. They remind me of words I have read in the Hebrew Scriptures (translated into English). This has always been my favorite Book, most precious of my earthly possessions.

Speaking of the Hebrew Scriptures, I found something very encouraging recently in my searching for Jewish roots in our tribe. I just finished reading an account of creation as told by Blackfoot. These Blackfoot stories were passed down generation to generation, and though there were some inaccuracies in this written one (the author was not Blackfoot), within this story there are clear connections to the account given in the first book of Moses. The Blackfoot story spoke of water everywhere, dry land was made, humans were formed of clay and the Creator breathed life into them, woman was the first human to make a bad decision thus bringing sorrow and the law of death instead of following the Creator's way to life everlasting. Humans wanted to change things back to the way the Creator had originally had things before, yet they could not of themselves regain what the Creator had intended for them. The Creator did not give up on them; He cared much for them and guided them, showing them the way to life.

This also drew my attention: within this story I read, it told of the creation of humans, then later it tells of another group of people being created from the earth, He breathed life into them and they became a people. They asked the Creator what they were to eat and He brought forth certain animals for them and told them this was their food. He also gave directions on how to collect this food. The story goes on to tell that later, the Creator marked off a piece of land for the tribes. He also told them to protect this land from those who would come unbidden into their land, for if the intruders gained a footing here, trouble for the tribes would follow. It occurred to me that this might very well be the story of Israel. Don't you think so, Wolf Brother?

My search for roots is becoming very exciting. The more I learn about the noble Israelite nation, the more I long to be connected to them.

I am honored that you take the time to stay in touch with me, and appreciate your kindness and wisdom. Your blessing ("May The Almighty bless you with all your heart's wishes for the very best.") brought such gladness to my heart; words fail to convey my gratitude.

May all your paths lead to peace, Wolf Brother. Most sincerely, Calming Waters

Thank you so much, Calming Waters. The earnest search of the dispersed and the exiled for their Jewish roots is a surefire sign of the imminent redemption of our people, speedily and in our time, amen.


"Holy Man of the Blackfoot", by Howard Terpning. Terpning, known as the artistic storyteller of the Native American, shows this aged Blackfoot in devout personal prayer to the Great Spirit. Notice how his sidecurls are untouched and his garments are fringed. There's more than a hint of Israelite roots in the Blackfoot; Moshiach will remove all doubt - speedily, amen.

"The Trail of Tears" revisited

It's gratifying to know that "The Trail of Tears" series (see August archives, August 21-25) gave some happiness to another human being. the following is a very special letter that I'd like to share with you:

Dear Rabbi,

I'm a junior at an Alabama college, studying to be a history teacher. I was surfing on the web trying to gather information on the Cherokee Indians, and by a stroke of good fortune I landed on your site. You see, my mom is black and my dad is mostly Cherokee; I have kind of a moca complexion, and growing up here in the Deep South, I've been shunned all my life like a pariah by both the blacks and the whites. Lucky I have a birth certificate and driver's license, or else I'd never've known my real name, because everyone always called me "half-breed". I used to be ashamed of my Cherokee blood (since I grew up among blacks) until I read all 5 parts of The Trail of Tears. You, sir, have made me feel that I'm worth something special by showing me my origins. I want to thank you and your friend JL (Tsa La Gi). I've decided to start reading up on Jewish history. Thanks for giving me a good dose of dignity. Sincerely yours, Edward from Alabama

The same day that I received Edward's poignant letter, I received an intriguing, thought provoking letter from my dear friend Tsa La Gi himself:

Good afternoon Rabbi!

I just wanted to drop a line and say hi and make sure you and your family are doing good.

I've started reading the Trail of Tranquility, and I want to tell you, it makes more sense than anything I have probably ever read. I fully intend to take each little tidbit to heart.

I got activated for a day or so by the state guard (I'm a Captain in the infantry). Katrina was a mess. I guess the spectacle of seeing the raw truth about the state of our nation is a shock to most people in this country. No one would have ever believed that we would descend into anarchy, chaos, and outright predatory behavior, but it happened. Now we have to live with who we are, and it isn't a pretty sight for some.

People are buying firearms, prices are going up, and political finger pointing is in full swing. Before this is over and the next catastrophe happens, I fully expect that some people will realize that we in America have taken a drastic change for the worse in our society, and it won't be changed without some hard choices (or maybe worse).

The funny thing is, while some are wising up, others are becoming more entrenched in their ways. They scoff at the notion that Katrina could have been a judgement from G-d, and they try to make maximum profit from the suffering of others. I guess every generation has it's share of the wicked, and we are no different.

I guess the lesson of Katrina is this:

Man cannot and will not rule himself in justice and truth, because we are incapable. Left to our own devices, we descend into animal behavior without the leveling influence of G-d, and the discipline that comes with disobedience to His laws. Only G-d can rule over us in absolute truth and justice, and that justice is available to any of us to read and learn in the Torah.

Just a few ramblings on my experiences Rabbi. I wish you and yours a hearty and heartfelt best wishes. Take care, my friend, JL (Tsa La Gi)

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Edward and Tsa La Gi soon find themselves sitting on one of Moshiach's airlift 747's that bring the dispersed children of Israel back to the fully-redeemed homeland, soon and in our days, amen!

Ethiopian_jewish_airlift An elderly Ethiopian Jew is helped off the plane by two soldiers on his arrival to Israel in 1997. In the 1990's, Israel absorbed 40,000 immigrants from Ethiopia alone.

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):



















The Lord






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.