Sunday, November 28, 2010

Retaining a vital part of the Igbo peoples's essence

My thinking is in line with your thinking. There is a swathe of Anambra State close to O. Nsugbe's clan. There are still many adherents of Omenana there. I was there early last year. The place reminded me of the Igboland of the seventies. While there I had a feeling that I was in pre -monarchy ancient Israel. Extreme material poverty as we know it today! But absolutely no crime! The feeling was eery. I planned to go back there with a video camera, but before I could do so I fell ill. Frankly I worry that our brethren that are mad with ignorance would sooner or later destroy such places in their quest to wipe out all relics of the Igbos pre-Christian life. Such places need to be protected. I hope that we will be ready in time to do so. We need empowerment to get to those with executive powers; i.e, those in government, as it is they who could provide the resources that would be necessary to protect such places, and the way of life that's still obtainable there. Hopefully we'll have the book The Igbos and Israel soon, so that we can use it to explain to our brethren that such places are places where rabbinical, Israelite, and biblical studies students could go to, to learn. From experience I know that Igbos respect their history and culture when they recognize the similarities between them, and Israel's.

Igbo Judaists should visit such places too. Rabbinic Judaism could and should help to ensure that the practices of the ndi ogo Mmuo (worshippers of God) remain Israelite and pure. They have tried so much by retaining the basic elements of Hebrewisms, by relying on their memories, and oral traditions, but we need to get them Torah soon, so that they won't stray or become syncretistic. And very importantly, as people living in the rural areas their alliance with the Igbo Judaists will help in entrenching rabbinic Judaism in the heart of the Igbo society.

How Ndi Igbo came from Israel.

Actually people should look at the whole of Africa when Ethiopia was mentioned in early times. There were no steel barriers confining the Israelites that moved into Ethiopia to Ethiopia. Naturally they continued downwards-and the biggest concentration of those that continued downwards settled in the south of the area that became Southern Nigeria.

There are no maps, books detailing the movements-similar to what I read about the Jews of Russia-that nobody really knows when or how they got there-but as they practiced Judaism it was clear that they were/are of Israelite stock.

This is not to say that I think that the Igbos are made up only of those that the Assyrians dispersed, i.e, the Israelites of the Northern Kingdom. My theory, supported by many sources is that Hebrews had started trickling into the African continent well before the great dispersions. [The nail that yielded the enzyme that gave us the blue in our tallits in ancient times were obtainable only in the waters of West Africa]. And that a very great majority of those that moved 'down' settled in the Niger area because of abundant water, fertile land, etc. And that when the dispersions occurred, a huge number of the dispersed also joined those that had settled in the Niger area. This would include some exiles from Samaria, and Judah. My theory is that these streams-from the entire nation of Israel built up the nation that became known as the Hebrews--------Ibri------------Ibo--------------Igbo. Retain the tribal name to provide room for everybody. An Igbo instinctively prefers to be identified as a Hebrew or an Israelite, more than as a Jew, because in my thinking, only some Igbos descended from Judah.

And can I prove all these? I can. We have the Leviim, and the Aaronides, and the acronym of their chief clan is derived from the prophesy about Levi by Jacob in Genesis.

If anybody's claim to Israelitishness is strong its that of the Igbos, because everywhere there are tell-tale signs, symbols, etc, telling us about who the Igbos are. And it must be mentioned that today, not many people, including Igbos know about all these-because these are things that have not received attention-popular or scholarly, for a long time. And in the Igbo case colonialism damaged us almost irreparably. It made Igbos to begin to chase after things that didn't concern them, while neglecting even themselves.

Now I ask myself why did I even think that the Igbos needed DNA tests, when the phrase Omenana; the Igbo religion can be found in the Torah. When every Igbo practice is parallelized by a Jewish one. When even the Igbo experience is parallelized by the Israelite experience. And I conclude that what the Igbos need is Jewish information to counter the toxic effects of European colonialism.