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.

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