Friday, March 12, 2010
Rewriting Jewish History
I knew we had been missing something! In our blind imitation of America, we had none of the Black Studies stuff where the Civil War was fought mainly by Afro-Americans and where most of American music and literature were created by Negroes. Thanks Rabbi Menachem Waldman, for the first time we have a new Haggadah (Jewish traditional text) where Ethiopian Jews with its unique traditions and customs are given their due.
The 195-page Haggada features prayers and commentaries on the story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt translated from Amharic into Hebrew, as well as an account of how Ethiopia’s Beta Israel community escaped to Israel first via Sudan in Operation Moses in 1984-85 and later during Operation Solomon in 1991. The book also includes extensive photographs and detailed explanations of Ethiopian Jewish traditions and customs connected with Pessah.
I already have seen illustrated bibles where everybody is African. King David himself, although described in the Bible as ruddy and clear-eyed, is painted as a mulatto. The latest representations of Theodore Herzl, the Budapest-born founder of Zionism, show him suspiciously dark skinned. I presume our next step will be a half blood Ethiopian Prime Minister in Israel.