After long wait, NE jews going to Israel | delhi | Hindustan Times
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After long wait, NE jews going to Israel

This Rosh Hashanah or the Jewish New Year celebrations that started last week is perhaps the best that David Yokhanan Vaite of Churachandpur, a township in Manipur, has ever had cherished in his living memory.

delhi Updated: Oct 02, 2011 23:48 IST
Sanjib Kr Baruah

This Rosh Hashanah or the Jewish New Year celebrations that started last week is perhaps the best that David Yokhanan Vaite of Churachandpur, a township in Manipur, has ever had cherished in his living memory.

"Our preparation for decades is finally coming to bear fruit. I got the historic news that the Israeli government is finally going to approve the immigration of the remaining Jews from Manipur and Mizoram," he said, in vain trying to conceal the excitement in his voice.

Israeli media on Tuesday had reported that within the next few weeks the Israel government is expected to finally approve the bringing to Israel the remaining members from certain clans among the Mizo, Kuki and Paitei tribes in Manipur and Mizoram who claim descent from one of the 10 lost tribes of Israel.

Tradition has it that the forefathers of these clans, called Bnei Menashe (sons of Menashe), who were exiled by the Assyrian king more than 2700 years ago, roamed around in Central Asia and South-East Asia before settling down in areas in Manipur and Mizoram.

"Do you think I'm too old to migrate to Israel?" joked 86-year-old, T Hangshing, a retired IAS officer, who plans to move lock, stock and barrel.

And why not?

"There is a better life there than the insurgency and drugs here. Jobs, furnished houses, cars, modern amenities of life. For villagers who lead a subsistence level life here, it is like going to heaven," he said.