An Open So-Called Letter

dear hebrew-israelites,

there are some things we all think you should know.  firstly, us black jews [us REAL ones: ortho, reform, conserv, what have you] would like to deeply thank you for f*cking the term “hebrew” up for all of us and for making a general mockery of our existence. thanks ever so.  no really. that’s not being sarcastic at all.  to say us and the rest of judaism are following a “false religion” is extremely funny coming from a cult-like group that follows a judaism-christian hybrid which neither side acknowledges. seriously guys. you make “sacrifices” on barbeque pits in the middle of the sidewalk.  that sound you hear is 2009 knocking on the door trying to get in.  or maybe its reality.  i can never tell.

dear israelites, what is your perseveration in saying that we are slaves to a “white” book? [i.e., the talmud…the fact notwithstanding that you follow the new testament…which was orignally written in greek…and canonized by a roman emperor…so yeah, do the math there…]

dear israelites, even if the talmud is a “white” book [which would be highly unlikely, it having been composed in babylon and israel]. so what?  is there anything inherently “white” about saying “you can start prayer in the morning when the light is strong enough to distinguish between blue and green”?  or about saying “this is how you make tzitzit.  not just some graduation tassels attached to your jeans”?  or “hey don’t go wandering around at weird hours alone”?  or “to save a life is to save the entire world”?  its just helpful guidance, man.  do you not use light because thomas edison invented the lightbulb and he’s white?  or you don’t drive cars because they were invented by white henry ford? and i KNOW y’all wear cotton.  that’s a whole bag of slavery-filled worms in itself.

and by the way, we get it. hell a lot of us even agree: the original jews were black.  that having been said, so what?  what’s the point of standing on the corner on your loudspeaker on Shabbat telling us how black the first jews were when, y’know, YOU’RE STANDING ON THE CORNER ON YOUR LOUDSPEAKER ON SHABBAT??  that’s like a homeless guy talking about his rich his parents are.  what’s the point?  either actually be about it or shut up.  we’re really not interested in the out of context scriptures you’re hive-mind chanting at us anyway.

and speaking of scripture, please direct me to where it says “behold, and thou shalt dress in a manner as if thou art the bastard offspring of a threesome between the power rangers, the village people, and lawrence of arabia.”

dear  israelites, if the rumors are true, why do you pay white people to play dumb so you can defeat them with your dubious logic?  b/c by all rights your arguments should go down something like this:

“the so-called white jews are pretenders. that’s why they’re jew-ish!  what does reddish mean? not really red, right?  what does bluish mean? kinda blue, right? so they’re jew-ish.  not really jews, but kinda.”

“…so if I’m irish, does that mean I’m almost from ireland?”

[dumb look]

see?  why would someone not make that normal logical progression unless they were being paid not to?  tricksy, tricksy israelites, you.

i’m almost baffled at how you’re able to recruit, what with you fighting white ppl, condescending on black ppl, suppressing women and collecting wives like pokemon.

but i gotta admit i’m a lil bit jealous. you guys have got your schools and “temples” and communities and such.  even a website.  that’s more than us JOCs have.  if only there were a way to harness your power.

and, y’know, not have the crazy rub off.

[now, before anyone thinks this is a free for all: the main purpose of this post is to give a voice to jocs who feel israelites  cause  their existence to be ridiculed  and to clarify the difference to regular black folk the difference between black jews and hebrew israelites, and more importantly that black jews are not stephen fletchit uncle tom’s blindly following “white ppl” around.  something actually goes on in our heads.  no this isn’t an opportunity for all the closet racists to slink out of the closet and begin racially charged tirades thinly veiled as indignation. im not for you, im against them. that “enemy of my enemy” deal doesn’t fly with me.  you guys come from the same chasm of ignorance and racism. also, im not insinuating that anyone posting a comment here who happens to be white is one of the aforementioned closet racists. but if you are, you have been put on notice.  that is all.]

–MaNishtana

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18 thoughts on “An Open So-Called Letter

  1. WOW! I’m assuming you live somewhere like Chicago where this movement is. I live in Los Angeles. There is a delicious vegan restaurant near me run by Black Hebrews. However, these people actually either grew up is Demona (I think that’s the right name) Israel, or went there and lived for an extended time. The first time we went to the restaurant we were a little confused since they were selling CDs with Hebrew text. The guys who worked there chatted with us a bit. They were not preachy, nor were they condescending. We asked where the root of their beliefs come from and what they do practice and believe. Maybe there are different levels of the black Hebrews because the people here are kind, respectful of Judaism, and knowledgeable. The main thing they shared was that they take the bible literally. They don’t follow Rabbinics. In other words, things like mezuzahs for example, they may have a prayer on their walls but not necessarily a mezuzah. They are vegetarian, wear caps or kippot, and the women tend to dress tzinus.

    Either way, it’s all very interesting. Now, if I saw what you saw, I’d be shaking my head just like I do at the Jews for Jesus group.

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    • yes, there does seem to be a very recent trend of less hostile, more respectful, less sexist and racist israelites emerging. however, the large majority here in new york would be the above-mentioned ones in my letter.

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  2. There are indeed different types. Some are the Christian/Jewish hybrid that yell at white people on the street and where silly clothes. The ones in Demona are a bit different. They are very peaceful and dont see a need for doing all of that silly stuff. Actually there are whites in their community. Thank you for this. You have said what many of us are thinking.

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  3. I vaguely remember these guys from when I lived in NYC. What with the shouting and the costumes I kinda thought they were some variant on NoI. I dont like shouty people shouting about how God hates me.

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  4. YES AND YES TO WHAT TAMARAEDEN SAID
    I live in both NY and LA and I’ve been to the restaurant she speaks of, yes many of the people in LA were born in Israel or keep a resident there as do some of the NY brothers and sisters. Now the ones that are shouting in the streets are not the same Hebrew Israelites that were speaking of or the ones in Dimona. They have these flamboyant costumes and loudspeakers and are using profanity and other demeaning speech to get their point out. In Judaism their will be believers and “secert” non believers, extremists and moderates. My solution is to not fight fire with fire, their is no need to condemn someone with the same practices that you are accusing them of. Be the light, help your brothers and sisters see the truth of what the creator wants for us all. Let’s not tear down the lost souls and keep them in the wilderness but lead by example, if their is just one ear that hears truth in your words than you have done your job. I have seen the men in NY yell and disrespect women walking down the streets in Union Square, no one ever took them seriously. Their goal was to get a reaction not to reach a soul, I don’t think they were ever interested in inviting people into knowing truth or anything righteous. All they do is scare people away and have them thinking that Black people who are Jews must all be crazy and in a cult, this is not the case.

    Let’s do better, lead by example and be righteous in all you do.

    Shalom

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    • thank you michelle. that is what that post is about. ALL these posts really. “if their is just one ear that hears truth in your words than you have done your job.” and as for fighting fire with fire, i find that most often threat of being exposed or embarrassed often elicits efficient results or at least an indignant introspection of ones actions. sad, yes, but true. this particular blog was also a space for ppl who have been on the receiving end of irate israelite diatribe to sigh with relief and say “oh. so its NOT just me who feels that way.” you can see this reflected in the comments here and in other places. [however, as i said before, NOT a place to air grudges at having ACTUAL prejudices exposed by them. several comments to this effect have not seen the light of day on this page]. essentially, the point is that those of the irate-israelite brand are not getting through any better than the “white devils” they preach against. if it takes them being offended by this blog to realize this, then either way, im happy. tough love and all that noise. much like what bill cosby did a couple years back when he [rightfully] criticized the black community a while back and got tons of flack for it. somehow those ppl seemed to forget he spent years establishing how a functioning black family should work in “the cosby show”. likewise, this blog does not exist in a vacuum. my previous blogs have clearly delineated my goals and aspirations of unity and getting our act together, as blacks, as jews, and as black jews. so think of these blogs as a sort of “boot camp”. the strong will internalize what ive said and survive. those who are unable to see past the surface of things will fall by the wayside. but itd be nice if we could all be onboard.

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    • Actually, this is interesting. One of the black Hebrews here, is actually a white Jewish guy 🙂 (go ahead, chuckle, it’s funny.) He’s a really nice guy every time we see him at the restaurant or Farmer’s Market. He said he never connected with the Judaism of his childhood but the practice of this group somehow spoke to him more clearly.

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  5. Sighs…Dressing like a nativity scene with Timbs on (or air force ones or jordans), yelling at me for believing the “white false jewish lies” (even though I never claimed to follow any aspect of ashkenazim), somehow believing they are under the tribe of judah due to one part revelation verse (what christianity has to do with judaism is beyond me), and another part “I’m Black thus I am a Hebrew”. Oddly enough, I feel the same way about the various racist ashkenazim (not all, but most that I have met in my personal experience and I am only speaking on them), that “I am white thus I am Jewish” somehow makes those particular kind of jews the same as black hebrews. I can only hope for a movement of muppets that are jewish to shake things up with purple, orange, red, and multicolor (to include furry) Jews. :p

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  6. So Called Letter, beaware, because those who you curse are you brothers and sisters. You do realize you’re from the negroid race right? I dont your ancestors were Jewish.

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    • 1-you DO realize there’s no such thing as the “negroid” race, right? “negroid” is commonly associated with outdated notions of racial typology which have been widely discredited in scientific circles and is generally associated with outdated racial notions. and even if there WERE a “negroid” race, then EVERYONE would be negroid as a group of africans migrated from north africa into the fertile crescent [which, as im sure you know, is where judaism originated] and then dispersed to populate the rest of the world.
      2-you dont think my ancestors were jewish. really? based on what? the nothing you know about me? i dont think your ancestors were vikings. see how that works? and [my heritage of being black and jewish in america stretching back over 200 yrs notwithstanding] what is your reason for this theory? b/c im “negroid”? well ethiopians are “negroid” too and have a heritage in judaism that stretches THOUSANDS of years. do you also think THEIR ancestors werent jewish? if you think the first jews were black, then ur conclusion is baffling. if you think the first jews were white, then obviously you’ve never heard of the phenomenon of interracial marriage.
      3-and as for “cursing”. its called tough love. ppl dont wanna be called out for acting the fool, then stop acting the fool. the end.

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  7. Great article. I do not like racialising the Torah. I think it is hashgacha pratis (Divine Providence) that the Jewish people encompasses a pigmentational and ethnic spectrum. I take it as a message that G-d is beyond colour, that the truth is within the reach of all who were created human. Well put. I hope some of the haters weary of hatred and look at the flame of the soul within. I speak of course of on the street, in your face bigotry as well as the suave, behind the scenes and rolling eyes variety. Keep on speaking up

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  8. Pingback: Bekiyrah · Behold

  9. We have those types of people here in Toronto, and they smoke weed in their temples and try to sell old new papers (?) of their writings for like $5

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