… When Shlomo Amar, the Sephardic chief rabbi, announced recently in Jerusalem that he accepted the Bnei Menashe as one of the 10 "lost tribes" of Israel, Mr. Singson began to believe that God had finally smiled on him.…
When news of the March 29 announcement of Israel's recognition of their tribe reached Bnei Menashe villages spread across the two hill states of northeast India, people erupted in celebration.
"It is the greatest gift from God in my life. I never believed that He could be so kind to me so soon," said Rakhel, 21, who dreams of emigrating to Israel with her four brothers, two sisters and parents and working as a nanny there.
At special thanksgiving prayers as Bnei Menashes flocked to 32 synagogues across northeast India, community leaders said the tribe had become closer to Israel after rabbinical recognition.
"This recognition clearly means we have got into the process to return to our homeland [Israel], ending our 2,726-year exodus," said Mr. Singson, who is chairman of the Beth Shalom synagogue in Churachandpur.
On April 23, as Jews around the world celebrated Passover — their departure led by Moses from slavery in Egypt in the 13th century B.C. — Bnei Menashes in India celebrated the holy day with unprecedented enthusiasm, believing that it was their last in "a foreign land."
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