Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lost Tribe in New Guinea?

NEFESH GOLF DAY November 24, book now - see below


Question of the Week:


Did you see the video of the tribe in Papua New Guinea singing the Shema in Hebrew? It is just amazing! Are they a lost tribe of Israel? How else can you explain these natives in tribal dress singing Jewish prayers in perfect Hebrew? 



It is a very cute clip. But don't be fooled. Their ability to sing Hebrew songs doesn't make them Jewish. I can sing Awimbawe, that doesn't make me a long lost African. And anyway, a few features of their song just don't add up.

If indeed they were a lost tribe of Israel, clutching on to their traditions for thousands of years in spite of their dislocation from other Jews, why do they chant the Shema in a distinctively modern European tune? Why do they sing it in English after singing it in Hebrew? And what is the explanation for the placards they display with English quotes from the Bible?

The explanation is a simple. These tribesmen are not performing an ancient rite, but rather singing the Hebrew songs that Christian missionaries have taught them. For hundreds of years the missionary work in places such as Africa and Papua New Guinea has introduced biblical ideas to native populations.

So we shouldn't be so surprised to find a witch doctor in Burma wearing a tallis or a hut in the Sahara Desert with menorahs painted all over it. It is probably just the result of our Christian friends teaching our bible (and theirs) to the locals.

Jews do not missionise. We don't believe in converting the world to our ways. But we certainly believe that ethical monotheism, the belief in one G-d Who expects us to live morally, can improve the lives of all peoples around the world. If that is what the missionaries teach, we say Amen. 

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Moss

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ANGER AND ITS ANTIDOTE - MEANINGFUL MOTHERHOOD  Discussion group for mothers and babies with Nechama Dina Moss and Shternie Dadon Mondays 10:00am-11:00am at Nefesh 54 Roscoe St, Bondi

NEFESH GOLF DAY Thursday November 24 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

 Golf Day

GLOBAL DAY OF LEARNING this Sunday at Coogee Synagogue ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 


Sydney is one of 300 leading Jewish communities around the world participating in the

Global Day of Jewish Learning. The program celebrates Rabbi Adin "Even-Israel"

Steinsaltz's motto, "Let my people know"...the core Jewish ideas and texts.



9:30am: Registration and Welcome


10:00am: Shema - a model for relationships (Rabbi Michoel Gourarie, BINA)


10:50am: The Body and Soul of the Jewish People (Rabbi Danny Eisenberg, JLC)


12:00 noon: Various Chabura learning groups (Torah Mitzion Kollel Students, JLC)


1:00pm: For the Sake of Heaven: Diversity within Rabbinic Judaism

(Simon Holloway, Sydney University)


2:00pm: Unique Stories, Timless Messages: 5 Special Stories, each with a unique

message (Rabbi Yaacov Chaiton, BINA)


2:50pm: The Story of Joseph and His Brothers and its Message for Jewish Unity

Today (Rabbi Simcha Jacob, Or Chadash)


3:45pm: Have We Met Before? Reincarnation and Judaism

(Rabbi Aron Moss, Nefesh)

All at Coogee Synagogue, 121 Brook St Coogee

NEFESH SERVICES - 54 Roscoe St Bondi Beach 



Friday night

Candlelighting 7:13pm (not before 6:05pm)

6:10pm Mincha  

6:30pm - 7:15pm Shabbos Service followed by Kiddush


Shabbos day

9am Class on Weekly Parsha

10am -12:15pm Morning Service with kids' program followed by Kiddush

NEW Shiur every week one hour before mincha, this week 6:10pm - Understanding Rashi - a glimpse into the genius of Rashi's commentary on the Parsha as explained by the Rebbe  

Mincha 7:10pm followed by Seudah Shlishis and Maariv

Shabbos ends 8:13pm 



8am Shachris followed by breakfast and beginners' Talmud


Monday and Thursday

Shachris 7am followed by Chassidus


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    As you say, no man of Yahudah would proselytize, and no Christian would have the QaDOSh tongue in his mouth. Believe it or not, Brother EPHRAIM is TeShUVA' ing home again with TORAH in his heart to the KaVoD of Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey. The prodigal son has returned to his senses with repentance for profaning ABBA's heart with treacherous blasphemies all these many generations. This is just the tip of the iceberg as it were. Twelve Tribes ACxD !

  2. I have never known a Christian to give a muddle-headed wombats wit about singing The SHEMA or caring about it's significance and they don't care about
    learning Hebrew because "I speak English & that's good enough for me ".
    I find it practically impossible that Christians taught them. The TORAH is for
    Anyone who wants THE TRUTH! The only Christians who care are the ones who realize they have been lied to by just about everything they have been taught!
    YAHUDA SHOULD BE THRILLED to know that the other Tribes are WAKING UP! If the whole world would do as YOD - HEY-VAV - HEY says Jews wouldn't
    Be killed (or others) ..JUSTICE..RIGHT RULING WOULD PREVAIL & Ysrael
    Wouldn't be dealing with all the evil that is coming against it. ..of course the world will never be like that but those who have a heart for the TRUTH , to love
    The Creator of the Universe,above all and his neighbor as himself, LONG FOR
    what could be possible if all of YSRAEL not just Yahuda got their act together.SHALOM Karen B. Australian born native who has Teshuva'd and now part of the Common -Weath of YSRAEL , living in America. SHALOM SHALOM

  3. Where is everyone...don't people think anymore?