Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Last Jews in Ethiopia Prepare for the Promised Land

(Nov 27, 2012, Arutz Sheva)--Ethiopia may be the only country in the world where all of the Jews move en masse to Israel. The last of the “wanderers” on the way.

Ethiopian Baby with Israeli flag (Flash 90)
The last 2,000 “Falash Mura [wanderer in Ethiopia's Amharic language] Jews are preparing to come to the Promised Land next year, completing what may be the first and only time an entire country’s Jewish community has followed the forefather Abraham’s experience of leaving his birthplace and exercising his faith in G-d by moving en masse to the Promised Land.

The Erev Shabbat airlift of nearly 15,000 Jews from Ethiopia in 1991 stroked the emotions of Israel, which always has wondered why all Jews in the world do not come “home.”

Rabbis sanctioned the secret airlift on the Sabbath, when traveling normally is prohibited, because it was deemed to be covered by the permission and even requirement to lift Sabbath prohibitions in order to save a life. Ethiopia's brutal Communist dictator in the 1980s, Mengistu Hailemariam, used Ethiopia's Jews as pawns and tried to trade them for weapons from Israel, AFP reports.

Many left Ethiopia illegally, travelling by foot to Sudan, where 20,000 people were eventually flown to Israel in Operation Moses in 1985, the precursor to the 1991 airlift from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The airlift, known as Operation Solomon, came as Mengistu lost his grip on power. It was one of the most daring operations in Ethiopian history: The nearly 15,000 people were crammed into a series of non-stop flights lasting 36 hours.  Read more from Arutz Sheva »

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