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Palestinian Arabs Who Aren’t

Rabbi Elchanan Lewis11 Adar I 5765
374
Question
Not too long ago, I’ve read with interest and pleasure that some Jewish organizations are helping to return the B’nai Menashe of India (among other groups of peoples) back to Judaism, and many of them back to Israel. The book, "The Exiled and the Redeemed" by Yitzhak ben Zvi mentions the Arabs of Yatta near Hebron, the Aneze Arabs of Jericho, and the Sheetrit clan of Halhul among others. Other sources also mention the former Arabs inhabitants of Huj near Negba as being of Jewish ancestry. I’m just going by what was written in the book and am taking it at face value. I figure if there are different peoples around the world who are of Jewish ancestry, why not some Palestinian Arabs? So what about those "Palestinian Arabs" who are also of Jewish ancestry. Is anybody helping them in the same way?
Answer
I don't really know I can imagine that we can help those who would accept help, you can't force help for those that don't want it. Similarly one should remember that having Jewish ancestors doesn't make you Jewish; you need proof of a Jewish mother to be held as a Jew, likewise all the so called Bnei Menashe – have to halachacly convert in order to become halachacly Jewish.
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