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Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile     FOUNDED IN JUNE, 1992.  18 YEARS HONORING THE BIRTHRIGHT OF JOSEPH.

As many are astonished concerning you thus: "an outline from a man!" ... "his features mirror the sons of Adam!" Thus he shall startle many nations. Concerning him, kings (rulers) shall shut their mouths because that which was not told to them they shall see and that they had not heard they shall meditate to themselves.

(Literal translation of Isaiah 52:14-15)



31 July 2011 / 29 Tammuz 5771


Israelite East M'nashe in Torah portions during Sundance

O'siyo Cherokee Brothers and Sisters,

From time to time Creator lends Torah insights that may help Native American "M'nashe" REMEMBER.  We call Native Americans "M'nashe" (M'NAH-SHE) because of the preponderance of Mongolian DNA that ties the 38 Athap(b)ascan Language Group Nations to Israelite East M'nashe. (See the March 2011 Ancient American magazine and the article "Israelite East M'nashe Traced to Four Corners.") This DNA could be even more widespread depending on when Israelite East M'nashe during its centuries-long exile trekked though Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet, Mongolia, China and Manchuria northeast toward the Siberian Straits.

REMEMBER that the name M'nashe comes from the Hebrew root "to forget" as it was the name Joseph chose for his eldest to signal that he had "forgotten" how he had been treated by his brothers.  In the article referenced above, we called Israelite East M'nashe a tribe of "warrior-priests."  This also describes the remnant of Israelite East M'nashe among the Athapascans of Canada and Alaska who migrated further south to the Four Corners:  The five nations of the "Apachu" and the Navajo.  Since they are from M'nashe, they also qualify as the "nizir echav" (one "most" separated from his brothers) of Jacob's prophecy in Genesis 49:26, Wasi's (Moses') prophecy in Deuteronomy 33:16 and possibly the "n'tzirei Yisrael" (preserved of Israel) of Isaiah 49:6.

The case is made for the latter because Israelite East M'nashe, though equally as ungodly and even more exposed to the idolatry of the Ashteroth than their brothers on the West Bank, were exiled 17-23 years before the remainder of the non-Jewish Northern Kingdom called the House of Israel.  This means the judgment that would otherwise remove them from covenant occurred after their exile and does not apply to Israelite East M'nashe.  Remaining in covenant, they would be called the "preserved of Israel."

Recent Torah portions validate their identity as "warrior-priests."  The identity also best defines the remnant of the dispersed nation of Geronimo's Membreno warrior, Victorio.  Rather than surrender, these Apache were told to hide in the mountains, mix with the mountain people and await a future time to again assemble as a people.  Reuniting them has been the past 10 Sundances.  The tenth ended last week at the EASTERN PRECINCTS of the Four Corners.  Traditionally spiritual elders meet at the eastern gateways.

It is especially important that these Sundancers REMEMBER.  Because the Cherokee nation also has a "percentage" of grandmothers whose mitochondrial DNA tie us to Northern Israel (and possibly the half-tribe of M'nassah whose inheritance was on the West Bank of the land of Israel) these Torah insights will also help US remember.

During the days of preparation for the Sundance and the four-day dance itself, the Torah world was learning portions Pinchas, Mattot and Masei, Numbers 25:10-36:13.

In Portion Pinchas (PIN-KHAS or "Phineas") a new census is taken that reveals M'nashe is the tribe that has grown the most since the last census adding 20,500 souls.  We also find the names of the M'nashe familes of Machir and Gilead who would later settle the northern region of the East Bank of the Jordan, including today's Golan Heights. (Numbers 26:29-34)

In Mattot, which literally refers to the wooden "staffs" that symbolized each tribe, Wasi is approached by the tribes of Gad and Reuben who tell him they would prefer land on the east bank of the Jordan, which they find suitable to their cattle.
This caused Wasi's nostrils to flare with anger because it was earlier the failure of the children of Israel to enter into their land of promise to drive out the Canaanites, "the sin of the spies," that resulted in the wandering in the wilderness and the sentence of death to all men 20 and older at that time, except Caleb and Joshua.

"Behold! -- You have risen up in place of your fathers, a society of sinful people, to add more to the burning wrath of the Almighty against Israel," Wasi declared.  He noted that their request put their material possessions ahead of even their small children.  When Gad and Reuben agreed to Wasi's terms -- that they would cross over the Jordan with all of Israel and fight with all of Israel against the Canaanites and then return to their possessions on the East Bank, Wasi agreed to their request.

But Wasi had a "trump card":  Two of the eight families of M'nashe -- that of "Machir," the eldest of M'nashe and Machir's son, "Gilead," would also settle the East Bank. Originally, Gad and Reuben had wanted what would later be called "the Gilead," a mountain plain extremely well suited to grazing. But Wasi gave the entire Gilead to the "half-tribe" of M'nashe and deeded grazing lands further south to Gad and Reuben.  The oral traditions of the Torah state that the familes of Machir, Gilead and his six sons were "spiritual giants" and Wasi wanted to maintain the spiritual health of the tribe on both sides of the Jordan.  The eastern tribes would otherwise be isolated. (Ha'amak Davar).

Gad settled eight cities and Reuben six, all south of the Gilead, which at the time still was a stronghold for Amorites.  On their own initiative and with no help from other tribes, "the children of Machir son of M'nashe went to (what would later be called) "Gilead" and occupied it, and drove out the Amorite who were in it." (Numbers 32:39).  This battle distinguished M'nashe as the most fierce fighters of all of Israel.  This battle was joined by a "son of M'nashe" who was actually from the tribe of Judah, but whose grandmother was from M'nashe.  "Ya'ir ben M'nashe," as he chose to be called, memorialized his name through the villages he conquered and also distinguished himself in battle.

In Portion Masei (MAH-SAY), the leaders of each tribe are named by Wasi.  The leader of M'nashe was Hanniel, son of "Ephod."
An "ephod" is the name of the woven garment that Wasi earlier instructed the children of Israel to make for the high priest.  This is the first indication in the Torah of the priestly influence in M'nashe.  But there is much more.

Of the 48 Levitical cities, 13 were the charge of Gershonites and two of these were in Israelite East M'nashe:  Bashan of the Golan, which doubled as one of the six cities of refuge, (three on the East Bank requiring additional priests), and Beeshterah.  This had been a city steeped in the idolatry of the Ashterot.  Another city of refuge bordering Gilead, "Ramoth Gilead" with her suburbs, was formerly a "high place" for idol worship but was located in the tribe of Gad.  More Levites descended from Levi's son, Merari, resided in nearby Mahanaim.

The Gershonites descended from the first-born of Levi, were charged with the weavings of the ten curtains of the Tabernacle, "the Tent and its Cover, the Screen of the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, the curtains of the Courtyard, the Screen of the entrance of the Courtyard that surrounded the Tabernacle and the Altar, and its ropes -- for all its labor." This "labor" involved maintenance of these extensive weavings of twisted linen, with turquoise, purple and scarlet wool with the unique waft and weft woven design of a lion, eagle and ox (or some traditions describe a "griffon" or lion-eagle and an ox).  Regardless, the Gershonite cities of Israelite East M'nashe gained a reputation for this unique warp and weft weaving of twisted linen and scarlet wool. As reported in the article referenced above, this unique weave, described in detail in oral traditions, is still in use by the Navajo and was formerly in use by the Apache.

A similar weave but with a different number of wafts and wefts was found in the city of Lahore in the Punjab province of Pakistan.  Coupled with similar irrigation techniques East M'nashe learned from the prophet, Elisha, also found in Pakistan and the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan, the tribe appears to have begun its centuries-long trek to the Americas where eastern and western Asia meet.

In the coming week's Torah portion, D'varim (the first three chapters of Deuteronomy), we realize just how fierce Israelite East M'nashe fought.  A detail omitted earlier indicates that when East M'nashe conquered the Bashan (the Kingdom of Og) they fought the last remaining Rephaim (a race of giants) east of the Jordan river.  (They would still face more giants when they would cross the Jordan).

For only Og King of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaim -- behold his "eresh" (cradle) was an iron eresh, in Rabbah of the children of Ammon (modern Ammon, Jordan) -- nine cubits was its length and four cubits its width, by the cubit of THAT man. (Deuteronomy 3:11).  This means the cubits measured from elbow to middle-fingertips, about 18 inches for a grown man, were much larger, possibly the size of a human leg. An average human leg is over three feet long.  Conservatively then, if Og was about 8 cubits tall, that would make him at least 20 feet tall as an infant.  He required an iron cradle because anything wooden, would be crushed by his size and weight.

Og was the only antediluvian giant to survive the Flood.  He also earlier survived the assault on fellow giants led by Amraphel and his allies at Ashteroth-karnaim (Genesis 14:5).  The Ammonites, fierce fighters themselves, killed all of the giants east of the Jordan but Og, (who fled from Ammon).  Thus the Ammonites possessed his "cradle." 

Wasi was himself afraid of Og and needed reassurance from the Almighty (Numbers 21:23).  Since Wasi gave M'nashe possession of the "land of the giants," the sages of Torah reason that M'nashe excelled in this battle as well.

From these portions we can conclude that spiritual greatness together with prowess in battle are traits by which Israelite East M'nashe may be remembered.  Coupled with the heavy influence of priests and Levites in and bordering their lands, priests who were exiled with East M'nashe, the case is made that their identity today would be in keeping with the character of "warrior-priests."

Gah geh you e,
ben Yoseif



As many are astonished concerning you thus: "an outline from a man!" ... "his features mirror the sons of Adam!" Thus he shall startle many nations. Concerning him, kings (rulers) shall shut their mouths because that which was not told to them they shall see and that they had not heard they shall meditate to themselves.

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