Bnei Menashe tribe prepare for Passover in northern India

Bnei Menashe prepare matzot for Pesach, hope to immigrate to Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Preparing for Pesach (Passover)
Preparing for Pesach (Passover)
Shavei Israel Organization

The "Bnei Menashe" community in northeastern India began baking matzot for Pesach (Passover).

The Bnei Menashe Jewish community lives in India and claims descent from one of Israel’s lost tribes.

"It's an amazing experience to see the entire community kneading, rolling, and baking the dough for matzah - and it all happens within a few minutes," Ohaliv Haokip, 31, said. "All of the participants can feel the pressure to bake the matzot in time.

"It really reminds you of Biblical times, and when our ancestors were hurrying to leave Egypt. For me, it was especially meaningful to see all the children participating in helping us bake matzot. I hope next Pesach, we will already be in Israel, in Jerusalem."

Currently, the Bnei Menashe community numbers approximately 7,000 people. The Shavei Israel Organization operates in the community's villages and holds lessons in Judaism. They also help those who wish to immigrate to Israel.

3,000 Bnei Menashe have immigrated to Israel in the past decade thanks to Shavei Israel's efforts.

Shavei Israel Founder Michael Freund said, "Pesach symbolizes the redemption of the Jewish People, and it really reverberates with the Bnei Menashe. The day before Pesach, Bnei Menashe come from all over India's northeast to celebrate the traditional 'seder,' which expresses the hope of generations untold to make aliya and immigrate to their forefathers' homeland of Israel.

"In the past four years, over 1,200 Bnei Menashe have immigrated to Israel. We hope that after 2,700 years of exile, 7,000 Bnei Menashe will be able to celebrate Pesach in Jerusalem next year."