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The lost Jews of Nigeria

by Good News

Encourage in the 1970s, when Moshe Ben Avraham was as soon as rising up in Port Harcourt, in southern Nigeria, the town was as soon as runt and fringed by bush villages, and there were no Jews in take into myth. Ben Avraham wasn’t but Jewish himself; he wasn’t even “Ben Avraham”, for that topic. His Anglican fogeys gave him the title Moses Walison – mute his reliable title – and so they raised him as a churchgoing boy. On this, they were no diverse from millions of others of their allotment of the country. Surely in all probability the most first demographic particulars someone learns about Nigeria is that while of us residing up north are predominantly Muslim, these down south are excellent as overwhelmingly Christian. The minibuses sputtering up and down these southern highways get slogans love “Jesus is Needful” on their inspire home windows. On billboards, preachers hype their ministries; a prayer assembly is under no circumstances excellent a prayer assembly – it is miles a “global mega powerquake” or a “harvest of miracles”. Islam and Christianity were in Nigeria for centuries, but Judaism has none of that conspicuous history or heritage. In his childhood, Ben Avraham knew nothing about Judaism, and he’d completely encountered Israel as a biblical title: “Israel, Abraham, all these things,” he recalled.

Then, in 1986, his father died, and a few years later, in the middle of a rising disaffection with his church, Ben Avraham fell in heart-broken health: a decrease on his tongue that spark off a severe an infection. At the time, he came all over a Christian ministry called the White Garment Sabbath, and after one of its white-robed, barefooted monks healed him, he joined the group. In Nigeria, the White Garment Sabbath calls itself a church, and its prayer halls host icons of Christ on the unhealthy. “But they steered me that Saturday is the day of affection, the shabbat – now not Sunday,” Ben Avraham said. It was as soon as the first time he’d heard this, but when they equipped him proof – cautious readings of Genesis and Exodus – he questioned what else he’d been doing defective. “On my get,” he said, “I started to head deeper.”

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