Coming Home After 2,700 Years

By Laura Ben-David, Director or Marketing and News Media, Shavei Israel



After 2,700 years, the Bnei Menashe are coming home! Here are a few of their stories.

Reuben Haokip Family

As the Bnei Menashe Aliyah is approaching, one family who will be on board with the group is the 66-year-old Head of Matiyang Village, Churachandpur, Mr. Reuben Haokip. Apart from his chieftainship role, he was employed by the government as a teacher and retired in 2015 after working for almost two decades. He will be making Aliyah with his wife, two sons, a daughter-in-law, and a grandson. His younger brother made Aliyah in 2011, and they have not seen each other since then. He is greatly looking forward to seeing him again.

Mr. Haokip inherited his chieftainship from his late father, who died in 2004. Unfortunately, his father died while waiting to make Aliyah. Now they will carry his memory with them when they leave India. Chieftainship is a role found in remote parts of Manipur left largely ungoverned by the Indian government—so the chief often fills this void. They are entrusted to exercise tribal law in these remote areas where the presence of state authorities is minimal to practically non-existent. Criminal or non-criminal cases, like marriages and petty theft, are often solved in the chief’s village court. The constitution of India recognizes their authority—because of their high status in the Manipur tribal society, they are considered a “mini-king” of sorts.

With that said, why would a man like Reuben Haokip wish to make Aliyah and leave behind the high social status he and his family enjoy?

His answer was a humble one. Haokip lamented with a smile:

Life is good here, but rich and powerful people—and poor people—all have a common Creator. We often find comfort in the words of God. The kindness of God is in all of us. It is unconditional. It’s just that some people are too ignorant to see it. There is nothing more comforting then to dwell in His presence. My status may bring me power, but it is meaningless. To me this Aliyah is the unfolding of the prophecy—the words Hashem (God) coming to life. I can’t resist being a part of it.

He then added, “In Jeremiah 31:15, it says our grandmother, Rachel, is weeping for her children because they are no longer in Zion. And the Lord comforts her and promises her that ‘Her children shall return to the border.’ Finally, my turn has come to return to the border of Zion. My biggest wish is to be buried in the land of Israel when I die.”

Meira Singson Family

“My family is fortunate enough to be a part of this upcoming Aliyah, but my heart weeps for those thousands of Bnei Menashe yearning to make Aliyah and become a part of the unfolding prophecy. I have waited for this Aliyah for as long as I could remember. I hope their wish will soon come true. I am so grateful to those who have taken the initiative to help the Bnei Menashe and who are making enormous efforts to fulfill the dreams of thousands of them who remain in India.

“My name is Meira Nemneikim Singson. From the moment I heard the news that I, along with my remaining three children, could be making Aliyah this year, I have been filled with joy. My other children (three daughters) made Aliyah earlier this year and their uncle made Aliyah a few years back. The idea of joining them has made me smile nonstop. I cannot control my happiness. I am that excited.

“I run a small variety store in my village. Our life is not always that fortunate. In 2011 my beloved husband left this world to be with his Creator eternally. Since then, my children are my only happiness. Three of them got married and made Aliyah with their husbands. I am very happy for them, but on the other hand, I was extremely sad because I miss them a lot and have not seen them for years. I love Zion and I love my children. I pray to Hashem many times for our unification.”

Osher Singsit Family

“My name is Osher Singsit. I am 49 years old, married, and my beautiful wife and I have 4 sons and 2 daughters. I served in the Indian army and retired in the year 2011. My younger brother and sister have already settled in Israel, and we have not seen them in years and miss them terribly.

“My other brother made Aliyah in 2007. I haven’t seen him in 14 years! With your help and prayers, my family will be making Aliyah to Eretz Israel this year. My kids are very excited about it. We like India, but it is our dream to make Aliyah to Israel and settle there.

“We are the children of Menashe (Manasseh). We have been lost for many many years, and now we want to be reconnected to our roots. So with all your help and prayer, we will be fulfilling our dreams and the prophecy of the prophet.”

In Isaiah 49:22, the Lord says: “Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations, and set up My standard for the peoples; they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.” So we are invited by God to play a key prophetic role in the great ingathering of Israel in our day. Please join us by supporting the ICEJ’s Aliyah efforts!