Beyond the Rivers of Ethiopia: Writings on the Beta Israel (Falasha)
Journal of Religious and Theological Information
The global communities of Judaism have each generated distinctive bodies of writings, both for internal use (such as the works of individual religious leaders and unique liturgies for their formal worship) and as the subject of research in the social sciences and humanities. One of the most ancient such communities existed for centuries in a region not usually associated with Judaism, but with significant ties to ancient Israel in historical and religious tradition, the land of Ethiopia. In existence by the third century C.E., the people who referred to themselves as the Beta Israel (House of Israel) maintained distinct political and economic identities while continuing to practice a pre-Rabbinic form of Judaism up to the twentieth century within a society structured by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. This article will explore the diverse literature on the Beta Israel created before and since the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948 covering the issue of the recognition of their identity as Jews, the efforts made by the world Jewish community to rescue them from war and violence, and the cultural and religious problems generated by their arrival in Israel.
Africa, Aliyah, Ethiopia, Israel, Jews, Judaism, Minority groups
Ridinger, Robert, "Beyond the Rivers of Ethiopia: Writings on the Beta Israel (Falasha)" (2020). NIU Bibliography. 318.