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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Idi Amin’

Online Fundraiser for Medical Treatment of Abayudaya Jewish Infant

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Mugaga Treva, 4, is the son of Nantabo Esther, a member of Namanyonyi Synagogue, one of the Abayudaya Synagogues in Uganda. The boy has a chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, for which he was referred to Mulago National Hospital in Uganda. The treatment costs $750, but Esther Nantabo, a single parent, cannot afford it. A fundraising effort was launched Tuesday night which has begun to attract some donations.

The Abayudaya (“People of Judah”) are a Baganda community in eastern Uganda near the town of Mbale who practice Judaism. They are devout in their practice, keeping Kashrut, and observing Shabbat. The Abayudaya numbers are estimated at 2,000. They live in several villages and are recognized by the Reform and Conservative movements as Jews. Some of them practice strict Orthodox Rabbinical Judaism.

The group was founded by a Muganda military leader named Semei Kakungulu, who was converted to Christianity by British missionaries around 1880. When the British significantly limited his territory, and refused to recognize him as king—as they had promised, Kakungulu began seeking alternative religious affiliations, and came to believe that the customs and laws described in the Torah were true. In 1919, Kakungulu faced great resistance and was eventually ostracized when he insisted on circumcising his flock. He circumcised his sons and himself and declared that his community was Jewish. He then fled to the foot of Mt. Elgon and settled in a place called Gangama where he started a separatist sect known as Kibina Kya Bayudaya Absesiga Katonda (the Community of Jews who trust in the Lord). The British, infuriated by his move, severed all ties with him and his followers.

In 1920 a European Jew named Yosef arrived and taught the isolated community about the Jewish calendar and the Jewish holidays: Passover, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Succot. Yosef stayed for about six months, and educated the Abayudaya on Kashrut and Shabbat. Yosef convinced Semei Kakungulu to establish a kind of yeshiva, to pass on his teachings.

Kakungulu died in 1928, and was succeeded by Samson Mugombe, one of his disciples. The Abayudaya remained isolated for protection and survived persecution, including by Idi Amin, who outlawed Jewish rituals and destroyed synagogues. During the Amin persecutions, some of the Abayudaya converted to either Christianity or Islam. But a core group of some 300 members remained committed to Judaism, worshipping secretly, fearful that they would be discovered by their neighbors and reported to the authorities. This group later named itself She’erit Yisrael — the Remnant of Israel.

In 1962, Israeli Ambassador to Kenya Arye Oded, who at the time was studying at Makerere University, visited the Abayudaya and met Samson Mugombe. This was the first time the Abayudaya had ever met an Israeli and the first Jew they had met since Yosef. Oded conducted many long interviews with Mugombe and other leaders, and later reported on the group in his book “Religion and Politics in Uganda,” as well as in numerous articles.

In his article Shabbes Cholent in Uganda? Rabbi J. Hershy Worch wrote whimsically:

“You should have seen the grin on the faces of the young leaders of the community as they showed their elders the Shabbes-oven I had built into the packed earth floor of my bedroom, a shining smile that went from ear to ear. Eighty years they have waited for my cholent, can you imagine, the first hot food on a Shabbes morning for 80 years! Prometheus had no such thrill. Perhaps Moses, watching the Israelites licking their fingers over Manna in the wilderness may have had such naches, maybe.

“Most people know nothing about cholent, and those who do probably consider it no more than an odd quirk in the Jewish diet, something akin to gefilte-fish or latkes.

“To a hushed audience I explained the significance of the food they were eating. How Rabbinical Judaism, the Halacha, the Talmud well nigh demands hot food on Shabbes morning. This is how we Orthodox Jews may be distinguished from Karaites, Samaritans and other fundamentalists who rejected the Oral Torah. The hushed silence broke into a thunderous applause.”

JNi.Media

Entebbe: ‘Israel Was Right – And Fortunately the Mission Succeeded’

Monday, July 4th, 2016

It was the 200th birthday of the United States of America, and three C-130 Hercules military transport planes silently flew through the night to land at a darkened landing strip with enough Israeli commandos and fake official Ugandan vehicles to make it through airport security.

The Israelis ultimately rescued 102 Air France passengers and crew being held hostage by Arab and German terrorists at the old terminal in the Entebbe international airport, who were under the military protection of then-Ugandan President Idi Amin.

On Monday, 40 years later to the day, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni stood beside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to mark the 40th anniversary of the miraculous rescue. He said the Jewish State had been right to carry out the long-distance operation.

Netanyahu called the mission “a watershed moment for my people.” Operation Thunderbolt is now called Operation Yonatan in memory of his older brother who lost his life leading the mission.

The prime minister also referenced the Holocaust during his remarks, saying Jews had been murdered by the millions, stateless. “The State of Israel has changed that. Perhaps it was in Entebbe,” he said, “where this transformation was seen by the world. We were poweless no more.”

Museveni agreed, saying that for Uganda as well, the operation had marked a turning point.

“Your brother Jonathan, some Israeli hostages and some Ugandan soldiers were killed here,” he told Netanyahu in remarks at a ceremony with journalists at the airport. “Fortunately, the rescue mission succeeded.”

Netanyahu’s brother Yonatan, “Yoni” was the leader of the commando unit who raced into the terminal to rescue the passengers; he was also the sole casualty in the operation, leading the way, he was hit by terrorist gunfire in the first moments the soldiers were seen.

Benjamin Netanyahu, his younger brother, was in the same elite Sayeret Matkal unit at the time but due to the IDF rule not to allow two brothers in the same operation, he was not involved in the rescue. Instead, he learned when they returned that he had lost his brother.

Museveni told those gathered at the airport that Idi Amin’s “hobnobbing with terrorists was a crime in itself,” and called the raid “another bond” that connected “Palestine to Africa.” He slammed what he called “indiscriminate violence” and said it didn’t matter if the “cause is just.”

Prior to 1948, the Jews who came to resettle the reborn State of Israel called their endeavor the “yishuv” (settlement in Hebrew) and referred to the geographic region as “Palestine.” They called themselves “Palestinians” — just as the newspaper which today is The Jerusalem Post was at that time called “The Palestine Post.”

Hana Levi Julian

The King in Jerusalem

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

An Israeli Elvis impersonator preformed Saturday night in a restaurant near Jerusalem, in honor of the 35th anniversary of the King’s death.

Elvis impersonators are divided into those who do the young king and those who depict him in his later years, when he let himself go. This one is decidedly of the latter category.

Elvis Aaron Presley died unexpectedly on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42, from prescription drug abuse and severely compromised health.

As a teenager, Elvis was Shabbes goy for his Jewish neighbors, joining a respectable list that includes Colin Powell, Mario Cuomo and Martin Scorsese.

August 16th is not a good date for large-bulk celebrities. In 2003 on this day, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin died.

I’m going on the treadmill today, no ifs or buts.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/the-king-in-jerusalem/2012/08/19/

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