In-depth day 9: Difference

HOLINESS: Rabbi Obiekwe does a reading from a Jewish scripture and shows how they've traced their lineage through this biblical passage. Photo: Ilanit Chernick

HOLINESS: Rabbi Obiekwe does a reading from a Jewish scripture and shows how they’ve traced their lineage through this biblical passage. Photo: Ilanit Chernick

After yesterday’s hectic but incredible day, today was a little calmer.

I met briefly with the Igbo Jews to chat to a few of them about what it means to be Jewish.

The Rabbi of the congregation together with a few of the members spoke to me about their struggle to be recognised as Jews and how people judge their authenticity on their skin colour.

“When I tell people I am Jewish, they don’t always believe me. They say, ‘but your skin colour, you are black, how can you be Jewish?’ Not all Jewish people are from Europe. There are Jews all over the world with different coloured skin.” Said a member of the congregation.

I was shocked to find that people can be so ignorant and close minded. “But what about the Ethiopian Jews, it’s never been refuted that they’re Jewish and they’re black.”

Rabbi Obiekwe agreed with me and explained how human features change according to the place where people live and the climate.

“The skin, the colour and the features all change with every generation that is born.”

All the Igbos I spoke with expressed their pride to be Jewish and told me how blessed they feel to be a part of the Jewish nation.

I watched a few rituals (some which I couldn’t take photos of because of the level of holiness the actions entrail) but I did get some pictures of two rituals that are done before entering the Synagogue area as a means of purification. It was beautiful to witness.

After my trip to the Igbos, I headed back to Wits and spent some time working on my video script and shots.One thing I’ve learned is video journalism is that things never goes according to plan.

But might as well have something solid that I can stick to roughly. It always helps!

Well time to sign-off for the next few days. The Jewish holiday of Sukkot is starting shortly. (It’s my favourite time of the year!)

I’ll be back on Sunday! Until then… Ciao!

Advertisements