Dimona: In Search of Black Hebrews
Dimona Travel Blog› entry 7 of 16 › view all entries
A few hours in advance of our arrival, my friend and I called the black Hebrew community center to ask if someone could-and would be willing to-show us around and speak to us regarding their ways. They agreed. Our host was a relatively young man who spoke English, with an American accent. According to him, blacks in Dimona traveled from the US to Liberia (OT biblical course) to Israel around 40 years ago, as a "return" to Israel, and, inherently, to Africa, because, he emphasized, "Israel and Africa are separated only by the man-made Suez canal". Moreover, the black Hebrews follow the written law of the Old Testament, not the oral law or so-called rabbinical law, and, therefore, do not identify as Jewish; they do, however, strongly identify themselves as of the Judaic tribe. The black hebrews, notably, are a truly self-contained community with their own birthing rooms, school, homes, market (btw they are vegan), clothing shop, etc. "We are not a religion, this is a lifestyle," said our host. When we were given the opportunity to ask questions, the only subject that seemed to be, to a degree, off limits was the practice of polygamy within the community.