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Across the Sabbath River: In Search of a Lost Tribe of Israel
Synopses & Reviews
The fate of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel has fascinated Jews and Christians throughout the ages. Hillel Halkin, a distinguished writer and translator, has long been intrigued by the old legend that the tribes still exist in distant corners of the earth — a legend that, like nearly all contemporary investigators of the subject, he considered to lack all factual basis. In 1998, he accompanied a Jerusalem rabbi and dedicated Lost Tribes hunter to China, Thailand, and northeast India in search of traces of the biblical Israelites who disappeared in the eighth century B.C.E. The journey ended among a little-known ethnic group living along the India-Burma border who had themselves been swept in recent years by Lost Tribe fever. Halkin returned twice more to the Indian states of Mizoram and Manipur for a deeper look. Gradually, despite his initial skepticism, he became convinced that this remote group is — incredible as it may seem — historically linked to the ancient biblical tribe of Manasseh. Across the Sabbath River is the compulsively readable account of Halkin's experiences in arriving at this conviction. A superb writer, he effortlessly interweaves the biblical and historical backgrounds of this centuries-old quest with a captivating account, both funny and poignant, of his own adventures. In vivid, engaging portraits, he introduces us to a wide and memorable range of characters at once alien and familiar, while transporting us to an exotic society obsessed with the enigma of its own identity. Piece by piece, as in a tantalizing detective story, he amasses the evidence that finally persuades him, and will persuade many of his readers, that, for the first time in history, a living remnant of a lost biblical tribe has been found.
Book News Annotation:
Much of this narrative relies on word-by-word reporting of the conversations and discussions Halkin (a journalist living in Israel) held with people as he prepared for and carried out his research trip in India. There he found what he suggests are the descendents of the ancient Mannaseh tribe of Israel. Embedded in the travelogue, Halkin describes the history and myths that describe the lost tribes and the story of the subsequent research to learn where they might have gone. A bibliography and notes are included, but no index.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The fate of the ten lost tribes of Israel has haunted Jewish and Christian imaginations throughout the ages. In vivid, engaging portraits, Halkin amasses the evidence that he has discovered the existence of a living remnant of a biblical lost tribe. 8-page photo insert. Maps.
About the Author
Hillel Halkin was born in New York City and has lived in Israel since 1970.
Table of Contents
CONTENTS 1. Siyata Di-Shmaya 1 2. Mu Kaw Lee and Mu Lee Kaw 30 3. Aizawl 54 4. A Short History of the Lost Tribes 96 5. Chhinlung Israel Mipuite 137 6. Ratu 177 7. To Lianpui and Back 197 8. LianpuisuakasWill 238 9. Introducing Dr. Khuplam 256 10. The People Driven from Their Land by a Long-tailedWildcat 279 11. Sorting It Out 316 12. Across the Sabbath River 333 Guide to Pronunciation 362 Glossary 364 Notes 370 Bibliography 389
m a p s Biblical Palestine with Its Tribal Territories 99 Northeast Africa, the Middle East, and Asia 132 The Present Territory of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo 137
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