History of the Jews in India

The history of the Jews in India reaches back to ancient history.[1][2][3][4] Judaism was one of the first foreign religions to arrive in India in recorded history.[5] Indian Jews are a religious minority in India who have historically lived there with very sparse instances of anti-Semitism from the local non-Jewish majority.[6] The better-established ancient Jewish communities have assimilated many of the local traditions through cultural diffusion.[7] While some Indian Jews state that their ancestors arrived in India during the time of the Ancient Kingdom of Judah, others identify themselves as descendants of Ancient Israel's Ten Lost Tribes who arrived earlier.[8] Some claim descent particularly from Ancient Israel's tribe of Menashe and are referred as the Bnei Menashe. It is estimated that India's Jewish population peaked at around 20,000 in the mid-1940s, and began to rapidly decline due to their emigration to Israel after its establishment in 1948.[9]

  1. ^ Sohoni, Pushkar; Robbins, Kenneth X. (2017). Jewish Heritage of the Deccan: Mumbai, the Northern Konkan and Pune. Mumbai: Deccan Heritage Foundation; Jaico. ISBN 9789386348661.
  2. ^ The Jews of India: A Story of Three Communities by Orpa Slapak. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. 2003. p. 27. ISBN 965-278-179-7.
  3. ^ Weil, Shalva. India's Jewish Heritage: Ritual, Art, and Life-Cycle. Mumbai: Marg Publications [first published in 2002; 3rd edn.]. 2009.
  4. ^ "Solomon To Cheraman". outlookindia.com.
  5. ^ Weil, Shalva. "Indian Judaic Tradition" in Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby (eds) Religions in South Asia, London: Palgrave Publishers, 2006. pp. 169-183.
  6. ^ Weiss, Gary (August 13, 2007). "India's Jews". Forbes. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  7. ^ Weil, Shalva. "Bene Israel Rites and Routines" in Shalva Weil (ed.) India's Jewish Heritage: Ritual, Art and Life-Cycle, Mumbai: Marg Publications, 2009. [first published in 2002]; 3Arts, 54(2): 26-37.
  8. ^ Weil, Shalva. (1991) "Beyond the Sambatyon: the Myth of the Ten Lost Tribes." Tel-Aviv: Beth Hatefutsoth, the Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora.
  9. ^ Hutchison, Peter (14 January 2018). "Netanyahu trip highlights India's tiny Jewish community". Times of Israel. Retrieved 17 July 2018.

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