As the Taliban takes over Afghanistan, it is well to consider a mystic 1,500-year-old prophecy that describes the lost ten tribes returning to save Jerusalem just in time for the Messiah.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the mission in Afghanistan has been a success. What does failure look like? #Kabul pic.twitter.com/A9f2t7N7uh
— Yalda Hakim (@BBCYaldaHakim) August 16, 2021
Biden’s bungle opens the door to a Taliban victory
In the wake of President Biden’s announcement that he would be ending 20 years of US military presence in Afghanistan, the Taliban moved in, turning the US withdrawal into a rout. Taliban fighters took control of the empty presidential palace and abandoned police posts in the capital, Kabul, without a struggle on Sunday.
The US military was forced to take up a position to ensure a safe evacuation of Americans and Afghanis who had helped the US. Biden ordered 1,000 troops into Afghanistan to reinforce the current 6,000. The Pentagon and State Department said in a joint statement Sunday that “we are completing a series of steps to secure the Hamid Karzai International Airport to enable the safe departure of the US and allied personnel from Afghanistan via civilian and military flights.”
After taking control of Kabul this week, the Taliban announced the establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. In addition to establishing strict Sharia law in Afghanistan, many experts fear that Afghanistan will now become the base of operations for Islamic terrorism targeting the West and most especially the US.
The ascendance of the Taliban came after months of assurances by the administration that the Afghan forces were strong, and a Taliban resurgence was precisely what would not happen.
“The jury is still out, but the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely,” Biden said only three weeks ago, continuing to express optimism for an Afghan victory as late as last week.
This Afghanistan debacle has been twenty years in the making. In October 2001, the US invaded Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power after they refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden, the prime suspect of the September 11 attacks, who was a “guest” of the Taliban and was operating his al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan. During the initial invasion, US and UK forces bombed al-Qaeda training camps and later working with the Northern Alliance, the Taliban regime came to an end.
President Trump had an influence on current events. In 2020, his administration reached an agreement with the Taliban that committed the US to withdrawal, and in return, the Taliban committed to preventing attacks on US forces. Other Taliban promises included not allowing al-Qaeda or other militants to operate in areas it controlled and proceeding with national peace talks. Despite the agreement, the Taliban continued their attacks on Afghani forces.
10 Lost tribes
As the name implies, Jews are the descendants of the tribe of Judah. The notable exception is men who have a family tradition that they are Levites, i.e. descendants of the tribe of Levi, and Kohanim, descendants of Aaron the priest who was also from the tribe of Levi. This leaves ten tribes ( Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Manasseh, and Ephraim) that were said to have been exiled from the Kingdom of Israel after its conquest by the Neo-Assyrian Empire circa 722 BCE. The tribe of Benjamin was absorbed into the Tribe of Judah, as described in the Book of Kings:
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Shomron. He deported the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah, at the [River] Habor, at the River Gozan, and in the towns of Media. II Kings 17:6
According to Jewish literature, the ten lost tribes of Israel were hidden beyond the mythical Sambatyon River in order to hide them and separate them from mankind. According to Jewish legend, the river has the unique quality of not flowing on the Sabbath. They will remain hidden until the final battle for Mount Zion, at which time they will come to help Israel in the battle. This is hinted at in the book of Isaiah:
“And in that day, a great ram’s horn shall be sounded; and the strayed who are in the land of Assyria and the expelled who are in the land of Egypt shall come and worship Hashem on the holy mount, in Yerushalayim. Isaiah 27:13
Are the Taliban/Pashtun the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel
There is a possibility that the Taliban are part of the lost tribes. Most Taliban are Pashtun, an ethnic group of 50 million Muslims. Pashtun believe they are decedents of King Saul who later converted to Islam. They call themselves Bani-Israel, like the Hebrew, B’nai Israel, meaning the children of Israel. Even some Muslim scholars and writers accept this. The term ‘Taliban’ means ‘student’ or ‘seeker’ in Pashto. Today, several Afghan tribes including the Durrani, Yussafzai, Afridi.
“From their side, every Pashtun knows their roots are in Israel,” Nadav Sofy, spokesman for The Association of the Bani Israel of Afghanistan told Israel365 News. “The Pashtun have an intricate and strong tribal system and are meticulous about family genealogy (Shijra), but within this tribal framework is a strong oral tradition that they are descended from the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.”
“Many Pashtun have family traditions identifying with specific tribes. Those from the tribe of Yusufzai, for example, believe they are descended from Joseph, Lewani from Levi, Rebbani from Reuven, Afridi from Ephraim, Gaghai from Gad, and Benyamin from Benjamin.”
Sofy described a surprisingly long list of customs among the Pashtun, which are also observed by Jews. Pashtun men wear four-cornered fringed garments that are similar, though not completely identical to, Jewish prayer shawls.
The Pashtun are Muslims and therefore, observe the Sabbath on Friday. Nevertheless, many of the Pashtun light Sabbath candles in their homes on Friday evenings like the Jewish world at large, which celebrates the Sabbath from Friday evening until Saturday evening.
Many of the Pashtun wed under a cloth canopy as is customary for Jews. However, while the groom traditionally smashes a glass cup in a Jewish wedding in memory of the Temple’s destruction, at a Pashtun wedding, the bride breaks the glass.
The Pashtun also circumcise male infants on the eighth day after birth as Jews do.
Jews and Muslims share many dietary laws including ritual slaughter but some Pashtun have a tradition of covering the blood from the slaughter with sand, as the Jews do. Islam proscribes pork products, but the Pashtun refrain from eating the meat or milk from camels, popular among Muslims of that region though forbidden by Torah law. They also refrain from eating crustaceans, a restriction that is unknown among Muslims. More significantly, many Pashtun do not eat milk and meat together.
The question of whether Pashtun have intermarried with non-Jews, which would undermine any claim of theirs to having a genetic connection with the rest of the Jewish people, is less problematic than with other nations claiming such a connection. Sofy explained that the Pashtun do not intermarry with other Muslims and that marrying outside of their tribe is strongly discouraged.
Afghanistan and the Lost Tribes
Some scholars believe the Taliban in Afghanistan are descended from the Ten Tribes. In his 1957 The Exiled and the Redeemed, Itzhak Ben-Zvi, Israel’s second president, wrote that Hebrew migrations into Afghanistan began “with a sprinkling of exiles from Samaria who had been transplanted there by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria (719 BC).”
This belief also exists among the Afghanis. Zahir Shah, the last king of Afghanistan, when asked about his ancestors, claimed that the royal family descended from the tribe of Benjamin.
Taliban in the end-of-days
A prophecy found in a 1,500-year-old book of Jewish mysticism may have described the Taliban. The book remained largely undeciphered until 2017 by the renowned but reclusive Torah scholar Rabbi Moshe Aharon HaKohen, himself a mysterious man. According to Rabbi HaKohen, the book titled Nevuat HaYeled, was a collection of esoteric teachings concerning the days before the Messiah. Rabbi HaKohen is over 100 years old and accessible to only a few select people. The book was written o by a noted kabbalist named Nachman Chatufa in the Hebrew year 4632 (872 CE). The book describes how the Ten Lost Tribes will return to aid Israel in the final stages of the battle.
Few people have access to the elusive Rabbi Hakohen but Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, relayed his message to Israel365 News.
“The Ten Lost tribes will come from beyond the Sambatyon River, and will be especially fastidious regarding the Torah laws and laws of purity,” Rabbi Yosef Berger said, noting that the Taliban are especially devout, albeit practicing a strict form of Islam. “This will give them an unnatural strength that they will use to help Israel in the final war.”
“That is the key to the message behind the prophecy,” Rabbi Berger continued. “The final war will be unnaturally fast, some aspects taking mere minutes. It will be beyond human control, but the one thing people can do to take control over time and to help themselves in this war is to become strong in observing the Sabbath.”
“The Ten Tribes will return from beyond the Sabbath River to reinforce that the Sabbath and Torah observance connect us to the creator, and help us cope with the world,” Rabbi Berger said.
The arrival of the Lost Tribes also brings with it a difficult message.
“After the Ten Tribes return, the doors to Israel will be closed,” warned Rabbi Berger.