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Is the Ethiopian Jewish community descended from the Ancient Israelites, or from medieval Christian converts to Judaism?

שָׁלוֹם

I’m not Jewish but I have a lot of interest in the religion. Recently I was curious about the traditional Ethiopian Jewish branch of Judaism, with its priests and monks, and its origins. I’ve looked around and there seem to be two sides to the debate:

  • Some people say that the Ethiopian Jews are descended from Ancient Jews who migrated to Ethiopia since ancient days, before Ethiopia was Christian.

  • Other people say that the Ethiopian Jews are descended from Ethiopian Christians who decided to not follow the New Testament but didn’t have a perfect knowledge of how Judaism had evolved, which explains why they didn’t know any Hebrew and had monks and priests, just like the Miaphysite Christians around them.

I also get the idea that this debate is also intertwined with political controversy in Israel.

Which side has the more support?

תודה

submitted by /u/Lithide
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Source: Reditt

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