Shalom, everyone! The following is a film called “Falasha – Exile of the Black Jews,” which tells the heart-wrenching story of the plight of Jews of Ethiopia. The film, written, directed and produced by renown historian and journalist Simcha Jacobovici, was first released in 1984. It is important to note that “falasha” is a derogatory term given by non-Jewish Ethiopians to Ethiopian Jews, which means “landless” or “wanderer”; Ethiopian Jews call themselves “Beta Israel” or “House of Israel.” The Ethiopian Jewish community endured hundreds of years of persecution which climaxed under the brutal regime of former dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam. The film examines the political games surrounding the exodus of Ethiopian Jews to Israel from 1977 to 1984. The Ethiopian government even tried to block foreign contact with the Ethiopian Jewish community. There were also obstacles put in place by the then Israeli government to limit the immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
The Ethiopian Jews are an ancient Israelite community which practiced a pre-Talmudic form of Judaism. They are believed to be the descendants of Israelites who fled into Africa after the destruction of both Holy Temples. In spite of their many persecutions, the Ethiopian Jews have held on to their faith in the God of Israel.
Falasha – Exile of the Black Jews (גלות של יהודי אתיופיה ביתא ישראל ) Beta Israel
Video from RB XO/YouTube