Jun 25, 2011

Havdalah with the Orthodox Jewish communtiy in Putti, Uganda (video)

Havdalah with the Orthodox Jewish communtiy in Putti, Uganda

Hattip to Jewish Humor Central who has the story behind the video:
Just in case you didn't know (and we didn't know either until today) there are Orthodox Jews in Uganda.

They call themselves the Abayudaya of Kahal Kadosh She'erit Yisrael (remnants of Israel). They are a group of 129 adults and children who want to achieve a formal Orthodox conversion and to emigrate to Israel.

How this community came to be is a fascinating story that began around 1917, when Semei Kakungulu, who ruled Uganda as a "warrior and governor", studied the Tanach and was determined to adopt an observance that was similar to those of B'nei Yisrael - The Jewish People. Formally Kakungulu was practicing a Malakite faith, a mixture of Judaism and Christianity that nowadays could be referred to as "Messianic Judaism".

However Kakungulu discarded the Christian elements of his faith after coming across a verse in Isaiah (56: 1-8) which stated that Gentiles who unite and choose to observe the Mitzvah of Hashem would be accounted a blessing. Kakungulu decided to adopt and practice only the Mitzvot (laws) written in the Tanach - the "Old Testament" - Chumash. Being very ambitious with his new unique faith, Kakungulu, his family and all his followers circumcised all their foreskins and resolved to observe the mitzvah of Brit Milah from that day onwards, a practice carried on up to this day.

You can read the whole history of this community on their website, which includes photos, videos, testimonials from visitors, and a list of their projects which include building a mikveh, starting a chicken farm, growing coffee, recording and marketing a CD of their music, and sending a member of the community to a Yeshiva in America to be trained as a rabbi.

We wish you Shabbat Shalom, and after you watch and listen to the Abuyadaya singing the Havdalah ceremony at the conclusion of Shabbat, Shavua Tov. Enjoy!


  1. It's the same Carlbach nigun that we sing in our home...how did they ever come across that- amazing! Thanks for the post and BTW love your blog!
    Shava tov.

  2. Orthodox Jewish Africans? I wouldn't be surprised. They probably do qualify under the Law Of Return to make aliyah to Israel!

  3. you call them orthodox??? ...laughable!

  4. the whole thing is interesting from a cultural perspective, but especially interesting, I found, is that they made havdala on bread witha hamotzi rather than on wine..

  5. I thought they had not converted yet. That would mean they would like to be an Orthodox Jewish community; but aren't yet.

    A large number of Abuyadaya did a Conservative conversion after one of their members went to U of J in California and became a Conservative rabbi. He is now the official rabbi of their congregation. He very recently did a speaking tour in the US.

    I suspect this is going to cause much confusion.

  6. HI Rafi,

    you know there are many communities like that all over Africa: Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon. (a budding one in Zimbabwe...still beginning stages).

    Many want to be Jewish, they want Judaism, Torah, etc. But I don't know that Orth Rabbis would go there to help.

    If anyone cares or want to support or whatever, you can contact kulanu Organization.


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...