Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Tribe of Reuben and the Igbo

The Tribe of Reuben and the Igbo
Rabbi Yehudah (Tochukwu) ben Shomeyr

Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou [it]: he went up to my couch. – Gen. 49:3-4

Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be few. – Deut. 33:6

Some speculate that even a portion of Reuben may have traveled with Eri son of Gad to Nigeria, seeing as Gad camped under Reuben’s banner while in the wilderness.

Reuben is the tribe that occupied the other side of the Jordan with Gad and Manasseh, so it is possible that with such a close tribal affiliation of these tribes that what remained of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh when the Assyrians attacked to take them off into exile, that Reuben and Manasseh may have traveled with the next wave of Gadites to join their brothers already in Nigeria, therefore it is very possible Reubenites may be among the Igbo.

Reuben, given his Biblical history and character was known for pride, rebellion and romance both of which fit France and Quebec to a “T”. France has had more coups and rebellions against monarchs and governments than any other country in the world. They truly have been “unstable as water.” France is also known for its romance and sexual appetite which got Reuben in trouble with his father for lying with his concubine Bilhah. The French, like Reuben is known as a very prideful people.

It also should be of great interest that France was one of the few countries that stood in solidarity with Biafra during the war and that this camaraderie influenced many Biafrans to learn and speak French! If Biafra would have won and carved out a homeland in Nigeria, the official languages would likely have been Igbo, English and French.