Jewish, Judeo-Berber in Israel

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People Name: Jewish, Judeo-Berber
Country: Israel
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 3,100
World Population: 3,100
Primary Language: Judeo-Berber
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Jewish
Affinity Bloc: Jewish
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

When considering the Jewish lifestyle, many see Israel as the sparkling jewel on the ring of nations in the Middle East. Having been a minority for almost 2,000 years, the present population of Israel is now mostly Jewish. The stream of immigrants into Israel began in the 1880s with the national and cultural revival known as "Zionism." The trickle of immigrants became a flood when the nation of Israel was established in 1948.

These immigrants included the Judeo-Berber Jews from Morocco. Some Jewish people settled in what is now Morocco as early as 600 BC. More came during the days of the Roman Empire. Most of these were Sephardic Jews twice removed; their ancestors were expelled from Spain and Portugal in 1492, so they moved to Morocco and intermingled with the local Berber populations. Their language gravitated away from Ladino to what we call Judeo-Berber. This is a hybrid language that borrowed from the local Berber languages. From there, they migrated to Israel when it became a nation in 1948.

What Are Their Lives Like?

There is very little information about this Jewish community. Most have emigrated to Israel, especially since Jewish people were less welcome in Muslim lands after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. One source says that this people group no longer lives in Morocco.

What Are Their Beliefs?

For religious Jews, God is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe, and the ultimate judge of human affairs. Beyond this, the religious beliefs of the Jewish communities vary greatly. Orthodox Jews generally follow the traditional religious beliefs and practices found in the Jewish literature that interprets Scripture regarding ethical, religious, civil, and criminal matters.

Reform Jews do not believe that God reveals the Jewish Law. They are not restricted to kosher foods. They neither wear the skullcap (yarmulke) when praying nor use Hebrew in prayer. All religious Jews believe in the coming of a Messianic Age, but only the Orthodox Jews look for a personal Messiah.

Many Jewish people keep cultural Judaism, but they have rejected the spiritual elements taught in the Old Testament. They might take part in cultural events and even religious ceremonies, but they are secular or New Age in their spiritual lives.

What Are Their Needs?

Jewish people have a wonderful understanding of their connection with the Abrahamic Covenant. However, they also have a history of rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah, the one who has fulfilled that covenant. They tend to view Christianity as the religion of their oppressors rather than the fulfillment of what God promised all of humanity through Abraham centuries ago.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to give the Judeo-Berber Jewish people in Israel hearts that will want to please him. May they look to the Lord for guidance and truth, and not be satisfied with cultural traditions.

Pray for Jewish people in Israel to begin a movement to Jesus Christ, finding ways to exalt him while honoring their culture.

Pray for the Lord to move among Jewish leaders in Israel to open the doors to Christ's ambassadors.

Text Source:   Joshua Project