Teaching members of the Lemba

New course: The Letter to the Romans (New Testament). Teacher: Lion Erwteman. The course will be taught in English via Zoom to church leaders who study at Yeshua College in Zimbabwe. They are members of the Lemba tribe (see below).

Main goal: knowledge of this letter, written by the Pharisee Saul (later; Paul). Paul has been able to synchronize his newfound faith in Yeshua as Messiah with his previous Pharisee knowledge and faith in G-d.

Some highlights in the Letter to the Romans:
1. Everyone breaks the Torah (Law and Will of the Eternal), so do not condemn another (2:1 and 5:9-18).
2. Not those who listen to the reading of the Torah, but those who practice the Torah, are justified by the Eternal (2:13).
3. Privilege of being a Jew and being circumcised: the Jews have been entrusted with the Word of G-d (3:2).
4. Dying to your old life and character through water immersion (6:1-4).
5. A man is incapable of getting rid of his sinful nature (7:21-26; Book Tanya).

The Lemba tribesmen in southern Africa have had genetic testing performed by British scientists. These tests have revealed that many of the Lemba are of Jewish descent. They belong genetically to one of the lost tribes. The Lemba are a tribe of 70,000 to 80,000 members living in central Zimbabwe and northern South Africa. Lemba does not eat pork or any other food prohibited by the Torah. Nor do they eat forbidden combinations of permitted foods. They wear skullcap-like headgear and they slaughter ritual animals. 

The Lemba prefer that their children marry other Lembas; marriage to non-Lembas is discouraged. Their sacred prayer language is a mixture of Hebrew and Arabic. They operate a replica of the Biblical Ark of the Covenant known as the ‘ngoma lungundu’, meaning ‘the drum that thunders’. The object was recently put on display at a museum in Harare, Zimbabwe; and it has made many of the Lemba proud.

They say the ark was built nearly 700 years ago from the remains of the original ark, which the Bible says was used to hold the Ten Commandments. For decades this ancient sacred Ark was thought to have been lost until it was recently discovered in a storage facility in the capital Harare. The Buba are members of the priestly clan of the Lemba – one of 12 clans – who have a Cohen chromosome1). “This was amazing,” University of London professor Tudor Parfitt told the BBC. “It appears that the Jewish priesthood in the West was continued by people called Cohen, and similarly it was continued by the priestly clan of the Lemba.” 

1) In 1997-1999, genetic researchers, among others Mark G. Thomas, Tudor Parfitt en David Goldstein (read American Journal of Human Genetics) found that there is a specific marker on the Y-chromosome, which paternally passes through the genome, called the Cohen Modal Haplotype. This set of genetic markers is found in nearly 50% of all Jewish men who identify themselves as Cohanim. It is found with nearly the same frequency in both the Ashkenazic and Sephardic Cohanim, even though these two major groups have been geographically separated for hundreds of years. The Cohen Modal Haplotype is only found in about 10% of the Levites.

In 1999 genetic data on the Lemba was collected by Tudor Parfitt, at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He and his collaborators took genetic samples from men of six Lemba clans whose geographic range was from South Africa to Zimbabwe. Of these six clans, the Buba are notable as being the priestly clan.