Check out this video of Ben Ammi Ben-Israel, the respected spiritual leader of the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem. In this video, Ben Ammi explains why he became a vegan and ties it in with the origins of the human race as outlined in the Bible. It is a very compelling video and Ben Ammi manages - in a short time - to connect a whole lot of dots. Ben Ammi has a fascinating history. Born in Chicago in 1939 to a working-class family, he converted at age 22 to the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem. It's a wonderful group full of people who practice compassion on a daily basis and live in peaceful communities in Israel. As their Website explains:
The African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem are comprised of approximately 2,000 men, women and children residing in three development towns - Dimona, Arad and Mitzpe Ramon - in southern Israel. We maintain a vibrant culture which includes a communal lifestyle, a vegan diet, a system of preventive health care and high moral standards - a holistic approach to life based on righteousness. Our intent is to live according to the laws and prophecies of God.
Ben Ammi embraced the belief that African Americans are the descendants of one of the lost tribes of Biblical Israelites. Along with the other members of his religion, Ben Ammi has embraced nonviolence, social justice, communal living and - yep, you guessed it - veganism. They've been welcomed into Israel, where their communities thrive. In 2008, they were visited by Israeli president Shimon Peres, who began granting Israeli citizenship to the members. In fact, the followers of the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem were pioneering vegans. As their wonderful Website concludes:
After more than 40 years in the Holy Land, the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem have managed inarguable string of achievements: men who are capable, responsible and caring; women who are valued as equals and encouraged to achieve; children who are protected, nurtured and encouraged to grow and appreciate the Creation and respect their role in it; elders who are healthy, vital, revered for their wisdom and knowledge and expected to continue as integral, functioning parts of the community. These are the very tenants that once were the hallmarks of successful, progressive societies. Whatever might be said about the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, above all, it must be recognized as a tangible, viable and more importantly, righteous, alternative for those who long to see peace, justice, mercy, truth, love. Selah
We would all profit by learning the ways of this wise and peaceful group of people.