New immigrants to Israel come from all over the world and many of them have fascinating background stories.
The Bnei Menashe from India, a group claiming descent from the biblical tribe of Menashe, one of the the 10 lost tribes, have been moving to Israel for the last 20 years and now number around 5,000, with around another 5,000 waiting in India for their chance to return “home”, after 2,700 years in Galut (exile).
Obed Hrangchal, a religious yeshiva student studying in Ma’alot in northern Israel and a member of the Bnei Menashe, made aliyah with his family in 2020, and in addition to his religious studies in yeshiva, continues to compete locally in mixed martial arts and kickboxing competitions.
Obed, who won numerous awards in his native India, recently won first place in his weight category in an Israeli national competition and is looking forward to fulfilling his dream of representing Israel on the international stage.
His coach, David Ramon, believes that he will earn a place on the Israeli national team and be ready to compete in the Senior Kickboxing World Championship scheduled to be held in Portugal in November 2023, adding that he has a bright future awaiting him in the sport especially due to his charm, and outstanding work/training ethic.
According to Michael Freund, the founder and chairman of Shavei Israel, the organization that facilitates the aliyah of groups like the Bnei Menashe, Obed’s success is just another proof that members of the Beni Menashe can contribute to Israeli society, each in their own way.
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