Dating bene israel
The legend of their origins claims that they descend from ancestors, 14 Jewish men and women, equally divided by gender, who survived the shipwreck of refugees from persecution or political turmoil, and came ashore at Navagaon near Alibag, 20 miles south of Mumbai, some 17 to 19 centuries ago.They are divided into subcastes, which do not intermarry: 'Black' (Kara) and White (Gora), the latter believed to be lineal descendants of the shipwreck survivors, while the former are considered to descend from concubinage of a male with local women.Central to the history of the Cochin Jews is their close relationship with Indian rulers, and this was eventually codified on a set of copper plates granting the community special privileges.The date of these plates, known as "Sâsanam", Joseph Rabban by Bhaskara Ravi Varma, the fourth ruler of Maliban granted the copper plates to the Jews.
Through his efforts, Jews were permitted to live within Fort St. Three - Bartolomeo Rodrigues, Domingo do Porto and Alvaro da Fonseca - also founded the largest trading house in Madras.
The large tomb of Rodrigues, who died in Madras in 1692, became a landmark in Peddanaickenpet but was later destroyed.
Foreign notices of the Bene Israel go back at least to 1768, when Yechezkel Rahabi wrote to a Dutch trading partner that they were widespread in Maharatta Province, and observed two Jewish observances, recital of the Shema and observation of Shabbat rest.
The Jewish community of India is the fourth largest Asian Jewish community after Israel, Asian Russia, and Iran.
The Jewish population in India is hard to estimate, since each Jewish community is distinct with different origins; while some allegedly arrived during the time of the Kingdom of Judah, others are seen by some as descendants of Israel's Ten Lost Tribes.
The Sassoon Docks and David Sassoon Library are some of the famous landmarks still standing today.