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August 30, 2002 - Image 86

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-08-30

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Arts & Entertainment

On The Bookshelf

ANCIENT MYSTERY

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Dinner: Tuesday thru Thursday 5pm-10pm • Friday thru Saturday 5pm-11pm
Sunday 4pm-9pm

Live Entertainment andDancing

Until 2 am In Our Lower Level

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Selichot at Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Saturday, September 31, 2002

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Havdalah Service 9:00 PM

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CONGREGATION
SHAAREY ZEDEK

Lt. John Oliveira will share his experiences as former
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to fight in Operation Enduring Freedom,. just days after 9/11.

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The Selichot Service will follow at 10:45 PM led by Rabbis Joseph Krakoff
and Jonathan Berkun and beautiful music chanted by Cantor Chaim Najman,
assisted by the synagogue choir under the direction of Eugene Zweig.

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8/30
2002

248.539.3001

86

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from page 85

guistic skills, his understanding of bib-
lical Hebrew and the way words can
be pronounced differently, that he
pieces together evidence that these sto-
ries and connections must predate the
arrival of Christianity to the area.
Other documents Halkin has col-
lected, including a will and the text to
the song about the Red Sea, provide
further important clues.
Halkin writes beautifully, whether
describing the misty landscapes, the pas-
sions of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo peoples, or
the humorous moments of cultural dis-
placement. Readers will find an appeal-
ing guide in him, and even those who
remain skeptical can't help but be both
impressed and struck by his conclusions.
This winter, Halkin will return to the
area with a team of physicians from the
Haifa Technion and the University of
Arizona who will conduct genetic test-
ing in the community. Halkin says that
even if they find one or two people
with traces of Eastern Mediterranean
origins, it will be "sensational and
would tend to confirm my theory."
But he has some trepidation about the
testing, acknowledging that it may turn
out that these people will seem no differ-
ent from other Southeast Asian peoples.
The size and the nature of the sample
might create that scenario, says Halkin.
"In my opinion, the empirical evi-
dence in my books is so strong, I would
continue to believe," he says, "even if
the DNA evidence were negative."

Lifelong Fascination

Halkin, 63, is originally a New Yorker.
He grew up on the Upper West Side
of ManLattan and attended Ramaz,
the Bronx High School of Science and
Columbia.
His father, Abraham Halkin, was a
noted Judaic scholar and professor at
Jewish Theological Seminary and
Columbia. In 1970, Halkin made aliyah.
He explains he's always been fasci-
nated by the idea of Lost Tribes. As a
young boy, he was aware of distinc-
tions between the Jewish kids in his
neighborhood west of Broadway and
the much tougher Irish kids a few
blocks away to the east.
When a classmate first told him of a
place called Boro Park where "gangs of
Jewish boys beat up Christians," he was
thrilled. They were his first Lost Tribe.
He says he never made it to Boro
Park, but later, when he came across
legends of biblical Israelites who were
warriors in remote corners of the
world, there was something familiar.
"I had already dreamed of such dis-
tant brothers," he writes. 0

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