The Romani – The Lost Tribe of Israel?

Hardly! Though there are some who, for whatever reason, would like to the Romani People to be the lost tribe of Israel. To prove this they cite the similarities (what similarities?) between the Romani Cleanliness Rules/Taboo of mogati/magerdo and those of kosher/kashrut; the fact that some groups amongst the Rom circumcise their boys claiming that it is general practice (which it is not). But what does this prove? Nothing!

On proper examination it should be noticeable that the Rom do have a different Religion, even though the egg-spurts claim we have no Religion of our own; that the Romani do not, as a rule, practice male circumcision, though, as said, some Roma groups do, and here mostly those living in the Balkans in areas that were once under Ottoman-Turk occupation/rule, or originating from there such as the Xoraxane Roma of Macedonia, some Kalderash and Roma of various groups from Montenegro, as well as some of the Albanian Roma.

We also do not have any forbidden foods of any kind unlike the Jews who are, for instance, not permitted to eat pork or crustaceans, with the exception that amongst many Sinti groups horse meat is taboo as the horse is regarded as sacred.

Our language too is entirely different and has no Hebrew or Aramaic in it.

And this is but a small selection of points where the supposed similarities do not add up.

Yes, maybe, there are quite a lot of aspects of the mogati and the kosher rules such as separate bowls for food preparation, etc. but there are also essential and very important differences that show that there is NO link between the Rom, in general, and the Jews.

From a religious point it must be noted and mentioned that the Rom are not truly monotheistic, even though we refer to a God (in the singular), the Creator, who we call o Devel or o Del, the Giver. There are, however, still other Gods there, including the Devi Kali, as well as others. And in addition to that many of the powers of Nature are worshipped and venerated too. So, once again, NO link, to the Jews and Judaism.

Sure, the true origin of the Romani People (and the various groups) is rather shrouded in the mists of time that much can, in my view, however, be said and that is that we, the Rom, are NOT the lost or a lost tribe of Israel. There are far too many points against that than for it.

The Romani are the Romani (and many different groups we are) and the Jews are the Jews. Dosta penesas.

© Veshengro, March 2005

N.B. The word "Rom" here is interchangeable with the word "Romani" but not with "Roma"