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Bnei Menashe from India Becomes Israel's National Kickboxing Champion

Bnei Menashe member from India aided by Shavei Israel and Rabbi Michael Freund clinches national Kickboxing tournament in Israel.

KFAR YASIF, ISRAEL, April 12, 2023/ -- Obed Hrangchal, a 28-year-old mixed martial arts and kickboxing champion from India, has become Israel's new kickboxing champion. Hrangchal competed in the 57-kg. (125 pounds) division and emerged victorious in the event, which featured 150 competitors from clubs throughout Israel and was held in Kfar Yasif in Galilee.

The Hrangchal family, who were the only Jewish family in the village of Thinghlun in the Indian state of Mizoram, sold their home and farmlands in 2013 to move to the capital city of Aizawl in order to join the local Jewish community while awaiting the opportunity to make Aliya. Obed, a religiously observant member of the Bnei Menashe community and a descendant of one of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel made Aliya with his family to Israel in 2020 through the help of Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based organization that supports the return of Jewish communities to Israel. Hrangchal's parents, Gabriel and Ruth Hrangchal reside in Nof HaGalil, near Nazareth.

Hrangchal expressed his happiness after his win, saying, “I always dreamt of making Aliya and becoming an Israeli champion. I now dream of representing Israel in international kickboxing competitions.”

“We are very proud of Obed’s incredible accomplishment and we look forward to his representing Israel abroad,” said Michael Freund, founder, and chairman of Shavei Israel. “Obed is another outstanding example of how the Bnei Menashe can contribute to Israeli society, each in his or her own way. I hope that we will soon see him winning medals for Israel worldwide.”

The Bnei Menashe claim descent from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, who were sent into exile by the Assyrian Empire over 27 centuries ago. Throughout their exile, the Bnei Menashe continued to practice Judaism just as their ancestors did, including observing the Sabbath, keeping kosher, celebrating the festivals, and following the laws of family purity. They have always nourished the dream of one day returning to the land of their ancestors, the Land of Israel.

Shavei Israel has helped over 5,000 Bnei Menashe to make Aliya to Israel in the past two decades and plans to bring more members of the community to Israel. Currently, there are 5,000 Bnei Menashe awaiting their return to the Jewish homeland.


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