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IGBO DAYS : EKE OYE/ORIE AFOR NKWO EKE ELI OYE/ORIE UHURU AFOR OJUKWU NKWO EKE AMA
Telling Our-story, Not His-Story
Our fore-parents said Igbo bu mmuo - Igbo are spirits, they also said that it is impossible to tell the Igbo story.
As our research digs up more written information, this page will be updated.
One of the early mentions of the Igbo is in Babylonia, regarding the contributions of Igbo sages in the writing of the "Talmud", this strengthens and puts to rest any doubt about one of the claimed heritage (by members of Ekwe Nche Research Institute) of Igbo, the Hebraic Heritage of the Igbo.
What is the Torah or Talmud?
"The purpose of the Talmud is Talmud Torab (literally study of Torah) in the widest sense of the word, that is, acquisition of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, since Torah is regarded as encompassing everything contained in the world. An allegory in the Talmud and the commentaries depicts the Torah as a kind of blueprint for the construction of the world... The concept of Torah is immeasurably wider than the concept of religious law, and while Jewish
jurisprudence encompasses all spheres of life and overlooks almost nothing, the scope of the Torah is even wider. Habits, customs, occupational hints, medical advice, examinations of human nature, linguistic questions, ethical problems, all these are Torah and as such are touched upon in the Talmud."
IF THE BIBLE is the cornerstone of Judaism, then the Talmud is the central pillar, soaring up from the foundations and supporting the entire spiritual and intellectual edifice. In many ways the Talmud is the most important book in Jewish culture, the backbone of creativity and of national life...
The formal definition of the Talmud is the summary of oral law that evolved after centuries of scholarly effort by sages who lived in Palestine and Babylonia until the beginning of the Middle Ages...
The Talmud is the repository of thousands of years of Jewish wisdom, and the oral law, WHICH IS AS ANCIENT AND SIGNIFICANT AS THE WRITTEN LAW (THE TORAH), finds expression therein. It is a conglomerate of law, legend, and philosophy, a blend of unique logic and shrewd pragmatism, of history and science, anecdotes and humor...
THE ESSENTIAL TALMUD
And to think that the father of the Babylonia Talmud R. Abba Ben Ibo, the more complete and more quoted Talmud, of the Two Talmud was Igbo. Interestingly, Abba Ben Ibo's lineage is traced back to the House of David.
Some of the Igbo sages who played very prominent roles in the writing of the TALMUD:
1.) R. Abba Ben Ibo (known as Arikha)
As the importance of the Palestine center diminished, the great amora R. Abba Ben Ibo (known as Abba Arikha Abba the tall one) was confronted with the task of establishing a spiritual center in Babylonia (it eventually overshadowed the center in Palestine). In his youth R. Abba traveled from Babylonia to Palestine with his uncle and teacher, R. Hiya, a disciple and colleague of R. Judah. R. Abba himself had completed most of his education under Rabbi Judah and was one of the members of the Sanhedrin. He lived in Palestine for many years, though apparently he returned to Babylonia on occasion, and in the end he went back to the country of his birth for personal reasons. There he found a number of eminent scholars but discovered that scholarship was only imperfectly organized and standards were lower than in Palestine. R. Abba was acknowledged to be one of the outstanding Palestine scholars, ordained by R. Judah himself, a compiler of mishnayot and an expert on the traditions of both Palestine and Babylonia. To avoid offending the existing communal leadership of Babylonia, he settled in the small town of Sura, rather than in one of the main centers of scholarship, and established an academy there. Babylonian scholars were soon attracted to the new center and thousands of disciples flocked to study there. R. Abba exerted such a strong influence over the Babylonian community that he began to be referred to simply as Rav, the name he is known by to this day. The authority of the Sura center over most of Jewish Babylonia was recognized, and the Sura academy survived in various forms for 700 years.
Renowned as a pious and noble man, Rav succeeded by his own personal example, aid, and encouragement, in raising Babylonian standards of scholarship. One of his younger contemporaries, the Babylonian sage Samuel, established a second center in the town of Nehardea. Although this academy later moved, it remained the partner and friendly rival of Sura as long as Babylonia flourished as a Torah center.
Rav and Samuel together constituted the first generation of Babylonian amoraim who cast the mold of Torah scholarship in that country for generations to come. They were close personal friends, although completely unalike in character. Rav’s family traced its lineage back to the House of David, and he was connected by marriage with the resh gulut (exilarch, or hereditary leader of the Babylonian Jewry). He was well versed in the Palestinian tradition of study and
edited several collections of mishnayot. It was in his academy that the definitive commentary on the Book of Leviticus (known as Sifra Debei Rav) was composed, and several of the main New Year prayers are attributed to him.
In the following generations many Babylonian sages made their way to Palestine and became prominent there, but the Babylonian academies were already so large and important that they evolved their own independent methods of study and schools of thought. Rav was succeeded at Sura by his disciple R. Huna, while Samuel's heir was R. Judah, who had also studied under Rav and who transferred the academy from Nehardea to Pumbedita, where it remained. The scholars of this period include R. Hisda, who lived to a ripe old age; blind R. Sheshet, one of the most erudite men of his age, who had a sharp tongue and very definite views, a man harder than iron, and R. nahman, the son-in-law of the exilarch, who was a scintillating judge in the tradition of Samuel.
The third generation of Babylonian amoraim boasted two outstanding personalities: Rabba (short for R. Abba), a brilliant man ("uprooter of mountains," according to his contemporaries) who became an academy head at a very early age; and R. Yosef, the great expert on the Torah. R. Yosef went blind in his old age but maintained his congeniality and warm relationships with his disciples, eventually replacing his friend Rabba as academy head. The debates between these two men became part of the regular curriculum of the academies. There were scholars who brought summaries of Palestinian scholarship to Babylonia, and this renewed contact inspired two sages who are regarded as the central pillars of Babylonian learning, Abbaye and Rava. Abbaye was the nickname that Rabba gave his nephew, Nahmani Ben Kaylil (the word apparently means “little father,” since he was named after Rabba’s father, Nahmani. An orphan, he was brought up by his uncle and lived like him, in penury, farming for a living and studing by night and during the slack agricultural season. He was a favorite disciple but also a sharp critic of R. Yosef, and he learned from both mentors, becoming academy head after R. Yosef. Rava, whose full name was Abba Ben Rav Hamma, was the follower of another school, that of R. Nahman and R. Hisda. A very rich merchant who was on close terms with the Persian royal house, he lived in the important and prosperous commercial center of Mehoza. Rava was apparently younger than Abbaye, but they were friends from youth despite their conflicting opinions. Hundreds of debates between them are quoted in the Babylonian Talmud, and the discussions which they and their disciples held are classic examples of the methods of the Babylonian Talmud. Both had incisive minds, but Abbaye tended somewhat to formalism, while his colleague generally represented a more realistic outlook. Abbaye was more moderate in his conclusions and preferred simple solutions, while Rava’s decisions were clearer, although his halakhic method was more complex. In numerous areas they were in accord, and many important halakhic elements are the fruit of their joint efforts.
THE ESSENTIAL TALMUD
For what are called lgbo we now are told to us by historians, archeologists and linguists to be remnants of a wider spread of autochthonous people, by the same name, who become the raw materials for the empires of immigrant empire-builders since 900 AD. They tell us the Igbo have been around for tens of thousands of years. And the ‘Great-Yam-Experiment that established the lgbo as an Agricultural civilization is said to have occurred about 3000 BC. Parallel civilizations
were developing in Africa’s Niger-Congo and Nile Basins. The lgbo before 900AD, we can call ancient or paleo-lgbo for the purpose of this discussion and that would include many people who are no longer called lgbo, like the Ekiti or ljesha of western Nigeria. And exclude some called lgbo now, who came to lgboland after 900AD. A worldwide hundred-year drought between 900-1000 AD, we are told, resulted in the collapse of empires, including the Mayan and peri-Saharan ones. And a flood of empire-builders, some with
the cobra-clad headgear of the Egyptian pharaoh and obelisk, poured into the forest zones of Africa, both the city-state of Kano and Ile-ife date from that period, for example.
World Struggles for a Just World.
From Eri, and the waves of Hebraic immigrants returning home to Ala Igbo (Igbo Land), who came before and after Eri, came the Hebrew heritage of the Igbo; From Edo returned our brethren who had gone to build the Benin empire, due to the many pogroms against Igbo in Benin, and started Onitsha, Oguta... Igbo who remained in Ife - our brethren who had been conquered by the Yoruba and remained in present day Yoruba land became Yoruba; but the most interesting
and least investigated of all would be "Akuko Mbe N'Agu", further investigation will prove that this is where Igbo scientific heritage came from - from the greatest and oldest civilization that the world has ever known.
"And he shall judge the Gentiles, and rebuke many people: and they shall turn their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into sickles: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they be exercised any more to war."
Isaiah 2: 4.
The most recent Igbo Hebraic civilization, which existed for many centuries in Africa, up to the 15 th century, was Biafara. It was the only nation in recent memory that as far as we know actually practiced what was prophesied in Isaiah 2:4.
“Many communities, to the west and to the east of the Niger have sectors which were founded by Nri men. During the era of the slave trade, when human sacrifice became common, the Nri continued to avoid it, bearing steadfast testimony to the sacredness of human life. Ewenetem was an Eze Nri who died in about 1820, and who is remembered for his clear teaching ‘that a slave was a human being and to kill one was abomination’…. They turned the weapons of aggression
into the ritual implements of purification and peace. The spear became the staff of peace, otonsi, or the staff of political authority, alo. The club became the ofor, symbol of truth and justice. The cutlass was used in the yam cult."
The IBO People and the Europeans
"Archaeological findings in Iboland go back as far as four thousand years. But archaeology in the area is still in its infancy, and its flourishing growth was sadly disrupted by the events of the recent years, one of the lesser casualties of war. Only a few sites have been excavated , but these have yielded material of enormous significance, which has, in some respects, transformed our knowledge of the Ibo past. It seems likely that the systematic archaeological
work in Iboland in the future will add greatly to our understanding of its history, though there are, of course, major limitations to the kind of information which the remains of material cultures can supply."
The IBO People and the Europeans
"These spring largely from the fact that Iboland was not a centralized state, but consisted of a very large number of independent and relatively small polities. Their number makes the scientific study and collation of their traditions difficult, and their complicated and democratic systems of government were not particularly conducive to the systematic preservation of knowledge about the past."
The IBO People and the Europeans
Ohacracy – The oldest and purest form of Democracy:
The Igbo faction of the aboriginal group, looking on those in the city who had succumbed to the ideas perpetrated by the Oduduwa groups as traitors, continued their raids over the settlement.
‘World Struggles for a Just World.’
"The traditional philosophy and religious beliefs of the Nri like that of other Igbo peoples, are interwoven and centered on five interdependent major concepts which are as follows: Chukwu, Alusi, Uwa, and Ike Mmadu."
Nri Kingdom and Hegemony, A.D. 994 to Present
The Hebraic Heritage of Igbo:
"In tracing the sources of many Ibo customs, the investigator cannot help being struck with the similitude between them and some of the ideas and practices of the Levitical code. The people are intensely religious. A casual observer might pronounce them superstitious, but the fact is, the belief in the spiritual exercises a profound influence over every detail of their lives. Their religion is not an idolatrous one as that term is commonly interpreted, the
so called, being merely tangible symbols to assist them in the service and worship of the invisible.…
Notes on the Ibo Country and the Ibo People, Southern Nigeria
The Igbo in a Nutshell!
Among the Egboes, women hold a superior rank in the social scale; they are not regarded, as among other tribes, as inferior creation and doomed to perpetual degradation, but occupy their 'rightful status in society.
West African Countries and Peoples
1. Is there a God?
GOD, As A CONCEPT, is as old and universal as the word man; the idea of God is inseparable from the fact that there is man. Whether God made man in His own image or it is the other way around, the Igbo have always believed that there is God, the Being to whom he attributes all creation.
2. Concepts of God
The religion of the Igbo is not founded upon man but for man: he does not make attempts to equate God to man. No man, we believe, is so good that he should be deified, considered God, or even worshipped as a special son or prophet of God. Consequently, you cannot find a human in Igbo religion who is a prototype of Jesus Christ, Buddha, or Bahai. All of these were humans whose character ranked higher in their respective and contemporary communities. Igbo has produced
men and women of similar noble lives, but they were never deified, because a real God is invisible and superhuman.
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