The two religions of Rastafarianism and Judaism embody many of the same characteristics, as well as their ancestry. Although the Rastafarians, at times, inaccurately explain the bible, their belief in the Old Testament is still prevalent. Many of the customs are almost identical, but the rationale behind the traditions and laws contrast greatly.
In 1933, when Leonard P. Howell was arrested for using"seditious and blasphemous language,"to boost the sale of pictures of Haile Selassie, he stated that Selassie was,"King Ras Tafari of Abyssinia, son of king Solomon by the queen of Sheba."1 Howell knew that in later years factual information about Selassie's true origin would be declared. As an Ethiopian constitution of 1955 confirms, Haile Selassie in his position as Emperor,"descends without interruption from the dynasty of Menelik I, son of Ethiopia, the Queen of Sheba, and King Solomon of Jerusalem."2 This constitution, therefore, gives us direct evidence from Ethiopian sources of an existence of a section of the Ethiopian Population practicing the Jewish Religion.
According to the bible, King Solomon, King of Israel and the Jews, was paid by a visit from the Queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian Monarch. The Kebra Negast, the book of the glory of kings, states that by a trick, King Solomon inveigled the queen into sharing his bed with the result of a new born son, Menelik, who in due course became king or negus of Ethiopia.3 The queen was very impressed during her visit to the Holy Land, and adopted the Jewish Religion. But her son Menelik, when he grew up, visited his father, and transferred the Ark of the Covenant from Jerusalem to Axum. It is at this point where a new r...
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...USA, no publishing given) Sanhedrin 90b
31 King James, Holy Bible, Song of Solomon, (USA, no publishing given) Berakhot 28b
32 King James, Holy Bible, Song of Solomon, (USA, no publishing given)
33 King James, Holy Bible, Song of Solomon, (USA, no publishing given) Genesis 3:18
34 King James, Holy Bible, Song of Solomon, (USA, no publishing given) Exodus 10:12
35 King James, Holy Bible, Song of Solomon, (USA, no publishing given) Proverbs 15:17
36 King James, Holy Bible, Song of Solomon, (USA, no publishing given) Psalm 104:14
37 Barret, Leonard E. The Rastafarians (Boston: Beacon Press 1997) p129
38 Kolatch, Alfred J., The Jewish Book of Why (Jonathan David Publisher 1981) 118
39 Barret, Leonard E. The Rastafarians (Boston: Beacon Press 1997)
40 Barrow, Steve and Dalton, Peter, Reggae: The Rough Guide (London: Rough Guides LTD1997)191
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