Judaism in India dates back to centuries ago and they have maintained a harmony with the other profound religions in India. Jewish Culture also has imbibed different local cultures through cultural transformation. This religion has many things in common with Hinduism.
Similarity with Hinduism
There are several factors common both to Hinduism and Judaism. Both have a trace of a very old historical antiquity and no one started these religions, instead, they have been preserved and followed since pre historic times’. Only slight changes in human and religious values have been seen with the advent of time in accordance with the requirements and adoptability. Judaism has had a very old history (say) for over two thousand five hundred years after installation of Israel in 1948.
Jewish Culture in India
Cultural blending has brought about a lot of local traditions on the Indian Jews. It is very difficult to know as to how much is their population living in India, since they are linked to various origins across. Some came during the Kingdom of Judah, as others are traced to the Ten Lost Tribes. The major groups of Jews in India are:
Black Malabar component of Cochin Jews, who possibly came to India with Solomon’s merchants and settled in Kerala for trade purpose. White component relates to European and other descendants.
Arrival of Spanish, Portuguese, British Jews during 17th Century for trading of Diamond.
Bene Israel who arrived in Maharashtra dated back to 900 years ago.
Baghdadi Jews were those who arrived at Mumbai from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Arab, say around 250 years back.
Bnei Menashewere tribal Jews, in Manipur and Mizoram who recently adopted to Judaism.
Bene Ephraims are those who speak Telugu and can be related to around 1981.
However, it can be said that Indian Jews are Aliyah means those who migrated to Israel after the state was formed in 1948. It is learnt that around 70,000 Indian Jews live in Israel and we can see many Jewish localities in Kerala. It is undoubtedly true that Jews are highly adaptable to the local culture and have a deep back ground followed by their ancestral values.