Alex Armah From Ghana Visits Uganda

Kulanu made possible a four-month visit from Alex Armah, teacher and spiritual leader of the Sefwi Wiawso community in Ghana to the Abayudaya in Uganda. He writes weekly to Kulanu and we thought you would like to read these excerpts from a few of his reports.

Shalom,
This is my first report to you. It is a wonderful in my life to experience such an occasion [Ed. note: Gershom Sizomu’s installation] in the Abayudaya community in Uganda. On Monday visitors started coming from U.S.A. The Rabbis and many people also came to witness the occasion. Some also from African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and people from nearby communities in Uganda. The guest house was full of Rabbis.

The conversion started on Wednesday. 250 members came for the conversion who are now Jewish and each person is happy to be a Jewish. All the process concerning the conversion was done before the installation of our African Rabbi Gershom took place on Thursday. I was also converted too, to have my Hebrew name.

What I have known from the Rabbi is that he is a lovely man, with the Spirit of God, who fears God and is a hard worker towards the service of God. I am so happy to see many African Jews whom I did not dream to meet them at all. Due to Rabbi Gershom, I hope all the Jews in Africa will come together as one community. So we all share ideas. He is dedicated to the work that he has been ordained to do.

There are many things that I was surprised about here in Uganda. How the community members are happy to welcome visitors and also dedicated to the community. The community has done something that is marvelous in the eyes of many people here in Uganda. They have a school comprised with Jews, Islamic, Christians and other students within the district as a whole. You will hear from me again.
Yours faithfully,
Alex

Hello,
Shalom to every one. The reason, why I am here in Uganda is to study and go back to my community and teach. It is my dream for so many years ago, to fulfill this dream, which I have dream about.

Studies have begun every morning after the morning service in synagogue with Rabbi Gershom and some members from the community. And also, I have time to study on my own. We have started with the Hebrew.

And when it comes to Shabbat, after the Sabbath service, we all have our lunch and then come back for studies. I was so happy that the whole community has a community lunch and, the youth have someone teaching them. The community sometimes has two groups male and female.

Today I was so happy to see six students in the Hebrew class. Any time that I see more people in class I become very happy. Please I will end here with my greetings to every one. You will hear from me again.

Thank you!

Yours faithfully,
Alex

Hello,
Shalom to you all.

It was this Friday, I was going to the synagogue, that I saw Rabbi and some of the community members standing near his house. Then he called me and said there was of the community a member who has passed away so we are going to the burial.

This is my first time to witness burial of a Jew. People and said many things about one who is gone, the good work that he done for them when he is alive. The Rabbi also said many things about this man.

Thank you!

Yours faithfully,
Alex

Hello,

Yesterday was a day to remember the second destruction of the Temple. So we fast on. And most of the Jewish students came from Mbale for the morning service. We all sit on the ground only the Rabbi who sit on a low stool.

This was a historic event in my studies in the Abayudaya community because this is my second time celebrating the fast of this Tisha’ah Be’av. It was interesting to see some of the youth who also fast on the day. An old man who was about seventy years he too used to fast.

You could see the faith that people have in this Jewish community. I was so happy to be called to Bless the Torah on Sabbath. And right now, I can say many things the Abayudaya community did on Shabbat, we in Ghana did the same thing.

The big difference is that they know more of the Hebrew, so they did all the service in Hebrew. And sing in Luganda and Hebrew. We have some of the elders who used to translate into their language.

Rabbi also translated it to English so we those who can’t understand the Hebrew and the Luganda may understand it. Since I came here not a single Shabbat that we will not have a visitor. Some came to help the community to grow up in education and other development, and some also came because they have been to the community for some years back and if they now have a Rabbi and they are in country of Uganda, it is their duty to come and welcome our chief Rabbi. You will hear from me soon.

Thank you!

Yours faithfully,
Alex


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