I have a question on the topic of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, which in a way seems to me to be more along the lines of an anthropological question, and I am wondering if that is included in the "history of Judaism" clause for what questions are on-topic here. I understand (at least according to the wikipedia article and the research that I've tried to do on the topic) that this group is "not recognized as Jews by the greater Jewish community," so I thought that it would be better to ask here if the question is on topic than to ask it and have it be closed.

Specifically my questions would be something along the lines of:

I have noticed a lot of talk about Black Hebrew Israelite identity recently, some of it is present in ubiquitous popular culture (Kendrick Lamar among many other rappers reference the identity) and a large amount of social media (especially twitter) seems to be a place where people who claim this identity talk about their beliefs. This specific twitter is one that has popped up almost every time I see someone talking about this identity or being referenced by people who believe in this identity. I am wondering 2 things, 1) Is there any sort of scholarship that has been done on this movement in relation to the 21st century rise of technology, specifically how it is spread through the use of social media (given that this specific person/his follows have been described as cult like) and 2) is the movement linked in any way to the teachings of Maimonides.

As a small caveat, I'm not trying to equate what that person is doing with Judaism, like I said I'm aware that the movement is rejected by the greater Jewish community; I just thought this might be a place where people have access to information on the background of this movement. Most information online about this is from the people involved in the movement so it is either biased or just flat out incorrect.

  • 2
    Note that even question about people who are unquestionably Jewish and with an unquestionably Jewish tradition, if such question are not about Judaism the religion -slash- way of life, are not on-topic here.
    – msh210 Mod
    Sep 16, 2017 at 17:12
  • @msh210 I feel like that would exclude questions about the history of Judaism which is explicitly on topic via the help page that I linked to. That also wouldn't cover "language used in Judaism" and "general knowledge (science, etc.) as it relates directly to Judaism".
    – Not_Here
    Sep 16, 2017 at 17:52
  • This question also exists which you edited so I'm assuming there was some sort of consensus on your part of it being on topic, and I can't see how it falls under the umbrella you just opened. If what I'm asking is off topic, that's no problem I'll find somewhere else to ask it, but I don't see how what you just said makes sense given what I've just pointed out.
    – Not_Here
    Sep 16, 2017 at 17:57
  • The question you linked to is (arguably, and this is how I read it) asking whether Jews consider those under discussion there to be Jews. Whether someone is a Jew is matter of halacha and thus a question about Judaism, the religion, and on-topic; thus, whether Jews consider someone a Jew is arguably on-topic also. Questions about language as used in Judaism and history of Judaism and science as it related directly to Judaism are also question about Judaism, not just about Jews.
    – msh210 Mod
    Sep 16, 2017 at 18:59
  • If the beliefs you refer to in your block-quoted question are claimed to be beliefs of Judaism then arguably that entire question is on-topic. But you haven't indicated (and I don't know) as much.
    – msh210 Mod
    Sep 16, 2017 at 19:04
  • 1
    @msh210 Where I see a difference between our views is that I don't think a question about, say, the history of science is a question about science. For example: "When did Newton first write about fluxions?" is a question about the history of science, but at its core it's a question about history, not a science question. "What happens when rubidium is introduced to water?" is a science question. So I would disagree with your comment, but what you've said does illuminate where you're coming from so now I understand. I'll find somewhere else to ask the question, thanks for your help!
    – Not_Here
    Sep 16, 2017 at 19:53
  • I posted my comments as comments rather than answers below because I don't have an answer to your question. Perhaps wait until others show up (it's still the sabbath in the States and the site is quiet) and see what they think.
    – msh210 Mod
    Sep 16, 2017 at 19:56
  • 2
    The Black Hebrew Israelite Movement (which should really be called a cult) isn't Jewish at all. Why should it be any different than questions about "Messianic" Jewish stuff?
    – ezra
    Sep 19, 2017 at 17:15


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