The JPost reports an IDF soldier originally from the Bene Menashe tribe has been wounded in Lebabnon:
During a clash with Hizbullah gunmen in Lebanon, St.-Sgt. Avi Hangshing heard a large explosion and hit the dirt for cover. As the two sides traded heavy fire, he gradually lost his hearing and his balance.
Released from the army for medical treatment last week, Hangshing said he still walked “like a drunk person.”
The Lebanon skirmish might have been the most debilitating battle Hangshing has fought, but it was hardly his first. Before Hangshing could even join the IDF, he had to battle to be allowed into the country.
“I had to fight to come to Israel. Now I have to fight for the country,” said the 22-year-old paratrooper, who was born in India.
Hangshing is one of a dozen or so combat soldiers of Bnei Menashe heritage who are currently serving in Lebanon and Gaza. They all have relatives – some have immediate family members – who are still in India and can’t come to Israel because the government isn’t giving them visas.
Some 7,000 Bnei Menashe live in India and claim they are a “Lost Tribe” with Jewish roots. In recent years they have returned to Judaism and are studying for conversion. Some 1,000 have already converted and been allowed to come here, but the government put a stay on converting the others until it has reviewed its policy toward the group.
Hangshing has four uncles, plus cousins, who have been waiting to make aliya ever since his immediate family did in 2000. Despite the fact that his relatives observe Halacha, Hangshing said, “As long as they are there, they’re still lost.”…
[Hat tip: Bernie the Happy Attorney.]