Black Hebrew Israelites: New York's Most Obnoxious Prophets

Why do they scream and curse at you?

Black Hebrew Israelites: New York's Most Obnoxious Prophets
Michael Premo
A rare sight: A black Hebrew Israelite—silent, and not screaming—in Times Square

Friday, February 11, will be remembered as the historic day Hosni Mubarak's 30-year regime came to an end in Egypt.

But that same day, New Yorkers were lined up for a different reason on 34th Street: The new Jordan 6IX Rings sneakers were going on sale at midnight. By 7 p.m., hundreds of black people were lined up outside a Midtown store despite the temperature hovering around 11 degrees. Corralled behind rope lines and shivering on folding chairs, they waited patiently for the chance to plop down $160 and be among the first to own the newest Air Jordans.

From across the street, another black man, swathed in bright colors and not wearing Air Jordans, watched the scene.

Guess who's coming to Seder dinner? The Ambassadors of Christ read from Scriptures in their Washington Heights lair.
Michael Premo
Guess who's coming to Seder dinner? The Ambassadors of Christ read from Scriptures in their Washington Heights lair.
Obama is a monkey and a devil in materials that are anything but slick.
Michael Premo
Obama is a monkey and a devil in materials that are anything but slick.

"Look at those slaves to the white man!" he screamed at the top of his lungs. When a charter bus deposited dozens more shoppers directly at the entrance of the store, he laughed, yelling, "They're even bringing Negroes in by the busload!"

A bushy-bearded man who goes by the name "Zodach," with a small frame and a big voice, he is one of the few members of the ragtag House of Israel, a Black Hebrew Israelite group that is a final holdout of a dying breed: the New York City street-corner prophet. Zodach's colors were so bright and cartoonish that there was something almost charming about him—if you could ignore the insults he was spewing at everyone passing by.

"Look at those crazy Negroids! They should be over here with us, getting ready for the end-times!" Zodach yelled. "They're even sitting out in chairs, and it's cold out here tonight!"

Of course, he, too, was standing outside in the cold night, and there were two female disciples sitting in front of him in folding chairs, freezing, too.

Zodach was eager to preach about the news story of the day. "You saw what they did to your country in Cairo?" he shrieked at anyone with light-brown skin. "That was us, and we're going to do that to you here, too!"

A group of Indian guys who looked like they could have been frat brothers walked by, alarmed when they realized the prophet was addressing them.

"Huh?" said one, eating a shish kebab.

"Just go on drinking your pork Slurpee, you Egyptian!" Zodach screamed.

"Uh, we're Indian—and this is chicken," the man responded.

Pity also the "so-called white man" who slowed down to listen and heard, "After the race war, you're going to be my slave, picking cotton in my field!" That message is echoed in a flyer that looks like a 200th-generation copy first mimeographed in 1985: "Will so-called white people go to heaven? Yes! In slavery!!!!"

On this corner, in the shadow of the Empire State Building, you could just pull up a chair with a bowl of popcorn and watch a show more entertaining than anything you'd ever see in a comedy club. The House of Israel, shouting within earshot of the tens of thousands of people who pass through this intersection on any given evening, makes for a sticky web. The endless stream of "so-called black" New Yorkers, "so-called Jews," bewildered Japanese tourists, and born-again Christian teens who pass by are their flies.

The Westboro Church in Topeka, Kansas, comes to town but once a year. This freak show runs several times a week—and it's free. If you want death-defying thrills and the possibility of bodily injuries, save the $200 Bono will charge to risk Reeve Carney falling on your head, and instead just ask a Black Hebrew Israelite, "Don't you think Jesus said that God was a God of love?"

General Hashar, leader of the Ambassadors of Christ, another Black Hebrew Israelite "camp," explains that the war-like dress and titles they use are based on a biblical call to arms, including the omnipresent star, or "shield," of David on their garments. Hashar, a man with massive shoulders and a large gold grill on his upper row of teeth, leads the way into the basement of a Presbyterian church in Washington Heights north of 200th Street where his sect meets.

It feels neither particularly safe nor dangerous to be visiting the subterranean lair of people you've watched yelling the craziest shit you've ever heard in your life. Descending down the stairs, the smell of incense is almost overwhelming.

"That's frankincense and myrrh," says First Captain Chaa-zaq-raw-chaa, a round-faced man with a kind smile that belies his camouflage head wrap. He adds that these aromatics are the same as the gifts presented to baby Jesus by the Three Wise Men.

The antechamber to the Ambassadors' meeting hall is somewhat nondescript, and could be any community-center rec room. But there are telling details. Small flags of the state of Israel abound (though it is pointed out that they are not meant as a sign of support of the actual state of Israel, occupied by "so-called Jews.") There's a cartoon drawing of a Black Hebrew Israelite man decapitating a white man with the words "666" on his forehead. (The victim bears a slight resemblance to Bill Clinton.) The framed image sits atop a refrigerator, next to a package of Cup Noodles.

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17 comments
natalie1311
natalie1311

Black people in America r lost. Look around. Take the scales off of your eyes. Black people just don't want to hear the truth

natalie1311
natalie1311

U people quick to judge the black Israelites. But what sbout the catholic church and their lies and the show they put on. A secret society of gay pedophiles and those outfits their bishops and popes where. There is just money and power there. Don't dare speak of having more than one wife. But it's ok to molest children

quaaludester
quaaludester

All religion is a freak show; Afrolicious religions are freak shows to the max.

Pathetic.

still_smoke_in
still_smoke_in

This is the greatest article ever! LOL. The so-called Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI) are a joke. That is why you only see them on street corners and not in scholarly debates with people who actually study Biblical history, people, texts, etc. as their profession. That's because BHI lack a very important thing that would be helpful to their claims of being the Biblical Hebrews/Jews.....ONE SHRED OF EVIDENCE. #1) Rev5:9 and 7:9 alone destroys their entire theology #2) Edomites are not white Europeans, but were Semites and relatives of the Biblical Jews #3) Edomites were in SE Palestine (modern day Transjordan) when the Jews came out of Egypt #4) the Jews were not negros when they left Egypt nor in the 1st century AD while under Roman rule in Judea = Jesus was not negro; Mary was not negro; the Biblical Jews are not negro, they are Semites. Case Closed.

eliyah
eliyah

Don't you just love the media! this movement is powerful.. They do a lot of good. Enlightening lost souls.. Now surely they could have done a story on the many HEBREW (please exclude the color black since it is a color found in a crayon box and not an identity) People that took a higher road in enlightening. This Great Nation does this often. It is a way of lowering the Morale of Hebrew people.. Broadcasting our shame, and emphasizing our curse while all but burying and burning our accomplishments...... IT IS NOT WHAT THEY ALLOW YOU TO KNOW>> PAY ATTENTION TO WORDS UNSPOKEN..

gabedemaria
gabedemaria

If you read Deuteronomy 28 and watch the great youtube clip entitled "Biblical Israelites were black, and still are today" you will see and understand without a shadow of a doubt, the so-called "American Blacks" are the chosen true Israelites of the Bible!  What these dudes preach though is off.  The Most High, ('God') will accept repentance from Gentile or Jew.  Both can be saved, read in revelation a white robe is given to every nation (race).  Praise Yashayah!

FraudBrothers
FraudBrothers

too many flaws in there ideology. they claim african americans who were enslaved in the "new world" were entirely descendents of the biblical israelites. Anybody with some knowledge on West Africa where the bulk of slaves were taken have a very small traditional community that claim israelite heritage being a minority of Igbos in Nigeria. They base their confiction on biblical texts refering thinking they match all the characteristics of hardships the biblical israelites faced. The only non biblical information to justify that they were actually entirely israelites brough to the new world is a book based on limited facts and more theories entitled from jeruselam to timbuktu. The Hebrew Israelite movement is a judaic christian oriented black nationalist movement that is trying to be the contemporary of the nation of islam. Too bad its like 50 years too late and the idea has already been taken. Dont base your perception on them from this article but rather study them a bit to learn the underlying flaws of their ideology. Some points they have on current world issues are similar to some liberal and left leaning people but thats about it. I personally think that they are a movement funded by the government to create confusion within the conscious African American, Latin American, and Native American community. 

 

FraudBrothers
FraudBrothers

too many flaws in there ideology. they claim african americans who were enslaved in the "new world" were entirely descendents of the biblical israelites. Anybody with some knowledge on West Africa where the bulk of slaves were taken have a very small traditional community that claim israelite heritage being a minority of Igbos in Nigeria. They base their confiction on biblical texts refering thinking they match all the characteristics of hardships the biblical israelites faced. The only non biblical information to justify that they were actually entirely israelites brough to the new world is a book based on limited facts and more theories entitled from jeruselam to timbuktu. The Hebrew Israelite movement is a judaic christian oriented black nationalist movement that is trying to be the contemporary of the nation of islam. Too bad its like 50 years too late and the idea has already been taken. Dont base your perception on them from this article but rather study them a bit to learn the underlying flaws of their ideology. Some points they have on current world issues are similar to some liberal and left leaning people but thats about it. I personally think that they are a movement funded by the government to create confusion within the conscious African American, Latin American, and Native American community. 

 

ACNJ12
ACNJ12

According to scriptures Gentiles will have salvation sadly not all Black Israelite groups follow all of the laws of the Torah. ex...Deut 23:7 You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land.
exodus 23:9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.  http://whoaretherealjews.com shalam

jinkhary8
jinkhary8

I was expecting a more balance view from the author of this article. The purpose of this is too hold them up to ridicule but I could laugh at the Hassidic Jews who walk around dressed in black top hats and black clothing. If the author had given both sides of the story instead of the just the negative side maybe it would not appear so biased. The Black Hebrews while their delivery may be wrong are certainly providing a much needed message to Africans in the diaspora. We have been lied to for so long that our people cannot discern any measure of truth. Don't kill the messengers people.

aijahlon12
aijahlon12

It's sad, if it is true, what this article states, and that the brothers sound as if they do not study. I've knowns since 1975 that our Black history is in the Bible. All you have to do is read it to see that. However, no need to be crazy over that fact. Just read the Holy Bible King James Version, get rid of the Talmud, and obey what they Bible says, and all will be well. At least they've learn our history is in the Bible, and receives that. Now all they have to do is lose the crazy part of their knowledge and teaching.

luvlovelatoya
luvlovelatoya

This article is as funny as it its true. And mind you, I almost died with laughter. On thanksgiving my friend and I was walking and as we passed by a BHI, he yelled at us "I hope you choke on a F%^ing turkey bone". I was so annoyed because not only am I a vegan, I don't even celebrate thanksgiving day (I'm from Trinidad and it never catch on with my family). I wanted to tell him this but I knew I would be giving him exactly what he so desperately desired; some attention. 

 

I've learned over the years that its just best to ignore them as they are completely irrational and are in deep darkness. This summer I almost got involved with one. He was a regular guy, educated, ran his own business, dressed nicely, had a nice car (not that these things are important to me). But overall, he seemed completely normal. Then when he dropped the "You know Esau is the white man right?" I started to become suspicious. But when he hit me with the "A man could have more than one wife if he choose and women are to accept it" line and invited me to "The temple", I took him to school on those topics, then ran for the hills. 

 

They have very little knowledge of scripture outside of the ones that relate to hate and separation. The Holy Spirit and knowledge of scripture is the best guard against these poor unfortunate souls. 

 

Kudos on this article! I had a blast reading it.  

zipporahmckenzie
zipporahmckenzie

Yeah... I am an Israelite but I will not agree that we are this way. In every nationality there are bad apples. Some more than others. And being the chosen people, badgerin isn't the way to get your point across. State facts to open minds of the people willing to take heed. But please don't insult people. Even in the bible it says that we should be humble to those who aren't what we are because we were slaves ourselves. Remember the times, because the days are drawing near. Forgive them father. For there intentions are good but there approach is wrong. Oh and lastly, the true Israelites do NOT believe in any deity. Only the true and living Power of Avraham, Yitzcac, and, Yaquov.

hachiman
hachiman

I find this article on the B.H.I.`s very informative( Considering that they`re street crazies anyway). But not surprizing, that the N.O.I. spews the same ranting verbal and writtened rhetoric about so- called enlightned persons they are. But when people like Louise Farrakkhan speaks to  the alleged prophet Elijah Mohammad on the "Mother Ship" in orbit, then he and people like him have serious issues( mentally and physically). We should be aware of these" street nutz". cause they`re dangerous to society and the well being of  humanity. Remember everyone thought the same way when Adolf Hitler wrote his book " Mein Kampf". And you know what happened later in history. "The Final Solution" 

Blessedbrotha
Blessedbrotha

@gabedemaria If you read Deuteronomy 28 in it's proper context, you'll realize it isn't talking about so-called black people in this country, let alone so-called "Hebrew Israelites". Especially since Roman historians Munter and Josephus (himself an Israelite) gave accounts of the Jews being sent on ships all throughout the Roman Provinces after 70 AD, including Egypt. Only the "Hebrew-Israelites" claim Egypt is a metaphor for America. Furthermore, many of those Jews were sent to Spain and NONE of them were ever confused for negros because they weren't black. Ironic, since negro is the Spanish word for black and Spain is next to Africa. Another thing, notice how the combined term "Hebrew-Israelite" appears nowhere in the bible? In fact, the "Hebrew" the so called "Hebrew Israelites" use is fake. Lashawan Qadash was made up by Ahrayah. When the ICUPK split up into different camps (ICGJC, GMS, new ISUPK, AOC, GOCC, IUIC and so on) after falsely predicting Jesus' return in the year 2000, all of them kept using that fake Hebrew. It's why you wrote "praise Yashayah" and honestly thought you were correct. I should know, I'm a former member of the og ICUPK, which later became the ICGJC. All of them are cults. Wake up and distances yourself from them. Their teachings are false and you will see that once you objectively look at things and realize how much of it is distorted and twisted by them. Take it from someone who lost 10 years of his life in their lies.... But I will say this. The only thing you said that was right was god will accept ANYONE who repents, whether Jew or Gentile. Praise be to the Most High and his son Yeshua Ha'Mashiach (Jesus Christ). Only through him can we be saved. Lineage/bloodline (real or so-called) saves no one. The true chosen Israelites are ALL those who believe in the messiah, regardless of their ethnic background, Jew or Gentile. Romans 11:25-32 and Romans 2:28-29 confirm that.

LittleeOnee
LittleeOnee

Wow! Thank you brother! For stepping out of that satanic cult mess & standing up to tell the truth. Soooo many people need to hear your story. Peace & blessings to you!!!

 
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