|Inspiration starts in in 1917 in Uganda, East Africa...goes to Texas, USA in 2000...continues today for religious and medical community services..... |
Posted by Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry on July 24, 2011
.....MESSAGE OF TODAY'S LIFE-SCINECES SHARING AT PVAF....
|"This story has the potential to remind the greater community that
have to step outside of this very narrow European view of
what it means
to be Jewish."
the divine intervention in the story of the Torah scroll
and how it has intersected with lives on three continents."
|"Judaism is always thought of as an ethnicity,
but it's not - it's a
community of the soul,"
|"The journey may also challenge some people's
religious reference points."
| Today's PVAF sharing is about going back to 1907 to
Jews living in remote villages in the shadow of an ancient
and now dormant volcano -Mount Elgon in Uganda, East Africa.... and
the story gets interesting when you read:
Uganda Programme - a 1903 British plan to give a portion of British
East Africa to the Jewish people as a homeland....some 5,000 square
miles (13,000 km2) of the Mau Plateau in what is today Kenya and
Uganda....which was rejected by the 1903
Zionist Congress in preference of establishing Jewish State in
Ottoman Palestine...all this for eliminating the persecutions of
Jews in Russia and other parts of Europe....
And then the story of Uganda Judaism of 20th century picks up in the
year 2000 by "divine intervention" in the form of a then Uganda medical
student Mark Kayanja
studying to be an orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal
surgery in Cleaveland, Ohio, USA "forcefully and persistently inspiring
from 2000-05, a Jewish Spinal Surgeon Dr Lieberman to
deliver ancient Hebrew text Torah to the
current Uganda African Bagishu tribe in a remote village called Tutti in
Uganda practicing Orthodox Judaism since 1907 " ..... What else
could it be other than the divine intervention when you come to know
that the Jewish Dr.
Isador Lieberman, MD. MBA, FRCSC..who
was brought up as a medical doctor at Toronto University, Toronto,
Canada have Jewish parents who emigrated to Toronto, Canada after
surviving Germany's Adolf Hitler's Nazi concentration camps in Germany
and Poland to exterminate through genocide Jews and other Europeans who
Hitler considered as enemies of daily humanity in Europe and....And then
this 2000 "divine orthopedic intervenists" duo of Drs Lieberman and
Kayanja began running a Uganda Spine Surgery Mission from USA treating
to date some 200 Uganda citizens afflicted by infectious, degenerative,
traumatic and congenital spinal ailments. In addition the Mission will
strive to provide a fertile environment for the education of those local
Uganda medical personnel who serve these patients....
The story was started in 1907 when Semei Kakungulu (1869 – 24 November
1928), a warrior and statesman of the powerful Baganda tribe in
British Uganda founded the Abayudaya community in Uganda in 1917 to
practice Orthodox Judaism after getting disenchanted by the natural
resource plundering greedy morality and politics of British empire and
British Protestant Missionaries in Uganda at the life-cost of local
Uganda Africans....This community currently numbering 1500 is scattering
in several villages on what was once Semei Kakungulu's tribal land
in early 1900's.
|Today's history-religion-humanity service knowledge sharing has been
presented by Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry of Edmonton, Alberta as part of
his daily life-sciences knowledge learning/sharing of history and today
as it is....with his fellow life-travelers with a prayer that these type
of life anecdotal sharing will empower all humans individuals and
collectives to live at peace sharing the bounties of Nature which is
given to humanity freely and unconditionally....but as you read this you
will note that humans are at war with each other individually and
collectively as communities, nations, races, faith and religious
groups...it is not necessary to be at "war" daily with yourself and
others...but to live daily at peace you need life-sciences knowledge
empowerment and use of that empowerment with the human body, brain,
heart and soul Nature has kindly bestowed on the diversity of humanity
on this Planet Earth...PVAF prays for this human empowerment.....
|And to have this human empowerment....please click on the next line
to read today's news-anecdotal story along with getting to know
the key players in this human 110 years old human drama that is playing
out to show the kindred human spirit transcends all boundaries of human
race, colour, faith and human greed based possessions.....please do not
forget to look up all the hyperlinked words to have the in-depth
life-sciences knowledge that you want, wish and desire for a happy
tomorrow than today simply because you have more life-sciences knowledge
tomorrow to understand yourself and others.....
TODAY YOU HAVE A LIMITLESS LIFE-SCIENCES LEARNING DAY...
.....you are your only limit.....
scrolling and clicking on hyperlinked words....
(1869 – 24 November 1928)
a warrior and statesman of the powerful
in british uganda....
Jewish practice and African-Jewish community
in Uganda, East Africa in 1917....
(1869 – 24 November 1928) was a
man who founded the
community in Uganda in 1917. He studied and meditated on the Old
Testament, adopted the observance of all Moses' commandments, including
and suggested this observance for all his followers. .....The Abayudaya
practices and consider themselves
despite the absence of
ancestry...... He was also chosen to be the president of the
of Busoga by the
and in effect, he became Busoga’s first 'King', although the
refused to give him that title. However wrangles amongst the different
continued, and most Basoga still retained affiliation to their chief,
structure collapsed, and Semei Kakungulu was dismissed by the British.
Kakungulu was a warrior and statesman of the powerful Baganda tribe.
During the 1880s he was converted to Christianity by a
taught him how to read the Bible in Swahili....... Because he commanded many
warriors, because of his connections to the Bugandan court and because
he was a Protestant, the British gave Kakungulu their support. He
responded by conquering and bringing under the British sphere of
influence two areas outside of the Bugandan Empire, Bukedi and Busoga.
These areas were between the
source in Lake
Victoria and Mt.
Elgon on the Kenyan
border. Kakungulu believed that the British would allow him to become
the king of Bukedi and Busoga, but the British preferred to rule these
areas through civil servants in their pay and under their control. The
British limited Kakungulu to a 20-square-mile (52 km2)
area in and around what has now become
Uganda. The people who inhabited this area were of the
Bagisu tribe rivals to
Baganda. Nevertheless, Kakungulu, with the help of his Baganda
followers, although much reduced in numbers, was able to maintain
control so long as he received British support...... Beginning in about 1900,
a slow but continuous mutual disenchantment arose between Kakungulu and
the British. In 1913, Kakungulu became a
Christian. This was a movement described by the British as a
"cult" which was "a
mixture of Judaism,
Science." Many who joined the religion of Malaki where Kakungulu was
in control were Baganda. While still a Malakite, Kakungulu came to the
conclusion that the
missionaries were not reading the
Bible correctly. He
pointed out that the Europeans disregarded the real
Sabbath, which was
Saturday, not Sunday. As proof, he cited the fact that
Jesus was buried on
Friday before the Sabbath, and that his mother
and his disciples
did not visit the
tomb on the following day because it
was the Sabbath, but waited until Sunday.....In 1922, at Gangama,
Kakungulu published a 90-page book of rules and prayers as a guide for
his Jewish community. The book set forth Jewish laws and practices as
Kakungulu found them in the Old Testament, although it contained many
verses and sections from the New Testament as well. Despite this
interest in Jewish practices, there does not appear to have been any
direct contact between Kakungulu and Jews before 1925....... Beginning
in about 1925, several European Jews who were employed as mechanics and
engineers by the British chanced upon the Christian-Jewish community
near Mbale. Jews such as these, during what appear to have been chance
encounters, told Kakungulu about Orthodox Judaism. As a result, many
remaining Christian customs were dropped, including baptism. From these
encounters, the community learned to keep the Sabbath, to recite Hebrew
prayers and blessings, to slaughter animals for meat in a Kosher manner,
and also to speak some Hebrew........Please continue reading the
full life-travel inspiration of Semei Kukungulu by clicking
additonal life info by clicking on the hyperlinkded credits under the
two photos of him above....
DR. ISADOR LIEBERMAN, MD.
PRIOR TO READING TODAY'S NEWS/KNOLWEDGE SHARING....
.....of human spirit and what it can
achieve in a human body
transcending race and colour conflicts of current humanity....
Dr. Isador Lieberman is a fellowship
trained orthopedic spine surgeon who has spent more than a dozen years
performing complex spine surgeries and sharing his knowledge of the
spine through research, philanthropy and teaching. He specializes in the
surgical treatment of spinal disorders. He is committed to "providing
the most appropriate and least invasive treatment for the spinal
pathology at hand." His clinical interests include: adolescent and adult
scoliosis, deformity reconstruction, spinal tumors, minimally invasive
and robotic spinal surgery, cervical and lumbar degenerative disorders,
including herniated discs and stenosis, spinal tumors, infections and
spinal trauma.....Dr. Lieberman was instrumental in the development of the SpineAssist
surgical robot. The SpineAssist technology can be used in biopsies, to
treat thoracic-lumbar fusion and vertebral compression fractures, and to
correct scoliosis; it is the latest in advanced spine and orthopedic
surgical technology. In addition to increasing precision, it reduces the
amount of radiation exposure during surgery, which can reduce infection
and pain after surgery, give fewer complications, allow a shorter
hospital stay and result in a quicker recovery for patients. SpineAssist
is a workstation that enables a surgeon to pre-plan procedures in 3D
based on the patient’s individual anatomy, creating a surgical
blueprint. A robotic arm guides the surgeon during the procedure using
the preoperative plan. During surgery, the robot’s extension arm guides
the surgeon to the pre-planned location, allowing the surgeon to operate
through small incisions in the skin and underlying muscles in order to
reach the exact location on the spine. (From
SpineUniverse.Com)........Dr Lieberman is a fellowship trained Orthopaedic and Spinal Surgeon who
was recruited to join the Cleveland Clinic in 1997 in Cleavland, Ohio,
USA. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery,
and holds specialist certification from the Royal College of Physicians
and Surgeons of Canada. He completed Medical school and residency at the
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada . He completed Spine
surgery and Trauma surgery fellowships at the Toronto Hospital in Canada
and at Queen's Medical Center in Nottingham , England . He held a full
time academic appointment at the University of Toronto and was on the
Academic staff of the Toronto Hospital up to his recruitment to the
Cleveland Clinic. He obtained his Masters degree in Business
Administration from Cleveland State University . He was appointed to the
faculty of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at the rank
of Professor of Surgery.....Along with his Cleveland Clinic related
responsibilities Dr Lieberman is chairman of the "Multidisciplinary
Patient Care Committee" and vice chairman of the "Operative Coding
Committee" for the North American Spine Society. He also serves on the
scientific advisory board for a variety of prominent medical device
manufacturers and start up spine companies.....Continue reading about
Dr. Liberman by clicking
A Torah scroll's unlikely 2011 journey to remote Uganda
KNOWLEDGE-ENHANCING WORD EDITS in italics AND WORD HYPERLINKS
By Scott Farwell - The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, USA)
Dr. Isador Lieberman,
a world-renowned spinal surgeon, is the kind of guy whose work life is
scheduled to the minute.
So, when a man appeared unannounced in his office 11 years ago with
vague questions and a hard-to-decipher accent, Lieberman's response was
"Can't you see I'm busy?" he said to his secretary. "Does he have an
appointment? Who is he? What does he want?"
She shrugged and offered thinly, "He's pretty persistent."
"OK," he relented, "bring him in."
The decision changed the trajectory of Lieberman's life.
Next month (August, 2011), Dr. Lieberman will lead a small team of Texans into the foothills of
Mount Elgon, a towering, dormant volcano
located on the border of
and Kenya in East
Africa. . He will
carry a dirt-proof, waterproof, insect-proof acrylic cylinder containing
the most sacred document in
How did a 51-year-old Jewish physician from Plano, Texas, end up
delivering an ancient Hebrew text to a remote village in Uganda?
The story begins in the early 1900s with an elephant hunter named
colonialists swarmed across
importing Christianity while exporting the continent's natural resources.
Kakungulu, a charismatic and opportunistic leader of the
learned to read the Bible in Swahili and to understand the language and
ambitions of the British, eventually helping them conquer vast swaths of
Some called him a traitor; others called him
Uganda's first king.
But as Kakungulu's power grew, he became disillusioned with the
and political agenda of the
white men. Around 1917,
jungles encircling Mount Elgon and began
meditating on the Old
He claimed a conversion to
Judaism, wrote a 90-page manual of rules and
prayers and planted a Jewish community called the
flourished even after Kakungulu died of
tetanus in 1928.
Ugandan leader Idi Amin outlawed Judaism soon after he seized power in
1971, and later proclaimed that Adolf Hitler "was right to burn 6
The Abayudaya fractured in the face of persecution, but some tribesmen
continued to worship in private, honoring the
Sabbath on Saturdays and
circumcising their sons.
Religious freedom was eventually restored in Uganda, and today about
1,500 of the Abayudaya remain in a scattering of villages on what was
once Kakungulu's estate.
They exist in relative obscurity, unknown to many Jews - including
Lieberman, until he came upon a collection of clay huts imprinted with
menorahs and Stars of David last year.
Lieberman, who runs a spinal surgery mission in Uganda, celebrated a
Friday evening religious service last year with about 200 Jews in a
small village called Putti.
"In typical fashion, it was a culture shock to us North Americans, as
privileged as we are," he said. "I saw how they lived, and their
hut, which was their
Villagers danced and sang, blending
African rhythm with
Lieberman's spirits soared, until religious leaders opened a small
wooden box, the Aron Kodesh, which in
language means "Holy Ark."
"I saw this little paper
Torah scroll, maybe 12 inches high, one of
those things you buy in some Judaica shop for kids to draw on with
crayons," he said. "I was just troubled by that."
The Torah consists of the first five books of the
Hebrew Bible and is
the foundation for the
Old Testament. It is used in religious services
for ritual readings and teaching.
Lieberman listened as community members described their struggle to live
as Orthodox Jews and their desire to undergo
to Judaism and be
recognized by rabbinical authorities in
The Abayudaya are not accepted as Jewish by all Jews. Under Orthodox
law, a person who was not born into the faith must undergo conversion.
"I don't know what came over me, but I said, 'I'm going to work on
getting you a Sefer Torah,' " Lieberman said. "I had no idea what it
would take to get one, the logistics involved, the resources needed.
"And that just triggered this incredible chain of events."
A turning point in the story, Lieberman said,
was the afternoon 11 years
ago (2000) when the man showed up unannounced in his office.
His name was Mark Kayanja. He had traveled from Uganda to learn spine
Dr. Mark Kayanja, MD, PhD;
Cleavland, Ohio, USA; Hometown: Kampala, Uganada
Lieberman was skeptical.
"Mark, do you have a license?"
"Do you have any support?"
Kayanja interrupted. He said he'd do anything, including work for free.
"I started him off in our research lab," Lieberman said. "Within six
months, I realized I was dealing with - this is no stretch -
one of the smartest human beings I've ever had the privilege of
being associated with."
Kayanja, today a spinal surgeon in
Cleveland, was the first graduate of an orthopedic program in Uganda to
Lieberman was his mentor at the Lerner Research Institute's Cleveland
Clinic, but in some ways, he learned more than he taught.
"He was always asking me about Uganda, what the conditions are like,
what is the state of spine surgery there, what could be done to improve
it," Kayanja said.
"I told him a lot of the patients have conditions that are treatable,
especially the children."
Lieberman said Kayanja began a relentless campaign in 2000.
"He pestered me for four years, 'Let's go to Uganda. We need to work in
Uganda,' " Lieberman remembered, laughing. "I was like, 'OK, Mark. May
2005, we'll go to Uganda. Now get back to work.' "
In April 2005, Kayanja appeared in Lieberman's office again with airline
tickets and a list of patients.
"At that point, I realized I did promise," Lieberman said. "We did go to
Uganda. I was hooked, and we've been going back ever since."
In six years, Lieberman, Kayanja and other physicians have operated on
more than 200 patients through the
Uganda Spine Surgery Mission, which
is operated under the auspices of a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit,
Health Volunteers Overseas.
Their work focuses on treating spinal injuries, correcting children's
congenital deformities and training local doctors.
Searching Orthodox Judaism
history in Uganada
After a few years volunteering in Uganda, Lieberman began hearing rumors
about Jews living in remote villages in the shadow of an ancient
volcano. (Also read:
Uganda Programme - a plan to give a portion of British East Africa
to the Jewish people as a homeland)
Last year, he set out to find them.
It took about six hours to drive from Uganda's capital of
Mbale, a city of about 80,000 near the country's eastern border with
From there, Lieberman's group followed red-clay motorcycle trails into
the jungle. It was nearly dark by the time they arrived in
village of about 200 subsistence farmers who live in mud huts without
electricity or running water.
Tribal leaders seemed thrilled at the prospect of having a legitimate
"When you're looking at a village that's struggling to survive, a Torah
doesn't seem like the first thing they need," said Lieberman.
"From a religious standpoint, sure, but when you look at
hierarchy of needs, there's no Torah scroll on there."
(Read the article hyperlinked but for
a quick understanding see the Marslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid
representation at the end of this article)
After he returned to his home in Dallas, Lieberman said, he received
emails nearly every day from the religious leader in Putti,
Keki Mainah. He either walked or caught a ride to the nearest Internet
cafe about seven miles away from his home.
"He was like, 'We're so thankful that you promised to bring us a Torah.
We can't wait until next year to see our new Sefer Torah,' " Lieberman
said. "And I'm thinking to myself, 'Oh, my God, what have I gotten
myself into?' "
His anxiety grew as he started making calls.
Lieberman learned that Torah scrolls can cost $25,000 or more and often
require expensive repairs. To withstand the climate in rural Uganda, the
parchment document would need a special protective case.
In December, he scheduled a meeting at a Starbucks in Plano with Rabbi
Nasanya Zakon, director of the Dallas Area Torah Association, and Rabbi
Avraham Bloomenstiel, an expert in the rare art of writing and repairing
"That place was empty," Lieberman said. "And we're sitting there,
drinking tea with Christmas music in the background, planning how to get
a Torah scroll into Uganda. And I'm thinking, 'This is not real. You
couldn't write a sitcom like this.' "
Months later, Bloomenstiel - who was admitted to Harvard University at
16 and later received a master's degree in music from the Peabody
Institute at Johns Hopkins University - found five stolen Torahs in a
police evidence locker in Brooklyn. They had gone unclaimed for more
than a decade and were available for purchase.
With the help of donors, Lieberman bought one of the ancient texts for
$12,000 - a scroll created in Poland about the time
his father was a
prisoner at Nazi death camps in
Poland. He survived and ultimately immigrated to Canada.
"I must admit that I was a less-than-enthusiastic religious Jew until my
father passed away in 2001," Lieberman said. "Some things have happened
the last few years that are just not explainable to me.
I feel like
there's something guiding all of us."
Bloomenstiel said it's hard not to see divine intervention in the story
of the Torah scroll and how it has intersected with lives on three
"Here we have a story that starts with a leader of the Baganda tribe who
is living in the jungle and develops a connection with Judaism," he
"Then Izzy contacts me to get a Torah scroll that was written pre-World
War II, somehow survived being stolen, ends up in an evidence locker in
Brooklyn and now has found its way to a synagogue in the mountains of
The journey may also challenge some people's religious reference points.
"Judaism is always thought of as an ethnicity, but it's not - it's a
community of the soul," Bloomenstiel said.
"This story has the potential to remind the greater community that you
have to step outside of this very narrow European view of what it means
to be Jewish."
|An interpretation of Maslow's
hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid
with the more basic needs at the bottom.
ONLY ON HUMANITY WITH INFINITE DIVERSITY.....
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