Lucas Payne CEO of Force Medical Supply Donates Free Masks.

Lucas Payne is the co-founder and President of Force Energy Group, LLC. His company Force Medical Supply is a division of Force Energy Group. Lucas has launched a campaign committed to donating 100,000 free masks. We sat down to discuss his business and the impact of the pandemic on society and business.

What is your motto, and how did it begin?

Lucas Payne: Our motto is “Responding to the call for Essential Equipment” (back in February 2020). But normally it’s “Factory Direct to End Customer” through my company Force Energy Group. Early on in my twenties, I learned how to buy direct. I wanted to start a company that utilized these skills, and I found a need that was not filled. We have worked with essential businesses and provided services like changing LEDs to solar panels. We were doing what we could do to mitigate costs and resources for our regular business and try to help as many people as possible. I was altruistic at first, but I realized the impact of inflating the costs of goods my original plan was not feasible.  However, we were still committed to donating as much PPE as possible. This is where the campaign for 100, 000 masks came about.

I have been importing to places like China and other countries for over twenty years. Most people have to pay the middleman. If you can eliminate these costs, it will save your business in the end by buying direct.  This is how we keep our business alive.  Often, I was going to African-American business owners out of necessity and going through other middle people, and it would jack the price up. I got creative in my early twenties about learning how to buy direct. The main thing is keeping pricing down. How we got here is reactionary. We should not be relying mostly on foreign countries for critical care. We should try to bring some of the infrastructures back. After what we learned this year, we should be striving to make more masks and gloves here in the US and make it more readily available to the community.

Force Medical Supply was reactionary to the cause. PPE is here to stay because it is a necessity. We are committed to the highest quality of products for the lowest price possible. With manufacturing, we should not be relying on foreign countries for critical care. We should be making more masks and gloves, striving for more, and being pro-active. We are working on anti-microbial masks from the people that took Krocs from “Zero to Hero.”  We partnered with Krocs and Safe-Face. The products are 95% washable and reusable masks. Next phase of production- What does personal protection look like? We will be more conscious of social distancing. I want to be able to be safe and push the limit on how we interact. I am pushing the envelope in ways like developing different types of shields and glasses.

Lucas Payne Force Medical Chicago DefenderWhat is Force Energy Group?

Lucas Payne: A Commercial Force Energy Service provides H factor, changing lighting to solar panels and parking lots for over ten years. We have been importing goods too, working with St. Sabina Church, and lighting at Woodfield Mall.

My team and I buy FDA approved products. We have made 25 million in six months. The increase in revenue came so quickly, and we have donated thousands of masks (toward our 100,000 PPE goal). So far, we have worked with the State of Maryland, the State of Massachusetts, the State of Illinois & the University of Illinois, the majority of schools in Ohio, Archdiocese Loyola, and New York State.

How are minorities affected by the pandemic and essential workers, and what has been your observation with this?

Lucas Payne: African Americans are disproportionately affected by this. There is a campaign for 100,000 masks to commit to. Our goal is to keep pricing down to a minimum. As far as distribution, we started with the test with first responders and firefighters. We ended up helping much more, for example, groups of nurses and home health care. In addition, countries like Nigeria and Malawi reached out to us for help. But our goal is to hit the neighborhoods of Chicago. We helped Chi Give Back with 30 teachers, gloves, masks, and sanitizers. We want to focus on community-based organizations. People that care for seniors in our neighborhoods need help too.

The black community has a history of distrust with the healthcare industry that goes back before the Tuskegee experiment. There is also misinformation about how serious this is. It is not about Democratic or Republican. This country has mixed messages. Trump knew about the virus, failed to communicate the situation’s seriousness, and was slow to take action. Poor urban folks in black communities are infected, just like poor rural Appalachian people. We are not done with this yet.

What is your advice?

Lucas Payne: How do you know when you have it? Is it the sniffles or the flu? If in doubt, get tested. To prevent the spread of germs and viruses, we can social distance ourselves, hand-sanitize, and wash our hands. Neglect and not eating well can put our bodies at risk for disease, and then we do not know the long-term effects of what the virus can do. I hope folks are taking this seriously. I think we are all in for a bumpy ride (especially this winter coming up). There is no vaccine. They stopped doing the trials. We are going to need to be diligent about how we approach a seeable future.

I have learned to pivot and respond. This is the difference between failing and being successful. I feel sorry for the restaurant and bar industry right now. We, as people and as a country, have to be ready for anything. Our past 20 years have been important, drawing from our credit and building those strong relationships with companies.

I did not know anything about medical supplies, but I learned early on in the year how to pivot. I drew on those relationships that I had built and kept my word. I drew from my network and past performances. People need to know they can trust you and put faith in your company.

What I learned in 6 months is about different styles of gloves. I learned how to be outside of my comfort zone during an economic downturn. What has hurt businesses is people not doing their homework, border patrol, and being a stronger businessman. Focus on doing good for people, and positive energy will come back to you. We have been able to support our business and move forward.

One obstacle I faced and overcame-

Lucas Payne: I did not expect the US to be so aggressive with tariffs in place. We had to pivot with bringing things from China. We strengthened our relationship with Mexico by not relying on bad policies put in place with China. We saw freight costs, expedited shipments coming across the ocean instead of air. We put the packages on boats, which cut down on the price of goods. I found the US was playing politics by not accepting emergency equipment. US contractors wanted to protect the vendors. We needed to pivot so that we could bring supplies from other countries.

Tell us about a story of gratitude-

Lucas Payne: One of my mentors instilled in me early on about commitment and loyalty. In 2008, he had a factory in an economic downturn, and he did not layoff anyone. I took the same approach with this crisis with my employees. I had responsibilities and challenges; there was a new way to approach the problem. In addition, I saw a video from an orphanage in Malawi. This showed me people could work, be safe, and use the supplies to protect themselves. We had acknowledgment from Father Pfleger, home health care nurses, teachers, and firefighters. It feels good to give back and to help people feel safe. We are dedicated to giving out 100,000 masks throughout the campaign and beyond, and we are here to serve the people.

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The Connected Between the Taliban and Israel

The Connected Between the Taliban and Israel
The Connected Between the Taliban and Israel. Image source: Pixabay

Israel is Not Only the Tribe of Judah

Although most people tend to think that the Jews are the nation of Israel, the truth is that the Jews (ie. from the tribe of Judah) are only one of twelve Israeli tribes. The other eleven tribes are: Revbn (commonly referred to as Reuben), Shmavn (ie. Shimon), Lvi (Levi), Zbvlvn (Zebulun), Yshshchr (Yisschar), Dn (Dan), Gd (Gad), Eshr (Asher), Nptli (Naphtali), Yvsp (Yosef), and Bnymyn (Binyamin).

If we count the members of these “lost” tribes, then the total number of Israeli’s worldwide is at least 200 million people.

The Pashtuns in Afghanistan – The Taliban Is Israeli

Here I am going to start bringing evidence to the fact that the Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan are from the lost tribes of Israel, who fell into exile when Asyria conquered the Kingdom of Israel a few thousand years ago. These Pashtuns are also the ones currently waging a war against American troops who invaded Afghanistan almost twenty years ago. They number around 50 million people.

Even though they are Muslim, many of them have a tradition that they are from the tribes of Israel, although I do not know how many of them will be willing to talk about this tradition publicly as long as the State of Israel continues to treat the United States as its best friend.

In this section of the book I quote extensively from Eliyahu Avichail’s book, “The Tribes of Israel — the Lost and The Dispersed”, because of his extensive field work in gathering evidence about the identities of Israel’s lost tribes.

Before delving into Avichail’s proofs, I would like to first mention a short movie that also speaks about the Pashtuns’ Israeli identity, and even contains interviews with Taliban organizers and village elders who acknowledge their Israeli identity:

“Quest for the Lost Tribes – Part 1”, directed by Simcha Jacobovici.

In minute 6:40 of the movie, Dr. Sayid Wahab, a local Pashtun judge, talks about how some of the Pashtuns in rural villages have a tradition of granting shelter to someone accused of murder, which is similar to the Torah commandment to provide cities of shelter to those accused of murder, until it can be determined if it was an accidental death or intentional homicide (Numbers 35, 11).

In minute 10:55, Abdullah Musakhel (ie. congregation of Musa/Moses) talks about how his grandfather would tell him that he is Israeli. The interview with Musakhel is especially interesting because he called himself a “Taliban organizer”. The Taliban is normally regarded as a fanatical Muslim group, yet, Abdullah Musakhel, an organizer within that group, still found it necessary to speak on camera with an Israeli director (Simcha Jacobovici) about their shared Israeli heritage. With that said, the interview was conducted a few decades ago, before America invaded Afghanistan. I am not so sure if Musakhel or his children would be willing to talk about their Israeli heritage now, considering that the “State” of Israel still remains one of America’s best friends in the Middle East.

In minute 11:40, Muhumad Ashrat, a village elder, says that his grandparents told him that the Jews are Pashtuns, just like the Pashtuns are Pashtuns (because both groups are part of the nation of Israel).

In addition to this movie and Avichail’s book, there is also a Facebook group for Pashtuns and Jews who want to talk about their shared Israeli identity:

“The People of Israel’s Jirga – Pashtuns and Jews”

A Partial List of Proofs That the Pashtuns are Israeli

  1. Some of them have a tradition that they are from “Bnai Yisrayel”.
  2. Some of their tribes carry the same names as Israel’s tribes: The Yusefzai tribe – “sons of Yusef/Joseph” in Pashto; Afridi tribe, similar to the Israeli tribe of Ephraim, who was one of Joseph’s sons; Reuveni tribe, named after the Israeli tribe of Reuben; Shinari tribe, named after the tribe of Shimon; Levani tribe, named after the tribe of Levi; Dephtani tribe, like the Israeli tribe of Naphtali; Gadi tribe, after the tribe of Gad; Ashuri tribe, after the tribe of Asher; and more.
  3. Pashtun men have Israeli names not found among other Muslims, such as Shmuel and Yisrael.
  4. Most of them have an external appearance that is very similar to that of Mizrahi Jews, while some also have lighter skin, like Ashkenazi Jews. The Pashtuns are the only large community in Afghanistan who look so similar to the Jews, while other Afghan ethnicities tend to look more like Asians.
  5. Parts of Afghanistan are called after places in Israel. For example, the Dashet Yehud Desert located on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan is named after the Judean Desert – “Mdbar Yehuda“.
  6. The Afghan royal family has a family tree dating back to the first King of Israel, Shaul, son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin. They claim that Afghanistan is called after Afghana, who they say was a grandson of King Shaul and the forefather of the Afghan monarchy. Aabd e Rashid is one of the most famous members of this royal family because he was one of the first Afghans to accept Islam, and, to his disgrace, he and his followers also forced many other Pashtuns to convert to Islam; there is evidence that some of the more rural tribes tried to fight and stay loyal to their Israeli traditions up until a few hundred years ago, but eventually fell under the control of the Muslim converts.
  7. Even after converting to Israel, rural Pashtuns have still managed to keep a few of the Torah’s laws because these laws are considered part of the Pashtun tribal code, also known as Pashtunwali. In rural Pashtun areas, Pashtunwali law is viewed as more important than Islamic law, which is why many of them faithfully keep Pashtunwali, even when it contradicts Islamic laws.

Pashtunwali Contains Vestiges of Torah Law

Eliyahu Avichail contains many interviews from Jews who used to be part of Afghanistan’s small Jewish community and saw the similarities between Pashtun traditions and Torah law firsthand. Here is a list of some of these Pashtun traditions, along with a reference to how those traditions are based in Torah law:

  1. Covering of the Blood: The Torah commands to cover the blood spilled after slaughtering an animal (Leviticus 17, 13). The Pashtuns also do this.
  2. Circumcision on the Eight Day: Afghans are some of the only Muslims who circumcise their sons on the eight day, just as the Torah commands. Among other Muslims there is no requirement to carry out the circumcision on the eight day, which is why many of them conduct the circumcision when the boy is older.
  3. Four Cornered Garment: Some of the tribes wear a traditional four cornered garment with strings attached to it, which is similar to the Torah commandment of tztzit (Number 15, 37).
  4. Female Purity: Pashtun women are not supposed to touch others during their menstrual period, and when their period is over, they are supposed to wash themselves. This is similar to the Torah commandments for a woman during her state of Nida/menstrual impurity (Leviticus 15, 19).
  5. Keeping Kosher: Unlike other Muslims, traditional Pashtuns won’t eat certain types of food that are considered unkosher according to the Torah, such as oysters, shellfish, camel meat, and horse meat. They also have a tradition of kosher birds that they are allowed to eat (Leviticus 11, 1). Many of them also do not eat meat and milk together, just as the Torah commands (Exodus 23, 19).
  6. Keeping the Seventh Day as Shabbat: The seventh day of the week is a day of rest for the traditional Pashtuns, called “the day of Phatah”, which is similar to the Torah commandment to treat the seventh day of the week as a holy day of rest – Shabbat. In contrast, Islam claims that the sixth day is supposed to be a holy day, which is why most Muslims don’t treat Saturday as different than any other day of the week.
  7. Passover: Some rural Pashtuns have a tradition of brushing their door posts with blood during times of plague, just as Israel was commanded to do during the plague that killed every Egyptian firstborn son. Although there is no Torah commandment to continue doing so after Israel left Egypt, this Pashtun tradition is, nonetheless, another piece of evidence that the Pashtuns are the decedents of those same Israeli’s who had to do so before leaving Egyptian slavery.

The War in Afghanistan is a War Against Amalek

America’s invasion of Afghanistan is one example of the was that has been raging between Amalek (the ancient Germanic tribes which conquered Europe 1,500 years ago) and Israel over the last thousand years.

This is true even though America did not invade Afghanistan with the stated intention of hurting Israel, but because they wanted to avenge the toppling of the Twin Towers by killing Osama Bin Laden. Now that they’ve killed Bin Laden, they are staying there because American military bases allow them to sow terror among regional leaders in Southwest Asia, so that these leaders will allow American companies unfair access to their labor force and natural resources.

Similarly, the Pashtun Israeli tribes there are not fighting Amalek because they heard that doing so is part of a Torah commandment to wipe Amalek out of existence. They just want to expel the foreigners who invaded their land almost twenty years ago because one man, Osama Bin Laden, chose to hide among them. It doesn’t help America’s case that Osama Bin Laden was assassinated in 2011, and yet, American troops still remain there at the time that I am translating this book, in the year 2020 of the Christian/secular calendar.

This has remained the case even though the Afghan Taliban has never carried out any acts of global jihad because it is a local Islamic movement, whose focus has always been on imposing Islamic law within Afghanistan – not on the whole world. That’s also the reason why the Taliban has publicly stated that it is willing to stop providing shelter to members of Al-Qaeda once America pulls its troops out of Afghanistan.

If that is the case, then why is it still correct to label the war between America and the Pashtuns as a war between Amalek and Israel?

The bottom line is that America is an Amaleki/Germanic country, while the Pashtuns are an Israeli people, which is why a war has managed to break out between them, even though they are located on opposite sides of the world. The war broke out because both of them are not only on opposite sides of the world, but on opposite sides of the moral spectrum: the Pashtuns are mostly poor and rural people who live a humble lifestyle, while the Americans are a mostly rich and urban group who live a lifestyle of promiscuity and moral abandonment, which they fund by exploiting African-Americans and Hispanics at home, and internationally exploiting almost every other non-Western nation abroad. The moral clash is what has always led to a military clash between Israel and Amalek, even when the Israelis don’t identify as Israelis and the Amalekis don’t identify as Amalek.

A historical review of the Israel-Amalek war also shows that the war between America and the Pashtuns is only one of many wars that have taken place over the last century between Israel’s lost tribes and the West, and this is a subject that I will expand upon later in the chapter, when talking about America’s wars in Asia.

Important Side Note: I do not identify with the theology of the Taliban or with some of their tactics, but I do identify with the Israeli Pashtuns, who are currently suffering from a foreign invasion and daily aerial bombardments by American planes. That has been just part of their suffering for the last 18 years.

The Kashmiris in Northern India

Similar to the Pashtuns, there are also numerous Israeli tribes in Kashmir, with names such as: Asheriya (tribe of Asher), Gada (tribe of Gad), Denad (tribe of Dan), Levi (just like the Israeli tribe of Levi), Kehan (named after the Cohen family, who are the sons of Moses’s brother, Aharon, as well as being spiritual leaders within Israel).

Similar to Afghanistan, certain areas of Kashmir have also been named after places in Israel. One such area is Goshen, located in the Ananteng region, which is perhaps named after the Goshen area of Egypt, where Israel settled during its time of enslavement there. The Israeli tribes in Kashmir most probably called it Goshen in order to remind themselves that just as they were saved from the exile in Egypt, they will also one day return to Israel from the exile in Kashmir.

Another few examples: Cohen, in the Ogtipor region, and Levi Pora, in the Handoera region.

The Pashtuns and Kashmiris share a historical connection, which is why some Kashmiris used to speak Pashto (the language of the Pashtuns), and also why some Pashtuns tribes helped the Kashmiris during a civil war there. Just as the Pashtuns continue to fight for independence from both America and Pakistan, the Kashmiris are also engaged in a struggle for independence, but in their case the foreign occupier is India.

Israeli Tribes in Africa

The Igbo in Nigeria

They are the third largest ethnic group in Nigeria, at around 30 million people. Many of them are avid supporters of Zionism, and some of them have already started treating the Torah’s commandments as something that must be kept, instead of only being talked about. The Israelis of Igbo are currently known to include members from the tribes of Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

Approximately 15% of all Africans abducted to European and American slavery were Igbo, which makes them one of the ethnic groups to suffer the most from the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

The slavery didn’t stop in Egypt, but continued at the hands of Western Amaleki countries, who kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved Israelis from Africa. One of the most troubling aspects of this story is that Amaleki slave holders so thoroughly oppressed the Igbo Israelis that many of them were not able to pass down the tradition of their Israeli heritage to their descendants, which is why most African-Americans have no idea whether they are Igbo Israelis or not. Some of them have even joined the American army in order to find a way out of poverty, without knowing that by serving in Afghanistan, they are helping Amalek kill and oppress their fellow Israeli brothers. We can add this to the long list of horrible byproducts of slavery, in addition to the job discrimination, police harassment, discriminatory court proceedings, and media character assassination carried out against African-Americans on a daily basis.

The way to recover from American servitude is not that much different than the path of recovery from Egyptian servitude: it requires learning and keeping the Torah, and leaving the land in which you were enslaved, so that you will not be there when they invent a new excuse for subjugating their minorities.

Although there have been quite a few academic studies proving the Igbo’s Israeli identity, the state of Israel currently refuses to formally recognize their Israeli identity because the state’s leaders fear that a formal recognition of the Igbo’s Israeliness would cause millions of Igbo’s from Nigeria to move to Israel, in which case Israel would stop being a Western state and start being a more Israeli/Yashar-Eli state. Doing so could also lead to an end to the state of Israel’s unholy alliance with the West, which is why the state’s secular leaders prefer to betray their brothers.

The irony of this situation is that the grandparents of many Israeli Jews suffered from the same time of discrimination when British warships stopped them from coming to Israel. Yet they still choose to do the same thing to their brothers with the darker skin.

I have listed a few sources about the Igbo’s Israeli identity in the article, “Better to Be a Nigger from Nigeria – A Letter”.

The Lemba in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and South Africa

They are a congregation of around seventy thousand people, who have kept certain commandments from the Torah, such as: kosher food, male circumcision, socially ostracizing those who choose to marry outside of the congregation (in order to prevent the congregation from assimilating into other cultures), sanctifying one day of the week for resting, and more.

They also have a tradition which says that they arrived to Africa by way of Yemen, after leaving Israel.

Most of them are currently Muslims or Christians, but genetic testing has shown that many of them carry the specific Y-chromosome associated with the Cohen family, who are supposed to be the spiritual leaders of Israel. This is in addition to other genetic findings.

The Rusape in Zimbabwe

There are certain resemblances between them and the Lebma, but with fewer proofs about their Israeli identity.

I will not outline these proofs here because I am trying to cover many different topics in this book, which is why I cannot expand on the full body of evidence for each lost tribe or even talk about all of the lost tribes. With that said, there is a great need for more research on this topic, and whoever decides to do so is doing a good thing.


Today, most of them are Christians, but they have a tradition which says that they are from the sons of Israel. One of their princes, Ndriana Rabarioelina, has publicly talked about his family’s Israeli identity.

Three years ago, 120 of them formally converted to Orthodox Judaism, and there are many others who would like to do so. This is in addition to a small congregation within Madagascar who engage in animal sacrifices in a way that is similar to what is written in the Torah.

There are about 25 million people in Madagascar, but I have not seen any information specifying how many of them are from the Israeli tribes.


Eliyahu Avichail’s book claims that there a few hundred thousand Israelis there who have kept some of the Torah’s commandments, such as eating kosher food. His book claims that most of them converted to Christianity, but not all of them did so by choice.

The Huassa tribe traces its lineage to the Israeli tribe of Yissachar. The Bankon and Ba-Sa tribes also trace their heritage back to Israel, and the Ba-Sa’s tribe’s name even means “in transit” in Hebrew, which could be a reference to the fact that they wanted to view their stay in Africa as a temporary transit point, until returning to Israel.


Eliyahu Avichail’s book does not talk about the Somalis, but Isaiah’s prophecy hints that those living on the Somali coast are form the tribe of Zebulun. Many of them are also fishermen, just like the tribe of Zebulun during the First Temple period.

Side Note on Somali pirates: Somali piracy began when foreign ships began taking advantage of the Somali navy’s weakness to dump industrial waste on the Somali coast. In order to stop the ships from killing off their livelihood, armed fishermen began threatening the ships. Eventually, the completely understandable desire to guard their livelihood and the environment deteriorated into the very undesirable actions of Somali piracy.

Israeli Tribes in the Far East

Japan – Tribe of Reuben

The Japanese have a history of war with China, which seems to have started since the early days of Japan, when the Japanese traveled eastwards from Israel to Japan. According to my understanding, they are from the tribe of Reuben.

Here is a list of proofs for their Israeli identity from Eliyahu Avichail’s book:

  1. There is a Japanese organization for those who want to return to their Israeli identity, called “the Association of the Ten Tribes”. Many of them try to keep the Torah according to the mistaken interpretations of the Rabbis, but with the added addition of also ascribing importance to Jesus, even though he is a Christian idol. The movement back to the Torah is a very important step that deserves a lot of praise, but ascribing religious importance to Jesus is a big mistake, and keeping the Torah according to the mistaken interpretations of the Rabbis can only provide partial help because they are only partially keeping the Torah themselves.
  2. There is a famous Japanese professor who has made it his specialty to trace many of the words in ancient Japanese songs back to their original Hebrew roots.
  3. They used to have certain traditions for guarding against menstrual impurity and other types of impurity, similar to what is outlined in the Torah.
  4. The family members of a murder victim used to be the ones who were supposed to carry out the death penalty against the murderer, which is something that the Torah also commands to do.

Unfortunately, the biggest and most important piece of evidence to the Japanese’s Israeli identity remains hidden in the High Shinto Temple.

There are certain similarities between the Shinto Temple and the Israeli Temple, such as the division of the temple into three areas of holiness: one in which any man can enter, one in which only the Cohanim/priests can enter, and one in which only the High Priest can enter (“Cohen Hagadol” in the Israeli Temple).

The holiest layer of the Israeli Temple contained the Ark of Testimony, which had carrying poles on the outside and held the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments on the inside – the fact that the Ten Commandments were engraved in stone was supposed to serve as testimony to the true version of the Ten Commandments, if any later generation were to ever forget this. The Shinto Temple also contains a similar ark with carrying poles on the outside and a holy document kept inside, which is why they call their ark the “Ark of the Book”.

The similarity between the two arks is because Japan’s Israeli forefathers wanted the document and holy objects contained in the “Ark of the Book” to provide testimony about Japan’s Israeli identity to any later generations who might forget where they came from. These forefathers tried to copy the method used in the Israeli ark, but the problem is that most Japanese have, in fact, forgotten their Israeli identity, while the Shinto priests seem to have forgotten that the whole point of the “Ark of the Book” is that they show it to any Japanese generation who forgets their Israeli identity.

Eliyahu Avichail claims that the Japanese he visited with told him that one of these artifacts is a sword with the Hebrews words “I will be that which I will be” engraved upon it, which is exactly what Yhvh told Moses when commanding him to go to Pharaoh and lead Israel out of Egypt – אהיה אשר אהיה. The Shinto priests bring this sword with them to certain rituals of the Japanese royal family, but keep it wrapped, so that the public won’t see.

The time for publicly showing these artifacts is long past due.

Korea – Tribe of Gad

Eliyahu Avichail’s book does not talk about the Koreans, but a few years ago I read that there may be a connection between them and Israel because of the origins of the Korean tribe of Buyeo. Isaiah’s prophecy also contains hints about their Israeli heritage, and there the Korean Peninsula is referred to by the Hebrew name Erym/ארים – אר ים, which is in contrast to the name given to the Americas – איים – אי ים.

Currently, there are many South Koreans who learn the Babylonian Talmud currently used by the Jews out of a desire to become smart and successful, just like the Jews. The decision to express their desire for success by trying to learn a Jewish interpretation to the Torah is an expression of a larger desire to rediscover their Israeli identity, which is something positive, but it’s better to simply open the Written Torah and learn it yourself, instead of doing so through the lens of mistaken Rabbinic interpretations. Why learn a translation of the Rabbinic interpretation to the Written Torah (ie. the Babylonian Talmud, translated to Korean), when you can at least learn a translation of the Written Torah itself, without the addition of the Rabbinic commentary?

[The best would be to learn the written Torah in its original language, Hebrew, but that is something which can only be attained as part of a gradual process of learning.]

In my opinion, the Korean’s decision to attain success by learning from another Israeli tribe is at least partial proof of their Israeli identity because many nations want to be successful, but most of them do not express that desire by connecting with Israel. The fact that the Koreans chose to express that desire by connecting with another Israeli tribe at least shows that they have Israeli tendencies.

I currently haven’t found any evidence to prove that they are specifically from the tribe of Gad, except for the fact that Gad and Reuben were both located on the eastern border of Israel during the First Temple Period, which is similar to the way in which the Koreans and Japanese have settled in the Far East.

Both countries have also suffered from wars with the United States – Amalek. Japan was conquered by the U.S.A. in World War Two, while South Korea was conquered in the 1950’s, during the Korean-American war. The defeat suffered by both countries was so great that both have surrendered to the fact that American troops and military bases will continue to remain on their soil with no end in sight. Unlike Japan, the United States had no clear justification for their invasion of Korea, other than the fake slogan that there was a need “to fight communism”. Amaleki countries almost always come up with some sort of moral excuse to explain their conquests, even though the true reason has always been to sow fear among world leaders and then extort them.

All of this is in addition to the economic sanctions placed upon North Korea since it succeeded in repelling the American invasion. The sanctions have not really helped topple North Korea’s evil dictatorship, which is why the ruling family there still continue to live in decadent luxury. But it has caused millions of North Koreans to suffer from malnutrition and starvation.

Instead of cooperating with those sanctions, we need to start imposing our own set of sanctions on America and Europe. At the very least, we need to stop helping Amalek starve the North Koreans.

Proof of the Connection Between Korea and Japan

There is some proof of a connection between the Japanese ruling family and the Koreans, especially with the Baekje Kingdom in Korea, which is called Kudara in Japan. For example, in the Battle of Baekgang, the Japanese sent tens of thousands of soldiers to help their allies in an internal Korean war, but lost, and had to evacuate thousands of Korean refugees to Japan in order to save them.

Japan’s previous Emperor, called Emperor Ahito, publicly talked about this connection when quoting a document called the Shoku Nihongi. The Samguk Sagi also talks about a historical connection between the two, although it does so through the use of mythical stories.

The Shilong in Burma and India, and the Kerans in Burma

The Kerans fled China in the distant past and are now fighting for independence from Burma. I have not seen much evidence of their Israeli identity other than the fact that the Shilong say that they are related to the Kerans, and there is plenty of evidence to the Israeli identity of the Shilong.

Some of the Shilong currently live in Israel, after converting to Orthodox Judaism. They identify themselves as members of the Joseph subtribes, Ephraim and Menasheh.

Many of those who have stayed in Asia still keep practices that are similar to what is outlined in the Torah, such as:

  1. They abide by a lunar calendar.
  2. Eating blood is prohibited.
  3. They keep the laws pertaining to menstrual impurity and leprosy, to a certain extent.
  4. They give a tenth of their income to their spiritual leaders, which is similar to the Torah commandment to give a tenth of one’s income to the tribe of Levi, who then must separate ten percent of that and give it to the Cohen family.

The Chiang Min in North-West China

They also keep some traditions that are similar to those written the Torah, such as bringing part of their fields produce to the spiritual leaders. They also tend to throw blood on their door posts in order to guard the home, which is similar to what Israel was commanded to do when leaving Egypt.

Israelis Who Completely Assimilated

The Anusim in Portugal

Many Jews were forced to convert to Christianity or die during the Spanish Inquisition, and they are called Anusim in Hebrew. Common estimates maintain that around one third of the Portuguese are descendants from these Jews. This is in addition to the Jews who fled to South America out of the hope that the Spanish would not persecute them there; that hope was, unfortunately, short-lived for many of them.


Eliyahu Avichail’s book claims that many Israelis living in the area of Kurdistan assimilated into Kurdish society and now consider themselves to be Kurdish Muslims. I have yet to see proof of this, but Avichail was the one who actually traveled around the world and saw many of the proofs written in his book with his own eyes, which is why I don’t doubt his claim.

While he mostly wrote about Jews who assimilated to Kurdish society after the destruction of the First Temple, some Jews were forced to do so in the not-so-distant past because of the anti-Semitic riots that rocked the Arab world upon the creation of the state of Israel.

I have read in the news how some of the Jews would currently like to return to their Jewish roots and move to Israel, but the state is unwilling to recognize them as Jews because they only have a Jewish father, instead of a Jewish mother. This is an example of the very significant negative effects that mistaken Rabbinic law can have on the lives of others because the decision to only recognize the sons of Jewish mothers, instead of Jewish fathers, completely contradicts the Written Torah. In the Written Torah, the son of an Israeli father and non-Israeli mother is Israeli, but the son of an Israeli mother and non-Israeli father is considered to be a part of his father’s nation, and not his mother’s. He can accept the Torah’s commandments and be a part of the congregation, but he is not an Israeli; he is a righteous member of another nation, who will receive reward for choosing to keep the Torah.

Just as tribal identity is passed down from the father, Israeli identity is also passed down from the father, because tribal identity and Israeli identity are inseparable.

There are people in Kurdistan whose lives may one day be at stake because of the Rabbinic refusal to return to the original document of the Torah. Now is the time to fix the mistakes of our forefathers, whether they were Muslims in Afghanistan, Christians in Africa, or Rabbis.

Website Describing Many of the Lost Tribes

For a description of the many Israeli tribes in Africa, Pashtun Afghanistan, Japan, Korea, and more, this website may come in handy:

It’s available in a few languages.

Disclaimer: The views of authors published on South Africa Today are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of South Africa Today. By viewing, visiting, using, or interacting with, you are agreeing to all the provisions of the Terms of Use Policy and the Privacy Policy.



Rong360 Jianpu Technology(NYSE:JT):More than 60% of Respondents Plan to Travel during National Day Holiday

Rong360 Jianpu Technology(NYSE:JT):More than 60% of Respondents Plan to Travel during National Day Holiday – African American News Today – EIN Presswire

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Anjimile Just Can’t Wait To Be King

Anjimile’s debut album, Giver Taker, is out Sept. 18. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Anjimile’s debut album, Giver Taker, is out Sept. 18.

Courtesy of the artist

“My partner tells me that apparently I only sing when I’m happy,” says Anjimile Chithambo, who performs and records music mononymously as Anjimile. It’s a slightly surprising admission. For one thing, the singer-songwriter’s new album, Giver Taker, is full of piercing self-knowledge; it seems like they don’t need anyone to explain their musical process to them. For another, the album is the product of some extremely trying situations: Anjimile wrote many of the songs while in treatment for alcoholism and while coming to terms with their identity as a trans and nonbinary person. Still, it’s a warm, beautiful album, full of moments of wonder and joy at having emerged on the other side of hardship.

Giver Taker, out Sept. 18, is being billed as their debut album, though Anjimile’s previous self-produced releases have steadily earned them attention in Boston, where they’re based. Their Tiny Desk Contest entry from 2018 earned them the title of WBUR’s favorite Massachusetts entry, and GBH named them a Slingshot Artist to Watch in 2019. Thanks in part to a grant from Live Arts Boston, Anjimile hired producers for the first time to record Giver Taker: their bandmate, Justine Bowe, and multi-instrumentalist Gabe Goodman. Anjimile says the trio brought a range of influences — from Bob Dylan to Kate Bush, from Radiohead to India.Arie — into the studio, which refract across the album’s nine tracks of introspective indie-folk. On songs like “1978” and “Not Another Word,” Anjimile’s fingerpicked guitar and choir-trained voice are reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens, filtered through the ’80s divas they grew up on; on “Ndimakukonda,” they sing in Chichewa, the language spoken in Malawi where their family is from.

Ahead of Giver Taker‘s release, Anjimile spoke to NPR Music about the process of healing that led to these songs, their deep love for The Lion King and their feelings about releasing their debut album in a time of great social upheaval.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Marissa Lorusso, NPR Music: There’s a real range of sounds across Giver Taker. What did you listen to growing up?

Anjimile: Growing up, I listened to what my parents listened to — and the older I get, the more I’ve been able to recognize how awesome their taste in music is. So there was always a lot of Bob Marley, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston. And there are also super into Celine Dion and Dolly Parton.

A lot of iconic singers.

Yeah. I was introduced at a very young age to some very epic and iconic singing.

You grew up singing in choirs, right?

Yes. I have two older sisters and they both grew up singing in the school choir. I would go with my family to see the performances, and I just thought it was the coolest thing ever to see middle school choir concerts; I was enamored. [Laughs.] So as soon as I was old enough — fifth grade — I joined the Plano Children’s Chorale and and it was on.

Did singing in choirs have an impact on the way that you write and sing your own music?

Definitely. I had a very imperious choir teacher in high school — he was all about long vowels and super-obsessed with tonality. We would do warm-ups, and we would be singing our pieces, and if you were sharp or flat, he would look you dead in the eye while conducting the chorus — it was very frightening and also super helpful. I didn’t I didn’t realize how much I learned from him until I started recording this album; I practiced the warm-ups I learned in school and I am very acutely aware of tonality.

I ask, too, because faith is something that comes up across your music — and you’ve said your song “Maker” is about the relationship between your gender identity and your spirituality. What do you mean by that?

As I’ve come to recognize that I am trans and non-binary, this realization has coincided with a deepening of my spiritual life. I have a deep-seated belief that if I do the next right thing, I’m going to be alright — and part of doing the next right thing, for me, was recognizing that I was trans and that I needed to come out to myself and to my loved ones and to my parents.

When I was growing up in Texas and I came out to my parents, it was not a positive reception. They were devastated; my sexuality — at the time I identified as a lesbian — felt like it was in direct conflict with their conservative Christian beliefs. That’s something that I held on to for a long time. When I wrote “Maker,” it was the beginning of the realization that just as I could build my own sense of spirituality and build my own faith and relate to a God of my understanding, I could do the same thing with my gender and my sexuality. And that’s what I did.

I know you were also dealing with some other mental health challenges when you were writing the album; you’ve said many of the songs were written when you were “literally in the process of improving [your] mental health.” What did that process look like for you?

For me, that was rehab. I’m a recovering alcoholic and my addiction reached a peak, or, I guess, a low point, at the end of 2015, and I went to rehab and at the beginning of 2016. I brought my guitar and I brought a plastic bag with some clothes and I went to Florida and I ended up staying there for a year; I think I brought my guitar because I reckoned I might be there for a while.

I was a mess, and I wrote a lot of this album in the process of becoming not a mess — or, I guess, in the process of healing. Up until that point, I kind of had just resigned myself to the fact that I was going to die an alcoholic — and so my subsequent sobriety and recovery feels like a huge plot twist to me, four and a half years later. And the more days I had sober, which turned into months, which turned into years, the more mental clarity I developed and the more emotional clarity I developed. And with that, my creative spark came back and I started writing and signing again.

This record was the first time that you worked with producers — all your previous recordings were made by you, and this feels like a real step forward in your production and songwriting. What was that like?

My bandmate Justine Bowe co-produced Giver Taker with Gabe Goodman, the principal producer. He’s an indie artist based in New York; he plays bass, he does arrangement stuff and programming and engineering. And Justine plays a variety of keys and does vocals and plays the clarinet, and also has an incredible ear for arrangements as well. It was inspiring for me to work with folks who were working at that level of musicianship.

Before working with them, I didn’t really know anything about what production means or what a producer does; I was just doing stuff DIY, but Giver Taker came with a budget because I got a grant from Live Arts Boston last year, so I was able to hire Justine and Gabe. I showed them demos of each song and they gave me their thoughts, like, “This one sounds good, maybe let’s take out that second chorus,” or “What if this had drums here? What if this had bass there?” They just presented so many ideas that I never would have thought of. … And every time they would suggest an idea, I would be like, “Please try it out,” and then we would listen to it and it would sound great.

[For example,] for the last song on the album, it’s called “To Meet Me There.” We had a hard time with it, figuring out where the peaks and valleys of the song should be, how it should rise and fall. There’s a bridge; in an older recording of the song, the bridge was a choral situation. Gabe had the idea to bring in like a conga sound to the bridge — and Justin was like, “Make it a filter sweep,” so it starts off muffled and then gets clearer and clearer. So this bridge went from being something that had a choral vibe to just like the funkiest, in my opinion, most interesting point in that song. It’s a folk tune, and then all of a sudden there’s this really smooth, sexy, African drumming. It was amazing.

The album cover for Giver Taker is a painting of you. Can you tell me a little bit about it? I feel like for artists who are marginalized in any way, the idea of representing yourself on your own terms can feel especially important or valuable.

Well, it’s a big old painting of my face. I’ve released DIY records in the past that have all been like some sort of portrait of me, and I started doing that basically I thought it was important to have to have a visual of a black queer person prominently featured.

You know, if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t do it — because the last thing I want to see is a picture of my own face. I know what my face looks like! I don’t need to see it. [Laughs.] But I think it’s an important statement about representation. And if another queer person, another queer black person, can be like, “Hey! That’s Anjimile on this album cover, like, that’s so sick,” then it’s totally worth it.

Did you do the painting?

It’s by Rebecca Larios. She is an incredible painter. My bandmate Justine Bowe took the photo that the painting is based on, and we wanted to incorporate — because I’m a hippie — some sort of greenery that relates to me. So there’s sugarcane in the back behind me; sugarcane is an indigenous crop to Malawi, where my family is from.

And then, behind that, there’s a river which is based upon The Lion King. There’s one scene in “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King,” which is one of my favorite songs of all time, where Zazu is standing on a log and he’s about to go down a waterfall. We sent Rebecca a bunch of stills from that and she literally painted me into the scene from The Lion King… I was really pumped.

Wait, tell me about your love for The Lion King!

It’s my favorite movie … When I was growing up, the first Disney movie with Black people that wasn’t, like, Uncle Remus was The Princess and the Frog. And that was years after I was a kid. And so, in my mind, as a kid, seeing The Lion King based in Africa, I was like, “Holy s***, my parents are from Africa, like, I’m in this movie!” [Laughs.] My parents were like, “Well, not exactly…” [Laughs.]

Just the fact that there was like an African language, Swahili, spoken in the songs and the fact that it was set in Africa, even though there were no people — it was a big deal for me as a young, African-American kid who had never seen representation like that in Disney. I just love everything about that movie; I love the singing, I love the animation, I love Mufasa and “I just can’t wait to be king” is more or less a mantra for my life.

When you think about everything that is going on in the world right now — the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, the economic crisis, all of it — I imagine these aren’t exactly the circumstances that you were expecting to release your debut album into. How are you feeling?

I’m feeling like I just — all I can do is try to take good care of myself and show up for another day. Like, yeah, we have music coming out and there’s a pandemic, and there is also what appears to be an upsurge of Black death in the news. But I was thinking about it the other day and I realized that if I was to stop promoting stuff every time there is police violence or racist violence, I would never promote anything. Which is, you know, a pretty demoralizing thought. But, also, I don’t know what great circumstances are, so — it is what it is, and it’s a bright spot in my life right now. And my friends are a bright spot, and my family. Working with the record label is wonderful. And the fact that this album is coming out after so much work is a bright spot.

Is there anything else you think people should know about this record or about your music when they hear it?

So, I’ve got a tune on the record called “In Your Eyes.” And a lot of it has to do with the pain of me coming out to my parents and just how much it sucked. And I recently came out to my parents again as trans, and my dad was super supportive. He sent me the most kind, most loving email, and he was like, “I don’t want you to think that you can’t come home,” like, “I love you and accept you for who you are, and I believe that God created all folks, you know, even, especially trans folks, in his image. So feel free to come home any time.” And before that point, I hadn’t shared anything about the album with my parents. And now I get to show him everything. It’s really nice to be able to feel accepted within my family by someone who I really care about. I’m going to send him over some vinyl a little bit.


COMMUNITY VOICES: Complicated Pilgrim legacy

I was delighted to see Peter Mancall’s article on the Pilgrims (“Complicated legacy of the Pilgrims finally coming to light,” Sept. 5). I had intended to write a similar piece closer to the actual anniversary of the Pilgrim’s arrival, but Mancall beat me to it – and he has more authority as he is a historian. I will, however, add a few personal observations.

My background gives me a bias which, hopefully, I have overcome. My mother was the governor of the local chapter of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. She had proven ancestry going back to both William Bradford and William Brewster. We had always celebrated Thanksgiving as both a family and national holiday. I will never forget the meeting and luncheon we had out at Col. Allensworth State Park. Not only was this site steeped in Black American history, my sister had brought her adopted Micronesian son to the occasion. Although he was legally adopted, we were informed that he was not eligible to join in the society with his family! All of this led me to re-examine the “Pilgrim story.”

First of all, we need to answer the question put forward by Mancall as to why glory is heaped on the Pilgrims. A good part of the answer lies in the writings of Bradford. As part of my family’s inheritance, I have a copy of his rather weighty tome. A lot of history is made simply by there being a record of happenings. Unfortunately, however, any such reckoning is the opinion of the author and does not include opposing views.

The Mayflower compact may be considered a beginning on American democracy, but it was the basis of a racist and self-serving “democracy.” Although the Pilgrims, of necessity, formed an alliance with the Wampanoag, they continuously disrespected Native Americans and eventually joined most of the New England colonies in slaughtering them in a ruthless war.

It is interesting that the only New England colony which remained neutral in this war was Rhode Island, a colony founded by my father’s ancestor Roger Williams, who had been expelled from Salem because of his religious beliefs. It is an interesting footnote on history that he was hired as a translator by the New England colonies during the war. He had lived with the Narragansett after his exile and had learned their language and customs.

It is important to learn that American history contains both good and bad. Hopefully, by acknowledging mistakes, we can build a better future. 

Bruce J. Hargreaves is a retired biologist with a bachelor’s degree in field biology, master’s degree in public health and a Ph.D. in parasitology. He taught parasitology at the University of Malawi, botany at the National University of Lesotho and was head of natural history at the National Museum of Botswana.


Joe Biden, Child virus cases, U.S. Open: Your Monday Evening Briefing

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

Credit…Amr Alfiky/The New York Times

1. Joe Biden assailed President Trump over the unrest in cities.

As Mr. Trump prepared for a visit on Tuesday to Kenosha, Wis., which has been rocked by protests and riots over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, Mr. Biden gave a speech in Pittsburgh, above, asking: “Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is re-elected?”

“Mr. Trump, you want to talk about fear?’’ Mr. Biden asked. “Do you know what people are afraid of in America? They’re afraid they’re going to get Covid. They’re afraid they’re going to get sick and die. And that is no small part because of you.” He noted that more police officers had died from the coronavirus than were killed on patrol.

At a White House press conference later in the day, Mr. Trump fired back. “The rioters and Joe Biden have a side — they’re both on the side of the radical left,” he said. The president has tried to make protests and riots his central issue, distracting from the pandemic that continues to kill roughly 1,000 Americans every day.

Over the weekend, Mr. Trump unleashed an especially intense barrage of Twitter messages in which he embraced fringe conspiracy theories claiming that the coronavirus death toll has been exaggerated and that street protests amount to an attempted coup d’état against him.

Credit…Pool photo by Tom Williams

2. The House Oversight Committee will soon subpoena the postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, for documents related to mail delays and communications with the Trump campaign.

Credit…Octavio Jones/Getty Images

3. Coronavirus cases are increasing at a faster rate among children.

As some U.S. school districts begin in-person classes, data compiled by the American Academy of Pediatrics show that the numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths are increasing at a faster rate among children and teenagers than in the general population.

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Updated 2020-09-01T08:04:11.633Z

The increase comes in part from more widespread testing, but an increase in hospitalizations and deaths among children shows that the rise is not just on paper.

And like adults, Black and Latino children who contract the virus are more likely to be hospitalized. Above, students waiting for temperature checks today at Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Fla.

Credit…Samuel Aranda for The New York Times

4. Spain confronts a second wave.

In the past week, Spain has recorded more than 53,000 new coronavirus cases, far more than anywhere else in Europe.

One of the hardest-hit European countries in the early stages of the pandemic, Spain reined it in with a strict lockdown, but then reopened rapidly. The return of nightlife and group activities has contributed to the resurgence.

But the mortality rate is roughly half the rate at the height of crisis in May. And national coordination is improving. Testing speeds are accelerating. The central government last week agreed to deploy 2,000 soldiers as contact tracers.

“It’s not like the first wave,” said Carmen Cerezo, 38, a train attendant waiting outside the Málaga hospital while her father was tested for coronavirus inside. “We’re calmer now.”

Credit…Lance Cpl. Tyler Byther/United States Marine Corps

5. Race, the Marines and a Black officer’s fate.

This week, the Corps’s promotion board will meet to consider its next group of generals. One possibility is Col. Anthony Henderson, above center, who has served in combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and has the respect of those he has commanded and most who commanded him.

In three previous reviews, he has been passed over for promotion to brigadier general. That one-star rank would put him on the path to the top tier of Marine Corps leadership — where there has never been anyone other than white men.

The Corps is now a force of more than 185,000 white, African-American, Hispanic and Asian men and women.

Credit…Andrea Verdelli for The New York Times

6. China has come roaring back, with exports soaring to their second-highest level ever.

The country has grabbed a much larger share of global markets this summer from other manufacturing nations, establishing dominance in trade that could last long after the world begins to recover from the pandemic.

The export blitz came despite President Trump’s move to impose broad tariffs on Chinese goods, pressure on companies to shift production away from China, and the pandemic that crippled factories in January.

In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s resignation is likely to make it harder for the country to recover from the pandemic.

Credit…Danielle Parhizkaran/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

7. The U.S. Open is getting started with the stars Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka slated to play opening matches tonight.

We have live updates and tips on the matches to watch for — and reassurance that this year’s diminished field is nothing new.

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Organizers of the tennis tournament are under pressure to deliver a success that can lead the way for big events to return to New York City.

The coronavirus has already had an impact: The French player Benoît Paire tested positive and has been withdrawn from competition, and several others the organizers found to have had close contact with him have had to sign an agreement further restricting their behavior within the controlled environment at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and the players’ hotel.

“To sum up, we are in the bubble within the bubble,” one of those required to sign, the French doubles specialist Édouard Roger-Vasselin, said in an interview with L’Equipe, the French newspaper.

Credit…Jessica White/The New York Times

8. Sales of tell-all books about President Trump are soaring.

“The Room Where It Happened” by John Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, sold more than a million copies this summer. “Too Much and Never Enough,” by Mr. Trump’s niece, Mary L. Trump, has gone into its 20th printing. There are many, many other titles, including a substantial number by his defenders.

Many in the industry wonder if the so-called Trump Bump can be sustained if the president is defeated in November, and whether sales of political books will suffer in a post-Trump slump.

Credit…MTV, via Associated Press

9. Lady Gaga’s masks were the real V.M.A. winners.

What has the red carpet become in the Covid world, when most people have given up on party dressing? The answer came from Lady Gaga at the MTV Video Music Awards.

During the live show in New York City on Sunday night, she appeared in seven different outfits, almost every time with a different face mask. In her performance from “Chromatica,” above, with Ariana Grande on the left, she was in a pink and black bodysuit, mask by Diego Montoya.

“I might sound like a broken record, but wear a mask,” she said at the end. “It’s a sign of respect.” Here are some of the other memorable moments of the V.M.A.s.

Credit…Marcus Westberg

10. And finally, take a (virtual) trip to Africa.

Malawi is often overshadowed by its better-known neighbors in southeastern Africa: Tanzania, with its abundant wildlife; Zambia, with Victoria Falls; and Mozambique, with its picture-perfect beaches.

The country, in fact, has plenty of natural beauty. But, for the photographer Marcus Westberg, it wasn’t the landscapes that made a lasting impression — but the people.

Here are some of his photographs, paired with an essay by him. Whether on assignment or going to the market for vegetables, he writes, “time and time again I have found myself staying far longer than intended.”

Have a richly connected evening.

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