The 13th Tribe is a hard-hitting historical epic about families within a lost tribe of Israel known as the rump of Israel. In this book, Meto Edgar Onwuamaegbu chronicles successive generations through notable historical time points. From those that sat shiva for Miriam the sister of Moses, in the Jewish quarter of Kadesh during the 40-year period of wandering in the desert, to the destruction of the second temple and the diaspora. Then, the edit of expulsion from Spain in 1492 and the mass murder of the Jews of Europe at Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Nazis during the pogrom of World War II.
Usada is a former Tribune in the elite Praetorian Guard of Kadesh, who became the first outsider to become a captain of 1,000 men in the army of Israel. Dike is the commander of the fearsome ancient Irgun. The exploits of these two men and their descendants punctuate this historical epic.
"They aimed and fired into the smoke from both sides of the hill. The cries of burning men and the injured filled the desert air. It was a great slaughter.
The Sargent of the Cavalry of wrath lowered his visor as he surveyed the battlefield. He raised his lance. The royal blue colour of the threads of the tzitzit under his armour emerged from his sides. The tzitzit fluttered in the wind. The four horses under his command began to canter. Four armoured riders raised their lances.
‘Riders of the rump of Israel … ready!’ He shouted. ‘Ride!’
The four black chargers sallied forth. The horsemen whooped as they rode forward.
One of the Kadeshian survivors later described what it was like on that day.
‘I saw flaming arrows and burning branches falling from the skies. Then the mountainside began to burn. I saw heavy rocks roll down the mountainside into the men ahead of me. I was very afraid. The soldiers around me were screaming and trying to run away from the fight. I thought we were all going to die.’
Another who lost an arm in that fight said:
‘Suddenly we heard a thunderclap and the sound of a thousand hooves approaching. I turned and saw giants on horseback charging into our midst from the hills. These were fearsome giants of war with their horses spitting flames. They killed all men in their path. The last thing I remember was raising my shield to protect myself. I woke up in a field hospital with bandages where my left arm used to be.’
Utterly fascinating read! This book gives new insights into another lost tribe of Israel.