What Everybody Should Know About the Pashtunwali and Torah

Pashtunwali, the unwritten code of conduct for the Pashtun people, and the Jewish Torah surprisingly contain many striking similarities.

torah-pashtunThe code of honor of the Pashtun people, known as the “Pashtunwali,” is a set of rules and laws to live which includes many similarities to the holy Jewish Torah, the book of the lost tribes (Bnei Israel).

Since my native language is Hebrew, I’d like to take the opportunity to prove this argument from the book by comparing it to the Pashtunwali:

Melmastia (hospitality) one of the most important rules of the Pashtunwali, is to be hospitable to every person who comes to your home. At the beginning of the Torah there is a story about 3 foreigners coming to Abraham’s house. Within a few minutes, he is letting them in, serving them with cakes, butter, milk and meat [Genesis (“Bereshit”), 10: 1-8].

Badal (revenge) principle of honor, to revenge. In the Torah, there is a privilege to revenge the death of a person by his family [Deuteronomy (“Dvarim”), chapter 19: 2], under the rule of “eye under eye” – if a person killed your animal, you’re allowed to kill his animal, and so on [Leviticus (“Vayikra”), 24: 17-20]. In other Bibles and traditions we find similar stories [For example, book “Shmuel”].

Nanawatei (asylum) a person may seek a refuge and shelter against his enemy. The Torah lists 6 refuge cities in case a person killed someone and needs protection [Numbers (BaMidbar), 35+ Deuteronomy 19].

Turah (bravery) the protection over the land and family. We see in the Torah that a man must defend his tribe, and not only that but to make sure that his kids are married with partners from the same tribe. A special position is mentioned for widows, in which the man has to protect her [Deuteronomy 25:. 5-10].

Sabat (loyalty) to your tribe and family. In the Torah we find the loyalty mostly for God in the Ten Commandments which refers to being loyal to God by keeping the Sabbath [Exodus (Shmot), 20:8].

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Lmandari (righteousness) – behaving in a respectful and decent way. The Torah’s Commandments describe it as “not commit adultery/false witness against neighbor/not covet/not steal/not murder/and etc [Ibid, 20: 2-14].

Isteqamat (Believe/trust in God) in Torah – “I am God.. no other gods before me”[Ibid, 20: 2].

Ghayrat (courage) demonstration of respect. Yaakov’s daughter, Dina, is being raped in the Torah by a foreigner. Her brothers, Shimon (Shinwari) and Levi, in response, murder not only the rapist but his father and all of his town’s residents [Genesis, 34].

Naamus  (woman’s respect) the Torah refers to the woman as a mom “Honor your mother” (Commandments) and obligates a man to provide his wife food, cloth and intercourse [Numbers, 35: 10] in the case of a man raping a girl, he must marry her in order to protect her honor and pay her father compensation [Deuteronomy, 22: 28-29].

Nang – “defend the weak” – this is a key rule in the Torah: the widow and orphan are most vulnerable and the protection over them must be taken under consideration [Exodus, 22: 20-23, as well Deuteronomy 14: 28-29, 17: 9-14 and 14: 17- 22].

If you liked this article and want to discover more, check out Just How Similar are Pashtun and Jewish People?

Yasmin Eliaz is a Master’s student in Political Science at Bar Ilan University. She specializes in Afghanistan and works as a research assistant at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Read other articles by Yasmin.

  • Fazalullah Khan

    Nice contribution and its attribution to Holy Torah but if you put other than Pukhtoon tribe the attributions would match too there.
    The pure Pukhtoons who are living in tribal agencies in Pakistan and some parts of Afghanistan enjoying its own administrative setup with Jirga system (tribal judiciary) operated by Malaks (tribal elders), they living under local (tribal) code of conducts rather than practicing formal national or international laws therefore they could practice the norms like “Gherat”, “Badal” (Revenge), Namos, Nang and Nanawati but the same Pukhtoons migrated to the settle areas of the country (Pakistan) where no one can challenge rite of the government nor could do anything against the constitution of the country, they could never practice those aforementioned norms.
    Being honest while telling that do the followers of Torah, the Jews, by their selves practicing those norms taught by Torah or not?
    Let’s take the single example of Badal (Revenge), if someone’s beloved killed by other in Israel do the relative decease take the revenge by his/herself or it it is tackled by local administration???????????????

    • YasminTheJewish .

      fazulla dear :)) thank you for your warm words. well, off course we are not practicing all those things i have mentioned, only parts of them… can u add some more details? you know much better than me.. 🙂

      • zavi

        well, speaking of revenge, it does happen a lot but i will tell u that it depeneds on the well of the victim, if its a rugged person than i gues he will never accept apologies and try to take revenge. But after all this and that, Afghans are Muslims and I am proud of that. we are not forced by anyone to become Muslims its rather we are being forced for being Muslims. That doesn’t justify that islam is wrong. Right now Muslims are victims and Afghans are always on the victims sides.

        • YasminTheJewish .

          Hello there.
          i never said Islam is not right or forced on any one. not at all. Im not trying convert people to Judaism. I just think it’s about time that the Pathaan people would know better their history. It’s about time we will make better ties, not only in politics, but in everything else! We should be working together in order to help Afghanistan.. believe me yar i know how poor and pure the Afghan people are, and feel real sorry for them. I really wish to establish special ties!!

          • Stanikzai

            Hello Yasmin , you have got the same name as our females here , you know quit a lot about Pashtuns , we are untamed defeated the super powers of all times, that’s right we need ties and need the Technical expertise of your people , so how to establish the ties ?

          • Afghan Warrior

            My grand mother her name was Yasmin too
            I think we can run our if the Americans leave us alone they don’t want peace in Afghanistan.

          • YasminTheJewish .

            You don’t want peace? are you sure?

          • Afghan Warrior

            Wow u people are in our country and killing us and call us terrorist fair well

  • Liat Tubi

    Wow amazing !!! Good job Yasmin 😉

    • YasminTheJewish .

      thank you my best friend ever 😀

  • teresa

    very good! my partner is pashtoon he and family do alll tthis they are musims and very strongs with that, my partner know this but he reject of this o.O but baruj hashem in a future i will teach my children who are them,shparadim-pashtunwali

    • YasminTheJewish .

      thank you dear. r u a jew? christian? muslim? if may i ask..?

    • Afghan Warrior

      I dont believe u

  • khan

    the reality is Pashtoon army is going to fight dajjal lol you cannot avoid it has been said lol this is in short lol try to undistand before I expose .if you ant to see Rise of dajjal watch this lol on youtube .

    • YasminTheJewish .

      ammmmmmmmmmm… what?

    • NLK3

      Too much “lol”. And aren’t fights based on just doing what they are told, not that it’ll just happen? Usually, people are going to instigate a reason for things to happen.

  • Ezra

    I am a Bukhari Jew/Levite, born in Tajikistan, borders with Afghanistan. I am now in Australia, grew up with Ashkenazi Jews, whose fear of Muslims, I understood but never accepted. Always in my heart I felt Mulsims were my brothers and really felt more connected to the Middle Eastern way of life, Islamic culture and way of life/wisdom, which I find much closer to ancient Israelites than anything I have found with the European Jews. Who seem to be stuck in fear and separative mentality. When the 10 Tribes unite and true Jews and Muslims unite all that which is false will crumble. Hence, why they are conditioned to hate each other and fear each other but it is really those who are behind it that fear the real Israelites and real Muslims the most.

    • khalid Amir khan

      great thoughts

  • Trigger Reply

    Such traditions and customs are common along South Asia.

  • afgprincess kitty

    as pashtun i do believe we are related to ancient Israelite but i don’t think we are related to jew

    • YasminTheJewish .

      Ancient Israelite are Jews.

    • Tex_Ed

      Tell me more of how the Pashto (code) affects you each day Afgprincess kitty -please!

      • Pashtunwali literally means ‘the way of the Pashtuns’, and is a tribal honor code that has governed the Pashtun way of life for centuries.Pashtunwali is practiced by Pashtuns in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and by Pashtun refugees around the world.
        Pashtunwali is an ancient “code of honor” that is practiced by the native Pashtuns of Afghanistan in Pakistan, includingthe Pashtun communities around the world. It is a set of rules guiding both individual and communal conduct. Pashtunwali is socially practiced by the majority.
        Pashtuns embrace an ancient traditional, spiritual, and communal identity tied to a set of moral codes and rules of behavior, as well as to a linear record of history spanning over five thousand years[citation needed]. Pashtunwali promotes self-respect, independence, justice, hospitality, love, forgiveness, revenge and tolerance toward all (especially to strangers or guests). It is considered a personal responsibility of every Pashtun to discover and rediscover Pashtunwali’s essence and meaning.

        The code of Pashtunwali:
        Pashtunwali is an unwritten law and ideology of the Pashtun society inherited from their forefathers. It is a dominant force of Pashtun culture and identity. Pashtunwali is conservative, oligarchic, centuries old but still a young phenomenon in the Pashtun culture and socio-economic structure.
        It has been able to maintain a powerful dialectical balance of the Pashtun society. Pashtunwali, a complement of the Pashtun society, has undergone various legal, political, economic and cultural changes for its reform. It has developed into an accepted constitution.
        Pashtunwali consists of qualifications such as
        Khpelwaki (self authority),
        Sialy (Equality),
        Jirga (Assembly),
        Mishertob (Elders),
        Ezaat (Respect of all people),
        Roogha (reconciliation or compromise),
        Badal (revenge),
        Barabari (equivalence),
        Teega/Nerkh (Law),
        Aziz/Azizwale (clan, clanship),
        Terbor/Terborwali (cousin and tribal rivalries),
        Nang (Honour),
        Ghairat (Pride),
        Nanawati Warkawel ( to offer asylum),
        Chegha (call for action),
        Nanawati (protection) and others.
        Pashtunwali is an oligarchic structure emphasizing of Jirga, Sialy and Barabary. It is a defensive system in terms of Jirga, Chegha and Arbakai (system of village militias). It is a legal system in terms of Jirga, Teega/Nerkh, Pannah and Roogha. This system has managed all social and internal affairs of the Pashtun/Pakhtun society before and after Islam. It has created small and large local governments in Central and South Asia.
        Pashtunwali embodies all the principles of a self-sufficient social group. Its two principles of Siali (Competition) and Mailmastia (Hospitality) embody two social principles that ensure a society’s progress through competition; and survival through co-operation. The elements of conflict and co-operation are evenly balanced in the make-up of Pashtunwali. Concepts like Nang (honour), Siali (competition) and Badal (retribution) are open to interpretation, as the social needs and the collective perception of the group change with time.

        The codes:
        • Faith – trust in God (known as “Allah” in Arabic and “Khudai” in Pashto). The notion of trusting in the one creator generally comports to Islamic idea of belief in only one god.
        • Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds – A Pashtun must always strive towards thinking good thoughts, speaking good words and doing good deeds.
        • Behaviour – Pashtuns must behave respectfully towards all creations including people, animals and the environment around them. Pollution of the environment and/or its destruction is against the Pashtunwali.
        • Unity – above the languages they speak, above the blood they keep, above the amount of money they make, Pashtunwali unites the Pashtuns as one people across the world. Where there is true unity, every effort to disunite them will only serve to strengthen the unity they have. What happens to one – happens to all.
        • Equality – Every man is equal. It is this concept which has necessitated the development amongst Pashtuns of a Jirga system, whereby decision making takes place with the participation of all members of the Pashtun society. Every man wants a say in his future and he will fight for his right to have his opinions heard. All people must therefore deal with each other, with the proper civility or respect and no one may impose their will on to another.
        • Freedom and independence – the belief that freedom in physical, mental, religious, spiritual, political and economic realms is for all to pursue, male and female, so long as it is done without bringing harm to others. The free have nothing to gain of freedom without discipline.
        • Proselytizing Pahtunwali says that no individual has the right to place demand upon others who are not their children regarding what to believe.
        • Hospitality and sanctuary – Being hospitable to all mankind, especially to guests, even the most hostile of enemies may (if asked for) be provided sanctuary, asylum or protection as well as food and other aid.
        • Justice and forgiveness – If one intentionally wrongs another, the victim has the right, even an obligation, to avenge this injustice in equal proportion. If one has intentionally wronged you, and you did not seek justice nor did the wrongdoer ask you for his/her forgiveness, then a debt, is owed to you by him/her, which can only be fulfilled once justice (through an act of revenge or the decision of the Jirga council) has been provided to recompense the wrong done.
        • Brotherhood and trust – the belief that fellow Pashtun brothers or sisters should be trusted and assisted to the greatest extent possible.
        • Honour – Pashtuns must maintain their independence and human dignity. Honour has great importance in Pushtun society and most other edicts and codes of life are aimed towards the preservation of one’s honour or pride.
        • Self respect – Individuals must respect themselves and others in order to be able to do so, especially those they do not know. Respect begins at home, among family members and relatives.
        • Compassion and cooperation – The poor and the weak must be supported.
        • Family – The family must be glorified under a sacred conviction of responsibility and duty with respect for wives, daughters, elders, parents, sons, and husbands.
        • We are one family – Fellow Pashtun must be cared for. There may be hundreds of tribes, but they have one destiny in union with each other.
        • Knowledge – Pashtuns seek objective knowledge in life, art, science, and culture, which are considered fruits granted by God.
        • Pashtun history – Great value is placed in Pashtun history, with all its depth and pluralism, tragedies and victories. It teaches Pashtuns “to keep the mind open, to continue the search for the truth, much of which has vanished under history itself”.
        • Fight evil – Evil is at constant war with good. Evil must be fought and good must prevail over evil. It is a Pashtun’s duty to fight evil when he/she comes face to face with it.
        • Honesty and Promise – A pashtun is known for keeping their promises and being honest at all situations and times. A true Pashtun will never break their promise.
        • Hospitality- Pashtuns treat all guests and people who enter their houses with great respect and always go by one saying. “Mailma de khudai milgareh deh” (A guest is God’s friend…) So making your guest happy correlates to making God happy.

        Primary concepts:
        Some useful words that signify individual or collective Pashtun tribal functions are given below in Pushto language. The first four form the major components of Pashtunwali.
        • Melmastia (hospitality) – Showing hospitality and profound respect to all visitors, regardless of distinctions of race, religion, national affiliation as well as economic status and doing so without any hope of remuneration or favour. Pushtuns are widely considered to be the most hospitable people in the world and a pushtun will go to great extents to show his hospitality, so much so, that in very many recorded cases it has been observed that a pushtuns have even provided enemies with sanctuary.
        • Badal (justice/revenge) – to seek justice over time or over space to avenge a wrong. This applies to injustices committed yesterday or 1000 years ago if the wrongdoer still exists. Justice in Pashtun lore needs elaborating: even a mere taunt (or “Paighor”) is regarded as an insult – which can only usually be redressed by shedding of the taunter’s blood (and if he isn’t available, then his next closest male relation). This in turn leads to a blood feud that can last generations and involve whole tribes with the loss of hundreds of lives. Normally blood feuds in this all male dominated setup are then settled in a number of ways.
        • Nanawateh (asylum) – derived from the verb meaning to go in, this is used for protection given to a person who requests protection against his/her enemies. The person is protected at all costs. It can also be used when the vanquished party is prepared to go in to the house of the victors and ask for their forgiveness. (Is a peculiar form of “chivalrous” surrender, in which an enemy seeks “sanctuary” at his enemies house). A more famous example of this code is of Navy Petty Officer First Class (PO1) Marcus Luttrell, the sole surviving member of a US Navy SEAL team that was ambushed by Taliban fighters. PO1 Luttrell evaded the enemy for days before stumbling upon members of the Sabray tribe who realized the wounded SEAL needed assistance. He was taken to the village and protected by the tribal chief, who even sent word to nearby US forces of PO1 Luttrell’s location.
        • Zemaka (land/earth) – A Pashtun must defend his land/property from incursions wherever he or she might reside.
        • Nang (honour) – the various points below that a tribesman must observe to ensure his honour, and that of his family, is upheld. The preservation of honour entails the defence of one’s family and one’s independence, while upholding cultural and religious requirements.
        • Namus (Honor of women) – A Pushtun must defend the honor of Pashtun women at all costs and must protect them from vocal and physical harm.
        • Hewad (nation) – Love for one’s nation in Pashtun culture isn’t just important, it’s essential. A Pashtun is always indebted to their nation and must strive to perfect and improve it. A Pushtun considers it his obligation to defend his country Pakhtara (“Pakhtun-khwa” in modern colloquial Pashto) against any type of foreign incursion. Defence of nation means defence of honor, values, culture, tradition, countrymen and self.
        • Dod-pasbani (Protecting Pashtun culture) – It is obligatory for a Pashtun to protect Pashtun culture from dilution and disintegration. Pashtunwali advises that in order to successfully accomplish this, a Pashtun must retain the Pashto language since Pashto is the prime source of Pashtun culture and its understanding isn’t just important but essential. Not being able to speak Pashto is often translated by Pashtun society as the inability to understand Pashtun culture, values, ethics, history and community.
        • Tokhm-pasbani (Protecting the Pashtun race) – Pashtuns with their distinct Afghan features are often immediately recognizable. Pashtuns must take another Pashtun as a marriage partner. This stems from the general belief that ‘half-Pashtuns’ do not retain Pashtun language, culture, and physical features.
        • De Pashtunwali Perawano (Adhering to Pashtunwali) – In order to keep one’s descendants from becoming “durvand” (Non-Pashtuns), a Pashtun must adhere to the Pashtunwali principles of culture, kin and pedigree. Those who do not will ultimately face revulsion and expulsion from Pashtun society.
        Secondary concepts
        • Lashkar – The tribal army. It implements the decisions of the jirga.
        • Jirga or Loya Jirga – an assembly of tribal elders called for various purposes whether waging war or composing peace, tribal or inter-tribal.
        • Tsalweshti (څلويښتی) – derived from the word for forty, this refers to the tribal force that would implement the decision of a jirga. Every fortieth man of the tribe would be a member. A shalgoon is a force derived from the number twenty.
        • Badragga – a tribal escort composed of members of that tribe through which the travelers are passing. If a badragga is violated a tribal feud will follow.
        • Hamsaya – a non-Pashtun dependent group who attaches themselves to a Pashtun group, usually for protection. The Pashtun protector group is called a naik. Any attack on a hamsaya is considered an attack on the protector.
        • Mlatar (ملاتړ) – literally, tying the back or “support”. This refers to those members of the tribe who will actually fight on behalf of their leaders.
        • Nagha – a tribal fine decided by the council of elders and imposed upon the wrongdoer.
        • Rogha – settlement of a dispute between warring factions.
        • Hujra – a common sitting or sleeping place for males in the village. Visitors and unmarried young men sleep in the hujra.
        • Lokhay Warkawal – Literally means ‘giving of pot’. The idea that the tribe will do everything to protect an individual from an enem

      • Pashtunwali literally means ‘the way of the Pashtuns’, and is a tribal honor code that has governed the Pashtun way of life for centuries.Pashtunwali is practiced by Pashtuns in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and by Pashtun refugees around the world.
        Pashtunwali is an ancient “code of honor” that is practiced by the native Pashtuns of Afghanistan in Pakistan, includingthe Pashtun communities around the world. It is a set of rules guiding both individual and communal conduct. Pashtunwali is socially practiced by the majority.
        Pashtuns embrace an ancient traditional, spiritual, and communal identity tied to a set of moral codes and rules of behavior, as well as to a linear record of history spanning over five thousand years[citation needed]. Pashtunwali promotes self-respect, independence, justice, hospitality, love, forgiveness, revenge and tolerance toward all (especially to strangers or guests). It is considered a personal responsibility of every Pashtun to discover and rediscover Pashtunwali’s essence and meaning.

        The code of Pashtunwali:
        Pashtunwali is an unwritten law and ideology of the Pashtun society inherited from their forefathers. It is a dominant force of Pashtun culture and identity. Pashtunwali is conservative, oligarchic, centuries old but still a young phenomenon in the Pashtun culture and socio-economic structure.
        It has been able to maintain a powerful dialectical balance of the Pashtun society. Pashtunwali, a complement of the Pashtun society, has undergone various legal, political, economic and cultural changes for its reform. It has developed into an accepted constitution.
        Pashtunwali consists of qualifications such as
        Khpelwaki (self authority),
        Sialy (Equality),
        Jirga (Assembly),
        Mishertob (Elders),
        Ezaat (Respect of all people),
        Roogha (reconciliation or compromise),
        Badal (revenge),
        Barabari (equivalence),
        Teega/Nerkh (Law),
        Aziz/Azizwale (clan, clanship),
        Terbor/Terborwali (cousin and tribal rivalries),
        Nang (Honour),
        Ghairat (Pride),
        Nanawati Warkawel ( to offer asylum),
        Chegha (call for action),
        Nanawati (protection) and others.
        Pashtunwali is an oligarchic structure emphasizing of Jirga, Sialy and Barabary. It is a defensive system in terms of Jirga, Chegha and Arbakai (system of village militias). It is a legal system in terms of Jirga, Teega/Nerkh, Pannah and Roogha. This system has managed all social and internal affairs of the Pashtun/Pakhtun society before and after Islam. It has created small and large local governments in Central and South Asia.
        Pashtunwali embodies all the principles of a self-sufficient social group. Its two principles of Siali (Competition) and Mailmastia (Hospitality) embody two social principles that ensure a society’s progress through competition; and survival through co-operation. The elements of conflict and co-operation are evenly balanced in the make-up of Pashtunwali. Concepts like Nang (honour), Siali (competition) and Badal (retribution) are open to interpretation, as the social needs and the collective perception of the group change with time.

        The codes:
        • Faith – trust in God (known as “Allah” in Arabic and “Khudai” in Pashto). The notion of trusting in the one creator generally comports to Islamic idea of belief in only one god.
        • Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds – A Pashtun must always strive towards thinking good thoughts, speaking good words and doing good deeds.
        • Behaviour – Pashtuns must behave respectfully towards all creations including people, animals and the environment around them. Pollution of the environment and/or its destruction is against the Pashtunwali.
        • Unity – above the languages they speak, above the blood they keep, above the amount of money they make, Pashtunwali unites the Pashtuns as one people across the world. Where there is true unity, every effort to disunite them will only serve to strengthen the unity they have. What happens to one – happens to all.
        • Equality – Every man is equal. It is this concept which has necessitated the development amongst Pashtuns of a Jirga system, whereby decision making takes place with the participation of all members of the Pashtun society. Every man wants a say in his future and he will fight for his right to have his opinions heard. All people must therefore deal with each other, with the proper civility or respect and no one may impose their will on to another.
        • Freedom and independence – the belief that freedom in physical, mental, religious, spiritual, political and economic realms is for all to pursue, male and female, so long as it is done without bringing harm to others. The free have nothing to gain of freedom without discipline.
        • Proselytizing Pahtunwali says that no individual has the right to place demand upon others who are not their children regarding what to believe.
        • Hospitality and sanctuary – Being hospitable to all mankind, especially to guests, even the most hostile of enemies may (if asked for) be provided sanctuary, asylum or protection as well as food and other aid.
        • Justice and forgiveness – If one intentionally wrongs another, the victim has the right, even an obligation, to avenge this injustice in equal proportion. If one has intentionally wronged you, and you did not seek justice nor did the wrongdoer ask you for his/her forgiveness, then a debt, is owed to you by him/her, which can only be fulfilled once justice (through an act of revenge or the decision of the Jirga council) has been provided to recompense the wrong done.
        • Brotherhood and trust – the belief that fellow Pashtun brothers or sisters should be trusted and assisted to the greatest extent possible.
        • Honour – Pashtuns must maintain their independence and human dignity. Honour has great importance in Pushtun society and most other edicts and codes of life are aimed towards the preservation of one’s honour or pride.
        • Self respect – Individuals must respect themselves and others in order to be able to do so, especially those they do not know. Respect begins at home, among family members and relatives.
        • Compassion and cooperation – The poor and the weak must be supported.
        • Family – The family must be glorified under a sacred conviction of responsibility and duty with respect for wives, daughters, elders, parents, sons, and husbands.
        • We are one family – Fellow Pashtun must be cared for. There may be hundreds of tribes, but they have one destiny in union with each other.
        • Knowledge – Pashtuns seek objective knowledge in life, art, science, and culture, which are considered fruits granted by God.
        • Pashtun history – Great value is placed in Pashtun history, with all its depth and pluralism, tragedies and victories. It teaches Pashtuns “to keep the mind open, to continue the search for the truth, much of which has vanished under history itself”.
        • Fight evil – Evil is at constant war with good. Evil must be fought and good must prevail over evil. It is a Pashtun’s duty to fight evil when he/she comes face to face with it.
        • Honesty and Promise – A pashtun is known for keeping their promises and being honest at all situations and times. A true Pashtun will never break their promise.
        • Hospitality- Pashtuns treat all guests and people who enter their houses with great respect and always go by one saying. “Mailma de khudai milgareh deh” (A guest is God’s friend…) So making your guest happy correlates to making God happy.

        Primary concepts:
        Some useful words that signify individual or collective Pashtun tribal functions are given below in Pushto language. The first four form the major components of Pashtunwali.
        • Melmastia (hospitality) – Showing hospitality and profound respect to all visitors, regardless of distinctions of race, religion, national affiliation as well as economic status and doing so without any hope of remuneration or favour. Pushtuns are widely considered to be the most hospitable people in the world and a pushtun will go to great extents to show his hospitality, so much so, that in very many recorded cases it has been observed that a pushtuns have even provided enemies with sanctuary.
        • Badal (justice/revenge) – to seek justice over time or over space to avenge a wrong. This applies to injustices committed yesterday or 1000 years ago if the wrongdoer still exists. Justice in Pashtun lore needs elaborating: even a mere taunt (or “Paighor”) is regarded as an insult – which can only usually be redressed by shedding of the taunter’s blood (and if he isn’t available, then his next closest male relation). This in turn leads to a blood feud that can last generations and involve whole tribes with the loss of hundreds of lives. Normally blood feuds in this all male dominated setup are then settled in a number of ways.
        • Nanawateh (asylum) – derived from the verb meaning to go in, this is used for protection given to a person who requests protection against his/her enemies. The person is protected at all costs. It can also be used when the vanquished party is prepared to go in to the house of the victors and ask for their forgiveness. (Is a peculiar form of “chivalrous” surrender, in which an enemy seeks “sanctuary” at his enemies house). A more famous example of this code is of Navy Petty Officer First Class (PO1) Marcus Luttrell, the sole surviving member of a US Navy SEAL team that was ambushed by Taliban fighters. PO1 Luttrell evaded the enemy for days before stumbling upon members of the Sabray tribe who realized the wounded SEAL needed assistance. He was taken to the village and protected by the tribal chief, who even sent word to nearby US forces of PO1 Luttrell’s location.
        • Zemaka (land/earth) – A Pashtun must defend his land/property from incursions wherever he or she might reside.
        • Nang (honour) – the various points below that a tribesman must observe to ensure his honour, and that of his family, is upheld. The preservation of honour entails the defence of one’s family and one’s independence, while upholding cultural and religious requirements.
        • Namus (Honor of women) – A Pushtun must defend the honor of Pashtun women at all costs and must protect them from vocal and physical harm.
        • Hewad (nation) – Love for one’s nation in Pashtun culture isn’t just important, it’s essential. A Pashtun is always indebted to their nation and must strive to perfect and improve it. A Pushtun considers it his obligation to defend his country Pakhtara (“Pakhtun-khwa” in modern colloquial Pashto) against any type of foreign incursion. Defence of nation means defence of honor, values, culture, tradition, countrymen and self.
        • Dod-pasbani (Protecting Pashtun culture) – It is obligatory for a Pashtun to protect Pashtun culture from dilution and disintegration. Pashtunwali advises that in order to successfully accomplish this, a Pashtun must retain the Pashto language since Pashto is the prime source of Pashtun culture and its understanding isn’t just important but essential. Not being able to speak Pashto is often translated by Pashtun society as the inability to understand Pashtun culture, values, ethics, history and community.
        • Tokhm-pasbani (Protecting the Pashtun race) – Pashtuns with their distinct Afghan features are often immediately recognizable. Pashtuns must take another Pashtun as a marriage partner. This stems from the general belief that ‘half-Pashtuns’ do not retain Pashtun language, culture, and physical features.
        • De Pashtunwali Perawano (Adhering to Pashtunwali) – In order to keep one’s descendants from becoming “durvand” (Non-Pashtuns), a Pashtun must adhere to the Pashtunwali principles of culture, kin and pedigree. Those who do not will ultimately face revulsion and expulsion from Pashtun society.
        Secondary concepts
        • Lashkar – The tribal army. It implements the decisions of the jirga.
        • Jirga or Loya Jirga – an assembly of tribal elders called for various purposes whether waging war or composing peace, tribal or inter-tribal.
        • Tsalweshti (څلويښتی) – derived from the word for forty, this refers to the tribal force that would implement the decision of a jirga. Every fortieth man of the tribe would be a member. A shalgoon is a force derived from the number twenty.
        • Badragga – a tribal escort composed of members of that tribe through which the travelers are passing. If a badragga is violated a tribal feud will follow.
        • Hamsaya – a non-Pashtun dependent group who attaches themselves to a Pashtun group, usually for protection. The Pashtun protector group is called a naik. Any attack on a hamsaya is considered an attack on the protector.
        • Mlatar (ملاتړ) – literally, tying the back or “support”. This refers to those members of the tribe who will actually fight on behalf of their leaders.
        • Nagha – a tribal fine decided by the council of elders and imposed upon the wrongdoer.
        • Rogha – settlement of a dispute between warring factions.
        • Hujra – a common sitting or sleeping place for males in the village. Visitors and unmarried young men sleep in the hujra.
        • Lokhay Warkawal – Literally means ‘giving of pot’. The idea that the tribe will do everything to protect an individual from an enemy.
        https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=video&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCkQtwIwAg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DBtmY_YhsktY&ei=WJRgVfz8OoOe7gbtwoHoBQ&usg=AFQjCNHbrNDxYCuFK8–_rJByeSmHiwFbA&sig2=lmIBjBbTG4mdYd1wfrXx0Q&bvm=bv.93990622,d.ZGU

        • YasminTheJewish .

          Thank you for the lovely photos!!!!!!!!!

          • Ahmed haqiquat

            Hi Yasmin

            I have been living in UK for the past 15 yrs and me and my brother were stopped by Jews inviting us to the synagogue and when we told them that we weren’t Jew they were surprised. I have encountered something very interesting about Jewish people they look at me a lot and when I look back they look again.

            I feel some deep connections with them. I’m Alhamdullellah a Muslim and I believe in my religion firmly but never hate any race or colour.

            Two weeks ago this Jewish guy was starring and when I looked back I could tell you that we knew that we are somehow related. He look again and again and this is not the first time.

            I came from Afghanistan and our tiny village there were three people called Israel and when our uncle or father would get angry he would say you children of Israel because of our stubbornness.

            We don’t look like any other nation in our surroundings and I always ask who we are and where have we come from ?

            I was told by a lot of people in UK that I would have been killed by the Hitler army cos of my nose and I’m not the only one even my relatives you can tell this from their appearances.

            I have watched the documentary if Pathans are the children of Israel but the guy is only touching the surface and can not really connect the two.

            In our families one out of every 4 or 5 children have blue or green eyes or they are blonde which is unique and Pathans do not marry from others unless they are Pashtuns.

            The Pathans practised pashtunwali before Islam and the reason why they all accepted Islam was due to the similarities of their past practices.

            I will be very disappointed if I really can’t find the answer to who we are and the only people I can relate to are Jewish. It is nothing to do with the religion but a lot more to do with the history.

          • khalid Amir khan

            Ahmed wror…….interesting comment…….you are true that we are different from the people living around us and that is also the cause of our downfall……….

    • Jonah Lissner

      Shalom Aleichem Afghan Princess,

      What is a Jew? You mean Hebrews or Israelis some of whom are Afghans, some Kurds, Amhara, Nigerians etc., and modern Jewish people. We can tell where our roots are from I met people from India/Pak region or Romany-Gypsy people can see the Hebrew-Israelite bond there.

      You are right in that Pashtun are related to ancient Israel but mostly related to modern Jews in lesser amount but still so related!

  • Ken

    Is Melmastia the principle that was employed in Genesis 19 the story of Lot protecting the strangers in his home?

  • NLK3

    The courage one disturbs me. Kill the rapist, sure. Kill the father, um… I don’t know about that one (nobody hypnotizes their kids, so don’t adults make their own choices, whether for or against the will of the parents?). Kill the innocents that just happen to live in the same town as the rapist… REALLY?!

  • Afghan Warrior

    I will link with my friends

    • YasminTheJewish .

      Ok

  • m haleem khan arian

    Pshtvnvly a culture that traditionally Bshtvn the laws that regulate the internal issues of their ethnic

  • m haleem khan arian

    Hospitality, sheltering the oppressed and protect assume it count, loyalty, honor and respect other women, not surrender to the invading enemy to the last drop of blood, defending the oppressed and feeding the poor

  • Muzamil Panezai

    interesting to read, I can vouch this article by recounting the time I ( Pashtoon) spent with Jews in USA, I found they were hospitable in the same way as Pashtoons are, interestingly what was the real difference between Jews and other in USA, whenever we went to dine somewhere, we had to pay for our meal, but whenever I went with Jews, they never allowed to pay, I insisted its the system here, I should pay else I will not come to join you people onwards, but they said you are our guest you can not pay, in the same way they were more generous in inviting me home and showing me their culture, also after coming back to my home country I always shared that story that this was the significant difference I found in Jews, Pashtoons would reply “yes its because we are of same descent.

    • Jonah Lissner

      Shalom Aleichem Muzamil,

      I found that common ground very true you know instantly you are talking to some kindred. I also have seen that with Nigerians, Amhara/Ethiopians, Kurds, and random people probably have Hebrew-Israel ancestry.

    • khalid Amir khan

      interesting…………

    • Muhammad Shahnawaz Khan

      O my god, are they (Jewish in USA) really like us? I am from
      Bangladesh & we came from north west frontiers about 250 years ago in
      Bangladesh. I myself is “KHAN” (mean we are Pathan).

      No.9 is not true. Who rape our girl we will never give her
      marriage with him, instead we kill him.

      Rest of the rules are like Arab rules.

    • Muhammad Shahnawaz Khan

      Oh, No. 8 is also not true. Killing all of the resident including his father and …. can’t be true. We can’t give punishment everyone for one bad person. Only the culprit will get punishment.

  • Shoshana

    CORRECTIONS!

    #2: An ‘eye for an eye’ refers to compensation not literal retaliation. Please do not misrepresent Jewish Law!

    The verse you are referring to, discussing a fight between two Jews, says the following: “…an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot; a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.” (Exodus 21:24-25).

    This verse, taken literally, truly sounds like one must be punished in the way you said, to put out the eye or the tooth, to chop off the hand, etc. I, however, respectfully take strong issue with the assumption that this verse was ever taken literally. There is no evidence anywhere, literary or archaeological, that a literal “eye for an eye” was Jewish practice at any time. Nor is there the slightest hint in the Talmud, the principle body of Jewish law that this verse was ever taken literally. It is simply an erroneous assumption based on the literal reading of the verse.

    The Talmud, in fact, records a lengthy discussion of this verse, (Bava Kama 83b-84a). The Talmudic sages bring a number of compelling proofs, both logically and from the inference of other verses, showing one should not even entertain the thought that “an eye for an eye” is to be taken literally. Maimonides, the renowned 12th century sage, further cites the verses in Exodus 21:18-19 which openly speak of damages in terms of monetary payment. Hence, a few verses later when the Torah speaks of “an eye for and eye…” it is obviously referring to the same sort of payment. Other early sages bring additional proof: if literal, if the perpetrator injures another and minimizes his sight by one third or half, how is it possible to do the same in punishment, no more and no less?

    The key principal is that the Torah cannot, and was not meant to be understood literally. Only with the Oral Tradition given together with the written can the Torah be understood correctly and accurately.

    One big question still remains: If the Torah meant to pay monetary damages, why did it write this the way it did, which seems to be misleading?

    The answer offered by Maimonides and Maharal (16th century Prague) is based upon a profound sense of responsibility for one’s actions. The Torah, by expressing the payment in this way, is teaching an important and crucial lesson. Had the Torah simply ordered the aggressor to pay damages, he might have thought that it is sufficient to simply write a check to the victim and he is done.

    The Torah is teaching that if one perpetrates a loss of limb to his fellow, he truly deserves to have the same done to his self. He should truly contemplate the profound damage to the quality of life of his fellow, his pain and suffering he is forced to endure for the rest of his life. He has done a terrible thing and the slate will not be cleared by monetary payment alone. He must beg forgiveness from the injured party for what he has done, and perform Teshuva, repentance to God, coupled with making serious life changes that will ensure a similar act will not be repeated.

    With proper interpretation and understanding, profound lessons can be gleaned from our holy Torah.

  • Arsh

    Dear Yasmin,

    if you’re really interested in finding the lost tribes of Israel then you are going towards wrong directions. Pashtuns/pathans are the off shoots of Indians. yes there were Jews in Afghanistan like rest of the world before Islam.

    the actual lost tribe of israel is the Baloch tribe. They have the right blood line which links from Ameer Hamza , the uncle of last prophet Muhammad Peace be upon Him. which links them back to Kinan, the place of yakuv , and they are from the binyamin tribe.

    most of the The traditions of Balochs are still the same as that of old Israeli culture, even after coming into the folds of Islam

    The main Baloch Israel tribes are the Kurd , which is the sub caste of Baloch people.

    for more detail answer

    view this

    http://forums.tibiabr.com/thre

    http://hwarmstrong.com/british

    so in your next article , Kindly mention this that in middle east Balochs are the true lost tribes of israel.. they dont have jst one of two similarities between them but they have whole culture similar to each other

    my own tribe belongs to the Israeli lost tribe which is Rind.

    Baloch carries long triditions of Jews with right blood line.