Zakhah: Joy of Living Live: A Raw Food Journey (Communicators Press, Washington 2005)
Similarly to Queen Afua's book, this book is very good for transitioning raw foodists. It is about a raw food community living in the desert in a town called Dimona. They are mostly African-Americans who left America and its junk food culture in favour of a living food lifestyle. They have been called the healthiest group of people on the planet today, as you will read below. Their natural health approach is based on either 100% or high raw food diet, regular exercise, spiritual practice and a supporting community. Many of the community members run their own businesses, like Zakhah, the writer of this book. Past community members also included Jinjee and Storm Talifero.
Studying the way of life of this community, who call themselves African Hebrew Israelites, is beneficial for all natural living/ health enthusiasts, I believe. Personally, I found Zakhah's book very inspiring, although it is quite short and a big part of it is dedicated to recipes. But it is a very uplifting read.
"You haven't REALLY been RAW until you...
- Try at least 5 different varieties of the same fruit or vegetable
- Try at least 20 new foods that you NEVER thought you would eat
- Soak and sprout your own nuts, seeds, grains and beans
- Plant and harvest food from your own garden
- Prepare a raw meal for others that is so good, they begin preparing that same meal for others
- Can eat a meal of just cherries or mangoes or avocados or ____ and feel perfectly satisfied
- Can drink a fresh green juice straight up with nothing added
- Can identify at least 3 edible plants on a nature walk
- Watch the sunrise from a top of a mountain
- Watch the sunset from a shore of a beach
- Spend a night outside under the stars
- Shop in an open air market in a foreign country
- Shop in a local farmers market
- Walk barefoot on a field of grass
- Drink young coconut water straight from the coconut
- Peel and chop a stalk of sugarcane
- Swim in a natural lake
- Attend a raw food retreat
- Feel completely happy and at peace with the Creator, the creation, humanity and yourself
- Can do these things without FEAR
- Start GLOWING and everyone tells you so
- Amaze your doctor
- Out-live your doctor"
I will quote at length from this book because it is quite concise and because these paragraphs provide a good introduction to the exciting achievements of this community:
"There is a human health experiment that has been conducted for the past  years. This experiment removed a group of African Americans from the ills of America [...] and placed them in a controlled environment in Israel, Northeast Africa to determine the effects on their health in adhering to the Biblical laws of diet and lifestyle. In addition, these residents of Israel have no weapons, no locks on doors, no perversion, no homelessness, no starvation, and no crime. The results are unprecedented."
- The Joy of Living Live
"Hailed by the Israeli media as 'an Island of Sanity' and by the United States Congress as a 'Miracle in the Desert', the Hebrew Israelites have been studied by various sociologists and heralded for 'leaping thousands of years of social evolution'. [...] They currently eat 'The Sacred Diet' that consists of raw and steamed foods and whole food supplements. There are some, however, who have stepped out on the water to consume all or mostly raw foods."
- The Joy of Living Live
"The African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem are not only the healthiest people in the African Diaspora, but evidence is beginning to emerge suggesting that they are indeed the healthiest collective group of humans on the planet today."
"In this 'Village of Peace' it is mandatory for every adult to exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes until sweating. It is prescribed to receive a full-body massage once a month. The entire community is vegan [with] no consumption of [...] chemicals, artificial additives or preservatives. They eat only fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, legumes and seeds. There is no smoking or alcohol consumption, except for naturally fermented, fruit-based wines produced within the community. The Hebrew Israelite adults observe at least three no-salt days, one raw food day, and one day of fasting every single week. Four times a year, during the change of seasons, the community prepares to elevate their diet. They observe a 'sugarless week' where the only sweeteners consumed are maple syrup, date syrup and green stevia; and a 'Live Foods Week' where members of the community consume 80% to 100% raw foods and also cleanse their digestive systems."
- Zakhah, the Joy of Living Live
One of the most interesting parts of this book are the 'Living Testimonies' from the community, whom the writer of this book, Zakhah, is part of. They are a religiously orientated community living in Southern Israel, in the three towns of Dimona, Arad, and Mitspe Ramon.
Their community is called 'the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem' and their objective is to establish a kingdom of God (Yah) on earth and to demonstrate the benefits of living according to the word of Yah. Most of the community members migrated from the USA and originally ate a junk food diet. Their leader is Prince Aharon Ben Israel and the community includes other prominent raw food promoters, including Dr. Llaila Afrika, and Storm and Jinjee Talifero. The community observes a vegan lifestyle with exercise, prayer and detoxification, and is - as a whole - gradually increasing their consumption of raw foods. Everyone at the community eats at least 50% raw foods, and some are 100% raw.
Some pointers from the testimonies (paraphrased):
There are chapters explaining the basic concepts of live food eating, including explanations on enzymes and organic eating. There is also a chapter on prayer and meditation and lots of emphasis is put on fasting and exercise throughout. Also, charts and practical advice are included on sprouting, food combining, meal combining, healthy substitutes for various foods, meal preparation, etc. are included in this small, concise book. There is also a chart on some basic qualities of different herbs and spices.
You can follow the image link below to preview the book, to read the customer reviews or to purchase from Amazon.
The African Hebrew Israelite community runs various companies to do with raw foods and natural living, including 'The Everlasting Life Health Complex" in Washington DC, who offer raw food retreats.
Zakhah is a chef at the Everlasting Life Cafe, the soul food vegan cafe in Washington DC, and the Taste of Life Restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel. All of these restaurants can be found in the HappyCow.net vegan restaurant guide.
Apart from authoring the 'Joy of Living Live', Zakhah has also co-authored the Tree of Life Absorption Manual' and she also used to work with the 'Elements of Truth' magazine and the 'Communicators Press'.
Zakhah also has her own channel on You Tube:
This was one of the very first raw food books I read, and I found it extremely inspiring. Especially the idea of such a progressive community and the personal testimonies with pictures. I would love to have the opportunity to visit them or attend one of their retreats sometime!
African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem: "Our Philosophy" on Africanhebrewisraelitesofjerusalem.com
"Who Is Sister Zakhah?" on Natural-culture.com (her own website)
For more information on topics covered in the book and to order a copy, go to: Joyoflivinglive.com
Dr. Llaila Afrika (Return to Natural Healing): Drafrika.com
Storm Talifero (Raw Vegan Warrior): Rawveganwarrior.com
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