King Ayi, self-pronounced ruler of the 6.3 million population of Togo in West Africa, visited Education Minister David Azulai of Shas and said he wants Israel to recognize his millions of subjects as Jewish, claiming that they moved to Togo from Eretz Yisroel two thousand years ago via Morocco.
“My yearning is to come next Sukkos with a congregation of my believers to the Kosel and to shout Shema Yisroel,” he told Azulai, claiming that his subjects observed Rosh Hashanah, the separation of milk and meat, bris milah and Shabbos and that he wanted to bring his kings to Eretz Yisroel together with their subjects.
Azulai replied, “On both halachic and practical levels, the matter needs to pass through the Chief Rabbinate.”
When Ayi made similar claims to Rav Chaim Kanievsky a few months ago, Israeli media exposed the man as vastly over representing his royal credentials. He is not acknowledged as a king in Togo and has lived in the United States for many years. At most, he can claim connection to a local tribe of several hundred thousand ruled over by his uncle.
Never one to give up, Ayi said that his grandfather wanted him to be king but he abdicated in favor of his uncle as he didn’t want the position. Instead, he was granted the symbolic title of king.
“But he [my uncle] rules over only one province while I am the symbolic king not only of the province by over the whole of Togo,” he said.
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel