Zakhah: Joy of Living Live: A Raw Food Journey

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.

joy of living live, raw food diet

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.

Opening words:

"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 [43] 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
Joy of Living Live, Zakhah, black african, raw food
(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):

  • Eating meat causes one to be grievous in their thoughts toward their fellow man
  • Only live foods contain enzymes (life-giving activators that cause your body to be able to utilize the nutrients in food)
  • In a raw lifestyle you won't even get into accidents because your sixth sense opens up and makes you aware of the impending danger
  • Eating raw is not the complete answer, I believe that everyone should do fasting
  • I tolerate stress more, I am calmer, not as feisty - my family will attest to that - I'm more happy with myself...
  • Fifty to sixty percent of of the people on the planet eat raw/ vegetarian food. The average American eats meat at least once a day. Even lions eat meat only once or twice a week.
  • We have to know who the enemy is - it's the people pushing the poor diet. My greatest challenge is to get Black people off white sugar.
  • I noticed that my stomach (ulcers) would always bother me shortly after my buckwheat salad. So I moved a step forward and took grains, oils, salt, and sugar completely out of my diet. Instant success!
  • My children don't get sick at all. If they get a little down, it only lasts about 24 hours.
  • I have reversed the aging process. You have to return your body to an alkaline state.
  • We've got to stop talking about dying with dignity and talk about living with dignity.
  • I ran 50 miles a day from New York to Los Angeles for 71 days consuming nothing but liquid, no solids. The longest I have fasted on water was 82 days.
  • The top three killers are: sleep deprivation, dehydration, and lack of physical fitness.
  • I discovered the strangest thing - celery does the best to put meat on their [the children's] bones. Storm puts celery in his green juices to help him bulk up. He also consumes a lot of nut milks, avocados, olives, tons of citrus juice, apricots... he SWEARS by the protein in fruit.
  • Make 100% live your goal because you are so vibrant and alive that you can't even achieve that level if you are only 99%. Your pleasure in life comes from the feeling of health, not from the food.

Key Ideas Put Forward in Zakhah: Joy of Living Live

  • The Joy of Living Live is meant as a transition tool from the cooked food to the living foods diet. It must be supplemented with certain 'superfoods' in order to be effective, namely: blackstrap molasses, sesame seeds, kelp, brewers yeast, fresh parsley, fenugreek, and wheatgerm.
  • "You have to actively do something right each and every day in order to live. We cannot ascribe to higher forms of life without discipline."
    - Joy of Living Live
  • Wholistic approach: eat living foods, drink green juices, exercise, think positively, adhere to rules of food combining (natural hygiene), detoxify the body, supplement with whole food supplements, eat organic and a varied diet.
  • The five elements of life are attitude, diet, exercise, rest and relaxation, and proper elimination.
  • "The human body was not designed to eat every single day."
  • Main cleansing/ detoxification methods mentioned are: prune juice, aloe vera juice, psyllium husk, garlic and olive oil, senna leaf tea, enemas, and colon hydrotherapy. It is important to clean out at least once every three months at the change of seasons but too much detoxifying can destroy the natural good bacteria.
  • Foods with high water content are considered alkaline foods. Foods with low water content are acidic.

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.

Almost half of the book is filled with recipes, including sweet potato pie, apple pie, curried okra, rawlafels (falafels), stuffed grape leaves, sushi, live spring rolls, nut chili, candied yams, and raw tofu (make your own).

You can follow the image link below to preview the book, to read the customer reviews or to purchase from Amazon.

Websites by and Further References on the African Hebrew Israelites and Zakhah

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 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!

Read also the following articles

African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem: "Our Philosophy" on

"Who Is Sister Zakhah?" on (her own website)

For more information on topics covered in the book and to order a copy, go to:

If you are especially interested in black African/ American raw foodists, you will also find the following of interest:

Queen Afua
Dr. Llaila Afrika (Return to Natural Healing):
Storm Talifero (Raw Vegan Warrior):

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