Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The fate of the 12 Jewish Tribes


A reader of my German religious book asked me about the fate of the lost Jewish Tribes. Here is my answer: 

Where did the Jewish Tribes disappear to and is there a chance of return ? The "official" version among haredi circles is that when Meshiach is coming, it will be him determining who belongs to which Tribe. It says that Meshiach will find out the Tribe with his sense of smell. It was this particular human sense, Adam and Eve didn't use in a negative way when eating from the apple in Gan Eden (Paradise). For instance, the two tasted it but didn't use their sense of smell. Nevertheless, I want to point out that the famous apple apparently wasn't an apple but something else, as the Talmud teaches us ! 

The Assyrians exiled Ten of the Twelve Jewish Tribes while occupying the northern part of Israel. The Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 110b discusses the topic. Also whether these Ten Tribes are supposed to return in the times of Meshiach. Some Rabbis say YES, other claim the opposite. The Ten Tribes would be lost, as they left G - d and turned to idol - worship. 

Those of you who are interested in the subject have to be aware of the fact that there are plenty of questionable websites claiming to know where exactly those Tribes are and who belongs to whom. Honestly, I don't believe in any of those sites. They either belong to fundamental Christians who are looking for a way into Judaism or to self - appointed scientists and researches making crazy claims in order to sell books and make money. The fact is that no one knows where those Tribes are today ! 

The Assyrians took the Tribes into Exile and those Jews may have ended in Iraq as well as in China or India. For the past two centuries, a real fashion has started among Indians. Claiming to be Jewish in order to immigrate to Israel. Israelis, on the other hand, consider those Indians as people who want to escape poverty and run after our tax money. In fact, there are parts of the national religious movement, including the questionable Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, supporting those Indian "Bnei Menashe". They bring them to Israel, convert them or don't and organize Indian weddings. The Indians, however, stick together in their own communities and you will find them in settlements such as Kfar Tapuach or Kiryat Arba or elsewhere. Many of them used to live in Gush Katif when it still belonged to Israel. "Israel needs cheap farm workers!", this is what a Rabbi once told me. 

I neither believe in the Bnei Menashe business nor in those people coming from Peru claiming that they are Jewish and from a lost Tribe. The "Lost Tribe Claim" has become a real fashion and mostly from people born into Third World Countries searching for a better life in the Western world. Israelis are "rassists" and neither those people from Peru nor the Indians will ever be accepted into society but rather live among themselves. I hardly ever see them in Tel Aviv. 

I wish I had more time dealing with the Tribes and everything connected. Unfortunately, I have to work and my time is limited.:-) On the other hand, I wouldn't concentrate too much on "Where are the Tribes and who belongs to whom ?". As I said before: We simply don't know and there is no way to determine who is who. Why not wait until Meshiach comes instead of running after false speculations ?


  1. what are the requirements to live in batei ungarin ?
    yerushalmi levush and being a member of the eidah ?

  2. B"H

    I don't know if there are any requirements.:-) It goes without saying that one should fit in but the Batei Ungarin also include a Chatam Sofer Synagogue. Furthermore, not only old Yerushalmim live there but also Dushinsky or Satmar.

    It is probably better being an Edah member or, at least, anti - Zionist. However, I also know a Chabad woman living in the area and she is a "hidden" Meshichist.:-)))

  3. do a dna test for them then lol
    PS: u gotta be open-minded

  4. B"H

    There is no DNA test for proving a Jewish tribe or proving that someone is Jewish. Especially Christians love to claim that there are DNA tests because they are looking for a way to stay in Israel. However, there is no definite proof for any Jewish gen.

    Moreover, Halacha rules that Meshiach will find out the tribes and neither someone else nor a false DNA test.