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15
votes
6answers
6k views

Are there any Jewish people alive today who can identify themselves as coming from a particular tribe?

The Christian "New Testament" claims Paul (Saul) was of the tribe of Benjamin. Since Roman times have there been any people who can validly claim they were from a particular tribe? At least at that ...
11
votes
4answers
27k views

What are the symbols of the 12 tribes?

I remember that every tribe has his own symbol, e.g. Benjamin's symbol is a wolf. What are the symbols of the 12 tribes? (I am especially interested in knowing what the symbol is for Levi.)
13
votes
8answers
506 views

How did Yosef showing his circumcision prove anything?

Rashi to 45:4 says that when Yosef told his brothers to approach him, it was to show them his circumcision (presumably to prove he was Jewish). But how would that prove anything? All of Egypt had been ...
6
votes
1answer
160 views

Why does the tribe of Gad have an unusual population count in Bamidbar 1?

When listing the census of the tribes in Bamidbar 1, only the tribe of Gad has the count 45,650 - I.e. - the count is not exactly on the hundreds as it is with all the other tribes. As the count was ...
4
votes
2answers
875 views

Are the historical Jewish tribes still known today? [duplicate]

I have always wondered if my Jewish friends know what tribe they descend from. If so, do they have any celebrations for their tribe? Are all Rabbis descended from the tribe of Levi?
13
votes
1answer
177 views

Where are the lost tribes?

Are they spread all round the nations? If so, how will they still be Jewish, surely they will have assimilated so many generations later? Or are they spread within the Jewish nation? I learnt in the ...
13
votes
2answers
298 views

What shevet did a convert in the midbar belong to (if any)?

During the time in the midbar or when the land of Israel was apportioned by shevet, if someone converted what tribe (if any) would s/he belong to? The purpose of this question is to deduce a ...
4
votes
2answers
84 views

Why did Yosef cause so much anguish to his family?

While this question already seems to assume some answer or another (that of a 'deeper purpose'), I thought it strange that nobody has actually asked this question so far: Yosef recognized his ...
13
votes
1answer
163 views

Where did the converts camp in the desert?

When the Bnai Yisrael left Egypt, many converts left with them. Shmot 12:38: וְגַם עֵרֶב רַב עָלָה אִתָּם וְצֹאן וּבָקָר מִקְנֶה כָּבֵד מְאֹד: And also, a great mixed multitude went up ...
10
votes
2answers
198 views

Why are the Meraglim in that order?

The meraglim (scouts) and their shevet (tribe) are listed in a strange order in Bemidbar 13: Reuven Shimon Yehuda Yissachar Ephraim Binyamin Zevulun (Of Yosef): Menashe Dan Asher Naftali Gad As ...
6
votes
4answers
167 views

Asara Haruge Malchut (Ten Martyrs), why were 10 Rabbis killed?

In Vayigash, Rabenu Bahya (also the Zohar) comments and says that the reason we had Asara Haruge Malchut because the brothers sold Yosef. However, Reuven didn't sell Yosef, so why should the ...
6
votes
2answers
281 views

Why do a few tribes in a list have different trope from the rest?

In the first aliya of B'midbar the chiefs of the tribes are listed. Nine have the zakeif gadol trope and three -- Yisachar, Binyamin, and Naftali -- have different trope. This isn't driven by word ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

What is “birthright” really?

I am having a hard time in understanding these biblical verses: And the sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel—for he was the first-born; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's couch, his ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Why was Ephraim's count not affected by leaving early?

According to the medrash pirkei deRebbi Eliezer (48) 200,000 Ephraimites left Egypt many years before Moshe took the Jews out and were killed. There are other midrashim and a gemarah which quote ...
2
votes
0answers
144 views

What tribe are the Bene Israel in India descended from?

What tribe(s) are the Bene Israel of India descended from?
1
vote
2answers
41 views

Why did Moses add part of the tribe of Menashe to join Re'uvean and Gad on the east of the Jordan?

In response to Reuven and Gad's request to settle on the east side of Jordan, Moses includes part of the tribe of Menashe to join them, as it says: Numbers 32:33: וַיִּתֵּ֣ן לָהֶ֣ם ׀ מֹשֶׁ֡ה ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

What are the Judean boundaries with regard to contemporary landmarks?

What are the halachic boundaries of Judea (the inheritance of the Israelite tribe of Judah) with regard to contemporary landmarks/cities?