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9
votes
4answers
12k 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.)
12
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
372 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
94 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
171 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
153 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
232 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

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 ...