Assuming we will, at some point, be reunited with some or all of the exiled Ten Tribes of Israel, will we expect them to celebrate holidays that are specifically Judaic in nature, by which I mean that they are commemorations of events that happened to Judah as opposed to the other tribes?

I am obviously referring to the holidays of Chanukkah and Purim. Should the Ten Tribes celebrate such holidays?

On the one hand, these are well-established holidays in Jewish tradition and law, and would we want a large portion of Jews (Judah) to be celebrating such days while the rest of Israel does not?

But on the other hand, why should they have any reason to celebrate? Perhaps we should treat this the same as any other customs that arise within communities in exile (i.e. inserted prayers like Yekum Purkan and Av HaRachamim etc.), which the individual communities observe and others communities have no reason to accept. If one of the Ten Tribes with whom we will be united, for example, has accumulated one or two holidays in commemoration of events that occurred in their exile, would we be expected to observe them?

  • 2
    קימו וקבל היהודים עליהם ועל זרעם ועל כל הנלוים עליהם
    – Double AA
    Apr 28, 2013 at 22:26
  • Frankly, what about Tisha b'Av? Do we have a tradition as to when Samaria fell?
    – Double AA
    Apr 28, 2013 at 22:50
  • @DoubleAA, I thought about including T"B in this question, but assumed that would be cut down by the argument that the only basis for this question is a Messianic era, in which case the observance of T"B (and potentially, the downfall of the Northern Kingdom) would anyways be irrelevant. Purim and Chanuka, on the other hand, arguably are included in the Messianic calendar.
    – jake
    Apr 29, 2013 at 1:40
  • assuming the reuniting happens in ymot hamashiach, does the rambam's statement in hilchot megillah answer this? כל ספרי הנביאים וכל הכתובים, עתידין ליבטל לימות המשיח, חוץ ממגילת אסתר--הרי היא קיימת כחמישה חומשי תורה, וכהלכות של תורה שבעל פה, שאינן בטילין, לעולם. ואף על פי שכל זכרון הצרות ייבטל, שנאמר "כי נשכחו, הצרות הראשונות, וכי נסתרו, מעיניי" (ישעיהו סה,טז)--ימי הפורים לא ייבטלו, שנאמר "וימי הפורים האלה, לא יעברו מתוך היהודים, וזכרם, לא יסוף מזרעם" (אסתר ט,כח).
    – rosends
    Apr 29, 2013 at 13:38
  • @Dan, To me it looks like it reinforces the question.
    – jake
    Apr 29, 2013 at 13:49

1 Answer 1


It seems that it is generally agreed that they would have to celebrate Chanukah and Purim (as is the case nowadays with Ethiopian Jews and Bnei Menashe and other groups).

The Chida wrote in Devarim Achadim, Drush for Shabbat Zachor, 3:

"וא"כ הכא שהיו רוב ישראל תחת רשות אחשורוש נתחייבו שאר ישראל שבכל מקום כי עשרת שבטים המה נדחים ולא נודע מקומם איה ולכל דבר אזלינן בתר רובא דאיתיה קמן..."

Translation: "And if so, that this was the case that most of Yisrael were under the rule of Achashverosh, then the rest of Yisrael everywhere else became subject [to keeping Purim] because the Ten Tribes were lost and their location was not known, and in any case we go after the evident majority..."

Perhaps that's the reason that Rabbi Shlomo Aviner wrote:

ש: האם אתיופים חוגגים חנוכה?

ת: כן. על אף שאבותיהם לא היו באותו הנס, אין זה משנה, הם שייכים לכלל ישראל.

Translation: Q: Do the Ethiopian [Jews] celebrate Chanukah?

A: Yes. Though their ancestors weren't part of the miracle, it doesn't matter, because they are a part of Klal Yisrael.

In the publication Belelchtecha Baderech of 5767, it is brought in the name of Rav Ovadyah Yosef zt"l from Shu"t Yabia Omer O"C 41 (I don't have access right now to the book itself and can't find the relevant quote online) that the reason that the Ten Tribes would have to celebrate Chanukah is that: a. It was a "woe of the Temple" (צרת בהמ"ק), which is a woe (צרה) for all of Am Yisrael, no matter where they were at the time. b. According to the Tosfot in Gittin 36a, even though not all of the Ten Tribes were in Eretz Yisrael during the Second Temple era, some were1, and so that's enough to say that "all of its [the land's] dwellers are upon it", and therefore things like Yovel can be instituted. Likewise, in the case of Chanukah, it would mean that it was as though the majority of Yisrael accepted upon themselves celebrating Chanukah, and as such - everyone would have to celebrate it.

1 For some examples of evidence from the sources, see here.

  • How about arava (as it applies outside the mikdash), which is specifically a minhag and not a chiyuv? Ethiopians etc. didn't have that minhag.
    – Heshy
    Aug 3, 2021 at 13:22
  • @Heshy That's a good question, I don't know. I'd venture a guess that we could say that it's a מנהג שקיבלו רוב ישראל and רוב ישראל here goes according to what the Chida said, that we go per the evident majority.
    – Harel13
    Aug 3, 2021 at 14:37

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