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 Talmud in Bava Basra 115b which states that Abaye says "we have a tradition saying no Shevet will ever get extinct". If so, where are these tribes? It's always disturbed me.

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    That's a very interesting question, +1....a lot of research has been done on the question, but (as far as I know) nothing definitive has been found. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Lost_Tribes for a start. – Shokhet Dec 17 '14 at 1:11
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    Even if they assimilated, Yeshayahu 27:13 says that "those lost in ... Assyria ... will come". Perhaps "lost" means assimilated. – Ypnypn Dec 17 '14 at 2:41
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    A couple of relevant sources are Sanhedrin 110b (starting with the Mishna, עשרת השבטים אינן עתידין לחזור) and 94a (startingלהיכא אגלי להו). Also see the entry "עשרת השבטים" in Wikipedia. – Fred Dec 17 '14 at 8:20
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    if there was an answer to this question ,then would they really be lost? – sam Jan 5 '15 at 1:41
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    @Fred and the end of the first perek of Yevamos – Shmuel Brin Jan 6 '15 at 22:22

If you were living in the time of the destruction of the Northern kingdom, you would have many options where to go. Certainly many individuals went south to join the Tribes of Yehuda and Benyamin. By the time of the exile of the North, many individuals had intermarried into different tribes. Once they left the North, there was no longer any reason to keep together as a separate tribe. Sancheriv, the conqueror of the North had an interest in moving people around so they would lose solidarity and loyalty to their conquered land. He moved the 10 tribes into various places. Some of the tribes that stayed in tact were later brought back by the prophet Yirmeyahu. But eventually ALL of the 12 tribes were mixed together in exile and only Levi and Cohen people kept track of their lineage. All the tribes are "lost". So the masses of Jews all over the world are a mixture. Some groups of people with Jewish customs, like the ones in Afghanistan, are likely remnants of the original 10 tribes. Possibly also the Ethiopian Jews and some in India. There are small groups of peoples that have been found that say they go back to biblical Israel but there's no proof. The sages say that in the end of days a prophet or Elijah will be able to separate everyone's lineage, and at that time it is understood that the tribal affiliation, including the "10 Lost Tribes" will return.

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya, Max, and thanks for your input. Can you back up your claims with sources? If so, please edit those in. Hope to see you around! – Scimonster Jan 6 '15 at 20:23

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