My basic question is:
Are there any reasons or hints in the Torah that explain or hint that Judah/Yehudah would be the tribe that was not lost?
Yes, I know that parts of Benjamin survived as well, as did - obviously - some of the tribe of Levi, and that there are opinions that some parts of the other tribes were absorbed into Judah. But fundamentally, of all the Israelites, the tribe that survived is Judah which is obviously why we are called Jews today.
- Why, of all the tribes, did Judah make it?
- Is it "just" because they chose to remain loyal, or did they do something to "deserve" it?
- Are there any commentaries discussing this?
- Did Judah himself do something that, in that merit, caused his tribe to endure?
- Is there anything in Torah specifically that has been used to explain this success?