I have been told that before the Torah was given, the Children of Israel weren't yet "Jews" in the religious sense. Only at the "naaseh venishma" moment dod they convert. The erev rav (mixed multitudes) were present for this. Why then are they still referred to as strangers during the incident of the quail? The question follows the opinion that the erev rav were not descendants of Jacob.

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  • Converts are not part of any tribe. – Clint Eastwood Jul 10 '16 at 13:37
  • This may be a helpful start to finding an answer: myjewishlearning.com/article/conversion-history-ancient-period The "mass multitudes" were considered suspect by some members of Israel. As occurs today in Western nations with large influxes of foreigners, the nokhim either chose to remain separate or they assimilated into Israel through marriage and adaptation of the dominant culture. Ruth is the perfect example of latter Likewise, nowadays people are suspicious of foreigners who enter their nation and choose to remain separate or attempt to force their culture on the natives. – JJLL Jul 10 '16 at 15:05
  • COnverts do not join any of the tribes. The reason that the Bnei Yisrael remained members of the tribes after the "conversion" at Har Sinai was because Hashem explicitly told them so (return to your families). Since the eirev rav were not part of the tribes, they did not join any of the tribes after Har Sinai. – sabbahillel Jul 10 '16 at 21:10
  • Converts do not inherit land. They therefore can live in Levite cities or rent land which reverts back to its owners in Yovel. – CashCow Jul 11 '16 at 10:29
  • I removed the part about converts and tribes, which can be asked as a separate question if it hasn't been already, and focused the question on the part in the title. – Monica Cellio Jul 21 '16 at 15:02