Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Printed from chabad.org
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
TheRebbe.org
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
News
Kabbalah Online
JewishWoman.org
Kids Zone
Historical legends tell us about the ten mighty tribes of Israel exiled by the ancient Assyrian Empire. Our scriptures identify their exilic settlements by name, but no one knows where they’ve gone. How did millions of Jews simply vanish?

The Ten Lost Tribes

The Ten Lost Tribes

E-mail
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
E-mail
1000 characters remaining
Email me when new comments are posted.
Sort By:
Discussion (18)
April 30, 2014
I think that you forget that HaShem promised Avraham that his decendants would be as the stars in the sky, and as the sands in the sea. That is too many to number. So, yes, there are potentially millions upon millions of the lost tribes.
Shalom
Anonymous
March 13, 2014
I do not agree with a LOT of what you said>did all Jews around the world arrive because they were shipwrecked? I DO believe that does not make any sense> and I DO believe that they are the ten lost tribes. I also believe that we may not know the whole truth until Mashiyach returns> a lot of things remain mysteries, but anyone who makes teshuva to HaShem & Torah is accepted to me a being Jewish...I just spoke with a lady who was trying to find her identity because all records of her family were lost in the holocaust; she is from Mexico.
Patti
New Mexico
January 7, 2014
Thanks for the response!
Dear Rabbi Kaplan,
Thanks for the clarification, I did not understand it when thinking the other way around... I have always wondered why Jews from nowadays Irak/Iran are called Sephardic by some people, when actually we (meaning Spanish and Portuguese Jews) seem to be separated by more than just geographic distance.
I am sorry if you understood I implied you were merely speculating. I am aware that several academies were founded in the pre-Rambam period (in Cordoba for instance) and other places of the Al-Andalus Caliphate, many by central figures from Babylon well-known by all of us. I have read something on this topic, but if you have some suggestions I would certainly appreciate.
Thanks again!
Ll. Nisa
Switzerland
January 3, 2014
Response!
Thank you for your meaningful and insight: feedback. Just to clarify: when speaking of the orgins of Sephardic vs Ashkenazic Jews, I refer not to genealogy but rather to the Torah traditions like the liturgy of prayer and specific Minhagim related to the of observance of Mitzvot etc. And that is fairly well documented, rather than mere empty speculation... Much more to say... No more time or space :-)
Rabbi Mendel Kaplan
Thornhill, Ontario
December 29, 2013
Educational material by Rv. Kaplan is usually excellent. This audio class though had some surprising points. For instance:
1. Even though the author states that it's maybe pure speculation, the Sephardim may come from Babylonian Jewry, while the Ashkenazim may come from Israel... When the Romans destroyed the 2nd Temple in 70 CE they took thousands of slaves to Hispania (=Sefarad), being this the biggest recorded input of Jews in the Iberian Peninsula... Also the Arabs brought thousands of Jews with them when they conquered Iberia, most of which came from North Africa and not from Mesopotamia or Persia, which conform a full-part branch of Judaism. I know sometimes we tend to include them in the Sephardic group, but historically and culturally they are groups far apart.
2. The portrait of the Rambam and his statue in Cordoba, Spain, are not based on him at all! The portrait was printed in a 17th or 18th century edition of his work. We have no idea how he looked like.
Ll. Nisa
Switzerland
December 19, 2013
Thought Provoking Class
Thank you Rav Kaplan for this class. My daughter is fascinated by this subject. Can you suggest works in English online or in book form so she can learn more about this subject.
B'Kavode Rav,
Don Zusya Goodman
March 29, 2011
Ten Lost Tribes
This topic has been fascinating no end even outside the Jewish community. Where have all this tribes gone? Same applies to the idea of 'chosenness', to become one of the elected. How about the rest of the humankind?
'I called your name and you are mine!' This implies that you are G-d's child forever once you have been baptized, the non-Jewish way of a being 'chosen'. Then of course there is the obligation to live your life according to the commandments + love other human beings in the same way you love yourself. As for me, the Lord's Prayer and the commandments are a solid rock for the veneration of the Creator of the World - there is no need to believe in the dogma of trinity!
Isn't the dispersion of 10 tribes a good reminder for Jewish people, that they should not be confined to their community too much and that there exists an opening to mankind? There is always the possibility that a gentile could be connected to one of the lost tribes - you never know!
Brigitte v.Ungern-Sternberg
Berlin, Germany
August 23, 2010
is there any truth that maybe the souls of the lost tribes still are holy and will come back to judiasm in the last days.
Mrs. Catherine Cronin
August 1, 2010
the lost tribes
Rabbi Mendel Kaplan is a Rabbi who is blessed with the wonderful gift of being able to impart his vast knowledge in a way that everyone, no matter what level they are on/at, can comprehend.
i have had the honor of attending the Rabbi's lectures/shiurim in person and always leave enlightened, uplifted and inspired.
Rivkah Michal Kahn
toronto, ON
August 27, 2009
Missing
I have never heard any rabbi discuss ancestries that go back to Judah that the kings of Europe had. There is one from Iceland (Priam, Thor, Odin), two from Britain (Zerah, Darius, Brutus, Beli Mawr), and (Zerah, Darius, Antenor, William "the Conqueror,") one from Ireland (Pharez, David, Tea Tephi), and one from France (Zerah, Darius, Charlemagne). Then, their descendants all married each other. Consider the Icelandic Langfedgatal's connection to the Chaldeans through ancestors like Moda (a Hebrew word) and the Icelandic Magi, part of the Chaldean/Zoroastrian religion with their ancestor Thor. 1 Maccabees 12, says, "Darius our bretheren." There are so many sources! I count over 20 sources from the Middle Ages and earlier. Then, there is the fact that Presidents usually descend from kings. The same tribe has been ruling the the world for all recorded history. This data combines easily with the idea of the scepter in Genesis. I don't know how rabbis can avoid discussing this!
Craig Hamilton
Sandwich
Show all comments
FEATURED ON CHABAD.ORG