Are the aseres hashevatim still living nowadays?
Now that’s a question that there’s a misunderstanding about. Some people think that there is somewhere in the world where the ten shevatim are concealed and we don’t know where they are. Don’t believe it!
There was a time when such a thing was a possibility. When the world didn’t have any communication, so you could live in a certain village and not know what’s in the next village. Some people never travelled to the next village all their lives. And therefore, there were places that were separated, isolated, and there could have been a place where some of the aseres hashevatim lived. But today we know the entire world already.
Today the aseres hashevatim exist but not in any separate groups. They are mixed among us today. You will not find them in any individual groups. And so, when the navi says ובאו האובדים בארץ אשור והנדחים בארץ מצרים, that they’ll all come together, והשתחוו להשם בהר הקודש בירושלים, it only means that we will all come up together to Yerushalayim and then Hashem will point out which one of us is from are from Reuven, which ones are from Shimon and so on.
But it is impossible today that a shevet should be hiding some place because we know the entire world. And if they are hiding then it’s a very big avlah of theirs – why are you hiding?! Why don’t you come out and join the Am Yisroel today? Let’s say there is a shevet hiding somewhere in the middle of Africa, מעבר לנהרי כוש, beyond some African rivers. They know about us today – everybody knows. So why shouldn’t they come up to Yerushalayim today? Why shouldn’t they come and buy a shas? They should buy the Vilna Shas! What are you doing there behind the rivers of Kush? It’s impossible today that a shevet should be hiding!
And if the shevet is so mixed among the gentiles that they don’t know who they are, then they are like goyim; they really are goyim. They are ovdei avoda zara. It’s impossible that a shevet of ovdei avoda zara will be brought back to us, no.
Only that in the days of Eldad haDani, in the days of the earlier rishonim, there were still communities that were unknown to the world. Columbus didn’t know about America; there was a whole world he didn’t know about. And therefore when Eldad haDani reported that he had met certain shevatim, yes, in his time it was very possible. They had no contact with the rest of the world; there was no printing, there were no shasim, no newspapers lehavdil, and they knew nothing about the world. So it was possible for a shevet of nidachim of Reuven or Shimon who were still alive some place and they maintained all their loyalty to Hashem; certainly.
But now that we know everything and the whole world is one world, it’s impossible that there should be a shevet concealed somewhere and they still are willing to remain in hiding. If they would remain in hiding today it would be a very big criticism of them.
And therefore, as we said in the beginning of today’s talk, all the shevatim are mixed among us today. And these are the shevatim that were אובדים בארץ אשור and נדחים בארץ מצרים at that time; but today they are mixed among us. And one day we’ll all come together להשתחוות להשם בהר הקודש בירושלים.
TAPE # 908