Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Who are Today's Yosef and Yehuda?

This week's haftara is on my mind. It's my second favorite that we read all year.

The verse says:

וְעָשִׂיתִי אֹתָם לְגוֹי אֶחָד בָּאָרֶץ, בְּהָרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּמֶלֶךְ אֶחָד יִהְיֶה לְכֻלָּם, לְמֶלֶךְ; וְלֹא יהיה- (יִהְיוּ-) עוֹד לִשְׁנֵי גוֹיִם, וְלֹא יֵחָצוּ עוֹד לִשְׁתֵּי מַמְלָכוֹת עוֹד

So who are the 2 nations of Yosef and Yehuda nowadays?

Everybody and his brother has his theory about this. It could have something to do with the 10 lost tribes, but others have other theories that include current Jewish religious groups.

The Jewish End of Days blog recently posted a nice theory about this. He says that hareidim are Yehuda and religious zionists are Yosef.

Many years ago, I heard another theory based on the second-to-last verse in Ovadia:

וְגָלֻת הַחֵל-הַזֶּה לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר-כְּנַעֲנִים, עַד-צָרְפַת, וְגָלֻת יְרוּשָׁלִַם, אֲשֶׁר בִּסְפָרַד--יִרְשׁוּ, אֵת עָרֵי הַנֶּגֶב

which would imply that Ashkenazim, who lived in צרפת are "Bnei Yisrael" - i.e. Malchut Yisrael - i.e. Yosef, whereas the Sepharadim are from Yehuda since the Galut of Yerushalayim (in Yehuda) is in Sepharad.

Then again, I've heard the exact opposite theories of both of these.

Or, perhaps, the split is between E"Y Jews and diaspora Jews.

As long as we're all united in the end, it doesn't really matter to me who's who.


At Tue Dec 22, 11:17:00 PM 2009, Blogger משה רפאל said...

Yosef is he who goes for the Truth and would sacrifice, or redefine, or re-invent, Am Yisrael if needed. Yehuda is he who knows that there is only one vessel for the truth: Am Yisrael, and he would sacrifice, if needed, temporarily, the truth for it.

When Am Yisrael sins, the two are separated. This is the sale of Yosef. Yosef's inclination was, naturally, to think that the ten brothers were lost to truth and holiness. Yosef and Benyamin would be the new nation, two tribes from Yosef, ten from Benyamim. However, in the end, Yosef must bow to the principle of Yehuda. Yosef's task is not to split off, but to bring about the Teshuva of Am Yisrael, and so unite with Yehuda.

At Wed Dec 23, 04:23:00 AM 2009, Blogger eddie said...

Amen to yaak

At Sun Jan 03, 08:56:00 AM 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to many of the medieval Rabbis it is the Lost Tribes that is in Tzarefat- Ovadia says they are from the Assyrian exile. The Ashkenazi are from Judah and thus connected with Sepharad not Tzarefat.


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