Exile and the Lost Tribes of Israel

Since the death of King Shlomo (Solomon), two Jewish kingdoms had lived side by side: Yisrael (Israel) (in the north) and Yehuda (Judah) (in the south). They were a divided people, There were lots of ups and downs in this period. And, although the Jewish people had some good times — economically, spiritually, militarily — they were often unfaithful to their God and they lived in a tough neighborhood. Here, we’ll be focusing on a period of about 150 years, beginning in the late 8th century BCE. It was the beginning of the end for the Jews’ first experience in living as an independent nation.

  1. Who dominated the Middle East in the 9th Century BCE?
    • Assyrian Empire
    • Ottoman Empire
    • Greek Empire
    • Roman Empire
  2. What’s another name for the Northern Kingdom of Israel?
    • Shomron (Samaria)
    • Yehuda
    • Israel
    • Zion
  3. With which group did the Assyrians repopulate the Northern Kingdom after they deported 27,000 Israelites?
    • Muslims
    • Christians
    • Samaritans
    • Canaanites
  4.  How many tribes were lost in the first diaspora?
    • 8
    • 10
    • 12
    • 18
  5.  What did Hizkiyahu (Hezekiah) build in Jerusalem that is still a popular tourist attraction to this day?
    • The Kotel
    • Robinson’s Arch
    • Gihon Spring
    • Underground water channel
  6. What is the saddest day of the Jewish calendar?
    • Yom Kippur
    • Asara B’Tevet
    • Shiva Asar B’Tamuz
    • Tisha B’Av
  1. The Talmud gives the follow reason for the destruction of the two Temples:“Considering that the people during the Second Temple period were engaged in Torah study, observance of mitzvot, and acts of kindness, and that they did not perform the sinful acts that were performed in the First Temple, why was the Second Temple destroyed? It was destroyed due to the fact that there was wanton hatred during that period. This comes to teach you that the sin of wanton hatred is equivalent to the three severe transgressions: Idol worship, forbidden sexual relations and bloodshed.” – Yoma 9b. How do you think a person alive at the time of the Temples would feel knowing that generations later, this is the reason our Rabbis give for why their holy place of worship was defiled and destroyed by foreign nations?
  2. We learn from the Book of Kings II that the King of Assyria sent a message saying “Tell this to King Hezekiah of Judah: Do not let your God, on whom you are relying, mislead you into thinking that Jerusalem will not be delivered into the hands of the king of Assyria. You yourself have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands, how they have annihilated them; and can you escape? Were the nations that my predecessors destroyed—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the Beth-edenites in Telassar—saved by their gods? Where is the king of Hamath? And the king of Arpad? And the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?” After receiving such a letter from a mighty world power, many kings of small nations would have waved the white flag of surrender. But not Hizkiyahu. What can we learn from his response to this letter about his characteristics as a king?
  3. Research the 10 lost tribes of Israel and write a letter to Israel’s Ministry of Interior explaining why you think they should have the same or fewer rights than Jews who maintained their Jewish identity throughout the Diaspora to make aliya through the Law of Return.
  4. From all the historic events Jews remember on Tisha B’Av, which do you view as most impactful on the course of Jewish history?
  5. The Talmud explains: Jerusalem was destroyed on account of Kamtza and bar Kamtza. After reading this story from Masechet Gittin why do you think this parable has become such a central part of Jewish memory in understanding the cause of Jewish homelessness?
  1. Use a ready-made lesson plan on Exile and the Lost Tribes of Israel HERE.
  2. Kings of the Bible: Research one of the kings from this pinterest and create a mock facebook profile for them outlining their likes, dislikes and comments about the politics of their time.
  3. Ahaz vs Hezekiah: Of all the Kings of Israel, few differ more in the manner in which they related to their people, God and sense of morality than Ahaz and Hezekiah. Research these two kings and create a debate between the two that you imagine could have occurred about the responsibilities of being a King of Israel.
  4. Give your students our Kahoot on Exile and the Lost Tribes of Israel!
  1. Throughout Jewish history there has always been a hesitation to have a king of flesh and blood as opposed to living under the rules of God with no human king to serve as an intermediary. From what you have explored today, do you think Jewish life would thrive more under the sovereignty of a human king or in diaspora under the protection or lack thereof from foriegn rulers?
  2. Many events we learned about today are mourned by Jews around the world each year on Tisha B’Av? How does this lesson impact on the level of solidarity you feel with the Jewish people on what is meant to be the saddest day of the Jewish calendar? How do you view the day in contrast to other fast days such as Yom Kippur?
  3. The video explains that one of the reasons the Northern and Southern Kingdoms fell was because their leaders relied more on political alliances to secure their rule, often disregarding the guidance of the prophets and their instructions from God.
  4. As opposed to attributing certain events to an external locus of control and complaining about things they could not control, the rabbis tend to look inwardly and have an internal locus of control. Why does it matter if we remember the cause of our suffering and exile as being caused by external forces or our own actions?

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