Eldad Ha-Dani and the Return of the Ten Lost Tribes
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Claiming to have come from the lost tribe of Dan, Eldad startled the Jewish world of the ninth century. Later on, his stories infused Jewish messianism with the dramatic scenario of the return of the ten lost tribes. But did he share this vision, or did he have a different image of the end of times?
About the “Messiahs and Messianism” Series
Messianism in Jewish life has long been seen as both dynamic and threatening. But just who or what was a messiah in the eyes of Jews in antiquity? Did a messianic movement always stand in tension with normative Judaism? How were such figures received by non-Jews, and what traditions did Jews draw on for messianic narratives? This series delves into the history of Jewish messianic actors and thinkers, including famous and less familiar figures, from the first through the nineteenth centuries.
About the image above: Illustration from Account of a Journey from Venice to Palestine, Mount Sinai and Egypt (German, ca. 1467), British Library, Egerton 1900, courtesy of PublicDomainReview.org.
Micha J. Perry
University of Haifa
Micha J. Perry is a senior lecturer for medieval Jewish history in the Department of Jewish History at the University of Haifa. His current research focuses on the social history of Jews and languages during the Middle Ages with an emphasis on bilingualism, documentary culture, and identity
Perry received his PhD in Jewish History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has taught at UCLA and at Yale University.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Klatt Family and the Harry Stern Family Foundation.