17:23 So the Israelites were deported from their land to Assyria
The northern kingdom of Israel is destroyed, and its ten tribes are exiled to Assyria. Unlike the exiles of Yehuda, who return from Babylonia after seventy years, the ten tribes remain in exile. These tribes are known as “the lost tribes of Israel,” as they disappeared due to persecution and assimilation. However, according to Jewish tradition (Sanhedrin 110b), these tribes will return to Israel in the era of the Mashiach. The Bnei Menashe, ‘children of Menashe,’ are members of a tribe from northeast India who claim descent from the lost tribe of Menashe. For thousands of years they have continued the Jewish practices of their ancestors, including observing the Shabbat and Jewish dietary laws, celebrating the festivals and following the laws of family purity. And, throughout that time they dreamed of returning to the Land of Israel. In recent years, thousands of Bnei Menashe have been brought back home to the loving embrace of their brothers and sisters in Israel. The return of the lost tribes to Eretz Yisrael is additional proof that we are living through the dawn of the era of redemption.