Tribal Characteristics (7 September 2017, 16 Elul, 5777)
Israelite Tribal Characteristics in Brief (emphasizing pros and cons).
We are hereby giving a very brief outline of the positive and negative characteristics of each of the Israelite Tribes.
To some degree we are speaking from the general knowledge that we have. Later we hope to go back and have a closer look at each Tribe in depth.
In the outline below we may have made mistakes or there may be remarks that later shall require revision and correction.
That is the way it goes.
Yehudah. Mainly Jews especially Ashkenazis. The Sephardic include people from Judah especially from the House of david among their leading Rabbis, etc BUT most appear to be from Benjamin and other Tribes.
Judah is Religious, and Legalistic.
Judah Values Money. When the brothers of Joseph were jealous of him they threw him into a pit and intended to leave him to die. Judah persuaded them to sell Joseph to Midianite-Ishmaelites going down to Egypt.
Genesis (NASB) 37:
26 Judah said to his brothers, What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood?
27 Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh. And his brothers listened to him.
28 Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Thus they brought Joseph into Egypt.
The Sages condemned Judah for not using his leadership qualities to return Joseph to his father.
Judah can be very generous but also is liable to drive a fair bargain, quibble, and haggle. Despite his stereotyped image Judah goes after the big money rather than count the pennies though there are exceptions.
Can be suspicious even of friends.
Judah has the ability to work well with a team. Judah is accepting of others. Judah values Intellect. Jewish children are encouraged to study and develop themselves.
Jewish society values learning (even for its own sake) and encourages it.
Judah is full of contradictions. He has qualities of mercy and belief in others. Judah is prone to exaggeration but values the truth and can be convinced of it.
Judah begat Zerah and Pharez through Tamar who had disguised herself as a prostitute (Genesis ch.38).
Issachar (Finland, Switzerland): Mathematical abilities. Precision. Mercenary qualities. Is not martial in character but knows how to defend himself. Neutral inclined.
Commits well but only up to a limit, and is liable to change agreements. Democratic and egalitarian. Peasant type on the whole but capable of bringing forth philosophers.
Zebulon (Netherlands): Outgoing, tolerant, international, lax in morals, overduly liberal, works well, a good merchant, prepared to support others and to support worthy causes.
Influenced by others sometimes for the worse.
Reuben (France). Likes quality. Always performs reasonably well but not always the best. Sensual. Family-orientated. Lacks a degree of stability.
Simeon (Jews, Celts): Fanatic, extreme, lascivious, zealous.
5 Simeon and Levi are brothers;
Their tools of trade are implements of violence.
6 Let my soul not enter into their council;
Let not my glory be united with their assembly;
Because in their anger they slew a man,
And in their self-will they lamed a bull.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;
And their wrath, for it is cruel.
I will disperse them in Jacob,
And scatter them in Israel.
Levi (Mainly Jews). Legalistic. Religious, Spiritual. Fanatic, extreme. Simeon and Levi due to their extremism and zeal were not to be together.
Gad (Sweden). Gad is linked to the root "Gedud" meaning "group, collectivity". The Swedes value community, egalitarianism.
19 As for Gad, raiders shall raid him,
But he will raid at their heels.
Continued at: All 12. Eight Tribes