Comment by Yair Davidiy on "Akiva and Ephraim" by Alexander Zephyr
Alexander Zephyr wrote "Akiva and Ephraim". This work has now been posted to our site.
It is not the usual subject-matter we discuss but it does have some pertinence to studies of the Ten Tribes in which we specialize.
The account is also interesting in its own right. Alexander Zephyr is a good writer with an exciting flowing style. English however is not his mother tongue. Consequently his work was in need of editing. Alexander commissioned us to do this. We agreed to be the editor on condition that we be allowed to express our reservations on points that we considered warranted it. We were also to be allowed to post the work to our site as we have done.
First of all the work is valuable and worth reading. In our opinion however it tends to overduly search out negative traits in the personality of Rabbi Akiva. It also seems to have relied in some places on popularized historical accounts concerning him. Some of these appear to have been unreliable and perhaps verge on the fictitious.Â
Rabbi Akiva is often quoted as saying that the Ten Tribes would not return. The foremost Torah and Talmudic scholar, Rashi, opined that Akiva was not referring to the Ten Tribes in Â the End Times but rather to those who had been exiled and/or they who lived in his own age.
At all events, the Bible and Rabbinical Sources emphatically say that the Ten Tribes will return. This case has been well explained by Alexander Zephyr in this work especially in chapter 11.