A Study on the Tribes by Yair Davidiy

see also:
Answers to Queries about BENJAMIN

Tribal Identification: Benjamin 1

"And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard" Genesis 46; 21.
         The Tribes of Judah and BENJAMIN together were to compose the main stock of the modern Jewish people. BENJAMIN was also represented amongst the BELGAE and the NORMANS.

         The Normans had the same country of origin in north Germany as the Saxons according to Julian14. They were called Transalbingi or Nordalbingi15 (i.e. "North-of-the-Elbe") like the Saxons had also been termed. These Norman-"Nordalbingi" were connected to the remnant of Angles and Saxons who were left behind when their compatriots invaded England or who for some reason returned from the invasion. The Normans moved into Scandinavia and dwelt in parts of Denmark and Norway before moving onwards. There were some Swedes16 amongst the Normans though Norwegian sagas and English tradition17 suggest that most of them came from Norway. Genealogies of Norman-descended nobles in England often trace them to early Norwegian kings and heroes. Place-names in Normandy (France) suggest links with Norway. Modern consensus18, however, seems to be that the Normans came mainly from Denmark. Wherever they came from, they had their own peculiarities and quickly developed their own national character and culture. They even may have had their own particular physical features being often presumed as appearing somewhat darker than the usual Scandinavian, tending even to dusky, and also as being tall and lanky though these impressions may be exaggerated. The point is, in the same way as other groups had earlier emerged from the midst of the Scandinavians as distinct recognizable entities, so the Normans may always have been a distinct people a hard core of which had maintained their own identity.
         The Normans really became recognizable to the historian when in 860 a band of Vikings led By Rollo received the area afterwards called Normandy from the King of France. Those Vikings who settled in Normandy together with those local inhabitants who intermarried with them and/or identified with them became known as the Normans. Dudo19 (ca 960), himself a Norman, said that the Normans came from Danes descendants of the ancient (Greek) Danae and had reached the north via the Balkans and that their forefathers were the Dacae. There are Danish traditions that trace their ancestry back to Israel.
         Within one or two generations of their first settlement the Normans were no longer recognizable as Scandinavian. They had changed their language20, religion, and culture. They intermixed with the peoples of Brittany in France. These were Celts and Alans. The Alans had come from the Caucasus area at the time of Attilla the Hun and settled in Brittany. Their use of armored cavalry. These were Celts  and tactics were to influence the Normans. Those Alans who remained in the east were to confederate with the Khazars and to be identified with them. The Celts of Brittany (amongst whom first the Alans then the Normans settled) were to a degree descended from Celtic peoples of Britain and after conquering England the Normans would adopt the Celtic Arthurian legends as part of their own heritage21. In 1066 the Normans conquered England. Their total forces included many others who came over from France with them, and these comprised maybe a third or more of their total forces. The "Normans" eventually contributed about ten percent of England's total population22 and it has been estimated that approximately twenty percent of  the English population has some degree of Norman blood in them. In the course of time Normans also settled in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.  There was also an element of Edomites amongst the Normans. In ancient times Essus (i.e. Esau) had been considered an ancestor and worshipped by some of the Celtic people within whose area the Normans settled and with whom they intermixed. Most of these Celtic peoples were however probably of Israelite origin.
         The English upper classes contain a significant number of Norman descendants. After about 1700 a large proportion (it is claimed) of the higher ranked aristocratic English families intermarried with Jews23 at some stage or other. [-This group has however proved itself of being on occasion as anti-Semitic as anybody else.  Apart from revealing a non-fraternal instinct anti-Semitism: is a disqualifying factor for other reasons. It is usually concomitant with selfishness and non-Israelite characteristics]. The modern Jews descend from the two tribes of Benjamin and Judah, on the whole.   Amongst the Normans were many descendants of Benjamin and possibly also of Judah.  We thus a tendency for Benjamin to  reconnect to Judah. The basic Norman stock may have come from Benjamin in addition to which the area of Normandy in France settled by them had previously belonged to the NAMNETES who derived their name from Naaman, a son of Benjamin. Since the "-etes" Namnetes is a suffix the names are in effect identical. There were also Benjaminites in part of Norway though most of Israelite Norway is descended from Naphtali and other tribes.         
Benjamin, Judah, Levi, Simeon, and small numbers of most of the other tribes had remained together as Jews in the southern realm of Judah when the Assyrians exiled most of the Israelites in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. At the same time large numbers from the southern kingdom were also to be taken into exile by the Assyrians and in other ways were to be counted as part of the Lost Tribes of Israel. Amongst this last group was part of the Tribe of Benjamin which apparently became the basic stock of the so-called Norman nation. Jewish Medieval tradition said that the Tribe of Benjamin (or a small part of it) had gone into exile to the Balkan region of Rumania24, or to the land of Germany25, or to both. From the Balkans (Rumania) emerged the Dacae who were considered a branch of Sacae-Scythians.  The Dacae were together with the Getae. From the Dacae came the Normans who were believed to have reached Scandinavia via Germany. The Dacae according to Lempriere were a western branch of the Sakae. . The Norman symbol is said to have been a wolf and so too was the wolf a symbol of the Dacae26 amongst the Getae. Likewise a wolf was the symbol of Benjamin27. William the Conqueror bore a wolf on his standard. Godfroi de Bouillon (ca.1099), Crusader King of Jerusalem, claimed descent from Benjamin28. Old accounts say that the Franks had come from the former Saxon area of Maurunganie in North Germany below the place of the Normans. The first ruling house of the Franks were the Merovingians and recently it has been claimed that the Merovingian Franks were also descended from Benjamin .         
Athol Bloomer: however says, "The Merovingians are most likely from the Tribe of Dan. Their tradition of long hair and the name Samson among the Royal House would indicate descent from Samson and thus the Tribe of Dan". Another claim (H. Hoeh) is that they derived from a non-Davidic branch of Judah.

Rabbi Ginsburgh on the tribe of Benjamin, the recitified *wolf*.
Kabbalah and Medicine
The Healing of Body and Soul

Part 33
The Rectified Wolf
The good "wolf" of the Torah is personified by the tribe of Benjamin. In his blessings of his sons before his death, Jacob blessed his youngest son Benjamin: "Benjamin is a preying wolf...." Here, Jacob prophetically alluded to the episode recorded at the end of the book of Judges, "the concubine of Givah." At first, the tribe of Benjamin sinned sexually, but at the end, after most of the tribe had been wiped out by their brothers, in vengeance of the sin, the remainder were allowed to snatch, as a wolf, a wife from amongst the dancing maidens. The very evil inclination of the wolf was here elevated and rectified; the fear of rape was overcome and sweetened in its source. The tribe of Benjamin, from whom the first king of Israel, Saul--who "snatched the kingdom," as a wolf--was to stand, was thus reestablished. Our sages teach us that the wolf of Benjamin symbolizes the altar in the Holy Temple (the altar was in the territory of Benjamin), upon which the animal sacrifices were offered. The altar "preyed" upon the sacrifices just as a wolf preys upon its prey. The word for "altar" in Hebrew is mizbeiach, whose root, zevach, is the same as the name of the king of Midian served by Ze'ev, the wolf, as mentioned above. In the altar, the wolf-image as well as the inclination "to slaughter" find their ultimate rectification. The full blessing of Jacob to Benjamin reads:
Benjamin is a preying wolf:
In the morning he shall eat booty,
and in the evening he shall divide the spoils.
Rashi, quoting the sages, interprets "in the morning he shall eat booty" to refer to the "morning" or "rise" of the Jewish kingdom, the kingdom of Saul. "And in the evening he shall divide the spoils" is interpreted to refer to the story of Mordechai and Esther--from the tribe of Benjamin--who divided the spoils of Haman at the "evening" or "descent" of the Biblical epic of Jewish monarchy. The blessing of Benjamin clearly links the image of the wolf with the turning points of the daily cycle--morning and evening. Above, we saw that the "companion" of the wolf, ze'ev, is the raven, orev. The Hebrew root of the name orev means "evening," as in the phrase, repeated as the conclusion of each of the six days of creation: "and there was evening, and there was morning..."--the original phrase in the Torah in which evening and morning are juxtaposed. The raven is called orev for it is as black as the evening. In the Scriptures, we find the idiom "evening wolves," a clear allusion to the relationship of the wolf to the raven:
His horses are faster than leopards, and more sharp-toothed than evening wolves....
In a second verse, we find the juxtaposition of the evening wolves to the morning:
...its judges [devour it] like evening wolves, that do not leave any bones till the morning.
Furthermore, the word orev is cognate to the word for "plane" or
"wasteland." Here, too, we find the idiomatic juxtaposition of the wolf with the orev:
Therefore the lion of the forest will strike them, and the wolf of the plains will despoil them.
As portraying a rapist, the wolf strikes at eve (this is not just an English pun of Eve on eve, but the relationship of "knowing [a euphemism for sexual relations] Eve" and the time of evening or night is actually alluded to in Psalms: "and night unto night expresses [yechaveh, cognate to Chavah, 'Eve'] knowledge"!) or at dawn (when he can first identify his prey). The location of his assault is the "wasteland." In the words of the Torah:
For in the field he found her, the betrothed maiden cried out,but there was no one to rescue her.
In the preceding verse, the Torah likens rape to murder, implying that the fear of rape, the fear of the wolf, entails the fear of the lion as well:
For as a man rises up against his neighbor
and murders him, So is this thing.
In contrast, the prophet envisions the peace on earth of the messianic age as a time when "the wolf will live with the lamb." (This is indeed the first image in a line of imagery which concludes with "...and the lion will eat straw like the cow. A suckling will play at the hole of the snake and a child will place his hand over the lair of the serpent"--following the order of wolf, lion, and snake.) The Jewish people is likened by our sages to a lamb surrounded by seventy wolves, the gentile nations of the earth, whose desire it is to rape and devour us. With the coming of Mashiach, true and lasting peace will be established between Israel and the nations. At a later stage in the messianic era, the natural order itself will metamorphose to a world where the physical wolf and lamb will lie down together and live in peace.In the Jewish people itself, the "lamb," Benjamin--symbolized as the "preying wolf"--is thus the "wolf within the lamb." In Kabbalah, he represents the fertile feminine womb of the collective soul of Israel (in the terminology of Kabbalah, the yesod of malchut), the spiritual power of the Jewish people to achieve peace between wolf (in particular, "the lamb within the wolf," as personified by the righteous gentile) and lamb (in particular, "the wolf within the lamb," as personified by Benjamin, the "preying wolf").From the messianic era we enter the world to come, "a day that is entirely Sabbath and the rest of eternal life." The ultimate rectified image of the world is the secret of the Sabbath. Our sages teach us that just as the wolf preys "in front of it and behind it," so does the Sabbath "prey" and elevate all the holy sparks of the week, subsequently drawing Divine blessing into all of creation--"in front of it and behind it."In the Ten Commandments, the fourth commandment, to keep Shabbat, begins:
Remember the Sabbath day , to keep it holy.
In the parallel appearance of the Ten Commandments, it begins:
Guard the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Our sages say that "Remember..." and "Guard..." (which were pronounced by God in the giving of the Ten Commandments simultaneously) refer to the Divine influence of Shabbat on all of realityâ?""in front of it and behind it." In Kabbalah, we are taught that "Remember..." refers to the male dimension of Shabbat while "Guard..." refers to the female dimension of Shabbat. The male dimension is the secret of "in front of it" while the female dimension is the secret of "behind it." Shabbat is the time of union of male and female, the consummately rectified state of the wolf, the wolf of the world to come.