Why is all Israel called after the Tribe of Judah only?
You may be surprised to hear that the word “Jew” does not appear in the Five Books of Moses. The Torah refers to our people as the Children of Israel, for we are the children of our patriarch Jacob, who was given the additional name “Israel.” Israel fathered twelve children, who became the twelve tribes of Israel.
The name “Jew” comes from the name “Judah,” which means “thanksgiving.” Judah was the fourth son of Jacob and his wife Leah. As we read in this week’s Parshah, “And she conceived again and bore a son, and she said, ‘This time, I will thank [odeh] the L rd!’ Therefore, she named him Judah [Yehuda].”