Beni Yishma'el

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  • #604948
    ill_be_strong
    Participant

    Just about everyone (both us and the Arabs) automatically assume that all Arabs are descendants and trace directly back to Ishmael (Yishma’el Ben Avraham). From the Arabs/Muslims prospective, is obviously very impotent to be descendants of Yishma’el and claim them-self the true B’nai Avraham. We on the other hand will always reference phrases from Genesis to attribute and match them towards their actions. Here is what i dont get: When Yishma’el was born, the entire middle east was already fully populated, yet somehow magically EVERYONE who has a 1% of “Arab” attached to them-self, is called a Yishmaeli. Was there an unknown apocalypse in which only Yishmaeli descendants survived?! In fact, most Arabs are NOT Yishmaelim. Where does this (IMO)false notion root from?

    #898025
    shein
    Member

    And, I suppose, most Europeans are not Bnei Eisev…

    In any event, via intermarriage and all, surely they all are descendants through one lineage or another.

    #898026
    ill_be_strong
    Participant

    At the time he was born, there was an existence of rather large settlements and kingdoms. So for argument sack, lets assume that at the time he was born, the entire middle eastern population was only 10,000. What are the chances that those Arabs you see today are descendants of the 10,000 rather than the single newly born Yishmael? One in 10,000? That’s not very great!

    #898027
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    See the Abravanel in the beginning of Yeshuos Meshicho. All those who are under the influence of the Arab rule are considered Bnei Yishmoel.

    #898028
    ill_be_strong
    Participant

    HaLeiVi, do you mind linking to it (hebrewbooks)?

    #898029
    shein
    Member

    ibs: Yishmael’s descendants intermarried with the descendants of the non-Yishmaelim. So by now over 99% would be descendants of Yishmael through one line or another, from at least one side.

    #898030
    zalman
    Participant

    Sancherev mixed up the nations so we don’t know who anyone is

    #898031
    Sam2
    Participant

    Zalman: I don’t know if we apply that everywhere, but it is a very good point.

    #898032
    akuperma
    Participant

    Why are you called a Jew? How do you know you are from the tribe of Judah? You are at least as likely to from Levi, Benjamin, or stragglers from the other tribe. Based on DNA, most of your ancestry is probably from converts (at least on the female side). However we use the term Jews.

    We call millions of people “Indians” even though they have no connection to India.

    It’s been a convention for millenia to refer to the Arabs as “Yismaelim”. While their is probably a connection for the Arabs who live near Eretz Yisrael, most are descended from whomever was living there when the Arabs conquered them (e.g. Iraqis are descended from Babylonians, Palestinians are descended from Hellinized Jews, Greeks and Romans- and of course the Egyptians are descended from the ancient Egyptians though the “white” Egyptians who run the country are largely of Arab descent).

    #898033
    frummy in the tummy
    Participant

    Allow me to elaborate on shein’s point: Imagine four people, A, B, C and D. (Imagine A represents our Yishmael.)

    A marries B and they have children 1 & 2, C marries D and they have children 3 & 4.

    1 marries 3. 2 marries 4. All of their children are descendants of each of A, B, C and D.

    So although other people existed in A’s generation, all of the people two generations later are A’s descendants.

    If there were 10,000 people at the time of Yishmael, there is only a 1 in 5,000 chance that someone from the immediately following generation would be a descendant of Yishmael’s (each member of this generation would have 2 parents from the preceding generation, thus multiplying the odds pretty much by 2). But with each succeeding generation, the odds of being from one specific member of that original generation increase dramatically. And there have been at least a hundred generations since Yishmael lived.

    Another way to show this: You have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents, 16 great-greats…etc. So by the time you get back to Yishmael’s generation, each of us likely descends from pretty much every single person who lived on the planet at the time and had children.

    #898034
    ill_be_strong
    Participant

    Shein, im sorry but you arent making any sense. Using my previous example, those 10,000 that preexisted also intermarried each other without involving the Yishmaelim and thus increasing their own population in MUCH greater numbers than just ONE Yishmael. For example, if -for argument sack- one person can through intermarriage -over a decade- multiply to 1000, then 10,000 can (in their OWN intermarriages) multiply to 10 million. So if you have a population of 10,001,000 (10 million + one thousand) out of which 10,000,000 are NOT Yishmaelim, what are the chances of one being a Yishmaeli?! its hardly a 1/64 (0.015625)%. Seriously, im not understanding your logic. How can only ONE person have so much more of an effect in the future generations than the TEN THOUSAND, that 99% of all descendants get to be linked to 1 instead of 10,000?

    #898035
    shein
    Member

    Based on DNA, most of your ancestry is probably from converts (at least on the female side).

    Where did you get that drivel from?

    #898036
    yehudayona
    Participant

    There are those who claim that many Arabs are descendants of Jews who converted to Islam, whether forcibly or not.

    #898037
    ill_be_strong
    Participant

    Fummy, but the 10,000 among them SELF also increase drastically. Go ahead and do 1^2 and 10000^2. Keep going and see who outnumbers who.

    #898038
    ill_be_strong
    Participant

    Akuperma, just a side note, Judaism (for all intent and purposes) has nothing to do with ancestry, Judaism merely describes a believe and way of life

    #898039
    YehudahTzvi
    Participant

    “Based on DNA, most of your ancestry is probably from converts (at least on the female side).”

    Not true. I had my DNA checked and I match the DNA of most Middle Easterners – Specifically the strain that originated between Iran and Iraq (Ur Kasdim), even though my family has been in Europe for over a thousand years. Being a Kohein, I am pretty sure that none of my forefathers married converts.

    Most Jews share this same DNA – specifically “J2.” I am J1 like most Kohanim, Sephardi and Ashkenazi.

    We are called Jews because we follow our fathers’ tribe. Even if every generation married kosher converts they would still be Yehudim, so I don’t see your point. Those from Binyamin and other stragglers would still have lived under the rule of Judah. As for me, I tell most people that I am not a Jew… I am a Kohain (just to get a reaction 😉 )

    #898040
    yytz
    Participant

    Frummy in the tummy, you may well be correct. Yale statistician Joseph Chang recently published a paper claiming that basically all of humanity is descended from every major historical figure. It may seem impossible, but (if I understand correctly) he claims that everyone of European ancestry is descended from Mohammed, and that virtually everyone in the world is descended from Egyptian pharaohs. If that’s true, we’re also all descendants of both Yaakov and Yishmael.

    Think about it this way. Let’s say someone lived 1,000 years ago. That person had two descendants, and each of his descendants had an average of two descendants. Let’s say the average age of parenthood is 25. So that’s 40 generations. 2 to the power of 40 would be the number of his descendants. That number (one trillion) is many times larger than the present world population (about seven billion). This suggests that, for any person alive more than 1000 years ago, who has ancestors alive in the present day, most of humanity is that person’s descendant.

    Although it may make sense mathematically, I think Chang’s argument doesn’t recognize that there are closed groups separated from the rest of humanity–to some extent Jews, even though a certain number of people have converted in every generation, but especially isolated indigenous peoples living in the Amazon rainforest or the New Guinea highlands.

    Regardless, I think Chang’s work shows it doesn’t make sense to worry about who exactly is whose descendant. The approach cited above, to consider anyone living in an Arab country to be an Ishamaelite, makes the most sense.

    #898041
    yytz
    Participant

    YehudahTzvi: Genetic studies have shown that all Jews share common distinctive ancestry, so the majority of present-day Jewish genes are not from converts. However, it is clear that some conversion has occurred over time, to the extent that nearly all Jews must have at least some ancestors who are converts (and not just Avraham Avinu and the Imahos…) One genetic study estimated that 4% of the Ashkenazic population per generation were converts (that seems too high to me, even though I’ve read about some stories of entire gentile villages converting in the 19th century and earlier.) The paper “Multiple Origins of Ashkenazi Levites: Y Chromosome Evidence for Both Near Eastern and European Ancestries” claims to show that over half of Ashkenazic Levites have Eastern European Y-Chromosome (R1a1a) (which is much different than the case of the Kohanim, who clearly have a common Middle Eastern origin). Interestingly, the paper notes that the Gemara discusses the possibility of someone whose father is not Jewish becoming a Levite. (I wish they had cited the source.)

    #898042
    YehudahTzvi
    Participant

    yytz: Please do post the source when you find it.

    I specifically did not include the Levite DNA as it is a distinct anomaly – and I have yet to find a source that explains it clearly. Truly weird that most Jews and Kohanim share DNA traits but half of Ashkenazi Levites do not. I have also wondered why in most shuls there are many more Kohanim than Leviim (at least in my experience). My shul in Monsey had a congregation of about 1/3 Kohanim (including the Rav) and not many Leviim at all.

    #898043
    shein
    Member

    The Church made it a crime, at penalty of death, for Europeans to convert to Judaism. So, although surely there were still converts during our stay in Europe, they were by far exceptional.

    #898044
    YehudahTzvi
    Participant

    yytz: Is there a status halacha concerning Leviim of which I am not aware? I have a friend who’s wife is a convert. She converted conservative and they had children including one son. She was made to reconvert (obviously) al pi halacha (as well as the kids) but the Rav poskened that their son was still a kosher Levite. I never quite understood this.

    #898045
    haifagirl
    Participant

    ill_be_strong: I am going to make an assumption here that English is not your first language. Please run your posts through a spelling and grammar checker. It would make it easier for those of us who want to understand you.

    #898046
    on the ball
    Participant

    Yehuda Tzvi – I’ve also wondered why the ratio of Cohanim to Leviim is so high. I believe there could be two answers:

    1) This won’t go down well but a lot of Cohanim nowadays are probably not bona fide Cohanim. There is a story brought down about one of the Gaonim (I think Rav Saadyah Gaon) who gathered hundreds of Cohanim to circle Yerushalayim as a way of hastening the Geulah and he saw a vision of Eliyahu Hanavi who told him that only one (incidentally lame) Cohen there was a real Cohen. It is also brought down that the Vilna Gaon would repeat Pidyon Haben on himself every time he met a new Cohen – until he met a Rappaport Cohen.

    2) It could be there are many more Leviim around not realising it but their status as Leviim was forgotten. In contrast, Cohanim have had a unique way of preserving their identity through the generations with Birchas Cohanim.

    #898047
    lesschumras
    Participant

    Dr Lawrence Schiffman gave a lecture about DNA. He said thst studies show that while approximately [email protected] of Jewish males of European ancestry share the DNA source of YehudaTzvi but only 65% of females share it.

    Among the reasons that led to this stem from the origin of the early Ashkenazi European communities. Many of the early settlers were traders following the old Roman routes, and they often traveled alone and took local wives. Even those who traveled with families had, early on, to take local wives for their children until the communities, which were never large, at least became big enough to begin marrying Jewish girls from other families.

    Besides converts, thee was unfortunately another source of outside DNA, children that resulted from rapes that occured over the last two thousand years

    #898048
    yehudayona
    Participant

    On the ball: You think there are many more Kohanim than Leviim? Do you have any evidence for this other than anecdotal? I can’t remember davening in a shul where the Kohanim outnumbered the Leviim by much if at all. Of course, that’s not proof either way.

    #898049
    Englishman
    Member

    It’s pretty obvious there are more Kohanim than Leviim. This can be noticed in almost any shul, whether by dichining or by aliyas when there is often Kohanim but no Levi.

    Also, lesschumra’s comment makes no sense and is incorrect.

    #898050
    frummy in the tummy
    Participant

    ill_be_strong – My point is that those 2 original numbers, the 1 and the 10,000, are not multiplying separately. THEY HAVE THE SAME DESCENDANTS. Homo sapiens is not an asexual species (until the cloning begins :D); therefore, each parent must share parenthood of a child with another parent.

    #898051
    aurora77
    Participant

    Hello,

    Many posters on this thread may be very interested in the new book Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People, by Harry Ostrer (Oxford, May 2012).

    According to genetic testing that has been done, Levites and Cohanim each represent approximately 4% of Ashkenazi Jewish males (the percent of Levites is somewhat lower among Sephardic Jewish males). This statistic comes from page 100 of this book and references a 1999 publication — Bradman, Thomas, and Goldstein’s The Genetic Origins of Old Testament Priests, found in Population Specific Polymorphisms, pages 31-44 (Cambridge University Press).

    Legacy contains results of myriad genetic testing studies done up through 2011, and Dr. Ostrer has been involved in much of the research — he is Director of Genetic and Genomic Testing at Montefiore Medical Center and Professor of Pathology and Genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The research that he discusses in Legacy goes into much depth regarding many of the issues debated in this thread, especially the idea that many Jews (in particular, Ashkenazim) have Jewish heritage primarily as a result of conversions of local populations in the distant past — an idea that is not born out by the research results covered in this book.

    I found the book fascinating and could hardly put it down!

    #898052
    yytz
    Participant

    On the question of “real” Kohanim and Levites, I’m not an expert on the halachic issues, but as I see it there are too ways to think about it. One is that there is such thing as a “real” Kohen or Levite, and when Moshiach comes he will (assuming he has ruach hakodesh) determine who is a real Kohen or Levite. Another perspective is that “the Torah is not in heaven,” as they say, and Hashem considers anyone who has inherited the status of a Kohen or Levite to in fact be a Kohen or Levite, regardless of whether genetic tests shows them to have the DNA signature. It’s kind of like the situation with mamzerim — unless I’m mistaken, even if one “objectively” should be a mamzer, halachically one is not a mamzer until people actually investigate and determine that one definitely is a mamzer. (For that reason some, including major poskim, have in some cases advised against investigating mamzer status.) One place to start for the halachic issues is Berachos 47b, which I believe discusses the concept of a “pasul” Levite with a Levite mother but non-Jewish father — I’m not sure where else to look.

    Aurora: Thanks for the info — sounds interesting. I never meant to suggest that most Ashkenazim are descended from converts — only that, according to the studies I’ve seen, a certain amount of conversion has taken place and measurably affected the Jewish gene pool over the generations (which shouldn’t be surprising since Jews have nearly always accepted converts and they can’t have all been killed or failed to reproduce). The idea, popularized nowadays by the anti-Israel crowd, that most Ashkenazim are descended from the Khazars or other converts has certainly been debunked.

    #898053
    shein
    Member

    I believe the seforim hakedoshim state that when Moshiach comes he will identify the real Kohanim and Leviim but that he will not identify someone who is technically a mamzer but not known to be one.

    #898054
    aurora77
    Participant

    Hello yytz,

    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to suggest that you did! What you mentioned in the last sentence about the Khazar descent is actually exactly what some of the research in this book debunks, as you say. That is what I was trying to convey. This book was a truly fascinating read!

    #898055
    yehudayona
    Participant

    Englishman obviously davens in different shuls than I do. Maybe they’re Sefardi shuls, since according to Aurora, there are fewer Sefardi Leviim than Kohanim.

    #898056
    aurora77
    Participant

    Hello yehudayona and all,

    I wanted to mention that the book takes great pains to emphasize that what the author is talking about are genetic indications of Jewishness and various smaller groups within the larger whole (e.g., Levites and Cohanim). Dr. Ostrer has concerns that the genetic findings could potentially be used to exclude people from various Jewish groups when these people have always understood from family history and in Halachic terms that they were Jews and/or members of certain smaller Jewish populations. He is emphatic that genetics should not replace Halachic determinations. His great passion for genetics of the Jewish people seems to be about preventing suffering from certain illnesses and conditions that have been and continue to be linked with various genes.

    #898057
    ill_be_strong
    Participant

    Haifagirl, actually, “important” translated to “impotent” because of spell check. If you accidently miss the R of “important” (using Firefox) and aren’t careful with the mouse, you get “impotent”. I sincerely apologize for the hardship and difficulties you may have experienced.

    Frummy, i agree that the 1 and the 10,000, aren’t multiplying separately, but, they also aren’t multiplying in the same rate. You have to increase the odds as you move into future generations. So if the immediate ratio of when A was born is 1:10000, the ratio of the next might be 2:20000. The odds remain the same.

    #898058
    frummy in the tummy
    Participant

    Ok, last try, then I give up:

    Let’s take your numbers, i.e. 1 in 10,000 first gen, which we will call gen 1, and the next gen, gen 2, contains 20,000 individuals. How many children did each person in gen 1 have (on average)? That’s right, 4 (not 2!). 10,000 people means there were 5,000 COUPLES, and if gen 2 has 20,000 individuals, each person in gen 1 had 4 children. So if the odds of Yishmael being in gen 1 are 1:10000, the odds of Yishmael having descendants in gen 2 are 4:20000, or 1:5000. So although the entire population increases by a factor of 2, Yishmaelites increase by a factor of 4.

    Let us now assume that Yishmael and every person in the world continues at this same rate of multiplying by 2 every generation (i.e. each couple has 4 children apiece) for the rest of time (and to be dramatic we will assume every yishmaelite marries outside yishmael – in reality this is obviously not the case, but the point is still generally true – if you don’t get this part, ignore it). So the odds for each generation will be….

    Gen 1 – 1:10000=1:10000

    Gen 2 – 4:20000=1:5000

    Gen 3 – 16:40000=1:2500

    Gen 4 – 64:80000=1:1250

    Gen 5 – 256:160000=1:625

    Gen 6 – 1024:320000=1:313

    Gen 7 – 4096:640000=1:156

    Gen 8 – 16384:1280000=1:78

    Gen 9 – 65536:2560000=1:39

    Gen 10 – 262144:5280000=1:20

    Gen 11 – 1048576:10240000=1:10

    Gen 12 – 4194304:20480000=1:5

    Gen 13 – 16777216:40960000=1:2

    Gen 14 – 67108864:81920000=1:1

    So…..assuming Yishmaelites continually marry non-yishmaelites, every single person in the world will be a descendant of yishmael by gen 14/15. In reality, there have been easily more than one hundred generations since he lived, so even if the VAST, VAST majority of marriages remained amongst yishmaelites, most arabs (and perhaps most people?) today are descendants of yishmael.

    #898059
    ill_be_strong
    Participant

    Hi Frummy, hope you had an easy and meaningful fast.

    I totally get and understand what you’re saying. Your numbers are correct, and given your specific scenario, every person will be a descendants of yishmael (and from every person of generation 1) by generation 14. In your scenario, every single couple multiplies at the exact same rate for 14 generation, thereby increasing the odds by 50% with every new generation.

    (btw, nice chart, well done!)

    Here are 2 others scenarios (both can occur in any of the 14 generations)…

    Scenario 1:

    Generation 1 odds – 1:10000

    The gender population is 50/50, there are 5000 couples. 2000 couples have 10 kids, 3000 have 8 kids. Person A has 4 kids.

    Scenario 2:

    Generation 1 odds – 1:10000

    The gender population is 50/50, there are 5000 couples. 3000 individuals take an additional spouse outside their own population, there are now 8000 females. 3000 have 6 kids (18000), 4000 have 5 kids (20000), the remaining 1000, including person A, have 4 kids (4000).

    Now of course you can take my numbers and turn them around to your advantage, my point is, there is no way of knowing with certainty. Person A had to compete with thousands of couples and ensure that he multiplies equally or greater-than the rest of them. What are the chances that he (or somewhere along 14 generations) was by far outnumbered, very possible!

    #898060
    on the ball
    Participant

    yehudayonah: Read my post – I never said there are more Cohanim than Leviim.

    #898061
    frummy in the tummy
    Participant

    ill_be_strong – Well said. And thank you for the compliments. However…although you are correct that person A may not have kept up with the average, and in fact there is pretty much a 50% chance that he did NOT, in order for the probability to continue decreasing as the generations progress, as you have shown may occur between gen 1 and gen 2, his children would also need to be significantly beaten by the average, and their children, and their children, etc. Statistics’ greatest friend is large numbers – because there have been so many generations since Yishmael lived, the overall expected probability has become more and more likely to occur; in all likelihood, about half of the generations had fewer than average number of children, and the other half had more (and a minute few were dead on with average). For this reason, it is EXTREMELY likely that every person of arab ethnicity, and perhaps every person in the world, is in one way or another a direct descendant of Yishmael.

    #898062
    Curiosity
    Participant

    I don’t think we call them bnei Yishmael because of their DNA. It’s because their culture is that of bnei Yishmael, and also they themselves claim it as well. Just like the Galus Edom doesn’t necessarily mean that all Westerners are from Esav, but their culture is the same. Rome was the start of Galus Edom, and Rome was the center bureaucratic corruption under the guise of a people’s rule. It was also a cesspool of lewd and immoral behavior… exactly like the Western world is today.

    #898063
    YW Moderator-42
    Moderator

    Was there an age gap between the 1 and the 10,000? 🙂

    #898064
    YW Moderator-42
    Moderator

    By birchas kohanim you can see how many kohanim are in the shul and how many leviim go out to wash their hands. Most shuls I’ve seen have more kohanim although I have seen times when the leviim outnumber and they all get together to hold the cup to wash the hands of the one or two kohanim.

    #898065

    According to wikipedia; The highest concentration of Cohen Modal Haplotype outside of Jewish Kohanim is amongst Yemenites. There is no reported data on Saudi Arabia ( I e-mailed a Saudi University about this a few months ago but did not get a reply.) Assuming Jewish Kohanim have authentic tradition, all descendants of Abraham will have a Cohen Modal Haplotype; as do the Samaritan Israelites. However, 95% of (non-Cohen) Jews do not have the CMH and are thus children of Converts.

    I think it is highly unlikely that a blood descendant of Abraham would totally accept Judaism without receiving it through patrilineal sources.

    #898066
    ill_be_strong
    Participant

    Frummy,

    The gap could have occurred in any of the 14 generations, i just used gen one as an example. Lets take this a step further, what if gen 1 was actually 100,000,000 (50,000,000 couples), it would now take 27 generations (or 540+ years) for everyone to multiply evenly (averaging), in order for the descendants of person A to catch up with the rest. A whole lot can happen in 540 years to widen the gap, which would delay the catching up process for hundreds of additional years. This is especially true if they isolated and avoided intermarriage. For example, the Jewish population Pre-WWII was only 16 million, less than 1% of the words 2.2 billion population. If you want to consider the various massive massacres throughout our history, it would also have to apply to the Yishmaelim, i’m sure they had their share.

    Anyways, i’ll settle for 50%.

    Thanks Frummy, nice talking to you!

    #898067
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Not all Leviim go to wash the hands of the Kohanim, because not all Leviim are needed for this purpose.

    42, what are you doing by the sink during Chazaras Hashatz?

    #898068
    aurora77
    Participant

    Hello Charles Short,

    The statistic of 95% of non-Cohen Jews being children of converts is not born out by current genetic research. Please see my previous posts in this thread, as well as the 2012 book by Dr. Harry Ostrer, entitled Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People.

    #898069

    Nothing could be dumber than this whole genetics argument. So Abraham had a gene he passed only to jewish decendants? Or would Ishmaels decendents have it too? How about Esaus? Or did the magic bean, i mean gene debelop at some later point?

    If.it developed at some later point then u are saying the gene wasnt in abraham or isaac, but was in all the decendents of jacob. It took just one generation to develop, but then hundreds of generations later its still the same? This just proves that u all have goyishe kops and i am the only jew here

    #898070
    akuperma
    Participant

    YehudahTzvi:

    You are aware that the daughter of a giyores is perfectly kosher for a kohen to marry????

    Halacha only require a kohen to marry someone born a Jew – it is irrelvant what the persons mother or grandmother is. That’s why the search for a “kohen” genetic pattern focuses on part of the the male chromosone unaffected by the female genetic materials.

    When they distinguish genetics in a way that limits it to male and female ancestry, it turns out that their were probably a lot more female than male converts (logical for many reasons, conversion didn’t mean the same loss of legal status for women since women often had limited rights, mikva is less scary than a bris, when Jews migrated to a new area men were more likely to go than women, and in the case of Ashkenazim many if not most came to Europe as Roman prisoners – men were more likely to survive captivity). It’s also interesting that the evidence is that conversion was very rare after ancient times – which matches what our historians have claimed.

    #898071
    YehudahTzvi
    Participant

    YehudahTzvi:

    You are aware that the daughter of a giyores is perfectly kosher for a kohen to marry????

    Actually, Kohanim are machmir and do not marry the daughters of converts.

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=40524&st=&pgnum=44

    http://hebrewbooks.org/shas.aspx?mesechta=20&daf=78b&format=pdf

    (Halacha links… pretty please let it through, MODS?)

    (Regardless, the haplotype is only through the father. Thus, even a goy (born of a Jewish father) could have pure Kohain DNA but not even be Jewish.)

    “That’s why the search for a “kohen” genetic pattern focuses on part of the the male chromosone unaffected by the female genetic materials.”

    Again, the haplotype is ONLY passed through the father. Mitochondrial DNA can be traced through the mother.

    #898072
    aurora77
    Participant

    Hello abba_murray_bar_popa and akuperma,

    Abba_murray_bar_popa, a small gene segment, rather than a whole gene, can be analyzed to link various Jewish populations, so that it can be determined how many generations ago two people had a common ancestor. This phenomenon of “coalescence” helps geneticists map Jewish population movement in the Diaspora and helps scientists determine roughly at what point in history various genetically inherited illnesses came into the gene pool, among other things. Many genetic fragments, rather than just one gene, are at play. The importance of this genetic research and the linkage of “Jewish” genes for purposes of developing targeted treatments for diseases that particularly effect Jews are discussed at length throughout the new publication Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People, by Dr. Harry Ostrer (please see my previous posts in this thread for more publication information).

    Akuperma, regarding female Jewish conversions, genetic research has determined that all Jewish subpopulations, except for those located in India and Ethiopia, have mitochondrial (i.e., maternal) genomes that originated from the Middle East. See Ostrer’s Legacy, page 111. Specifically, among Ashkenaz, four mitochondrial genomes (i.e., haplogroups) account for 70% of all Ashkenaz — only four founder females for the group. See Legacy, page 109. A few of these haplogroups are of Middle Eastern origin, and a few are of European origin — these findings are similar to those found among Ashkenazi male founders. See Legacy, page 109. Thus, the current genetic research does not support the idea that more females than males, at least among Ashkenaz, were converts.

    #898073
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Being a Kohein, I am pretty sure that none of my forefathers married converts.

    How can you be so sure? How do you know that your maternal grandmother didn’t have an ancestor who married a convert? Your being a Kohen wouldn’t preclude such a possibility? It’s not like geirus is a p’sul that is passed down the generations. There is no question, for example that the great-granddaughter of a ger can marry a kohen.

    The Wolf

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