Yichus – Its Importance and its Value

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  • #590135
    Broker
    Participant

    Do you stem from any famous Gadol or personality? How do you perceive it?

    #652306
    chofetzchaim
    Member

    I am related to the Chofetz Chaim. The Chofetz Chaim is my brother’s wife’s sister’s husband’s mother’s sister’s husband’s brother’s daughter’s husband’s father’s brother’s son’s wife’s brother’s wife’s sister’s husband’s sister’s husband’s brother’s wife’s sister’s husband’s brother’s wife’s sister’s husband’s mother’s sister’s husband’s brother’s wife’s mother’s sister’s husband’s father’s father’s father’s brother.

    #652307
    Broker
    Participant

    Chofetz Chaim,

    Your point???????

    #652309
    feivel
    Participant

    i think yichus is a good thing to have

    but not a good thing to talk about in public

    but since you asked

    i have a great yichus

    no one here (or anywhere) can claim a greater yichus than me

    i am a direct descendant of Avrohom, Yitzchak, and Yaakov.

    i am a YID.

    #652310

    “broker”

    Perhaps his point is that he is not nameless

    #652311
    YW Moderator-72
    Participant

    feivel, I agree with you completely…

    Broker, I see you decided to keep your more famous personalities nameless in your opening post… perhaps you agree with feivel also.

    #652312
    cantoresq
    Member

    On my maternal grandmother’s side, I shtam from family of R. Nosson Adler of Frankfurt, the rebbe of the Chasam Sofer. Do you all now respect me more?

    #652313
    JayMatt19
    Participant

    Yichus is like the number zero, you can have a ton of them, but it only matters if there is a different digit in front of all of those zeros.

    Likewise yichus only helps if you have made yourself into something as well

    #652314
    oomis
    Participant

    I am directly descended from Aharon Hakohein on my father’s side. Yichus comes from the person himself or herself, not his family line. Moshe Rabbeinu’s sons did not distinguish themselves in any way, and our arguably greatest Rav after Moshe Rabbeinu, Rabbi Akiva, was descended from a father who SURELY was not meyuchesdik. Let’s be less concerned with whom someone descended from, and more where that person is headed in his own life.

    #652315
    Jothar
    Member

    Yichus is like a potato. The best parts are underground…

    The mishna uses yichus to mean a daughter of pefectly Jewish parents who are allowed to marry Kohanim. Menashe hamelech had awesome yichus. Same with Eisav.

    #652316
    Broker
    Participant

    Not completley!

    If people can brag about how much money they earn or how wonderful their children are, why can they not be proud of their background?

    There is such a thing as Zechus Avos.

    Jaymatt, your last point is a good one.

    I shtam from the Divrei Chaim. We were always taught ‘Maaseh Avos Simon Labonim’

    Make your ancestors as proud as possible and aim to be the ultimate Yiras Shomayim.

    #652318
    Jax
    Member

    cantoresq: actually now i would! 😉

    i have some sort of family yichus, but to me it doesn’t mean much cause were all the chosen nation-that means more to me!

    #652319
    working
    Member

    my great grandfathers grandfather made the kitzur and when i tell people in a jest that i have yichus they laugh at me. what makes yichus importand? The greater the person ( the yichus himself)the more big you should feel? And how about the fact that people will NOT do a shidduch for no money if the other side doesnt have enough yichus for them?? Or how about those people who dont work but are in “kollel” because they have yichus? Yichus is a very beautiful thing but i dont think that it should make or break the way a person goes about in life. And also another important thing is that people forget the ikur and go for the tafal. They hold themselves big meyuchasim but dont do something to continue this beautiful chain- to give their “yichus” big nachas in shamayim.

    #652321
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Yichus is like the number zero, you can have a ton of them, but it only matters if there is a different digit in front of all of those zeros.

    I’ve heard that too, but I never liked that explanation. According to that logic, through no fault of my own, I can never, ever be more than a 1.

    The Wolf

    #652322
    feivel
    Participant

    If people can brag about how much money they earn or how wonderful their children are

    they shouldnt, a person shouldnt brag about anything, certainly that which is purely a matanah from the Ribbono Shel Olam. Anavah is one of the most prized Middos by the Ribbono Shel Olam

    why can they not be proud of their background?

    same answer

    #652323
    nameless
    Member

    Wolfish,

    On the contrary. That logic means that if there IS a 1 in front of those zeros thats because YOU are worthy WITHOUT yichus.

    #652324
    JayMatt19
    Participant

    WolfishMusings, R’ S. R. Hirsh says that at the Yam, there were 2 types of praises for Hashem. ??? ??-??? ???????????. ??-???? ????? ??????????????: Some people come with the song that Hashem is their G-d, whilst others come praising that Hashem is the G-d of their fathers.

    R’ Hirsh says that the passuk speaks more highly of those who say ??? ??-???, for they are ?????????, glorified, which is a higher level than ????????????

    #652325
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Wolf, we live in a binary world 🙂

    I know grandchildren of a gadol – 1 is wonderful, frum, Torah Jew. The other was in a very inappropriate magazine. They both have the same yichus.

    #652326
    feivel
    Participant

    “According to that logic”

    its not a logic

    its a mashul

    mashalim, of course, always have some logic as there is a comparison between the mushal and the nimshal

    but it can range from a very loose comparison to a very tight comparison (less to more “logic”)

    it is NEVER exact because then the mashul would be absorbed into the nimshal and they would be one

    i think you understand the point of this particular mushal

    #652327
    oomis
    Participant

    Menashe hamelech had awesome yichus. Same with Eisav.

    Points well taken. Yichus is only of value when the person claiming it shows the same qualities of the ancestors.

    #652328
    shaatra
    Member

    My grandpas brother has a book that gets passed down generation to generation and it’s a direct descent from Dovid Hamelech!!

    #652329
    mepal
    Member

    Hey! We have a family tree tracing us back to David Hamelech as well!

    #652330
    #652332
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    i think you understand the point of this particular mushal

    Yes, I understand the point. I still think it’s a very flawed mashal as it sends the message that I (or anyone else without impressive yichus) can never be as good as someone else because I don’t have the right ancestors.

    The Wolf

    #652333
    nameless
    Member

    ‘We have a family tree tracing us back to David Hamelech as well! ‘

    Who did Dovid Hamelech come from?? Ruth Hamoavit!

    #652334
    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    For a class project my sister traced us back to Rashi. From there my father got a tree going back to Dovid Hamelech and then all the way back to Odom Harishon.

    He told some loony he met on the subway who claimed that we all come from apes that we can prove we descend from humans but “I have no problem believing that your ancestors are monkeys if you insist”.

    #652335
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    For a class project my sister traced us back to Rashi.

    As an amateur genealogist, I’d love to know how you got records going back nine centuries.

    (No, seriously — I’m not doubting… I’d love to know if there are any avenues I can explore to find old records).

    The Wolf

    #652336
    mepal
    Member

    Wolf, on this family tree I was talking about, we have Rashi on it as well.

    #652337
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Mepal,

    Right. But yours was probably handed down generation to generation. Dr. Pepper’s sister’s, OTOH, sounds like it was researched.

    The Wolf

    #652338
    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    Traditionally my family knew we descended from a certain gadol but didn’t know how.

    For the project my sister was researching this gadol and at the end of one story she read the magazine said that the author is an eight generation descendant of this gadol.

    After contacting the author she determined that he is my grandmothers third cousin but he had a tree from his great-great-grandparents down which included my grandmothers grandfather. He then offered a tree going up to Rashi. From there my father did research and traced it to Dovid Hamelech and eventually up to Odom.

    If the information is there- it’s there. If it’s not there I have no idea how to go about getting it. Sorry 🙁

    #652339

    Wolf

    Sometimes it is not that hard to come by, if you have “landmarks”.

    I know someone who is an descendant of Korach. He knows this because he knows he is from the Shla”h HaKadosh, who knew he was from Shmuel Hanavi, who was from Korach.

    #652340
    shaatra
    Member

    First of all who changed my post? I’m almost postive I wrote david not dovid.

    Mod 80: what would you like to know?

    #652341
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Thanks for the elucidation, Dr. Pepper.

    The Wolf

    #652342

    What is the book? What is in it?

    #652343
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Sometimes it is not that hard to come by, if you have “landmarks”.

    I know someone who is an descendant of Korach. He knows this because he knows he is from the Shla”h HaKadosh, who knew he was from Shmuel Hanavi, who was from Korach.

    Yeah, well I guess that works if you (like Dr. Pepper) are descended from someone who is famous and is already the subject of either genealogical research by others or established tradition. If, however, like me, you’re not descended from anyone famous, it’s not so easy.

    The Wolf

    #652344
    shaatra
    Member

    Say about everyone from each generation- their kids, their wives, their jobs, their status in the community…

    #652345
    shaatra
    Member

    Nameless: ur point being?

    #652346
    oomis
    Participant

    I know someone who is an descendant of Korach. He knows this because he knows he is from the Shla”h HaKadosh, who knew he was from Shmuel Hanavi, who was from Korach.

    That’s so interesting. I thought that all of Korach’s family were sucked into the earth along with him. I had never heard about the Shmuel Hanavi relationship.

    #652347
    YW Moderator-72
    Participant

    oomis1105 – Korach knew that he was going to have a great descendant so he figured he couldn’t lose against Moshe. what he didn’t realize is that his sons while being brought into the opening would do a complete Tshuvah and recognize the greatness of Moshe… I am sure others can explain this better and in more detail, but this is the brief version.

    #652348
    Jothar
    Member

    The Lamnatzeach livnei Korach mizmor we say at an aveil’s house is supposed to be from those very sons of Korach who were swallowed up but allowed to do teshuva. The words “al tirah ki yaashir ish” were said about korach.

    #652349
    inspiredteen
    Member

    I think that everyone is very proud of their yichus because its something that they just ‘got’ and you can brag about it all you want cuz it can’t be taken away from you! So, you can be proud of it (I don’t get why tho-cuz you were born into a great family? you still havta make yourself and I think that is probably harder if you have yichus because you have people that you havta measure up to!) but not feel like its an ayin hara!

    I understand where the big deal is if your father/grandfather/uncle/great uncle…or people that you acutally knew and grew up with are gedolim but when people go on and on about how their great great great great uncle…i think that that it is meaningless unless that person has gone on to emulate or follow what that person stood for-otherwise, its just soemthing to talk and brag about!

    #652350
    mepal
    Member

    Wolf, re your previous post about the family tree, it is also full of ‘markers’. Closer to the bottom of it, there’s not much of direct father-son. There are arrows pointing to the next one on the chain. Kind of, we know somehow that rashi came from…whomever. Its in my grandparents house, currently. Maybe I’ll check it out next time I’m there.

    #652351
    volvie
    Member

    I also shtam from Dovid Hamelech, Rashi, and a lot of the meforshim in the Gemorah. My family has yichus brief back to Rashi, which includes many Rishonim and Achronim along the way.

    #652353
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    My father was a baker, and he taught me fresh bread is better than stale bread.

    The Kotzker?

    #652354
    oomis
    Participant

    oomis1105 – Korach knew that he was going to have a great descendant so he figured he couldn’t lose against Moshe. what he didn’t realize is that his sons while being brought into the opening would do a complete Tshuvah and recognize the greatness of Moshe… I am sure others can explain this better and in more detail, but this is the brief version”

    Thank you M 72, and thanks to Jothar for teaching me something new today. Have a good Shabbos.

    #652355
    littleeema
    Participant

    The entire ashkenazi population is descended from about 20 families who left Italy with Reb Klonimus and settled in the Rhine Valley at Charlegmagne’s behest. SO – if for each of those families who might claim descent from Dovid Hamelech, at least 5% of ashkenazim have that yichus….

    #652356
    eyesopen
    Member

    We thought we had no yichus because our great grandfather went missing at the turn of the century. After delving into a bit of geneology over the course of a year, I found out that we are related to over 11,000 Jews and many great rabbonim. Also that my husband and I were distantly related! The point is that all of us probably have some yichus, so do some research! And for those geirei tzedek on this forum….two friends found out that they were descended from Jews who had to go undercover in Spain during the Inquisition. Knowing your history and your family’s background makes Jewish history come alive for you and your entire family. Personally it gave me a great appreciation for Am Yisroel, what we survived, and a sense of pride that we made it through so much, and what a huge responsibility we have with our lives to ensure that our children and great grandchildren will be proud of us.

    #652357
    oomis
    Participant

    We are all descended from Odom Harishon and the reason that Hashem only created one Odom, was specifically to ensure that we would NOT be hung up on Yichus. No one could say, “I am descended from a more distinguished Odom than you are.” (My Odom is better than yours…) So if Hashem created us that way in order to circumvent such a possibility, why on earth are we even discussing Yichus now? It certainly is not in line with the intent of Hakodosh Boruch Hu.

    #652358

    Why does this matter at all? I am confused. What makes one Jew better than another? I understand that if someone worked on themselves and became something, then they can be considered “higher” or “better”, for lack of better terms. But when meeting “ordinary” (because no one is) people on the streets, what makes them greater because they stem from one of the Rishonim or Achronim? Somehow, we can all trace ourselves back to every one. Even a ger, unless he and all his descendants married geirim, can make a path as once they marry, they become “in laws”. The frum community is so intermarried that we can be cousins to someone easily 2 or 3 times!

    But why, can someone explain to me, is someone a better prospect for shidduchim, getting into a school ect if they have “yichus”, no matter how far removed!???!!? We are all Am Yisroel! It seems that many people echo my thoughts that we are Am Yisroel and come from Avraham Avinu, but when it comes down to it people are so much more willing to go out with someone who has “yichus”!

    #652359

    hss- you are right unfortunately the frum world is such that yichus can help determine ones social standing i.e.being accepted in the most prestigious seminary; yeshiva katanah or gedolah; shiduchim… Yichus= being a somebody. I am a nobody and nobody is perfect. What I mean is in the eyes of Hashem everyone is accountable and ones yichus is no assurance for divine distiction.

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