Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Defaming Ashkenazim


I've really had enough of anti-semites maligning Ashkenazim, European Jewry (I've had enough of them hating all Jews but they reserve a special hate for Ashkenazim). According to them, Ashkenazim are just white European invaders, unrelated to true Jews. Most of them are the descendants of the Khazars, a nomadic people that converted to Judaism, and as such have no place in the Middle-East but belong in Europe.
Time for a little family history:
Paternal Grandparents- from Dorahoi, Romania
Maternal Grandmother- father from Austria and mother from Birabijan, Russia
Maternal Grandfather- Spanish descent, his family has lived in Israel since the Spanish Inquisition, 8 generations ago. Actually, I'm related to one of the officials who signed Israel's Declaration of Independence, the Chief of Police, Bekhor Shalom Shitreet.
***
According to the hateful rhetoric of anti-semites, my paternal family and my maternal grandmother are simply Europeans and therefore less Jewish, if at all, than my Sephardic grandfather. This is one of the most oft repeated myths about Jews and Israel.
Why is this wrong?
1) Ashkenazim are not related to their European gentile neighbours and are more closely related to their Sephardic and Mizrahi (Spanish and Arab Jews) than Arabs and other semitic peoples are. The Ashkenazi genepool, actually, is not related at all to the Turkish genepool. This contradicts the claim that they are descendants of the Khazars. The most recent genetic research consists of obtaining DNA samples, and doing laboratory analysis and comparison of the DNA markers on the Y-chromosome -- which is passed from father to son, and on the mtDNA (mitrocondrial DNA) -- which is passed intact from mother to son and daughter.

"Despite their long-term residence in different countries and isolation from one another, most Jewish populations were not significantly different from one another at the genetic level. The results support the hypothesis that the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population, and suggest that most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighboring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora."
(M.F. Hammer, Proc. Nat'l Academy of Science, May 9, 2000)

2)DNA and descent is not the most important thing. The Torah makes it very clear that very convert becomes a full fledged memeber of the Jewish nation, irregardless of their race or origin. King David's grandmother was a Moabite convert, Ruth, yet she merited tobe the ancestor of royalty. Her nationality is as unimportant as her hair colour.

The Jews today are the exact same Jews as in the Bible, whether they may originate from Poland, Russia, Germany, Morocco, Iraq, Ethiopia or even India. I put on tefilin each day; so did King David. I keep kosher just like our Father Abraham did. We celebrate the same holidays that Moses celebrated. In short, we are the descendants (genetically and spiritually) of the Biblical Hebrews and therefore G-d's promises to them are still valid. We Ashkenazim (I'm 3/4) are not European conquerors but are just as Jewish as Moses or King Solomon.
The most amazing thing, however, is that the Jewish people, despite all of their years of exile, retained its genetic identity, religion and culture. Even more amazing as that all of these different exiled communities have returned to Israel, together. Remember G-d's promise:

And God shall return your captivity and be merciful to you, and will return and gather you from all the nations whither God has scattered you. (Deuteronomy 30:3)

As the natural laws are set before Me, so shall the seed of Israel never cease from being a nation before Me, forever. (Jeremiah 31:36)

14 comments:

Cosmic X said...

Nice post. BTW, I linked to you and you promised to link to me!!!

Michael said...

, I'm related to one of the officials who signed Israel's Declaration of Independence

That is so cool. Geneology is great, isn't it?

Personally, I am always stunned by the stupidity of the arguments that anti-semites use. "Well, these Jews are real Jews, and these Jews are the Jews that we really hate..."

LionHeart said...

Good to see you standing up for your roots Bar Kochba.

God bless you brother

Lionheart

Jungle Mom said...

Great heritage!! I have often contemplated the continuity of the Jewish culture in so many varies countries and cultures throughout history. One of the arguments we face as missionaries working among tribal people of South America is that we will cause them to "lose" their culture. This has not happened to the Jews!! I think any culture or ethnic group with a strong moral fiber has no fear of "losing" their culture.
Except of course, through genocide. Which G-d has not allowed to happen to the Jews.

beakerkin said...

Bar

Lets go over the Kazar bit. First of all our community has always welcomed converts. We do not have a missionary tradition, but for all intents and purposes a convert is considered equal in status as someone born into the faith.

Then there is an imaginary racist geographical idiocy. A person who is from Morocco is considered by these dolts more authentic than someone from Poland based solely upon skin color. Poland is closer than Morocco to Israel.

When you hear the Kazar idiocy you are dealing with an ignoramus who does not know our traditions and an anti-semite.

WomanHonorThyself said...

excellent post Bar..as if we dont have enough haters from the outside..no need to be hating on one another...!!!

Bar Kochba said...

Jungle Mom: The Jews have been victims of genocide- the Holocaust, Inquisition, pogroms... But we're still here!

nanc said...

as benjamin disraeli answered the queen when she inquired as to the validity of G-d and how did he know there was one, disraeli replied, "the jew, your majesty."

'nuff said - great lesson, b.k.

FLORIAN said...

BK: The Spanish inquistion happened more than 8 generations ago...unless your family multiplies every 50 years or so. I like the fact that you have some Romanian ancestry in you. A very beautiful people indeed. Aren't true Semitic Jews of the caucausian race? After Rome destroyed Jesursalem in 70 AD most Jews fled to Europe right? Our new testament Bible talks about huge Jewish citizenry in big cities like Rome, Athens, Corinth, Ephesis, Phillipi, Sparta and Cyprus. Are these not considered direct descendants of the 12 tribes by you? Or just white converts?

Bar Kochba said...

We don't differentiate between convets and "pure-bred" Jews. Spiritual, not genetic, DNA is what's important.
BTW Caucasians are descendants from Japhet, Jews and Arabs from Shem and Blacks from Ham.

John Brown said...

Perhaps people think of those who came in from Europe riding on the back of the UN to steal land from indigenous people invaders because they invaded and stole land.

With Europe's permission, of course.

And now they govern the territory like a bunch of crazed rapists.

Perhaps because they are.

john brown said...

save the palestinians from the palestinians!



Mumia did it in '81 I think

Jungle Mom said...

bar, Yes, exactly! the only real danger to the Jewish culture is genocide.

beakerkin said...

Junglemom

The greatest danger to the Jewish Community is the impostors in our ranks. There is a great effort of Communists and Anarchists to play up any Jewish heritage. Communists like to set themselves up as the arbiters of ethnic authenticity.

The pseudo religious roots of Communism have been noted by many historians, notably Toynbee. Communists should be considered as people who have in fact converted.
One does not hear of claims of Methodist or Baptist Communists because nothing is to be gained by advancing this claim. In fairness there are some disgusting types that preach the theology of liberation that two Popes call heresy.

More to the point when Communists run an area Jews suffer. Cuba, Eithiopia and the Soviet Union banned one language and it is hardly a surprise that language was Hebrew. Jews are also fleeing Hugo's wonderland and I have seen the cases. Moreover, I may have missed some with Spanish names.