jump to navigation

Are all Ashkenazim partly Sephardi? April 20, 2009

Posted by ethnicgenome in Jews.
Tags: , , , , ,
trackback

I theorized before that Ashkenazi Jews must be related to the original Sephardim. People who don’t know Jewish history think of the Sephardim as Jews from Islamic countries. That is wrong. Those Jews are Mizrachi Jews who merely adopted Sephardic traditions. The real Sephardic Jews are West Europeans, and the Ashkenazim are Central and East Europeans (from Germany to Russia).

When Sephardic Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal, they went to Turkey and Holland. There are still a lot of Sephardim in Turkey, but what happened to all the Dutch Jews like the great philosopher Benedict de Spinoza?

Ashkenazi Jews originated on the Rhine River, somewhere near Cologne and Düsseldorf. The region is right next to Holland, so it’s impossible that the two communities wouldn’t intermarry with each other.

The sudden disappearance of Sephardic Jews in Holland and the simultaneous skyrocketing of the nearby Ashkenazi population could be a coincidence, but that’s far-fetched. Why would the Dutch Jews disappear? Do we really think that the Rhine Jews all had historically unheard of number of children per woman to grow their population so quickly?

It is more likely that the two communities just united.

Take a look at this map from wikipedia (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e3/Cohanim_DNA_migration_.jpg)

It shows Jews migrating to Spain and Portugal, then from there into Central and Eastern Europe. In Iberia, there were no Ashkenazim. In Central and Eastern Europe, there were no Sephardim. If family was in Spain first, then went to Poland, then they must’ve started out as Sephardim and then became Ashkenazim. Not as a matter of genetics, but as a matter of religious tradition.

Today we think of Mizrachi Jews as Sephardim because they adopted their religious traditions. But genetically, Ashkenazi Jews must have more Sephardic blood than do Mizrachi Jews. This is because both Sephardim and Ashkenazim were European Jews who lived right next to each other, while the Mizrachi were in the far-away Middle East and Central Asia.

The last names of people who originated from Iberia are some of the more common Ashkenazi names: Kaplan, Garfinkel, Mazer, Katz, Kohn, Kovacs, Cowan, Coyne, Kahan, Kagan, Cohen, Shapiro. Many of these names originated when the families were already in Central and Eastern Europe (or the British Isles), but the family history lays with Portuguese and Spanish Sephardim.

Advertisements

Comments»

1. onur - April 20, 2009

I think all Jewish groups have diverse origins. For instance, Iberian Jews (real Sephardim) came to Iberia partly through southern Mediterranean, partly through northern Mediterranean, and to a lesser extant through central/northern Europe, and in different time periods and under different conditions. Ashkenasim, too, seem to have different source populations (despite bottlenecks).

2. Sleep - April 23, 2009

Oh wow. Cunha is just another form of Cohen?? I had no idea! That’s interesting. That map tells me a lot of things I never knew.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: