Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Have faith... life will out

Where did that central Asian haplotype come from? Most Jews are vaguely aware of the Khazars; their king plays the role of interlocutor in Yehuda Halevi's 12th-century defense of Jewish doctrine, The Kuzari. The Khazars, however, were not a mere literary device. They were a real people with a major kingdom north of the Caspian Sea, and in the eighth or ninth century the Khazar leaders and some of the people converted to Judaism. After the 10th century, they disappear from history. The common ancestor of the Ashkenazi Levi'im who carry this particular haplotype lived less than 2,000 years ago. A good guess is that at roughly the time the Khazar kingdom disappeared, a very small number of closely related individuals with the tradition of being Levi'im, or perhaps only a single male, came from the general region of the Khazar kingdom to join the then-small Ashkenazi community in Europe. If this is so, it may indicate that the Khazar Jews had created a native class of Levi'im.

Genetics and the Jewish identity | Jerusalem Post

This post runs three pages and for those who are quick to judge and argue, it DOES bring up the difference between legal, ethnicity, halacha, etc. What this article is about is proving that despite our common misconceptions, historical inaccuracies, personal biases, and other pitfalls, common threads of the whole scene keep running through physical reality leaving telltale bits behind to find.