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Thread: Could Western Jews (Ash. and Seph.) descend from Aegeans and Levantine admixture?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Targum View Post
    There never was a viable Hellenistic Judaism which survived. Rabbinic Judaism was the organic Oral מסורה Mesorah which was the actual continuous practice. It was brought to Greece and Rome and continued to develop there as it did in Israel and Babylon/Persia. Honi’s alternate Temple in Alexandria, Philo’s Hellenized Judaism, Jewish Christians, Essenes etc, were curious historical dead ends , perhaps like Shakers and Quakers in US and UK. Mainstream Rabbinic Judaism , the פרושים, Perushim, maintained the acceptable degree of Hellenistic influence and their authority was accepted by the ancestors of all Jews alive today( with the Karaite heresy only occurring in the Arab period in the 8th century). There was not a switch over to mainstream Judaism, it was the norm. The extreme assimilationist Hellenized Jews were the historical dead end, just as were the small group of Jewish Christians who abandoned the wide consensus of Jewish revolt , abandoned the struggle and Israel, and fled to Trans-Jordan where they assimilated into gentile Christianity and disappeared. There never was a large mainstream group of alternative Jews that opposed Rabbinic practice and which survived as Jews, again except for the example of Karaism. The various Hellenistic heresies are interesting academically but irrelevant to Jewish Oral Tradition, except as an example of what not to do. Jews do not view Christianity as a Jewish alternative,rather as a separate new religion, as in its most basic evolution it departed profoundly and immediately from the most liberal boundaries of Jewish practice and belief.On the other hand , Greek names and Greek Language remained in vogue even among the pious, and the Talmud describes this in detail.
    I agree and disagree with all of what you said (how Jewish of me lol ).

    Of course everything you said regarding Hellenistic Judaism being a dead end as a Jewish denomination is 100% correct, no argument here. In fact, it's quite remarkable just how complete its disappearance as well as any substantial Hellenistic work in contemporary Orthodox Judaism (as well as Karaite Judaism) have completely vanished without a trace.

    One could say that much more of Hellenistic Judaism have survived in Christianity (especially the Middle Eastern Churches, such as Coptic and the Nestorian Churches), which is a pretty good hint as to where Christianity, which began as a Pharisee Jewish denomination, found most of its followers early on.

    For example, the Old Testament in the Christian Bible is directly derived from the Septuagint, which existed since the 3rd centuries BCE, while sometime in the 2nd century CE a Greek proselyte, Aqilas (in Hebrew he is known as עקילס הגר), which became a student of Rabbi Akiva in ancient Israel, have created a Rabbinic/Pharisee Greek translation of the Tanakh called "the Aqilas Targum", and by the 6th century CE it most likely replaced the Septuagint in all Western Jewish synagogues. It was basically a Rabbinic canonized version of the Tanakh which other than being in Greek, was no different from a Tanakh which was used in Babylon, as opposed to the Septuagint.

    Anyhow, what I disagree is that it sounds from what you wrote as if Rabbinic Judaism arrived at the same time to Greece and Rome, and was the main Jewish denomination, as it did in Babylon/Persia and Israel. If that's not what you meant, then just let me clarify so others won't get the same notion I got - there is no substantial proof that Rabbinic Judaism instead of Hellenistic Judaism was popular among Roman-era Western diaspora. In fact, there is tons of proof against this.

    First and foremost the lack of any major Rabbinical yeshivas in the Western diaspora prior to the 7th-8th centuries, while there is a lot of Jewish documentation of such institutions in both ancient Israel AND Mizrahi diaspora. We have documentations of extensive exchange of ideas, הלכות decrees and major Rabbis working in both Israel and Babylon. You had two versions of Talmud being written at the same time, both in Israel (the Jerusalem Talmud תלמוד ירושלמי) and Babylon (תלמוד בבלי). You have no evidence of any major work being done in Rome or Greece in that aspect, at least not at the same time, while we know for certainty that there were big and important Jewish communities in the 1st to 6th centuries CE in both Rome and Greece.

    Furthermore, there is no evidence of widespread use of the Mishnah or Talmud by most Jewish communities in the ancient Western diaspora before the 7th to 8th centuries. There is also the very strange absence of ancient mikvehs מקווה in those communities. Also, as mentioned by the Mendeles and Edrei article, you have a very peculiar decree by Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian from 553 CE, regarding the adoption of the Aqilas Targum vs. the Septuagint by Greek Jews, but which still prohibits the teaching of Mishnah !:

    "Furthermore, those who read the Greek shall use the Septuagint tradition,
    which is more accurate than all others, and is preferable to the others
    particularly in reason of what happened while the translation was made. […]
    Let all use mainly this translation, but in order that we shall not appear to
    prohibit them all the other translations, we give permission to use also Aqilas’
    translation, although he was a gentile and in some readings differs not a little
    from the Septuagint. What they call Mishnah, on the other hand, we prohibit
    entirely, for it is not included among the Holy Books, nor was it handed down
    from above by the prophets, but it is an invention of men in their chatter,
    exclusively of earthly origin and having in it nothing of the divine. "
    -NOVELLA 146, Novellae Constitutiones

    Novella 146 seem to have been issued supposedly in response to a Roman Jewish request, and forbids the insistence that the readings from the Torah be exclusively in Hebrew, and also permitting the Aqilas translation which had rabbinic sanction, but still forbids rabbinic oral law from being taught. This is probably the very early beginning of widespread penetration of the written oral law which was probably starting to arrive from the Mizrahi and Israeli centers of teachings. This is the mid 6th century CE we're talking about.

    As for Karaite Judaism, I think it simply shows that Rabbinic Judaism wasn't even the norm among Mizrahi Jews, but by the 13th century was already practiced by the vast majority of all Mizrahi Jews, with Karaite Judaism becoming a small minority. I certainly do not think that Karaite Judaism just appeared out of nowhere in the 8th century CE, and that it had anything to do with Islam. There is just not one single recorded case in history where any Rabbinic Jewish community simply chose to abandon all written Oral law (Mishnah and Talmud) because of external religious pressure. So are we suppose to believe Karaite Judaism really did have it's root in some sort of religious influence Islam had on Babylonian and Egyptian Jews and was so popular it rose to encompass 40% of the Jewish world? not likely. If anything, the non-Rabbinic Jewish communities probably got organized by Annan ben David in the 8th century, after Rabbinic Jews managed to get official recognition by the Muslim authorities as the sole representatives of the Jewish community, to offer representation to non-Rabbinic Jews.

    In any case, I believe that the vast evidence for exchange of Jewish law questions to the Geonim in the Mizrahi diaspora in the late 6th century CE onward from Western Jewish diaspora, until the latter developed their own local religious authority centers, is an evidence that at some point, either by an attempt from Mizrahi Jews or from Western Jews request, religious guidance was required in the Western Jewish communities, and they abandoned Hellenistic Judaism and the Septuagint in favor of the Aqilas translation, then the Hebrew post-Mishnah Rabbinic sanctioned Tanakh, then the oral law. You then have the Sephardic and Tunisian and later on the Southern Italian and French yeshivas and Jewish academies offering their own Babylonian-based rites.

    Based on genetics though, we pretty much know that Hellenistic Jews themselves didn't disappear, but simply adopted the Mizrahi or Israeli-Babylonian Rabbinic form of Judaism, beginning most likely sometime close to the Geonic period, and the translation was completed during the Geonic period.

    However, it seems from the recent models I ran, and also investigating the historical plausibility of this scenario, that this transition from Hellenistic Septuagint-based Judaism to the Rabbinic Aqilas-based and Talmudic Judaism also left some genetic mark, in the form of this IRN_IA admixture in Western Jews, on top of their Roman-era Levantine admixture.
    Last edited by Erikl86; 07-12-2019 at 10:38 PM.
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  3. #6312
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudio View Post
    Ok Eric.
    But then this still doesnít answer the original question:
    How can you model full Ashkenazim as 75% Italkim or 85% Romaniote (with remainder being South/North/East Euro) but still have Ashkenazim scoring same amount of Levantine Admixture as these same Italkim & Romaniotes??
    This is indeed a good question, which is just one of the issues I have with all the different Jewish models we were running in this thread in the past.

    I'm now almost convinced that the solution for this is migration and settlement of Babylonian Jews, which if Iraqi Jews are good proxy for, are 70% Roman-era Levantine, somewhere between 7th-11th centuries CE, perhaps in France and the early Ashkenazi communities, before the bottleneck.

    This might also be the solution for why 50% of Ashkenazi Levites belong to the Western Iranian paternal R1a-Y2619, which has it TMRCA to ~1500 YBP, if I'm not mistaken. Does anyone know if its nearest subclade exist among Iraqi or Persian Jews? I know it has MRCA from R1a-M582 dated to ~3500 YBP, and there are Iranians and Kurds and Yazidis with R1a-M582, but I'm just interested to know if any Iraqi Jews have been found to belong to R1a-Y2619.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    This is indeed a good question, which is just one of the issues I have with all the different Jewish models we were running in this thread in the past.

    I'm now almost convinced that the solution for this is migration and settlement of Babylonian Jews, which if Iraqi Jews are good proxy for, are 70% Roman-era Levantine, somewhere between 7th-11th centuries CE, perhaps in France and the early Ashkenazi communities, before the bottleneck.

    This might also be the solution for why 50% of Ashkenazi Levites belong to the Western Iranian paternal R1a-Y2619, which has it TMRCA to ~1500 YBP, if I'm not mistaken. Does anyone know if its nearest subclade exist among Iraqi or Persian Jews? I know it has MRCA from R1a-M582 dated to ~3500 YBP, and there are Iranians and Kurds and Yazidis with R1a-M582, but I'm just interested to know if any Iraqi Jews have been found to belong to R1a-Y2619.
    At least 2 of my great-grandparents were Levites. And my sister and I score very high West Asian, with her scoring higher. MyHeritage assigned her approx: 88% Ashkenazi, 11% West Asian, 1% Italian. Her West Asian score on K13 is the highest I've seen for an Ashkenazi, at 16.57%(I think the mean is about 10%). It may only be 2 lineages that I'm speaking of, but disproportionate inheritance from Levites and/or disproportionate amount of Levites in our diasporic locations may partly explain it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    I agree and disagree with all of what you said (how Jewish of me lol ).

    Of course everything you said regarding Hellenistic Judaism being a dead end as a Jewish denomination is 100% correct, no argument here. In fact, it's quite remarkable just how complete its disappearance as well as any substantial Hellenistic work in contemporary Orthodox Judaism (as well as Karaite Judaism) have completely vanished without a trace.

    One could say that much more of Hellenistic Judaism have survived in Christianity (especially the Middle Eastern Churches, such as Coptic and the Nestorian Churches), which is a pretty good hint as to where Christianity, which began as a Pharisee Jewish denomination, found most of its followers early on.

    For example, the Old Testament in the Christian Bible is directly derived from the Septuagint, which existed since the 3rd centuries BCE, while sometime in the 2nd century CE a Greek proselyte, Aqilas (in Hebrew he is known as עקילס הגר), which became a student of Rabbi Akiva in ancient Israel, have created a Rabbinic/Pharisee Greek translation of the Tanakh called "the Aqilas Targum", and by the 6th century CE it most likely replaced the Septuagint in all Western Jewish synagogues. It was basically a Rabbinic canonized version of the Tanakh which other than being in Greek, was no different from a Tanakh which was used in Babylon, as opposed to the Septuagint.

    Anyhow, what I disagree is that it sounds from what you wrote as if Rabbinic Judaism arrived at the same time to Greece and Rome, and was the main Jewish denomination, as it did in Babylon/Persia and Israel. If that's not what you meant, then just let me clarify so others won't get the same notion I got - there is no substantial proof that Rabbinic Judaism instead of Hellenistic Judaism was popular among Roman-era Western diaspora. In fact, there is tons of proof against this.

    First and foremost the lack of any major Rabbinical yeshivas in the Western diaspora prior to the 7th-8th centuries, while there is a lot of Jewish documentation of such institutions in both ancient Israel AND Mizrahi diaspora. We have documentations of extensive exchange of ideas, הלכות decrees and major Rabbis working in both Israel and Babylon. You had two versions of Talmud being written at the same time, both in Israel (the Jerusalem Talmud תלמוד ירושלמי) and Babylon (תלמוד בבלי). You have no evidence of any major work being done in Rome or Greece in that aspect, at least not at the same time, while we know for certainty that there were big and important Jewish communities in the 1st to 6th centuries CE in both Rome and Greece.

    Furthermore, there is no evidence of widespread use of the Mishnah or Talmud by most Jewish communities in the ancient Western diaspora before the 7th to 8th centuries. There is also the very strange absence of ancient mikvehs מקווה in those communities. Also, as mentioned by the Mendeles and Edrei article, you have a very peculiar decree by Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian from 553 CE, regarding the adoption of the Aqilas Targum vs. the Septuagint by Greek Jews, but which still prohibits the teaching of Mishnah !:

    "Furthermore, those who read the Greek shall use the Septuagint tradition,
    which is more accurate than all others, and is preferable to the others
    particularly in reason of what happened while the translation was made. […]
    Let all use mainly this translation, but in order that we shall not appear to
    prohibit them all the other translations, we give permission to use also Aqilas’
    translation, although he was a gentile and in some readings differs not a little
    from the Septuagint. What they call Mishnah, on the other hand, we prohibit
    entirely, for it is not included among the Holy Books, nor was it handed down
    from above by the prophets, but it is an invention of men in their chatter,
    exclusively of earthly origin and having in it nothing of the divine. "
    -NOVELLA 146, Novellae Constitutiones

    Novella 146 seem to have been issued supposedly in response to a Roman Jewish request, and forbids the insistence that the readings from the Torah be exclusively in Hebrew, and also permitting the Aqilas translation which had rabbinic sanction, but still forbids rabbinic oral law from being taught. This is probably the very early beginning of widespread penetration of the written oral law which was probably starting to arrive from the Mizrahi and Israeli centers of teachings. This is the mid 6th century CE we're talking about.

    As for Karaite Judaism, I think it simply shows that Rabbinic Judaism wasn't even the norm among Mizrahi Jews, but by the 13th century was already practiced by the vast majority of all Mizrahi Jews, with Karaite Judaism becoming a small minority. I certainly do not think that Karaite Judaism just appeared out of nowhere in the 8th century CE, and that it had anything to do with Islam. There is just not one single recorded case in history where any Rabbinic Jewish community simply chose to abandon all written Oral law (Mishnah and Talmud) because of external religious pressure. So are we suppose to believe Karaite Judaism really did have it's root in some sort of religious influence Islam had on Babylonian and Egyptian Jews and was so popular it rose to encompass 40% of the Jewish world? not likely. If anything, the non-Rabbinic Jewish communities probably got organized by Annan ben David in the 8th century, after Rabbinic Jews managed to get official recognition by the Muslim authorities as the sole representatives of the Jewish community, to offer representation to non-Rabbinic Jews.

    In any case, I believe that the vast evidence for exchange of Jewish law questions to the Geonim in the Mizrahi diaspora in the late 6th century CE onward from Western Jewish diaspora, until the latter developed their own local religious authority centers, is an evidence that at some point, either by an attempt from Mizrahi Jews or from Western Jews request, religious guidance was required in the Western Jewish communities, and they abandoned Hellenistic Judaism and the Septuagint in favor of the Aqilas translation, then the Hebrew post-Mishnah Rabbinic sanctioned Tanakh, then the oral law. You then have the Sephardic and Tunisian and later on the Southern Italian and French yeshivas and Jewish academies offering their own Babylonian-based rites.

    Based on genetics though, we pretty much know that Hellenistic Jews themselves didn't disappear, but simply adopted the Mizrahi or Israeli-Babylonian Rabbinic form of Judaism, beginning most likely sometime close to the Geonic period, and the translation was completed during the Geonic period.

    However, it seems from the recent models I ran, and also investigating the historical plausibility of this scenario, that this transition from Hellenistic Septuagint-based Judaism to the Rabbinic Aqilas-based and Talmudic Judaism also left some genetic mark, in the form of this IRN_IA admixture in Western Jews, on top of their Roman-era Levantine admixture.
    This is pretty much at what I was getting at in my previous post but in a less coherent way
    The Abstract from this explains it well:
    86E88646-F65B-4C71-8053-3DD41920E632.jpeg
    Anyway the other thing I was speculating is this:
    Christianity becomes legal in 330AD.
    It then becomes official Roman State Religion 380AD.
    This is the first time any type of divide starts between Christians and Jews but it is tame in comparison to late antiquity let alone early Middle Ages.
    Even in Western Roman Empire Spain and Vandal controlled Spain circa 400AD there is not yet a great divide between Christian and Jewish communities,sources have Christians having Jews say prayers over crops in fields,there are mixed marriages,persecution in Spain actually starts earlier than Italy when Spain soon comes Under Visigoth Rule and Strict Christianity stamps down on mixed marriages.
    At the same time next door in Italy under Western Roman Empire pope Gregory actually protected the Jews and know doubt Jews moved North when the Capital moved to Ravenna in North Italy.
    Anyway regarding Spain and Italy we can probably confidently say that upto mid 4th Century( 350AD) mixed marriages between Jews and Christians were still common and that even after 380AD through to 5th Century they were still occurring but much less frequent,So arguably Western Jewish Communities were still taking on South Euro Admixture in Italy/Spain upto and around 400-450AD but much less frequent.
    But 1st Century to 3rd were much more frequent,but then this complicates any admixture calculation knowing how Central Italians plotted in this period.
    Anyway you have Rabbinical Judaism replacement in the west 600AD onward through 1000AD and this coincides with when real segregation and persecution is experienced by western Jews of Italy and France/Germany.
    Last edited by Claudio; 07-13-2019 at 12:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post

    This might also be the solution for why 50% of Ashkenazi Levites belong to the Western Iranian paternal R1a-Y2619, which has it TMRCA to ~1500 YBP, if I'm not mistaken. Does anyone know if its nearest subclade exist among Iraqi or Persian Jews? I know it has MRCA from R1a-M582 dated to ~3500 YBP, and there are Iranians and Kurds and Yazidis with R1a-M582, but I'm just interested to know if any Iraqi Jews have been found to belong to R1a-Y2619.
    Don’t let Erin Elhaik here you say this
    He will have an Iranian field day
    Last edited by Claudio; 07-13-2019 at 12:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudio View Post
    Anyway the other thing I was speculating is this:
    Christianity becomes legal in 330AD.
    It then becomes official Roman State Religion 380AD.
    This is the first time any type of divide starts between Christians and Jews but it is tame in comparison to late antiquity let alone early Middle Ages.
    Even in Western Roman Empire Spain and Vandal controlled Spain circa 400AD there is not yet a great divide between Christian and Jewish communities,sources have Christians having Jews say prayers over crops in fields,there are mixed marriages,persecution in Spain actually starts earlier than Italy when Spain soon comes Under Visigoth Rule and Strict Christianity stamps down on mixed marriages.
    At the same time next door in Italy under Western Roman Empire pope Gregory actually protected the Jews and know doubt Jews moved North when the Capital moved to Ravenna in North Italy.
    Anyway regarding Spain and Italy we can probably confidently say that upto mid 4th Century( 350AD) mixed marriages between Jews and Christians were still common and that even after 380AD through to 5th Century they were still occurring but much less frequent,So arguably Western Jewish Communities were still taking on South Euro Admixture in Italy/Spain upto and around 400-450AD but much less frequent.
    But 1st Century to 3rd were much more frequent,but then this complicates any admixture calculation knowing how Central Italians plotted in this period.
    Anyway you have Rabbinical Judaism replacement in the west 600AD onward through 1000AD and this coincides with when real segregation and persecution is experienced by western Jews of Italy and France/Germany.
    That might be what one would assume from all of this, but I'm afraid it's not that simple.

    The divide between Judaism and Christianity starts much earlier than that, and is rooted in both the complete abandonment of Jewish law by Christianity early on (at least as early as the 2nd century CE) and most importantly Christianity decision to forego circumcision by the late 1st century CE. There's a reason why we see almost complete homogeneous Levantine/Near Eastern dominance in all paternal lineages in Western Jews - and that is that the ancestors of Western Jews, even when they were Hellenistic Jews, most likely never abandoned this practice in any great numbers.

    The prohibition of Christians from converting to Judaism is enacted almost as soon as it became a state religion - so it's quite obvious that Christianity did no longer see itself as part of Judaism or welcomed the kind of two-ways door you are imagining, I'm afraid.

    Also, you must remember that the Romans themselves saw Christianity as a different religion, because it was illegal and persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire occurred intermittently over a period of over two centuries between the Great Fire of Rome in 64 CE under Nero and the Edict of Milan in 313 CE, in which the Roman Emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius legalised the Christian religion. Judaism was still legal and despite periods of harsh limitations and persecutions, especially after the Great Revolt in 70 CE, Kitos War in 115-117 CE, and Bar Kokhbah Revolt in 135 CE, was never banned by Roman authorities.

    It is true that there were some intermediate denominations in early Christianity which weren't hostile towards Jews or Judaism, with the most famous and pretty later surviving Arian Christianity, but they were fought harshly by the mainstream Churches and eventually subdued.

    As for connecting the rise of antisemitism with the acceptance of canonized Rabbinic tradition, as somewhat hinted by Mandeles and Edrei, I dismiss this as nonsense. Christian anti-Semitism is rooted in its attempt to appease the Roman masses and it pretty much modeled after Greco-Roman anti-Semitism in its accusation of Deicide - after all, if one is to read Greco-Roman anti-Jewish proclamations, starting from the Seleucid Empire and continuing in Roman times, one of the greatest fears is that Jews and Judaism are a threat to the old Greco-Roman religion, and the fact that Hellenistic Judaism was a proselyting religion in the Eastern Mediterranean didn't help with this. Christianity adopted this line of thinking but because it originated from Judaism and was founded by Jews in the early 1st century CE, it went a step further and made the Romans (Pontius Pilate, an historically known ruthless Roman prefect of Judea when it came to punishments) look good and merciful while the Jews barbarian and seeking out killing (the son of) God. This is really just a way to the hearts of the Romans which opposed Judaism by taking the traditional anti-Jewish accusations heard by anti-Jewish elements in Roman society (this is of course not me claiming that Roman society was anti-Semitic - it wasn't, and a good proof for this was that many Romans and Greeks actually admired Jews and Judaism, saw them as a nation of philosophers, and Judaism was a somewhat popular religion in the East Mediterranean. It was even recognized by Julius Ceaser as one of the "Old Collegium", that is - ancient religions - of the Roman Empire. Also, its not that Jews were completely docile or saints here - you have the Hasmonean period were Jews were pretty hostile to Greeks and Greek influence, and we did rebel several times against the Romans, one of which turned into a mini-civil war throughout the Eastern Roman provinces - the Kitos War. Plus you have to remember that Judaism was a fully monotheistic religion by then, and our holy scripture - the Tanakh - has substantial parts of it dedicated against polytheism).

    Quote Originally Posted by Claudio View Post
    Donít let Erin Elhaik here you say this
    He will have an Iranian field day
    Let him see this as much as he want - R1a-Y2619 in Ashkenazi Jews is really only disproportionately common among Levites - where it amounts to around 50% of their paternal lineage. While Elhaik claims that the vast majority of Ashkenazi Jews descend from Iranian converts, Pontic Greeks converts, Khazar royalty converts, Slavic converts with only less than 3% of our DNA coming from the Levant. This is of course complete nonsense. He also doesn't associate Ashkenazi R1a with Iranians to the much of my knowledge, but to Slavs (same way he claims our Southwest Asian Q-L245 is from Khazars lol ).

    What I am interested to know, is if this Western Iranian, Northern Mesopotamian subclade, also exist in any Mizrahi Jews, especially Iraqi Jews.
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    My Y-DNA: Q-M242 -> Q-L232 -> Q-L275 -> Q-M378 -> Q-Y2016 -> Q-L245 -> Q-FGC1904 -> Q-Y2209 -> Q-Y2225 -> Q-Y2197 -> Q-Y2750 -> Q-YP1004 -> Q-YP3924;
    My mtDNA: K1a1b1a;

    My dad's mtDNA: K2a2a;

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  13. #6317
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    Btw, regarding any more historically direct evidence for Babylonian Jews coming and settling among Western Jews during the Geonic period, here's a very good hint which our member Targum here, as an observing Ashkenazi Jew which probably participated in one or two Shabbat morning ceremonies in Ashkenazi synagogues , can verify:


    The Aramaic prayer “Yekum Purkan”, is the name of two Aramaic prayers recited in the Ashkenazi and Provence liturgy immediately after the public reading of the Torah and the Prophets during the Sabbath morning service. The two Yekum Purkan prayers were composed in Babylonia and are written in Aramaic, not Hebrew. The prayers is for the welfare of the Torah scholars in the Land of Israel and Babylonia, their teachers, the exilarch (in Aramaic - רֵישֵׁי גַּלְוּתָא Resh Galuta which literally means "Head of the Diaspora", or Exilarch), and the judges. It was composed pretty late in the Geonic period, as the prayers do not appear in writing in the manuscript prayer books of the Babylonian geonim, Rabbi Amram Gaon (died 875) and Rabbi Saadiah Gaon (died 942), thus indicating a composition date towards the end of the Geonic period.

    The earliest written record of the first Yekum Purkan prayer is found in the Maḥzor Vitry manuscript of Simhah ben Shmuel of Vitry, who died 1105 in France. The earliest written record of the second prayer appears in the work known as Sefer HaRoke’ach by Eleazar ben Yehudah of Worms (c. 1176–1238).

    In any case, what is interesting is that it is found ONLY among Ashkenazi and Provence rites, and no other Western Jewish rites.

    Now how did a late-Geonic Aramaic-written Babylonian Jewish blessing to the scholars and exilarchs of Babylonain Jewry from the 11th century CE make its way to Southern France and from there to Northern France/Ashkenaz, is up to you to figure out.
    Last edited by Erikl86; 07-13-2019 at 01:26 PM.
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  15. #6318
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    That might be what one would assume from all of this, but I'm afraid it's not that simple.

    The divide between Judaism and Christianity starts much earlier than that, and is rooted in both the complete abandonment of Jewish law by Christianity early on (at least as early as the 2nd century CE) and most importantly Christianity decision to forego circumcision by the late 1st century CE. There's a reason why we see almost complete homogeneous Levantine/Near Eastern dominance in all paternal lineages in Western Jews - and that is that the ancestors of Western Jews, even when they were Hellenistic Jews, most likely never abandoned this practice in any great numbers.

    The prohibition of Christians from converting to Judaism is enacted almost as soon as it became a state religion - so it's quite obvious that Christianity did no longer see itself as part of Judaism or welcomed the kind of two-ways door you are imagining, I'm afraid.

    Also, you must remember that the Romans themselves saw Christianity as a different religion, because it was illegal and persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire occurred intermittently over a period of over two centuries between the Great Fire of Rome in 64 CE under Nero and the Edict of Milan in 313 CE, in which the Roman Emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius legalised the Christian religion. Judaism was still legal and despite periods of harsh limitations and persecutions, especially after the Great Revolt in 70 CE, Kitos War in 115-117 CE, and Bar Kokhbah Revolt in 135 CE, was never banned by Roman authorities.

    It is true that there were some intermediate denominations in early Christianity which weren't hostile towards Jews or Judaism, with the most famous and pretty later surviving Arian Christianity, but they were fought harshly by the mainstream Churches and eventually subdued.

    As for connecting the rise of antisemitism with the acceptance of canonized Rabbinic tradition, as somewhat hinted by Mandeles and Edrei, I dismiss this as nonsense. Christian anti-Semitism is rooted in its attempt to appease the Roman masses and it pretty much modeled after Greco-Roman anti-Semitism in its accusation of Deicide - after all, if one is to read Greco-Roman anti-Jewish proclamations, starting from the Seleucid Empire and continuing in Roman times, one of the greatest fears is that Jews and Judaism are a threat to the old Greco-Roman religion, and the fact that Hellenistic Judaism was a proselyting religion in the Eastern Mediterranean didn't help with this. Christianity adopted this line of thinking but because it originated from Judaism and was founded by Jews in the early 1st century CE, it went a step further and made the Romans (Pontius Pilate, an historically known ruthless Roman prefect of Judea when it came to punishments) look good and merciful while the Jews barbarian and seeking out killing (the son of) God. This is really just a way to the hearts of the Romans which opposed Judaism by taking the traditional anti-Jewish accusations heard by anti-Jewish elements in Roman society (this is of course not me claiming that Roman society was anti-Semitic - it wasn't, and a good proof for this was that many Romans and Greeks actually admired Jews and Judaism, saw them as a nation of philosophers, and Judaism was a somewhat popular religion in the East Mediterranean. It was even recognized by Julius Ceaser as one of the "Old Collegium", that is - ancient religions - of the Roman Empire. Also, its not that Jews were completely docile or saints here - you have the Hasmonean period were Jews were pretty hostile to Greeks and Greek influence, and we did rebel several times against the Romans, one of which turned into a mini-civil war throughout the Eastern Roman provinces - the Kitos War. Plus you have to remember that Judaism was a fully monotheistic religion by then, and our holy scripture - the Tanakh - has substantial parts of it dedicated against polytheism).



    Let him see this as much as he want - R1a-Y2619 in Ashkenazi Jews is really only disproportionately common among Levites - where it amounts to around 50% of their paternal lineage. While Elhaik claims that the vast majority of Ashkenazi Jews descend from Iranian converts, Pontic Greeks converts, Khazar royalty converts, Slavic converts with only less than 3% of our DNA coming from the Levant. This is of course complete nonsense. He also doesn't associate Ashkenazi R1a with Iranians to the much of my knowledge, but to Slavs (same way he claims our Southwest Asian Q-L245 is from Khazars lol ).

    What I am interested to know, is if this Western Iranian, Northern Mesopotamian subclade, also exist in any Mizrahi Jews, especially Iraqi Jews.
    Do you have any idea what time period Roman/Italian Jews were eventually prohibited from owning Slaves?

  16. #6319
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    Btw, regarding any more historically direct evidence for Babylonian Jews coming and settling among Western Jews during the Geonic period, here's a very good hint which our member Targum here, as an observing Ashkenazi Jew which probably participated in one or two Shabbat morning ceremonies in Ashkenazi synagogues , can verify:


    The Aramaic prayer “Yekum Purkan”, is the name of two Aramaic prayers recited in the Ashkenazi and Provence liturgy immediately after the public reading of the Torah and the Prophets during the Sabbath morning service. The two Yekum Purkan prayers were composed in Babylonia and are written in Aramaic, not Hebrew. The prayers is for the welfare of the Torah scholars in the Land of Israel and Babylonia, their teachers, the exilarch (in Aramaic - רֵישֵׁי גַּלְוּתָא Resh Galuta which literally means "Head of the Diaspora", or Exilarch), and the judges. It was composed pretty late in the Geonic period, as the prayers do not appear in writing in the manuscript prayer books of the Babylonian geonim, Rabbi Amram Gaon (died 875) and Rabbi Saadiah Gaon (died 942), thus indicating a composition date towards the end of the Geonic period.

    The earliest written record of the first Yekum Purkan prayer is found in the Maḥzor Vitry manuscript of Simhah ben Shmuel of Vitry, who died 1105 in France. The earliest written record of the second prayer appears in the work known as Sefer HaRoke’ach by Eleazar ben Yehudah of Worms (c. 1176–1238).

    In any case, what is interesting is that it is found ONLY among Ashkenazi and Provence rites, and no other Western Jewish rites.

    Now how did a late-Geonic Aramaic-written Babylonian Jewish blessing to the scholars and exilarchs of Babylonain Jewry from the 11th century CE make its way to Southern France and from there to Northern France/Ashkenaz, is up to you to figure out.

    That’s interesting..
    And I see where you are coming from and I can see how this could of happened: Babylonian Jews bringing this religious rite to South France,settling,then because of small population size+bottleneck the subclade is emphasized in modern Ashkenazi population.
    Is this subclade found amongst Sephardim who arguably have Babylonian Jewish Admixture from Arab Spain period or found in Sephardim via The Jewish populations that came to Sicily with the Arab Conquest who I imagine would of had Babylonian Jewish Admixture also?
    Last edited by Claudio; 07-13-2019 at 02:16 PM.

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  18. #6320
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    It is true that there were some intermediate denominations in early Christianity which weren't hostile towards Jews or Judaism, with the most famous and pretty later surviving Arian Christianity, but they were fought harshly by the mainstream Churches and eventually subdued.

    As for connecting the rise of antisemitism with the acceptance of canonized Rabbinic tradition, as somewhat hinted by Mandeles and Edrei, I dismiss this as nonsense. Christian anti-Semitism is rooted in its attempt to appease the Roman masses and it pretty much modeled after Greco-Roman anti-Semitism in its accusation of Deicide - after all, if one is to read Greco-Roman anti-Jewish proclamations, starting from the Seleucid Empire and continuing in Roman times, one of the greatest fears is that Jews and Judaism are a threat to the old Greco-Roman religion, and the fact that Hellenistic Judaism was a proselyting religion in the Eastern Mediterranean didn't help with this.
    Arius himself was still alive at Constantine times. So Arianism cannot be called a branch of Early Christianity.
    Early Christianity (before Constantine) was a very unformal group of beliefs, were many groups varied in views greatly. This could not have been different, given the size of the Roman Empire and the fact that this religion was illegal, and thus, could not be public.
    Right after Christianity could become public, the fight for power in this group began. This fight for power often took form of a theological dispute, because public of that time accepted idea that the one who has from the beginning sticked to "correct" theological ideas should be the leader. That is how fight for power inside the Chirch led to standartization of religious beleifs and practices.

    Hatred towards Heretics and Jews had almost the same roots in early Christian times, it came from an idea of an only and united chirch, of an only true religion. The Chirch officials made an exception for Jews and did not make them to take a choice between death or conversion only because they wanted Jews to be a living proof of the Bible story.
    So generally the tollerance towards Jews from both late Pagans (see the Julian the Apostate's position towards Judaism, for example) and Arians has the same root. Both groups felt their weakness and were in a search for allies against mainstream, "one and only" chirch.

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