The study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history.

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12
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5answers
2k views

Are there any Jewish people alive today who can identify themselves as coming from a particular tribe?

The Christian "New Testament" claims Paul (Saul) was of the tribe of Benjamin. Since Roman times have there been any people who can validly claim they were from a particular tribe? At least at that ...
12
votes
3answers
321 views

When/where did the practice of “recycling” names begin?

Perhaps this had never bothered anyone in the past, but for someone like myself who delves into genealogy, the fact that there are family naming patterns is a great boon. Of course, we can go only so ...
12
votes
1answer
728 views

Does a finding of Jewish blood in a DNA test make one Jewish?

I had a DNA test done and the results say that my DNA is group with Sephardic Jews. My last name is Steen and I have always heard that we were of Dutch ancestry and I do genealogy and have not found ...
11
votes
1answer
692 views

What is a “Sephardic Jew”?

My name is Paul Avila (yea, I know, doesn't sound Jewish at all) I was born in the Azores Portugal and moved to the United States when I was 2. People always ask me if I am Persian. Never ...
9
votes
1answer
183 views

Extent of matrilineal descent

Am I a Jew if my mother's mother's mother's mother's mother was a Jew? Even if along the line one of my foremothers converted to another faith? I'd just like a better understanding of matrilineal ...
9
votes
1answer
148 views

Accepting parents' minhagim

Since the Conservative movement tends to take most of its minhagim from the German tradition due to its German roots, most Conservative Jews in America tend to practice the German customs (such as ...
8
votes
4answers
196 views

Did Levi see Moshe and Aaron?

Exodus 6:16 states that Levi lived for 137 years. The Targum Yonatan, (ibid) says: ואלין שמהת בנוי דלוי לייחוסיהון גרשון קהת ומררי ושני חיוי דלוי מאה ותלתין ושבע שנין חייא עד דחמא ית משה וית אהרון ...
7
votes
2answers
374 views

What historical figures have been identified as 'Amalek?

Adolf Hitler is often said to have been from 'Amalek. I've even heard it said not only figuratively but literally (how one could know that is a mystery to me). What other historical figures are ...
7
votes
1answer
195 views

Amon and Moav today

The Halacha is that a Jewish woman may not marry a convert of Amon and Moav. Is there any way to know who is a descendant of Amon and Moav today?
7
votes
2answers
418 views

Why 1,000 generations of ungiven Torah, not X years?

The Mainz Anonymous reads, in part (in my own translation): He created the Torah 974 generations before the world was created, then twenty-six generations [passed] from the creation of the world ...
6
votes
3answers
481 views

Illegitimacy in 18th-19th century Europe

I have been capturing genealogical information (Birth, Marriage, Death, Tombstones) in the Spis Region of Slovakia, which includes Jews who migrated from Galicia, parts of Hungary, or were living in ...
6
votes
2answers
226 views

which kings must Moshiach descend from?

Moshiach must definitionally descend from David, and according to this answer he must also descend from Shlomo. However, Moshiach cannot descend from Yehoaichin because of Yirmiyahu's curse. Are ...
6
votes
1answer
168 views

Was the Tzemach Tzedek related to the Metzudos Tziyon/Dovid? [closed]

The Tzemach Tzedek (of Lubavitch)'s father's name was Shalom Shachna Altshuler. Is he related to the Metzodos Tziyon?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Can you explain the concept of “Yichus”?

Where does the concept of yichus (meaning that the person descends from something akin to "good stock") come from? How is it judged? Note: I am not asking about the halachic concept that a man must ...
5
votes
2answers
289 views

Is there any precedent to read the first 11 chapters of Genesis as metaphorical?

I believe this will be related to a similar question about a statement by Rabbi Sacks. Rabbi Jeremy Wieder said in a lecture titled Non Literal Interpretation of Scripture in Jewish Tradition (and ...
5
votes
2answers
334 views

What was so good about Naamah the Ammonite?

In Bava Kamma 38b we are told that one reason God spared Lot was because of the two good birds who would issue from his daughters. Rus from Moav and Naamah from Ammon. Rus is well known, the only ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

How does Rashi knows that Shimshai safra is Hamman's son?

In Ezra, 4:8, a person called Shimshai is mentioned: רְחוּם בְּעֵל-טְעֵם, וְשִׁמְשַׁי סָפְרָא, כְּתַבוּ אִגְּרָה חֲדָה, עַל-יְרוּשְׁלֶם--לְאַרְתַּחְשַׁשְׂתְּא מַלְכָּא, כְּנֵמָא. translation: ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

What became of Moshe's sons and their descendants?

After Yisro brings Tzipora and Moshe's sons back to him at Exodus 18:2-5, they are not mentioned by name again in the Torah. Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles I 23:14 et seq.) lists their male descendants ...
4
votes
0answers
68 views

Does a Kohen have to be concerned about the surname of a potential mate?

In this question various surnames are explored that are strongly associated with being a Kohein. Some of them are rather unambiguously chosen simply because the chooser wanted to indicate their ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

Messiah's tribal pedigree, and the Diaspora

How will the Messiah prove he is from the tribe of Judah if the diaspora has obliterated tribal delineation?
3
votes
3answers
112 views

Was Hagar from Shem, Cham, or Yefes?

Was Hagar from Shem, Cham, or Yefes? If we say she was from Cham, then how can this be understood in light of Avraham's going out of his way to make sure his descendants don't marry into the ...
3
votes
1answer
422 views

Can the descendants of a mamzer ever become full Jews?

Is there any way for the descendants of a mamzer to ever become Jews with full rights, or are they stuck with mamzerus forever? For example, if a man who is a mamzer marries a non-Jew, and then their ...
3
votes
2answers
225 views

Can any kohanim trace all the way back to Aaron?

Can any kohanim alive today trace their lineage all the way back to the High Priest Aaron? If not, who can go the farthest?
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Did Noah have grandchildren before the flood?

Did Noah have any grandchildren before the flood? Genesis 10:1 et seq. discuss Noah's grandchildren born after the flood, but doesn't say they were his first grandchildren. If he did have any ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Who are the descendants of King David today?

Since the Messiah should come from the line of David, I think it is necessary to know the family line of a person who claims to be the Messiah. Do we still have the descendants of King David today? ...
3
votes
1answer
159 views

Tribes of the Northern Kings

Jeroboam is said to hail from Ephraim (Kings I 11:26), and Baasa from Issachar (15:27). I understand mention of Jeroboam's Tribe, given Ahijah the Shilonite's prophecy about his potential enduring ...
3
votes
0answers
82 views

Maharshal's position about the status of Kohanim today

R Shlomo Luria, in Yam Shel Shelomo Bava Kamma 5:35, discusses the status of property nowadays declared by its owner cherem for Kohanim. He takes a strong position against the validity of modern ...
3
votes
0answers
268 views

Children of Converts and Specific halachos

The Pri Megadim in OC Siman 156 Ashel Avraham Sif-Katan 2 writes that a child that was conceived in kedusha (sanctity) and born in kedusha to a mother and father that had both converted (i.e. these 2 ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Intermarriage and Jewish status of their children

My question is, if a non-Jewish man marries a Jewish woman, since the marriage is invalid, are the children Jewish? Specifically, is there any source in the Mishnah which says that they are not ...
2
votes
2answers
445 views

Why are children from a gentile wife not considered Jewish with a Jewish father?

Why are children who have a Jewish Father and gentile mother not considered Jewish?
2
votes
2answers
364 views

If a widow married the brother of her deceased husband

If a widow married the brother of her deceased husband so the deceased husband can have children in the deceased husband's name, then how does the brother have any children in his own name?
2
votes
0answers
104 views

What tribe are the Bene Israel in India descended from?

What tribe(s) are the Bene Israel of India descended from?
1
vote
2answers
82 views

Non-born-Jew Atheists without any Jewish belief or custom, while having Jewish self-identity for any reason. Is this accepted as Jew?

For example, people who discover to have Jewish descent and begin feeling themselves as being Jewish as well, because the feeling of "brotherhood" towards other Jews is strong. Is it a Jew, semi-Jew, ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

How do we know that moses' wife was hamitic?

Ive been told that moses' wife was hamitic but how do we know based on scripture?
1
vote
1answer
157 views

Do some parents hide Jewish ancestry from their children? If yes, WHY? [closed]

My parents told me I'm British, Welsh, French, Acadian French, German and Native American... but never Jewish. I recently found out I have Jewish ancestry as well. Is this a common occurrence: to ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Is there any reason why some people's names in Tana"ch include their grandfather (or beyond)?

In most cases, when peole's names are mentioned in Tana"ch only their and their father's names are mentioned (e.g. - Yehoshu'a bin Nun). In some cases, the grandfather is also mentioned (e.g. - ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

Kohanim and paternal lines

Do you know the explanation why in modern Kohanim there is a paternal line encompassing about 50% of the Kohanim and then many lines encompassing the other 50% 1. Is it possible for a Kohen to be ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Who is דישון? Contradiction in 2 verses

Breishit 36:21 list דישון as the son of Se'ir, but verse 25 lists him as the son of Ana, which would make him a grandson of Se'ir. Which is it? Why the contradiction?
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Who was Naomi's mother?

I would like to know the genealogy of Naomi the mother in law of Rus. Specifically, who was her mother?
1
vote
0answers
33 views

What is the Jewish status of descendants after successive intermarriage? [duplicate]

I am interested in the status of descendants of Jews who have married non-Jews for more than two generations. As far as I understand it, Israel and the Orthodox community accept those who have a ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

What is the purpose of the genealogy of Genesis 4:17-22?

What is the purpose of the genealogy of Genesis 4:17–22?
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Are Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein (the Hatam Sofer Talmid) and Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein (the Krasner Rav) related?

Are Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein (the Hatam Sofer Talmid) and Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein (the Krasner Rav) related ? Is there any "ideological" link between the two ?
-1
votes
1answer
31 views

What is the meaning of surnames that number-related? [closed]

I deal a lot with names, whether given names or family names, especially as I collect genealogical information. So recently I'm puzzled about some Germanic-Jewish names that are related to numbers. ...
-2
votes
1answer
116 views

Historical ID lost can it be reclaimed

Could it be possible that many Hispanics who moved from Spain and having their family line coming from Jewish blood (Sephardi Jews), be actually Jews and not know it? There is a test now to check ...