Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

15

I suspect that its a combination of some superset of the following factors: Intermarriage and conversion bringing in genetic material from the host population. Diet affecting people's hardiness, skin color, etc. Standard of dental care affecting people's facial structure and whether they like to open their mouths. Environmental factors, including sun ...


11

The Jews that died, did not want to leave Mitzrayim. Because of these problems Rav Shwab says that the Medrash should not be understood literally - rather only a relatively small number died, but had they lived they would have given birth to millions of people over several generations. The three opinions are arguing about how many ...


10

No, and it would be nearly impossible to determine. Every modern survey and census of Jews in America has been performed with the widest possible definition of Jew, in order to obtain the fullest and least-controversial numbers. This usually translates to counting someone as a Jew if they identify themselves as Jewish. (Source) For example, a recent ...


10

It's actually if Israel has the majority of the world's Jewish population, not just a plurality. The figures in your second link have 42.5% in Israel vs. 57.5% outside of it - so we're not quite there yet. (There is also, of course, the difficulty of determining who is a halachic Jew, ואכמ"ל.) Anyway, Yovel (and Shemittah, according to some posekim) depends ...


8

Some thoughts: Rashi in Shemot 1:7 tells us that the Jewish Women gave birth to children 6 at a time. If Moshe's family is any indication there were 4 generations of Jews born during the Jews stay in Egypt. Either way, only the children of the last generation (for the most part) would have been younger than 60 and therefore counted in the census. Even ...


7

There is a Gemara where Hillel was asked about facial features of different nationalities and responded that the location effected them. Similarly we see by animals that those that are in very cold environments have thicker furs.


5

Answer: Levites: 4%, Priests: 4%. A scientific article which deals with the genetics of priests and Levites quotes a book from 1999 (not available for reading online) which estimates Levites and priests each at 4% of the general Jewish population. Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S000292970763626X#bbib6 Referenced book: "The genetic ...


3

Rabbi Henkin, in his book New Interpretations on the Parsha, suggests three possible reasons: Malnourishment as slaves may have lead to a high number of miscarriages. Because Egypt places high prestige on first-borns, perhaps the Jewish first-borns did not want to leave Egypt, and stayed behind/died when the Jews left. If, according to the medrash, the ...


3

Some portion of the 600k males were not married, and some of the married ones had no children at all. Of those that were, only 22k families had first-borns which needed to be redeemed by a Levite or 5 shekalim. Not all firstborns need redemption, in fact, a Pidyon heBen ceremony is relatively rare. As you already noted, the child must be male. If the ...


3

Just a thought of my own... The verses here do not list 600 thousand names; they list different the different families in each tribe, headed usually by one of the direct children or grandchildren of Yaakov's twelve sons. Those sons had descended to Egypt over 200 years ago and in all likelihood most if not all of them were not alive anymore. It is unlikely ...


3

This link discusses this question at length. http://www.etzion.org.il/vbm/archive/9-parsha/13vayigash.rtf Rash"i mentions (to answer for the opinion that there were girls born along with each of the sons of Ya'akov) that there were more females but they all died before going to Egypt. However, we are left with the implication that only those named and ...


3

The genetic potential is there. There are environmental factors and genetic factors, some that are independent of eachother and others that have some mysterious interplay. We just do not know enough yet to determine the conclusive answer to this question.


3

The Persian community (mostly Shirazi) absorbed by Baltimore contains a high fraction of Cohanim and very few Leviim.


2

While, no exact number can be known, estimates are possible. In a survey done with Reconstructionist, Conservative, and Reform rabbis, no Conservative rabbis would perform an intermarriage, 36% of Reform rabbis would, and 62% of Reconstructionist rabbis would. In a population survey, 33% of American Jewish Families were "interfaith families", while another ...


2

Djerba has almost all kohanim.


2

To add to the other answers: Environmental factors can cause genes to be expressed or repressed, and changes in gene expression can be heritable. It's possible that a single human's DNA could contain repressed genes with the potential for many ethnic appearances, and environmentally induced changes in expression of these genes could be heritable. ...


2

There are various explanations as to why a census is taken at this juncture. Ramban's (e.g. to 26:5) is that it was needed to see whom to divide the land among. (See 26:53. This applies to the census of everyone but shevet Levi, who got no land and were counted separately.) In that case, we understand why the daughters of Tz'lofchad were counted: they got ...


1

Here's a very partial answer: In the United States in 2012, 1,570,976 of the 3,952,841 live births, or 39.7%, were the first live birth to that mother. Among mothers listed as non-Hispanic and white (which I mention only because I think the vast majority of Jews in the States are so listed and the category is available to me), 895,171 of the 2,134,044 live ...


1

If you read the text plainly, you can see that "all the famous people" of the family are mentioned and then the total of the family is given. Depending on which culture you come from when you read the chumash, this either shows that famous people who do great acts are as important as the soldiers, or that soldiers are as important as the famous people who ...


1

Recent genetic studies show that male offspring tend to follow their father's trends in their own offspring. In other words, if there are a large number of males in a family, those males in turn, go on to produce a larger proportion of males to females (and the converse is true). The conjecture is that the weighting of male/female sperm is passed on to ...


1

Male vs female is not blind 50-50%, it depends on us too. As mentioned in Niddah 31a (last line), with some effort one can make his wife to born just boys. If you see further on 31b you can see such a phrase אמר רב קטינה יכולני לעשות כל בני זכרים my translation: Rav Ktina told: I can make all my children to be boys. If Rav Ktina could, I think that ...


1

What's the problem? I know families with multiple generations of mostly (or all) boys. There's a family that comes to mind with something like 6 brothers who are mostly married, and there are now between 4 and 6 sons to each of those brothers. In all, the grandfather has about 24 or 25 grandchildren. If I'm not mistaken there is one granddaughter among them. ...


1

While not specific to Reform Jews, the National Jewish Population Survey from 2000-01 (which was just enough time after Patrilineal Descent for college kids to have been born) the found that only 48% of Jews in college had two Jewish parents. Which would mean that 26% of Jews in college have only a Jewish father, and thus aren't halachically Jewish (and this ...


1

The Mishna (Kilaim 8:6) spoke almost 2000 years ago about micro-evolution: "Rabbis: the wild ox is a species of "behema", Rabbi Yossi says: it is a species of "chaya", Bartenura: "The Rabbis hold it used to be domesticated but it fled civilization and eventually transformed into the wild ox specie". There's a fascinating book by Dr. Lee Spetner called "Not ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible