How is it possible that the Ethiopians who claim to be Jews are actually Jewish if their genetic makeup seems to be so different than the rest of the Jewish people?

  • I'm not sure where it is but there was an article I read a while back that says just the opposite, that there's several genes that we all share as Jews, including the Bnei Menashe. – DonielF Oct 28 '16 at 3:27
  • highly related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/432/759 – Double AA Oct 28 '16 at 3:47
  • I am far from knowledgable on this topic so take this with caution. DNA. results of most Ethiopian Jews who were TESTED show they belong to Haplogroups similar to their Sub-Sahara neighbors. The offspring of King Solomon and Queen of Sheba would have shown Near Eastern DNA but that information would be negligible over time unless their descendants bred with other Jews from the Levant. Inter-breeding with close relatives and inter-breeding with local converts would only strengthen their Haplogroup A and E DNA. In fact, it could created a separate sub-clade (sp?} entirely. – JJLL Jul 12 '17 at 17:53

According to their tradition, they are descended from converts due to an affair with the Queen of Sheba and Solomon. Source So their genetic makeup really has nothing to do with them being Jewish or not (in fact it never does with any Jew!).

R' Moshe Feinstein wrote a letter about it in 1984.

I don't have the time to translate the entire letter, but pretty much he says that the Ethiopians should be accepted with open arms by the Jewish community if they go through an Orthodox conversion out of doubt.

  • 2
    What is the source for the letter? – mevaqesh Oct 28 '16 at 3:32
  • By genetic makeup, I was referring to the DNA studies that seem to make it pretty clear that they come from the same source as all the neighboring tribes and have no connection at all to the Jewish people (unless they converted as a complete tribe many years ago) – Mark A. Oct 28 '16 at 4:30
  • @MarkA. And the answer was that the tribe converted. – Scimonster Oct 28 '16 at 6:47
  • I don't think rabbi Feinstein is hinting to the legend. I doubt he was familiar with whith Ethiopian folklore. – mevaqesh Nov 2 '16 at 1:39

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