Questions tagged [genealogy]

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

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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 ...
going's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
838 views

How many sons of Benjamin were there?

Is there any reason why there is such variance in these lists? In Genesis (46:21) lists ten sons. And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, ...
Rupert Bulam's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
18k views

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

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 ...
aaron steen-johnston's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
482 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 ...
Daniel's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
464 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 ...
Madeleine's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Paul Avila's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
msh210's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
218 views

Why is Moshe's family unnamed at first?

In the second chapter of Shemos, we're introduced to a man who marries a woman, and they have a son who has a sister. After ten verses of narrative about this family, we're finally told the son's ...
Ypnypn's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
716 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 ...
Baby Seal's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
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What tribe did someone belong to if they didn't have a Jewish father?

I'm asking about the cases of 1) converts with no Jewish lineage, or 2) children born to Jewish mothers and Gentile fathers. How is tribal identification for such a person and his descendants ...
Mr. Bultitude's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
308 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 ...
Double AA's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Seth J's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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Could there be a Halachik issue with using a DNA kit such as 23andMe?

Besides learning fun facts about one's DNA and ancestry, there's a lot of good that can come out of using one. For example: people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent can learn if they're predisposed to BRCA1 ...
alicht's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
978 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 ...
Shivaram Lingamneni's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
A L's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
not-allowed to change my name's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
443 views

Extent of matrilineal descent [duplicate]

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 ...
Malka S's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
Madeleine's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
443 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?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
154 views

Why so much genealogical detail in Bereshit?

I'm looking for reasons (Pshat, but not only) in giving so much detail in Bereshit regarding the sons of Adam, Kain, and so on. Some of the characters born and die, and have no clear role, at least in ...
srm's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
297 views

Children of the Exodus (families, names, ages)

I hope my question will not be considered too broad. I am writing young adult fiction taking place during the Exodus (from just before the 10th plague until just after the giving of the second set of ...
Cyn's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
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Was the Lubavitcher Rebbe a descendant of Dovid HaMelech?

Some Chabad chassidim believe the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was and is the Moshiach. (This is a subject that has been addressed already on this SE.) My question is, a ...
ezra's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
not-allowed to change my name's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
746 views

Is David The eighth son or the seventh son?

Is David the eighth son or the seventh son? 1samuel 17 v12-14 indicates the youngest of eight. 1 chronicles 2v13-15 indicates the seventh of Jesse.
david macias jr's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
486 views

Why was the Book of Genealogies hidden away?

Related. I read today an essay by Professor Shmuel Krauss z"l about "Sefer Yochasin" (the Book of Genealogies). He theorized that traditions such as the name of David's mother, the ...
Harel13's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
470 views

Yocheved is the daughter of who?

So Yocheved, as it is known, is the wife of Amram, mother of Moshe Rabbeinu, Aharon HaCohen, and Miriam the prophetess, peace be on them. And Yocheved, like Amram, is from the Tribe of Levi. Amram is ...
Ploni ben Almoni tzedek's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
134 views

Who was the son of Rabi Meir's father-in-law?

The gemara in Chulin 6b mentions Rabi Yehoshua ben Zeruz, the son of the father-in-law of Rabi Meir as having given testimony about a certain practice of Rabi Meir. The way the relationship is ...
user6591's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
11k 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? ...
Mawia's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Bruce James's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k 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?
הראל's user avatar
  • 2,535
6 votes
1 answer
269 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?
ertert3terte's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Yehoshua's user avatar
  • 16k
6 votes
0 answers
103 views

The application of the dispute about the borders of Babylon

The Talmud (Kiddushin 71b) discusses the differences in the lineage of people from different places in the vicinity of Bavel (Babylon) by analogy of health. Bavel is healthy (has a good lineage), ...
b a's user avatar
  • 24.1k
6 votes
0 answers
196 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 status....
Yishai's user avatar
  • 31.9k
5 votes
3 answers
440 views

Reuben, Simeon, Levi...But what about the other tribes?

Exodus 6:14 - 26 lists the genealogy of the tribes of Reuben, Simeon and Levi. However, after listing the family tree of Levi, the Torah does not continue listing the other tribes - Judah, Joseph, etc....
ezra's user avatar
  • 18.6k
5 votes
2 answers
127 views

Why are the descendants of Ruben and Shimon listed in Va-eira?

In Va-eira when it mentions Moshe and Aaron's lineage (Shemot 6:14) it also lists generational details about Ruben and Shimon. Why are Ruben's and Shimon's lineages listed here?
Clint Eastwood's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
332 views

Are Esau/Edom and Yishmael included among the 70 nations?

We all know that all the people on the earth came actually of 70 nations (even though lots of them became mixed recently). And we all know that every one of these nations has an angel to guard it. ...
mil's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.7k
5 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Daniel's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
588 views

Was Yael Jewish?

In Shoftim chapters 4 and 5 we learn of a woman named יָעֵל אֵשֶּׁת חֶבֶר הַקֵּינִי, Yael the wife of Chever the Kenite, who kills Sisra. In the song of Devorah, the Midrash (Ruth Rabba 1:8) and ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
503 views

Miriam as the Ancestor of King David

We learn that King David was descended from Miriam (the sister of Moshe Rabbenu). See סוטה (יא ב) Sotah 11A. Miriam was married to Calev and is Hur's father. See רש"י שמות פרק כד פסוק יד Rashi ...
steve nachman's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
989 views

Must Moshiach Ben Duvid be in direct patrilineal descent?

We know that Moshiach must descend from Duvid Hamelech (King David), traditional understanding is that it is ben acher ben (father to son 100% direct male descent). My question is are there any ...
Abraham J. Friedman's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
819 views

Mormons claim to be from the tribes of Israel (revealed via a "Patriarchal Blessing"), is this offensive to the Jewish community?

It has come to my attention that members of the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), or more commonly known as Mormons, receive what is called a patriarchal blessing. This "...
Pills N Pillows's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
316 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 ...
Baby Seal's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
245 views

What tribe are the Bene Israel in India descended from?

What tribe(s) are the Bene Israel of India descended from?
הראל's user avatar
  • 2,535
4 votes
3 answers
322 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: ...
yair's user avatar
  • 790
4 votes
2 answers
1k 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?
Sarah's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
1 answer
164 views

Why is Zerubavel called the son of Shealtiel?

I've a question regards Zerubavel: why is he called the son of Shealtiel? In Ezra 3:2 and 3:8, Haggai 1:1, 1:12, 1:14, 2:2, 2:23, Nechemyah 12:1, Zerubavel is called the son of Shaltiel, while in ...
Levi's user avatar
  • 7,348
4 votes
1 answer
287 views

How is a Gentile's membership in a Table of Nations Gentile nation determined?

In Genesis 10 (The Table of Nations), the Gentile nations that came from the descendants of Noah are enumerated "after their generations, in their nations". How is a Gentile's membership in a Gentile ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
142 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?
DanF's user avatar
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