Ashkenazi Jews are a mix of genetic ancestries, far more of which than previously thought originating in tribes from the Caucasus – a region that sits in between Eastern Europe and Asia between the Black and the Caspian seas. Those Slav, Scythian, Hunnic-Bulgar, Iranian, Alan and Turkic tribes formed a confederation that created the Khazar empire – which at its height stretched from Kiev in the west to the Aral Sea in the southeast.
New Genetic Study Reportedly Proves Khazar Ancestry For Ashkenazi Jews
Shmarya Rosenberg • Failedmessiah.com
Ashkenazi Jews are a mix of genetic ancestries, far more of which than previously thought originating in tribes from the Caucasus – a region that sits in between Eastern Europe and Asia between the Black and the Caspian seas, Reuters reports. Those Slav, Scythian, Hunnic-Bulgar, Iranian, Alan and Turkic tribes formed a confederation that created the Khazar empire – which at its height stretched from Kiev in the west to the Aral Sea in the southeast.
Members of those tribes, thought to be primarily from the upper and merchant classes, converted to Judaism in the 8th century CE, a new genetic study has found.
Those conversions are believed to have been sparked by a small number of Jews with origins in the biblical Land of Israel who traveled to the region.
The Khazar empire also saw immigration by Jews from Mesopotamia and imperial Byzantium.
It became so successful that it formed colonies in Hungary and Romania.
But it didn’t last.
After more than 500 years, the Khazar’s empire collapsed in the 13th century CE due to Mongol attacks and the Black Death. Many Jewish refugees fled westward into Eastern Europe, becoming the bulk of what we know today as Ashkenazi Jewry.
Known as the Khazar Hypothesis, it had previously been dismissed by geneticists whose studies often contradicted each other and which often seemed to be geared to proving a preconceived notion or desire – near-unadulterated ancestry from ancient Judea – rather than discovering the truth.
That led geneticist Eran Elhaik of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland to try to reconcile those conflicting studies. And that led him to genetic data that he believes proves the Khazar Hypothesis is accurate.
Elhaik found ancestral genetic signatures that pointed clearly to the Caucasus. He also found such signatures that pointed the Middle East, but to a far, far smaller degree.
“We conclude that the genome of European Jews is a tapestry of ancient populations including Judaised Khazars, Greco-Roman Jews, Mesopotamian Jews and Judeans. Their population structure was formed in the Caucasus and the banks of the Volga, with roots stretching to Canaan and the banks of the Jordan,” Elhaik claims.
Previous genetic studies appeared to support the Rhineland Hypothesis, which posits that Ashkenazi Jews descended from Jews who fled the Land of Israel after the Moslem conquest in 638 AD, settling in southern Europe and slowly working their way north. 50,000 supposedly later moved from the Rhineland into eastern Europe in the later Middle Ages.
But there are serious problems with the Rhineland Hypothesis – so serious that some of its proponents actually posited a Divine miracle to account for them.
For example, the population of Eastern European Jews surged from 50,000 in the 15th century CE to about 8 million by the start of the 20th century – a birthrate 10 times greater than the local non-Jewish population that surrounded them. That implausible population surge would have had to take place despite the economic hardship, wars and pogroms that ravaged those Jewish communities, and the plague that ravaged the entire region.
Another problem with the Rhineland Hypothesis is Yiddish, the language of Eastern European Jews.
“Yiddish, the language of Central and Eastern European Jews, began as a Slavic language,” Elhaik notes. It was classified as a dialect of High German later.
European Jews and their ancestral groups in the Caucasus and Middle East share a relatively high risk of diseases such as cystic fibrosis, as well – another possible indicator of origins.
Elhaik’s study, published in the British journal Genome Biology and Evolution, compares the genomes of 1,287 unrelated individuals who come from eight Jewish and 74 non-Jewish populations.
In 2008, an archaeologist found what he believes was the capital of the Khazar's empire but had found no identifiable Jewish artifacts at the site at that time.
Some contemporaneous and near-contemporaneous historical accounts from surrounding cultures note the Khazar's adherence to Judaism.
[Hat Tip: HeathenHassid.]