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Old 02-12-2020, 11:38 AM
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DNA results im 1.4% Ashkenazi Jew. Can this fact alone make me be considered Jewish?


Just a few acedemic questions. Does having 1.4% Ashkenazi Jew DNA qualify me for Right of Return and get Israeli citizenship if i wished? Is that only for practicing Jews in the religious sence that gets Right of Return or does having genetic jewish blood grant you Rights of return but you need to have a higher amount of purity? How does it work? Say if i was 100% Ashkenazi Jew genetically, not born in israel but decided i was non practicing, could i be an israeli citizen by Right of return?
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:48 AM
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Only Hitler would think you were Jewish.
as per Wikipedia, the current law of return permits the following:

Those born Jews according to the orthodox interpretation; having a Jewish mother or maternal grandmother.
Those with Jewish ancestry – having a Jewish father or grandfather.
Converts to Judaism (Orthodox, Reform, or Conservative denominations—not secular—though Reform and Conservative conversions must take place outside the state, similar to civil marriages).
But Jews who have converted to another religion are not eligible to immigrate under the Law of Return, even though are still Jews according to halakha.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:59 AM
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Only Hitler would think you were Jewish.
LOL i was curious how long an innocent question about Jews and genetics would go before we got to a Hitler reference
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:59 AM
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Wow, Godwin's Law kicked in awfully fast on this one.
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:14 PM
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By Elizabeth Warren logic, absolutely!
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:36 PM
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No.

Firstly, the 1.4% is statistical noise. You don't have any Jewish heritage based on that. Even if that meant that you had some Jewish blood, you need a Jewish mother or to convert to be considered Jewish.
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:41 PM
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By Elizabeth Warren logic, absolutely!
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:49 PM
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LOL i was curious how long an innocent question about Jews and genetics would go before we got to a Hitler reference
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Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
Wow, Godwin's Law kicked in awfully fast on this one.
Although the OP refers to the Right of Return, since the Nazis spent a lot of time defining who was a Jew, the reference in this case is actually relevant.

In fact, it is factually incorrect, since according to the Mischling test someone with such a small proportion of Jewish ancestry would not be considered Jewish unless some other factor (such as being a Jewish convert or married to a Jew) applied.

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Old 02-12-2020, 01:25 PM
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Even if that meant that you had some Jewish blood, you need a Jewish mother or to convert to be considered Jewish.
That's not the only question asked here, so of course it's more complicated. The OP specifically asked if he could move to Israel under the Law of Return. In that case, he needs a Jewish parent or grandparent, male or female, to qualify. The Orthodox Israeli Rabbinate wouldn't recognize all of those who qualify as Jews, but they're not the only people who's opinion matters.

To the OP, it really matters if your parents or grandparents qualify as Jews. Did they consider themselves Jewish? Did their parents? In some ways, it's turtles all the way down, but if you can document it and carry it forward, you would qualify.
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:47 PM
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Just a few acedemic questions.
I'm pretty sure that a real Jew wouldn't misspell academic.


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Wow, Godwin's Law kicked in awfully fast on this one.
The thread was Godwinned right in the title. Ashenazi has "nazi" written right into it!
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:03 PM
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Just a few acedemic questions. Does having 1.4% Ashkenazi Jew DNA qualify me for Right of Return and get Israeli citizenship if i wished? Is that only for practicing Jews in the religious sence that gets Right of Return or does having genetic jewish blood grant you Rights of return but you need to have a higher amount of purity? How does it work? Say if i was 100% Ashkenazi Jew genetically, not born in israel but decided i was non practicing, could i be an israeli citizen by Right of return?
Below is the Law of Return itself, based on my own codification of the law from https://knesset.gov.il/laws/special/eng/return.htm
SPOILER:
1. Right of aliyah*
Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh*.

2. Oleh's visa
(a) Aliyah shall be by oleh's visa.
(b)An oleh's visa shall be granted to every Jew who has expressed his desire to settle in Israel, unless the Minister of the Interior is satisfied that the applicant
(1) is engaged in an activity directed against the Jewish people; or
(2) is likely to endanger public health or the security of the State; or
(3) is a person with a criminal past, likely to endanger public welfare.
3. Oleh's certificate
(a) A Jew who has come to Israel and subsequent to his arrival has expressed his desire to settle in Israel may, while still in Israel, receive an oleh's certificate.
(b) The restrictions specified in section 2(b) shall apply also to the grant of an oleh's certificate, but a person shall not be regarded as endangering public health on account of an illness contracted after his arrival in Israel.
4. Residents and persons born in this country
Every Jew who has immigrated into this country before the coming into force of this Law, and every Jew who was born in this country, whether before or after the coming into force of this Law, shall be deemed to be a person who has come to this country as an oleh under this Law.

4A. Rights of members of family
(a) The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law, 5712-1952**, as well as the rights of an oleh under any other enactment, are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew, except for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.
(b) It shall be immaterial whether or not a Jew by whose right a right under subsection (a) is claimed is still alive and whether or not he has immigrated to Israel.
(c) The restrictions and conditions prescribed in respect of a Jew or an oleh by or under this Law or by the enactments referred to in subsection (a) shall also apply to a person who claims a right under subsection (a).
4B. Definition
For the purposes of this Law, "Jew" means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion.

5. Implementation and regulations
The Minister of the Interior is charged with the implementation of this Law and may make regulations as to any matter relating to such implementation and also as to the grant of oleh's visas and oleh's certificates to minors up to the age of 18 years. Regulations for the purposes of sections 4A and 4B require the approval of the Constitution, Legislation and Juridical Committee of the Knesset.

* Translator's Note: Aliyah means immigration of Jews, and oleh (plural: olim) means a Jew immigrating, into Israel.
** Sefer Ha-Chukkim of 5712, p. 146 ; LSI vol. VI, p. 50.


~Max
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:31 PM
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I'm pretty sure that a real Jew wouldn't misspell academic.

....


The thread was Godwinned right in the title. Ashenazi has "nazi" written right into it!
Gaudere strikes again!

(Gaudere's Law: Any post made to point out a spelling or grammar mistake will itself contain spelling or grammar mistakes.)

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Old 02-12-2020, 02:48 PM
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Is the Law of Return that critical, though? Can't the OP simply apply for an Israeli work permit based on a job offer without invoking the Law of Return or claiming to be Jewish (or any other specific ethnicity)?
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:54 PM
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My wife had the same result on her DNA test. Her family emigrated from Poland, so it's possible. I tried to explain to her about statistical error, but she's convinced. And so we put out a menorah every Hanukkah.

My DNA test showed about a 2% possibility of Native American ancestry. The only possible factor there is that my maternal ancestors arrived very early (Mayflower onward), so a liaison could theoretically taken place seven generations ago. But I'm not quite ready to live in a hogan or use a sweat lodge just yet. Maybe peyote?
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Old 02-12-2020, 03:08 PM
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Isn't the Law of Return ultimately based on the standards the Nazis used, though? The idea behind it was that Jews are often persecuted, and Israel was to be a safe haven for persecuted Jews. If you're Jewish enough to be persecuted for it, then you're Jewish enough to need a safe haven.
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Old 02-12-2020, 03:53 PM
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Apparently there's a backlash now against DNA testing, on the grounds that trying to find out your ancestry is "racist" since your genes don't determine who you are. Or such is the gist of an op-ed published in the Washington Post last week.

The op-ed was written by a Jewish guy whose DNA supposedly came back as 100% European Jewish, which made him feel guilty for some reason.

So the OP should only feel 1.4% as guilty.
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:04 PM
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Based on a single op-ed?
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:14 PM
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Apparently there's a backlash now against DNA testing, on the grounds that trying to find out your ancestry is "racist" since your genes don't determine who you are. Or such is the gist of an op-ed published in the Washington Post last week.

The op-ed was written by a Jewish guy whose DNA supposedly came back as 100% European Jewish, which made him feel guilty for some reason.

So the OP should only feel 1.4% as guilty.
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Let's leave political opinions out of General Questions. If you want to discuss this, do it in IMHO or GD.

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Old 02-12-2020, 04:23 PM
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Isn't the Law of Return ultimately based on the standards the Nazis used, though? The idea behind it was that Jews are often persecuted, and Israel was to be a safe haven for persecuted Jews. If you're Jewish enough to be persecuted for it, then you're Jewish enough to need a safe haven.
The concept, perhaps, but not the standards. The Law of Return accepts those with only one Jewish grandparent. Under the Nuremberg Laws those with only one Jewish grandparent could qualify as Mixed Race/Second Degree, and still be eligible for German citizenship. (In practice, they might well have been looked on with suspicion.)

The percentage in the OP represents one ancestor out of 64 six generations ago, so way below anything considered by the law.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:27 PM
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Note that due to pedigree collapse, most people who were alive in Europe in 1000 AD who have living descendants are ancestors of anyone alive today who has European ancestry. While there were strong proscriptions against intermarriage between Jews and others, some mixing did take place. Since there were substantial numbers of Jews present in Europe by 1000 AD, this means that most people of European descent have at least some Jewish ancestry, even if only a small amount.

Some years ago I attended a lecture by an Italian geneticist who had investigated his own ancestry. As far as he knew, his family had lived in the same small town in Italy for hundreds of years. Yet his mtDNA, inherited maternally, turned out to be from the Middle East, and was probably Jewish. His Y-chromosome originated in Central Asia, and had probably come in via some Hun.

My family is from Ireland and Germany, and most of our genetics aligns with that. But there seems to be 6% from Italy or Greece, and a trace (less than 1%) of Jewish.

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Old 02-12-2020, 10:35 PM
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... My DNA test showed about a 2% possibility of Native American ancestry....
How was this report phrased? I thought reports estimated ancestry, which isn't the same as estimating the possibilities thereof.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:42 PM
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Note that due to pedigree collapse, most people who were alive in Europe in 1000 AD who have living descendants are ancestors of anyone alive today who has European ancestry. While there were strong proscriptions against intermarriage between Jews and others, some mixing did take place. Since there were substantial numbers of Jews present in Europe by 1000 AD, this means that most people of European descent have at least some Jewish ancestry, even if only a small amount.
Yes, I'd be more suspicious of a result from mainland Europe stock that showed no Jewish ancestry whatsoever.

But some of y'all need to learn what Godwin's Law actually says. Just mentioning Hitler isn't it.

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Old 02-12-2020, 10:47 PM
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How was this report phrased? I thought reports estimated ancestry, which isn't the same as estimating the possibilities thereof.
Been too long. I'm not even sure where I filed it. But yeah, it's showing <2% Native American.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:51 PM
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Is the Law of Return that critical, though? Can't the OP simply apply for an Israeli work permit based on a job offer without invoking the Law of Return or claiming to be Jewish (or any other specific ethnicity)?
The Law of Return allows application for Israeli citizenship. You don't need a job offer or a work permit.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:46 PM
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I had a thread a while back asking about similar things. It turns out that I have a Jewish great-grandmother. I would have to demonstrate that she was actively Jewish, and (I think) also demonstrate that no-one in the chain of descendants leading to me had actively converted to another religion before having kids, to establish eligibility for Right of Return. But even though this great-grandmother was my mother's father's mother, my grandfather was technically Jewish, and it's quite possible that I would have enough Jewish ancestry to qualify.
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:53 AM
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But some of y'all need to learn what Godwin's Law actually says. Just mentioning Hitler isn't it.
As the person who first mentioned Godwin's Law by name, I would have thought it was obvious that I was making a little joke.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:42 AM
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This is an interesting question for me, too.

My father's father was unknown. I mean, obviously he was known to my grandmother, who got knocked up by him as a young woman back in the olden days. But my dad was raised by his grandparents, as his mother's sibling. That sort of thing happened a lot back then. Big family scandal, terrible secret, etc etc. I only met my grandmother a couple of times, I was 12 when I last saw her. My father predeceased her by a year or two, when I was a teenager. Anyone with any actual knowledge of my grandfather's identity is long dead.

Anyhoo, I always assumed that my unknown grandfather was of the same Irish &/or Scottish stock as the rest of my ancestors. Till I did a DNA test and turned out to be 1/4 Ashkenazi Jew, specifically from Lithuania or somewhere nearby. Interesting and cool.

I am happy to embrace my Jewish ancestry. I now tell people I'm 1/4 Ashkenazi.

But... I am not religious. I am an Atheist. And I've never lived as a Jew because nobody knew I am one, more or less. So... am I Jewish?

If the Nazis had known about DNA, they'd have loved it. And I am quite sure that my 25% Litvak DNA would have got me a one-way ticket to the death camps. And I have zero doubt that modern Jew haters would be happy to murder me based on that DNA too.

So, I'm Jewish enough that some people would murder me because of it. But does that make me a Jew? Could I claim Israeli citizenship? I don't want to, but it is an interesting question to consider.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:37 AM
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If the Nazis had known about DNA, they'd have loved it. And I am quite sure that my 25% Litvak DNA would have got me a one-way ticket to the death camps.
No death camp or concentration camp for you, unless you were also a Jehova’s witness, resistance, gay, mentally ill, deformed, communist, trade union, “unwilling to work” etc.
You would be classified as Mischling (mongrel) grade 2. As long as you didn’t classify as Jewish, you wouldn’t be treated the same as “full” Jews.
They would frown on you marrying another mischling, especially of the first grade, as your kids would be suspect. But marrying an aryan sufficiently “diluted your Jewishness” for your kids to be aryan. While Mischlinge of the 2nd grade did suffer restrictions in employment, those of the first degree also in education, and both were treated as not full or equal citizens. But no death camps
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:38 AM
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But... I am not religious. I am an Atheist. And I've never lived as a Jew because nobody knew I am one, more or less. So... am I Jewish?
Not by any formal definition. The traditional definition would require your mother to be Jewish. The Law of Return is broader in accepting one Jewish grandparent, but I assume they require a named individual. Genetics is not part of the definition (because such tests didn't exist when the laws were written).

Quote:
lf the Nazis had known about DNA, they'd have loved it. And I am quite sure that my 25% Litvak DNA would have got me a one-way ticket to the death camps. And I have zero doubt that modern Jew haters would be happy to murder me based on that DNA too.
Did you read my posts above? According to the Nuremberg Laws, someone who was 1/4 Jewish was a Mischling (Mixed Race) of the second degree and eligible for German citizenship barring other factors like being a practicing Jew or married to one. You had to be 3/4 Jewish to be automatically considered a Jew.

It's possible that the Nazis used a somewhat stringent definition because they wanted to include only those who were most clearly different to avoid backlash. Now if the Nazis had known about DNA they might have used that as part of the definition. But as has been said if they included anyone with a trace of Jewish ancestry they would condemn most of the population of Europe.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:08 AM
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My brother's DNA showed we are 28% Native American. And it was a shock to us. While we knew our mother probably had Native American in her long line of well documented New England heritage, we have been unable to trace who our father really was, as opposed to what he said about himself. We figure he must have had a good percentage of Native genes.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:39 PM
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The ironic thing about the rabbinical definition of Jewish in terms of the mother is that the MtDNA of most Ashkenazim is European. This means that if you trace our ancestry far enough back you will find a non-Jew in the female line, meaning that, strictly speaking, none of us qualify. On the other side, for Jewish males, the Y chromosome traces back to the middle east. The case mentioned above about an Italian with middle east MtDNA is readily explained since most Italian Jews were Sephardim, who left Spain during the inquisition.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:31 PM
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As the person who first mentioned Godwin's Law by name, I would have thought it was obvious that I was making a little joke.
As Poe's Law shows, you need a smiley with that.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:30 PM
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This is an interesting question for me, too.

My father's father was unknown. I mean, obviously he was known to my grandmother, who got knocked up by him as a young woman back in the olden days. But my dad was raised by his grandparents, as his mother's sibling. That sort of thing happened a lot back then. Big family scandal, terrible secret, etc etc. I only met my grandmother a couple of times, I was 12 when I last saw her. My father predeceased her by a year or two, when I was a teenager. Anyone with any actual knowledge of my grandfather's identity is long dead.

Anyhoo, I always assumed that my unknown grandfather was of the same Irish &/or Scottish stock as the rest of my ancestors. Till I did a DNA test and turned out to be 1/4 Ashkenazi Jew, specifically from Lithuania or somewhere nearby. Interesting and cool.
I've had a similar experience, except it is my maternal grandfather who is unknown. My DNA results show around 25% Italian - but my brother's and sister's test show considerably less. However, we all show up with relative matches in the 2nd-4th cousin range to people with Italian surnames, including one 2nd cousin match. I have made contact with a 3rd cousin match whose grandparents are from the area in Italy that Ancestry.com gives as a probably ancestor site. I know the "ethnicity estimates" have very large margins of error, and I suspect the algorithm can get lost pretty easily. However, my understanding is that genetic matching to individuals is pretty accurate, and in my case seems to confirm an Italian grandfather to a high probability.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:35 PM
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My brother's DNA showed we are 28% Native American. And it was a shock to us. While we knew our mother probably had Native American in her long line of well documented New England heritage, we have been unable to trace who our father really was, as opposed to what he said about himself. We figure he must have had a good percentage of Native genes.
Well unless you also took this same DNA test, technically what this shocked you with was the fact that your brother is 28% Native American. Just sayin'.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:09 PM
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]... If the Nazis had known about DNA, they'd have loved it.
Not necessarily.
There was a joke back then:the true aryan type: blond like Hitler, slim like Göring, tall like Goebbels.

Pointing out that most of the Nazi leaders didn't seem to be of the 'aryan' true-German appearance they touted. So some political opponent could have demanded their DNA results; which might have been embarrassing.

Remember the cases of racist white-supremacists whose DNA testing showed them to have a significant percentage of African ancestry? Kind of killed off their prominence in the racist movement.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:03 PM
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Not by any formal definition. The traditional definition would require your mother to be Jewish. The Law of Return is broader in accepting one Jewish grandparent, but I assume they require a named individual. Genetics is not part of the definition (because such tests didn't exist when the laws were written).



Did you read my posts above? According to the Nuremberg Laws, someone who was 1/4 Jewish was a Mischling (Mixed Race) of the second degree and eligible for German citizenship barring other factors like being a practicing Jew or married to one. You had to be 3/4 Jewish to be automatically considered a Jew.

It's possible that the Nazis used a somewhat stringent definition because they wanted to include only those who were most clearly different to avoid backlash. Now if the Nazis had known about DNA they might have used that as part of the definition. But as has been said if they included anyone with a trace of Jewish ancestry they would condemn most of the population of Europe.
I'm well aware of the Nazis "mischling" categories. If you read about it, though, they weren't strict about their definitions. If you were a partial Jew and had skills they approved of, you were probably fine. If not, you were in the "we'll get to you later" category, not the "you're A-OK" category. Plenty of people with the same amount of Jewish ancestry as me did end up in forced labour camps because of it, and plenty of those people died. Some did get sent directly to the death camps.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:28 PM
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Plenty of people with the same amount of Jewish ancestry as me did end up in forced labour camps because of it, and plenty of those people died. Some did get sent directly to the death camps.
But not because of that one-quarter Jewish ancestry. Those people had other factors that sent them to the camp. Perhaps they were actually religiously or culturally Jewish. Or were part of any of the many other groups the Nazis wished to destroy (communist etc).
The whole point of 1/4 Jewish ancestry was that offspring with an aryan partner would not create a Jewish person, but an aryan. Therefore there was no need to kill a Mischling 2nd grade. If you will, they were preserving the aryan 3/4 of that person. Now, as I stated above, had things gone differently in history and the Reich had lasted longer, they might well have made a convenient next group of victims. But in actual history, 1/4 Jewish, on its own, did not mean deportation.
(It did mean marriage and career restrictions, and all the trimmings I’d being a 2nd class citizen in a country that made that a profound negative.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:02 PM
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If you were a partial Jew and had skills they approved of, you were probably fine.
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And I am quite sure that my 25% Litvak DNA would have got me a one-way ticket to the death camps.
So you're agreeing now that the actual situation wasn't as automatically fatal as you initially claimed, which was my point. And I wasn't saying that you would be A-OK if you had partial Jewish ancestry, just that it would normally take additional factors to be sent to the camps.
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:44 AM
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Interestingly, My DNA is 98.6% Ashkenazi Jew and 1.4% from somewhere in or near India. So together with the OP, we're one Jew and one goy.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:28 PM
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Yes, I'd be more suspicious of a result from mainland Europe stock that showed no Jewish ancestry whatsoever.
Really? Why?

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Well unless you also took this same DNA test, technically what this shocked you with was the fact that your brother is 28% Native American. Just sayin'.
True - DNA doesn't get handed down evenly.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:11 PM
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Really? Why?
I would suggest reading the thread. As I mentioned, Jews have been present in Europe for many centuries. (In fact, since Roman times, and in numbers since at least 1000 AD.). Most people of European ancestry probably have some Jewish forbears.

Last edited by Colibri; 02-14-2020 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:19 PM
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I would suggest reading the thread. As I mentioned, Jews have been present in Europe for many centuries. (In fact, since Roman times, and in numbers since at least 1000 AD.). Most people of European ancestry probably have some Jewish forbears.
Bear in mind (since we have both actually read the thread), MrDibble was talking about an actual DNA test result, not the likelihood that everyone has common ancestors in the distant past, which is where we get to the point where everyone in England (well, if their grandparents at least were also English, not so much for recent immigrants) is probably descended from Edward III, and commonalities like that.

A DNA test result for a European that doesn't show Jewish ancestry is not "suspicious." Mine doesn't. I'm not a secret anti-semite lying about my results.

(Side note: I couldn't remember which Edward we're all supposed to be descended from, and Google auto-completed "everyone in England is descended from" with "hell" I guarantee that does not match my usual Google searches!)
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:16 PM
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The ironic thing about the rabbinical definition of Jewish in terms of the mother is that the MtDNA of most Ashkenazim is European. This means that if you trace our ancestry far enough back you will find a non-Jew in the female line, meaning that, strictly speaking, none of us qualify. On the other side, for Jewish males, the Y chromosome traces back to the middle east. The case mentioned above about an Italian with middle east MtDNA is readily explained since most Italian Jews were Sephardim, who left Spain during the inquisition.
I don't see how that is ironic; traditionally converts are considered Jews, too. There is a whole ritual involved where the convert goes before a council of three Jewish men, takes a bath and (if male) has their foreskin removed.

~Max
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Old 02-19-2020, 10:13 PM
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But... I am not religious. I am an Atheist. And I've never lived as a Jew because nobody knew I am one, more or less. So... am I Jewish?
A few things

Judaism is a culture as well as a religion. My friend Betty (may her memory be a blessing) spoke with a Jewish accent. She loved Ashkenazic food and spoke fluent Yiddish. She was a staunch atheist.

G-d commands us Jews to do certain things and to not do certain things. He never commands us to believe certain things. At the moment, I can't remember the name of the rabbi who worked at Isabella Friedman. It was Yakov something. I mention him because he was an ordained rabbi- fluent Hebrew, knew the Talmud, etc but he was also an atheist.
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  #45  
Old 02-20-2020, 08:55 AM
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G-d commands us Jews to do certain things and to not do certain things. He never commands us to believe certain things.
For one, Maimonides thought you needed to believe to be a Jew (see his 13 Principles of the Jewish Faith). But he is in the minority on that - traditionally Judaism is inherited.

~Max
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:39 PM
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I'm aware that there are objections. Yakov handled them well in the discussion following his disclosure. Maimonides was, if I recall, very strict on some things. IIRC While most scholars hold that any gentile who follows the Laws of Noah may be accounted righteous, Maimonides maintained that only gentiles who acknowledged that those laws came from G-d could be righteous.
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