Who Will be a Jew

    March Passover 2007 Edition            
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Don't Worry, Be Jewish

By Shmuel Neumann

For thousands of years Jews have yearned for the actualization of ancient prophecies, the return and ingathering of the Jews to the Holy Land .

Although the prophesies are pretty straightforward, we each have our private fantasies of what this will be like. Most Jews fantasize that it will be a utopia of like-minded individuals, Jews with similar socio-political, religious values. They dream of a safe haven where they can just be themselves cocooned in a nurturing Jewish social environment. But things don't always work out as expected. In fact, sometime when your dreams come true, it becomes a nightmare. It's the story of the genie: once it's out of the bottle fulfilling your wishes, you can't put it back.

The Israel of today is a far cry from that envisioned by those who created the Jewish state. Israel has become a fragmented society incessantly overreacting to petty differences. But the current schisms in Israeli society are mild compared to what portends to come.

The Almighty is not a liar. He keeps his promises. Miraculously, Jews are actually returning to the Holy Land . However, He also promised Abraham and again to Isaac and Jacob that their offspring will be numerous like the sands of the beach or the stars in heaven. When you take both of these promises together you get an unexpected result.

When the prophets speak of the return of ALL the Jews to Israel , they mean just that -- All the Jews: Not your type of Jew, but All Jews. A Jew is a person born of a Jewish mother, whether they observe the commandments or not. Even female converts from Judaism, those that intermarried, assimilated, Jewish women carried off as slaves or additions to harems gave birth to Jewish children. The Romans, Greeks and Babylonians invaded Israel and carried off Jewish women, who under whatever circumstances, bore Jewish children. Undoubtedly, there must be a great number of Italian, Greek, and Persian genetic Jews. The so-called Moranos are Jews who were forcibly converted to Christianity. If they can trace their maternal ancestry all the way back they are Jewish. It makes no difference if today a matrilineal descendent is the Don of a Sicilian mafia, he is no less a Jew than the chief Rabbi of Israel. He may now be the Pope, but if he descends from a Jewish mother, he is Jewish. As Mohammed conquered numerous Jewish communities and took the women into his harem, direct descendents of Mohammed are Jews! It doesn't matter if a matrilineal descendent is an extremist Islamic cleric, he is still Jewish.

What is not common knowledge is that about 150 years ago, there were numerous towns of Jews that were forcibly converted to Islam. There are numerous towns where today some remnant of Judaism is practiced by the Muslim populace, such as lighting candles on Friday night and unique women's head covering. Many of these towns are in Judea and Samaria . Demographers estimate that of the less than one and a half million Arabs in Judea and Samaria , between 300,000 and over a million descend from Jewish mothers. Yes, the average suicide bomber, most of the barbarians fighting tooth and nail for the Holy Land, although in practice, devout Muslims are in fact Jews. If their genealogy can be proven[1], then they under the law of return are automatically Israeli citizens.

The one issue which has deadlocked negotiations between the so-called Palestinians and the Israelis is the right of return. According to this analysis, it is a non-issue. By the Israeli Law of Return, anyone who can prove that they are Jewish gets automatic citizenship. If they are really Jews, then it makes sense that Palestinians who emigrated wish to return to Israel . This need is indelibly recorded in their genetic code.

What an ingenious solution to the Middle East conflict! Don't divide the land between Arabs and Jews. Recognize more Jews. Find the Jewish gene-bearing Arabs and let them share an expanded land.

It is not just the Jewish Palestinians and Jewish Jordanians, but the genetically Jewish Iraqis, Iranian, Syrians, and Saudis converted way back when by the sword of Mohammed and his successors? And not just the Arabesque Jews! What about the Europeans and Americans who are obsessed with Israel ?

At some point, the Almighty will end the dark ages, the period where he refuses to reveal Himself. In Messianic times, there will be a Revelation and the entire world will worship the Jewish G-d. At that point, they will want to become Jewish. However, at the end of days no converts will be accepted to Judaism because by then anyone who really was a Jew will have been discovered.

By normal demographics, there must be hundreds of millions, perhaps over a billion of people who descend from Jewish mothers on their mother's side going all the way back. Some of these are irrationally drawn to Judaism although it is apparently against their self-interest and they convert. The rest remain confused gentiles with a Jewish soul tormenting them as unfulfilled. For these sad souls, at some point, the ultimate matrilineal genetic test will be developed which tests whether they are Jewish.

While normal demographics would make us so numerous, there are those who believe that the Almighty sees to it that the assimilated, intermarried Jews actually disappear within four generations, either by the Jewish woman giving birth only to male children or infertility. Some suggest that in the exile of the ten tribes, no women were exiled but were killed in the invasion. It is really an empirical question that in the absence of foolproof genealogy data can only be scientifically proven by a genetic test.

Discovering the Jew gene is within reach. Every descendent of Abraham is not necessarily Jewish. Nor is every descendent of Isaac necessarily Jewish. But every descendent of Jacob is Jewish. We can take a genetic sample from Jacob and from his twelve sons as we know where they are buried, and a geneticist can deduce what genetic structure from Jacob and his twelve sons is transmitted only by the mother of female chromosome. Even without resorting to exhuming even a hair of the patriarchs, a Cray supercomputer should be able to detect the common thread genetically found in Jews. This methodology need be no more sophisticated than the genetic discovery which resulted in the test of who is a patrilineal descendent of Aaron. Of course, this genetic test needs further refinement as it is only 85% accurate.

Ironically, after the Jew gene is discovered, we really bizarre demographics are inevitable. Many of the genetic Jews will come from the very peoples who persecuted us or who absorbed us by permitting intermarriage. As intermarriage was rampant in Germany after the reform movement took hold, there must be a great number of Nazis who were really Jews. The most venomous Arabs are likely to be genetic Jews. For example, Al Qaeda may be mostly Jews. The main body of the Taliban are the Pashtu (AKA Pathans) who are descended from Israelites and number about 15 million. A large number of fundamentalist Muslims in Iraq and Iran may be descendents from Jews carried off during the Babylonian exile.

Furthermore, peoples who appear to have no contact with Jews may contain a large genetic Jewish population. James Adair, an 18th Century Scottish nobleman, who knew the classical languages (which in those days included Hebrew and Aramaic, in addition to Latin and Greek), who emigrated to the US, became the first poet laureate (or something) of Tennessee, among other things, spent about 40 years with the Chickasaws and the Cherokees wrote a book detailing 23 reasons why he believed the Cherokees are descended from Yehuda. He was an educated man and had serious reasons for his belief. See also what Cyrus Gordon says about contacts between the Ancient World and the Americas. In his presentation before the Sanhedrin, Vendyl Jones presented compelling evidence that many Native Americans practice rituals apparently derived from Judaism.

Also, Jews in large numbers migrated into Sub-Sahara Africa especially after the destruction of the second temple. The records of those migrations were destroyed by St. Augustine but we knew of a Cameroonian convert who spent many years in Europe and claims to have documented it. He estimates that 2/3 of West Africans have Jewish ancestors and about 15% are Jews by Jewish law. That would be true of the slaves taken to America also. He was not surprised by the find that the Lemba have a large number of carriers of the Cohen gene or the discovery of another valley in Ethiopia with Jews. He says we will find pockets like those all over Africa .

Certainly, when the Almighty reveals himself openly compelling Judaism to be the only religion, anyone who is not Jewish will remain a gentile, serving the Almighty in their own way. All genetic Jews will find their way to Israel where they will acquire ruach hakodesh, the Holy Spirit. Imagine eight hundred million genetic Jews clamoring to move to the ever-shrinking Israel . While they may squeeze into the borders prophesied, from the Nile to the Euphrates, it is patently ridiculous to expect them to fit into the ever shrinking Israel sans Judea and Samaria .

Even according to those who believe that the overwhelming majority of Jews will be eliminated before the end of days, just as 80% of the Jews of Egypt were smitten in the Plague of Darkness, there will still be large numbers remaining which including the invisible Jews which number like the stars. Just as most stars are invisible, so most Jews are currently invisible.

If the return of the Jews to the Holy Land heralds the end of days, then the advances we are making in genetics is no accident, but part of the divine plan.

In fact that may even be the vehicle for the resurrection of the dead (by cloning genetic matter).This is closest to Maimonides view that the miracles in Messianic times will appear to be natural. Other Rabbinic scholars believe that resurrection and constructing the Temple will be public miracles. Furthermore, they believe that Elijah will return and miraculously sort out who is a Jew.

So many Jews, so little time! By all indications, the end is near.

[1] ???? ?? ????? ????? ??? ?????, ?????? ??????? ??? ?????, ????? ????, ?? ???? 2006 2006. In addition a number of genetic studies are suggestive:

1. Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes

M. F. Hammer, A. J. Redd, E. T. Wood, M. R. Bonner, H. Jarjanazi, T. Karafet, S. Santachiara-Benerecetti, A. Oppenheim, M. A. Jobling, T. Jenkins, H. Ostrer, and B. Bonne-Tamir PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA(, Volume 67, No. 12, pp 6769-6774, June 6, 2000

2. High-resolution Y chromosome haplotypes of Israeli and Palestinian Arabs reveal geographic substructure and substantial overlap with haplotypes of Jews

Almut Nebel · Dvora Filon · Deborah A. Weiss · Michael Weale · Marina Faerman · Ariella Oppenheim · Mark G. Thomas

Human Genetics, Volume 107, pp 630-641, 2000

3. The Y Chromosome Pool of Jews as Part of the Genetic Landscape of the Middle East

Almut Nebel, Dvora Filon, Bernd Brinkmann, Partha P. Majumder, Marina Faerman, and Ariella Oppenheim

American Journal of Human Genetics, Volume 69, pp 1095-1112, 2001

Available: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1274378

4. Genetics of congential deafness in the Palestinian population: multiple connexin 26 alleles with shared origins in the Middle East .

Shanin H, Walsh T, Sobe T, Lynch E, King MC, Avraham KB, Kanaan M. Human Genetics 110(3):284-9, Mar 2002

Abstract available: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=11935342


from the March Passover 2007 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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