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by Paul Wexler

Download The Ashkenazic Jews: A Slavo-Turkic People in Search of a Jewish Identity fb2, epub

ISBN: 0893572411
Author: Paul Wexler
Language: English
Publisher: Slavica Pub; First edition. edition (December 1, 1993)
Pages: 306
Category: World
Subcategory: History
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 667
Size Fb2: 1137 kb
Size ePub: 1614 kb
Size Djvu: 1902 kb
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According to the so-called Rhineland Hypothesis, Ashkenazis descended from Jews who progressively fled Palestine after the Moslem conquest of 638 AD. They settled in southern Europe and then, in the late Middle Ages, about 50,000 of them moved from the Rhineland in Germany into eastern Europe, according to the hypothesis. But detractors say this idea is implausible

In all of these areas, the Turkic population early became submerged with the coterritorial Slavs.

In Wexler's view, the Ashkenazic Jews most likely descend from a minority ethnic Palestinian Jewish emigre population that intermarried with a much larger heterogeneous population of converts to Judaism from Asia Minor, the Balkans and the Germano-Sorb lands (the Sorbs are a West Slavic population that still numbers about 70,000 in the former German Democratic Republic). In all of these areas, the Turkic population early became submerged with the coterritorial Slavs.

In his 1993 book he stated that Ashkenazi Jews could be considered ethnically Slavic. Considering the logical outcome of his linguistic theories to be that Ashkenazi Jews are the descendants of Iranian, Turkic, and Slavic proselytes. 55 He has also applied his linguistic theories.

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This book, a linguist's reassessment of early European Jewish history, will be of interest to anyone who has ever wondered how the Jewish people, lacking their own territorial base and living as a minority among often hostile non-Jewish peoples over the four corners of the globe, succeeded in preserving a separate identity for close to two thousand years.

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Going even further, he contends that the Ashkenazic Jews are predominantly converted Slavs and Turks who merged with a tiny population of Palestinian Jews from the Diaspora.

Das, . Wexler, . Pirooznia, M. & Elhaik, E. Localizing Ashkenazic Jews to primeval villages in the ancient Iranian lands of Ashkenaz. 1093/gbe/evw046 (2016). Elhaik, . Tatarinova, T. Klyosov, A. A. & Graur, D. The ‘extremely ancient’ chromosome that isn’t: a forensic bioinformatic investigation of Albert Perry’s X-degenerate portion of the Y chromosome.

This book, a linguist's reassessment of early European Jewish history, will be of interest to anyone who has ever wondered how the Jewish people, lacking their own territorial base and living as a minority among often hostile non-Jewish peoples over the four corners of the globe, succeeded in preserving a separate identity for close to two thousand years. The book makes a number of innovative and controversial claims about the relationship of the contemporary Jews to the Old Palestinian Jews.

Comments:

Negal
A scholarly well written book which I`ve really enjoyed
Faezahn
This book establishes the theory that the Ashkenazic Jews are largely descendants of converts to Judaism, especially West Slavic converts such as Sorbians and Polabians. The main focus of this book is linguistic, and certain sections will be difficult to follow for the average reader. Paul Wexler, an Israeli professor, shows that Yiddish contains many Slavic words and also that Yiddish culture has a large Slavic base. He also presents new archaeological evidence -- from Jewish sites in Chelarevo (Serbia), Aphrodisias, and Switzerland -- that many peoples converted to Judaism or adopted Judaic beliefs.
I do not feel that Wexler is correct that Yiddish is structurally a Slavic language rather than a Germanic language. I also disagree with his conclusion that the Turkic ancestors of many Ashkenazim came from the Balkans, because evidence quite clearly shows that most Turks who became Jews lived in the territory which is now Ukraine and Russia. He also fails to prove that the West Slavs definitely converted to Judaism. His hypothesis essentially is that Sorbians and Polabians were owned by Jews as slaves and that they converted to Judaism, but he admits that there is no documentary evidence that these particular Slavic groups ever converted, and almost entirely relies upon linguistic and cultural arguments, many of which are untenable.
Gtonydne
Johns Hopkins University geneticist Dr. Eran Elhaik, Ph.D. [...] cites Paul Wexler's work here in Dr. Elhaik's definitive genetic study here: [...]

Also see: [...]

Gene study settles debate over origin of European Jews

(AFP) - Jan 16, 2013

PARIS -- Jews of European origin are a mix of ancestries, with many hailing from tribes in the Caucasus who converted to Judaism and created an empire that lasted half a millennium, according to a gene study.

The investigation, its author says, should settle a debate that has been roiling for more than two centuries.

Jews of European descent, often called Ashkenazis, account for some 90 percent of the more than 13 million Jews in the world today.

According to the so-called Rhineland Hypothesis, Ashkenazis descended from Jews who progressively fled Palestine after the Moslem conquest of 638 AD.

They settled in southern Europe and then, in the late Middle Ages, about 50,000 of them moved from the Rhineland in Germany into eastern Europe, according to the hypothesis.

But detractors say this idea is implausible.

Barring a miracle --which some supporters of the Rhineland Hypothesis have in fact suggested -- the scenario would have been demographically impossible.

It would mean that the population of Eastern European Jews leapt from 50,000 in the 15th century to around eight million at the start of the 20th century.

That birth rate would have been 10 times greater than that of the local non-Jewish population. And it would have occurred despite economic hardship, disease, wars and pogroms that ravaged Jewish communities.

Seeking new light in the argument, a study published in the British journal Genome Biology and Evolution, compares the genomes of 1,287 unrelated individuals who hail from eight Jewish and 74 non-Jewish populations.

Geneticist Eran Elhaik of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, trawled through this small mountain of data in search of single changes in the DNA code that are linked to a group's geographical origins.

Such telltales have been used in past research to delve into the origins of the Basque people and the pygmy people of central Africa.

Among European Jews, Elhaik found ancestral signatures that pointed clearly to the Caucasus and also, but to a smaller degree, the Middle East.

The results, said Elhaik, give sound backing for the rival theory -- the "Khazarian Hypothesis."

Under this concept, eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars, a hotchpotch of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries AD and, influenced by Jews from Palestine, converted to Judaism in the 8th century.

The Judeo-Khazars built a flourishing empire, drawing in Jews from Mesopotamia and imperial Byzantium.

They became so successful that they sent offshoots into Hungary and Romania, planting the seeds of a great diaspora.

But Khazaria collapsed in the 13th century when it was attacked by the Mongols and became weakened by outbreaks of the Black Death.

The Judeo-Khazars fled westwards, settling in the rising Polish Kingdom and in Hungary, where their skills in finance, economics and politics were in demand, and eventually spread to central and western Europe, according to the "Khazarian Hypothesis."

"We conclude that the genome of European Jews is a tapestry of ancient populations including Judaised Khazars, Greco-Roman Jews, Mesopotamian Jews and Judeans," says Elhaik.

"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."

Many things are unknown about the Khazars, whose tribal confederation gathered Slavs, Scythians, Hunnic-Bulgars, Iranians, Alans and Turks.

But, argues Elhaik, the tale sketched in the genes is backed by archaeological findings, by Jewish literature that describes the Khazars' conversion to Judaism, and by language, too.

"Yiddish, the language of Central and Eastern European Jews, began as a Slavic language" before being reclassified as High German, he notes.

Another pointer is that European Jews and their ancestral groups in the Caucasus and Middle East share a relatively high risk of diseases such as cystic fibrosis.

The investigation should help fine-tune a fast-expanding branch of genomics, which looks at single-change DNA mutations that are linked with inherited disease, adds Elhaik.

Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved.
Global Progression
This book desribes the ethnogenesis of eastern european Yiddish speaking Jews, known as Ashkenazi's. Documentary, archeological, cultural, and linguistic evidence has proven that the majority of these Jews came to Eastern Europe from Germany, Austria, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Byzantium, and the Middle East. However, the author stresses the arguement that western Slavic tribes who were pagan, converted to Judaism, (probably as a result of encountering Jews from Germany and even being sold to them as slaves by Teutonic Knights). The cultural and linguistic evidence presented by P. Wexler is very convincing, but there is a problem: without a doubt Ashkenazic Jews have many Slavic words in Yiddish (a language originated in Germany, a German "jargon" dialect written in Hebrew letters). But, is it because the Ashkenazi Jews converted the Slavs to Judaism and intermixed with them, or merely because they lived side by side for some 800 years plus? Furthermore, absolutely no evidence is presented, neither cultural nor linguistic, to show the relation of Ashkenazi's to Turks. There were speculations that some Turkic Avar tribes, or Kabar tribes, or even Cuman tribes converted to Judaism, but that is merely a speculation, not backed by any stable archeological evidence or definite scholarly support. All in all, it is possible that there were minor SLAVIC pagan tribes who converted to Judaism and intermixed with the Ashkenazi Jews.

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