18 Facts About Ashkenazi


Rabbinical term Ashkenazi refers to diaspora Jews who established communities along the Rhine in western Germany and northern France during the Middle Ages.

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However, the Ashkenazi population was decimated shortly after as a result of the Holocaust that was carried out by Nazi Germany during World War II, which affected almost every Jewish European family.

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Name Ashkenazi derives from the biblical figure of Ashkenaz, the first son of Gomer, son of Japhet, son of Noah, and a Japhetic patriarch in the Table of Nations .

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However, according to more recent research, mass migrations of Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazi Jews occurred to Eastern Europe, from Central Europe in the west, who due to high birth rates absorbed and largely replaced the preceding non-Ashkenazi Jewish groups of Eastern Europe .

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Many of the surviving Ashkenazi Jews emigrated to countries such as Israel, Canada, Argentina, Australia, and the United States after the war.

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In Israel, the term Ashkenazi is used in a manner unrelated to its original meaning, often applied to all Jews who settled in Europe and sometimes including those whose ethnic background is actually Sephardic.

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Jews of any non-Ashkenazi background, including Mizrahi, Yemenite, Kurdish and others who have no connection with the Iberian Peninsula, have similarly come to be lumped together as Sephardic.

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Religious Ashkenazi Jews living in Israel are obliged to follow the authority of the chief Ashkenazi rabbi in halakhic matters.

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One consisted of Sephardic Jews, originally refugees from the Inquisition and concentrated in the southwest, while the other community was Ashkenazi, concentrated in formerly German Alsace, and mainly speaking a German dialect similar to Yiddish.

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The desire to maintain pre-Holocaust traditions relating to Ashkenazi culture has often been met with criticism by Jews in Eastern Europe.

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Since the middle of the 20th century, many Ashkenazi Jews have intermarried, both with members of other Jewish communities and with people of region.

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Term Ashkenazi refers to the nusach Ashkenaz used by Ashkenazi Jews in their Siddur .

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In some instances, Ashkenazi communities have accepted significant numbers of Sephardi newcomers, sometimes resulting in intermarriage and the possible merging between the two communities.

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Achievements of so many Ashkenazi Jews, have led some to the view that Ashkenazi Jews have higher than average intelligence.

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Collectively, Ashkenazi Jews are less genetically diverse than other Jewish ethnic divisions, due to their genetic bottleneck.

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The majority of genetic findings to date concerning Ashkenazi Jews conclude that the male lines were founded by ancestors from the Middle East.

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The greatest affinity and shared ancestry of Ashkenazi Jews were found to be with both southern Europeans and Levantines such as Druze, Cypriot, Lebanese and Samaritan groups.

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People of Ashkenazi descent are at much higher risk of being a carrier for Tay-Sachs disease, which is fatal in its homozygous form.

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