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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jewish Women's DNA: K, H, J2, N1b, Others?

Testing the mtDNA of Jewish women have found that we trace back to four women who lived about within the last 2,000 years but not in the same place or time. They could have been from the Near East or even Europe. This is from Dr. Doron Behar in Haifa, Israel. My thinking is that they are not referring to our four matriarchs but to another set of four women much later. Again, our life was dependant on four such women becoming mothers.

Those of us with ancestors from central and eastern Europe are called Ashkenazi Jews. We can be traced back to Jews who migrated from Israel to Italy in the 1st and 2nd centuries. That's where the term "Ghetto" came from. Jews were locked up behind fences at night. We then moved into Eastern Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries and moved about there. There were about 10 million of us Jews just before WWII. This is from history and the study of mtDNA from more than 11,000 samples from 67 populations.

Our haplogroups are K-32%, H-21%, n1b-10%, J1-7%, and others.

Practically no other groups have K except for the Druze who have 16%. That shows to me that Jewish women married men who were or became Druze. Of the K there are four main groups in Jewish women. They are all unique in Jews, except the group which is 33% of the total K's is very similar to a type found at low to moderate frequency amongst gentile women in both Europe and the Near East. K is a subbranch of U that is believed to have appeared in early stages of the Holocene Epoch. This is when populations expanded into Europe after the last glacial period. About 1/3 of people with Ashkenazi ancestry carry a subclade of this haplogroup.

H-standing for Helena, though it is very common in Europe among gentiles, has unique characteristics in Jews My mother, whose mother was from Sweden who converted, is an H. So is her gentile sister-in-law with roots possibly from Germany. About half of Europe's women are H. This is connected to a population expansion about 20,000 years ago originating in the Caucasus or in Europe and now in 50% of those of European ancestry, and common in N. Africa and the Middle East.

J, J1, J2 originated about 45,000 years ago in central Asia. Connected with the spread of farming and herding in Europe during the Neolithic Period beginning 10,000 years ago, which would be about 8,000 BCE. Common in the Near East, Europe, the Caucasus, N. Africa and the Middle East and among Jews. J2 is more localized in the Mediterranean.

N1b-is present in low frequencies in Europe, the Caucasus, the Near East, Egypt and Arabia. It spread around 39,000 to 52,000 years ago, creating at least 4 ancestral clusters including haplogroup B.

What happened about 1,000 years ago is that our Jewish population had declined to such a small group that the wipe-out is referred to as a BOTTLENECK. It was followed by a large growth. Therefore, almost half of Europe's Jews were from just four women who lived 1,000 years ago.

Ashkenazi mtDNA is close to Moroccan Jewish mtDNA.

Now I'm so curious about my father's mother that I'm going to have a female cousin tested to find out what dna we have. It's not enough to know who my parents are and where they came from anymore. I want to know the whole megilla. Our history is pretty exciting.

My grandmother "Bubbi" was from Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania. I'm betting our mtDNA will be K. That seems popular in women from that area. I've sent for the kit today to test my cousin.

1/8/10: I was wrong. It turned out to be a rare W. It is listed as W1h, an Ashkenazi branch.  She had come from Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania.

Book: Tracing Your Jewish DNA for Family History & Ancestry by Anne Hart -haven't read it yet but want to,

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why Did American Jews Risk Israel in Their Voting? Nadene's Opinion

There have been more than two very interesting articles about why Jews are Democrats. They both give the history of why most Jews voted Democratically. Since World War II when President Roosevelt was in power, we have been grateful to find America a haven from the killing fields in Europe that took the lives of six million Jews. Thank goodness we were here.

We've been very loyal to Roosevelt's party. Now we've had 65 years of living peacefully in the United States, which is quite a stretch for us Jews. We've come from being kept out of organizations because of our religion to being accepted. We were kept out of jobs and schools and now find ourselves just one of the guys. Life has become good. That's almost three generations from Europe and pogroms and the holocaust. Our present generation knows very little about our past unless the parents were directly involved with past events. Our school systems do not dwell on this part of history, so our children just have not become impacted by it. How many attend Sunday School and even listen to the history portion in class? Being a past teacher and Sunday School teacher in Oregon, I know that very little has reached our young citizens.

I was on the Democratic Party's inner circle in Eastern Oregon, and even had a a party after an election before 1980 when our man won. I graciously invited my mother to the party even though she was a rebel and had voted Republican. I never considered ever voting Republican. She said she was more interested in what they stood for and not the party. She really investigated them. Her vote cancelled out my father's vote, but they learned to live with it.

When it came to voting again in this election, I found Democrats to be so engrossed in the identification of being a Democrat that they did not consider Israel's life at all. They were appalled at being questioned about it. The fact that the Bush Era had been such a mess determined their judgements. Anything to get away from the Republicans was their thinking in my opinion. Their thoughts were the same as most Americans. Stop the war. Save the soldiers. Obama was such an artful speaker. Who could argue against him? The world loved him. He was good for America and would be the first black president. Voters were more interested in saving the planet and going green than rescuing Israel.

I am an American with dual citizenship with Israel. I lived there for over five years teaching English as a Foreign Language in Safed. It was amazing to check with my mother back home in Oregon to find that what was happening in Israel was not reported in her papers. Obviously, the reporters were only interested in anything that showed how bad Israel was instead of all the horrid things happening to her or mention the good things it was creating and sharing with the world. It was depressing to find that prejudice existed again after our revival of support in 1967.

There were so many indications that Obama would not be supportive of Israel if elected, but most Democratic Jews that I knew would not read or consider the findings and possibilities. Israel was outweighed in their decisions. I suppose they quickly thought that Israel could overcome any obstacle it met regardless of Obama's leanings. After all, look how many wars it had come through since 1948. Some even may have thought that Ha-Shem would protect. The outcome was that most Jews voted Democratically in the last election. Israel is having one heck of a time being pressured to lose Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. It has already lost Gaza which it really didn't want in the first place but found it placed in their lap. The goal of the surrounding Arabs and especially the Palestinians is to get rid of Israel, and they are closer now than ever with Iran threatening Israel with an atomic missile. Most of the world is of course not assisting Israel. They really didn't want its creation in the first place, except the Evangelical Christians who are most supportive.

My sincere thoughts are this. Israel was created in my lifetime after 2,000 years of lying dormant. This is a time spoken of in the past. It's a revival period of our ancestor's home and our history. We are the ones that are responsible for its continuation. This heavy responsibility is ours now. We were the leaders of conscience being the mother religion with Christianity and Muslims as the children. What are we doing about its life?

Resource: Why Are Jews Liberals by Norman Podhoretz-opinion: Wall Street Journal

Why Are Jews Liberals-A Symposium: Commentary Magazine- look for Jeff Jacoby's article-also David Wolpe, Jonathan D. Sarna, Michael Medved, William Kristol wrote articles there.