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Thread: Jewish people, where they are from?

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    After looking at these ADMIXTURE results for k=13: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...ZUNJRUE#gid=24 I now agree less with the other posts I made in this thread. It does seem to me now that Ashkenazi Jews cluster close to Sicilians. Sicily was invaded by Normans about 1000 years ago, so maybe some of that 16.5% "North European" component is from that source. However, the similar amount of "North European" in Ashkenazi Jews I would think was from some different populations. Sephardic Jews show as 9.2% "North European" there. Having some Ashkenazi ancestry myself, I'll be interested to see what finer dna resolution will show in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankN View Post
    Actually, the study's plots (especially Figure 1b in the Annex) tell a fascinating story - thanks for the link! As so many other studies, it doesn't cover Western-Central Europe (no data from Eastern France/Alsace, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Poland), so everything relating directly to the Rhineland, and the areas where many Ashkenazi settled in the late middle ages, is again remaining a mystery. Nevertheless, the following becomes clear:
    1. There are three distinct clusters of Jews. One is Yemenite Jews, genetically very close to Bedouins, Palestinians and a subset of Lebanese (no general surprise here, though the fact that the genetic distance between Yemenite Jews and Palestinians is in several cases smaller than, e.g., the distance between people from Bergamo and Tuscany, is a bit astonishing). The second cluster comprises Iraqi, Iranian and Georgian Jews, again very close to each other, as to Druzes (closer to Iraqi Jews) and Armenians (closer to Georgian Jews). The third cluster, finally, is stretched out somewhat further, and made up by North African, Turkish and Ashkenazi Jews. The geometrical centre of these three clusters is - surprise, surprise - somewhere between Palestinians, Jordanians and Lebanese. However, the three Jewish clusters are more distant from each other than, for example, Finns are from Hungarians, or Icelanders are from (northern) French This seems to indicate a relatively early split of the three lines.
    2. None of the Hungarians, Ukrainians and Lithuanians plots anywhere near Georgian or Iranian Jews. Neither do Georgians or North Caucasians. However, especially Armenians, but also many Turks, plus a single Greek, plot very close to Georgian Jews. I take that as indication of quite a gene flow between Caucasian/ Black Sea Jews and non-Jews during antiquity, but very little thereafter. I think it is also safe to conclude that Khazar Judaism wasn't a mass movement that has substantially shaped the genetic make-up of Eastern Europeans and Ashkenazi Jews. Nevertheless, if my eyes don't deceive me (the PDF's resolution isn't very fine, and it is high time for me to start wearing eye-glasses), one or two of the Ashkenazi dots (6-8 in total) seem to cluster together with Iranian Jews. That would mean some, though not the major, contribution of Khazar (Georgian / Iranian) Jews to the Eastern European Jewish community
    3. The Mediterranean Jewish / Ashkenazi cluster is quite spread out between Libyan and Tunisian Jews at one end, and Ashkenazi Jews at the other end. We are talking of a genetic distance here that is similar to the one between Croats and Greeks, or between Basques and Sardinians. Moroccan and Turkish Jews cluster in-between, but the former are closer to Tunisian Jews, and the latter closer to Ashkenazi. So, most likely, there were two migration waves - a Phoenician / Punic one along the southern Mediterranean coast, and a Roman-age one along the northern coast. As Lazaris et al. did not include Iberian Jews, we can speculate which of the two waves was more important there (but I am quite sure both played there roles).
    4. Ashkenazi, finally, plot extremely close to Sicilians, plus that single "South Italian" dot that I have been able to spot. The genetic distance of Ashkenazi to Sicilians is much smaller than their distance to Moroccan Jews, not even speaking of Tunisian Jews. Maltese aren't that distant from Ashkenazi either, but, as we have learnt from Maleth (Ti ringrazio!), Malta has been repopulated from Sicily. Cyprus plots already a bit distant, but still closer than Tunisian Jews. Unsurprisingly, Cypriots and Turkish Jews are quite close to each other (did I say unsurprisingly? Both Turkish and Greek Cypriots are probably going to hate me now...). Anyway, since Ashkenazi must somewhere have learnt German in order to turn it into Yiddish, there should have been substantial migration from Sicily into Germany, and from there towards Eastern Europe. The migration into Germany may have taken place in two waves - one, primarily to the Rhineland, during the 9th/ 10th century, and the second one, more towards Alsace and Swabia, during the Hohenstaufen rule over both Sicilys (13th century). The second wave may have included a "stop-over" in Lucera, which would explain the "South Italian" dot amidst the Ashkenazi cluster. Jewish migration from western Germany, where they were expelled from most cities, into central-eastern Europe alongside German colonists during the mid 14th to 15th century can anyway be regarded as established historical fact.

    Mystery solved? Well, I would still like to see some genetic data from the Rhineland, Poland and Galicia analysed together with genes of Ashkenazi and Georgian / Armenian Jews. I also think genes can tell us a bit more about Portuguese Jews, who became major constituents of the Jewish communities of Antwerp, Amsterdam and Hamburg (and at least in Hamburg, the distinction between Ashkenazi and Sephardim disappeared after the Napoleonic emancipation). But otherwise, I personally feel that I now have a relatively good idea of the general patterns.
    I'm ready to bet that the only reason for the gap between Tunisian/Moroccan/Libyan Jews and Ashkenazim is entirely due to North African admixture.
    Indeed, if you include NA populations (such as Mozabites) there's a clear cline of NA Jews towards these populations, suggesting admixture which makes sense given that Tunisian & Libyan Jews were amongst the first Jews to settle this area, with the Carthaginians thus giving them plenty of time to mix with neighbouring Berbers (there was a Judaic trend for quite some time and many Berber tribes eventually converted to Judaism).

    This is easily picked up by most calculators and there is a non-negligible amount of IBD sharing between NA Jews and Mozabites for instance.
    Moroccan & Algerian Jews seem to have absorbed much less admixture and might have more actual Sephardic ancestry per se.

    Turkish Jews basically haven't changed much since their ancestors left the Iberian peninsula, and they overlap with French & Ashkenazi Jews accordingly so.

    If I had to guess, I'd say that the diaspora's forefathers plotted around Turkish Jews, who happen to overlap with Ashkenazim.
    If you put all Western Jewish populations on a PCA plot, there's a clear cline of all Jewish groups towards Lebanese-leaning Cypriots... And if you ask me, I think that's where pre-exilic Judeans plotted.

    Yemeni Jews probably have more Arabian ancestry than anything else, and if you ask me they're very good proxies for what the Arabian peninsula looked like prior to Islam... Actually, they're the best we've got so far, since they've remained endogamous ever since (this also explains why Palestinians, Jordanians, Negev Bedouins etc cline towards Yemeni Jews).
    If there's a case to be made for mass conversion, it would lie with Teymanim/Yemeni Jews.


    Mizrahim seem to have absorbed a lot of Mesopotamian DNA, this is both apparent in their autosomal DNA & uniparental lineages. This is why they plot with Assyrians and Syriac Orthodox christians... Here again, we're dealing with communities which have been in Mesopotamia-Iran (and the Caucasus later on) for a very long time (at least since the Babylonian exile).
    I do have Mizrahi relatives so they obviously have retained some of the original Israelite admixture... Still, I think the Mesopotamian contribution to Mizrahi Jews is greatly underestimated.

    ^^ These are all educated guesses, I could be wrong... Needless to say, I'd be rather surprised if I really were wrong.

    I'd be very cautious with any model implying high amounts of European ancestry, unless you can explain the insane paucity of WHG.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    I'm ready to bet that the only reason for the gap between Tunisian/Moroccan/Libyan Jews and Ashkenazim is entirely due to North African admixture.
    Indeed, if you include NA populations (such as Mozabites) there's a clear cline of NA Jews towards these populations, suggesting admixture which makes sense given that Tunisian & Libyan Jews were amongst the first Jews to settle this area, with the Carthaginians thus giving them plenty of time to mix with neighbouring Berbers (there was a Judaic trend for quite some time and many Berber tribes eventually converted to Judaism).

    This is easily picked up by most calculators and there is a non-negligible amount of IBD sharing between NA Jews and Mozabites for instance.
    Moroccan & Algerian Jews seem to have absorbed much less admixture and might have more actual Sephardic ancestry per se.
    Below is a representation of Lazarides' admixture results, copied from http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads...227#post434227 (poster Alan).

    I am not sure where it comes from. It is not part of Lazarides' original study, the colouring differs from Lazarides' admixture graphs, and the legend uses terminology (yDNA hgs) not used by Lazarides. Maybe Alan wants to give more detail on his source. Nevertheless, visual comparison suggests that the admixtures are at least very similar to those in Lazarides' original plots, so for the time being I take it as a fair representation of Lazarides' results.
    And, in fact, the main difference between AJ and those from the South Mediterranean appears to be that the latter have picked up quite some Mozabite genes. AJ also have a bit of Mozabite genes, but far less. Instead, they have picked up quite some North European genes (mid-blue, peak in Fenno-Scandians and Balts), plus a tiny dose of dark blue North Eurasian genes (peak in Nganasan). The latter suggests some, very limited additional admixture in Eastern Europe. The Fenno-Scandian component is extremely close to the one found in Sicilians and Maltese, and may relate to various admixtures in the region, including (but most likely not restricted to) the Norman conquest of Sicily in the 10th century AD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    Turkish Jews basically haven't changed much since their ancestors left the Iberian peninsula, and they overlap with French & Ashkenazi Jews accordingly so.

    If I had to guess, I'd say that the diaspora's forefathers plotted around Turkish Jews, who happen to overlap with Ashkenazim.
    If you put all Western Jewish populations on a PCA plot, there's a clear cline of all Jewish groups towards Lebanese-leaning Cypriots... And if you ask me, I think that's where pre-exilic Judeans plotted.
    I think you are overlooking the following:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expulsi...ws_from_Sicily
    At the time of expulsion from Sicily, the Jewish community in Sicily dated back to early Roman times, and they were relatively untroubled on the island until the acceptance of the Crown of Aragon in Sicily in 1412. A great number of Jews had reached Sicily after Pompey's 63 BC sacking of Jerusalem, and additionally by Roman Proconsul Crassus, who is traditionally said to have sold more than 30,000 Jewish slaves on the island.
    After the enslavement under Roman rule, Jews in Sicily eventually assimilated into society, working in professions such as philosophy, medicine, artisanal pursuits, and farming.

    The exact number of Jews in Sicily at the time of expulsion is not certain, However, some have put the number of Jewish refugees at 36,000.[1] Also, in 1492, it is known the Jewish populations of Palermo, Messina, and several other cities were considerable, and that there were Giudeccas, or Jewish settlements, in over 50 places in Sicily, ranging in anywhere population from 350 to 5,000. At their height, Jewish Sicilians probably constituted from five to eight percent of the island's population.[2]

    In 1492, as part of an attempt to maintain Catholic orthodoxy and purify their kingdom of Moorish influence, Ferdinand and Isabella ordered the forced expulsion or conversion of all Jews on pain of death. The date of the expulsion was extended from 18 September 1492 to 12 January 1493, in order to allow the extortion of opportunist tax levies. Many Sicilian Jews fled to neighboring Calabria where the Spanish Inquisition caught up with them again fifty years later. Not all of the Sicilian Jews departed. A large number of Sicily's Jews converted to Catholicism and remained on the island.
    Actually, the Jewish population share might have been much larger. There is a high medieval petition by Jews from a Sicilian city (Catania? - I really should bookmark everything I read!) to adjust their tax due to their population share of 11%. In Southern Italy, especially Calabria, there have been many exclusively Jewish agricultural communities, and one paper puts the share of Jews among medieval Calabrians as high as 50%. Note in this respect that we are not talking "some Mediterranean island" here. Italian and German Wikipedia put Palermo's population under Arab rule (late 9th/ early 10th century) at 300,000. Other sources are more conservative, but there seems to be consensus that Arab Palermo had more than 100,000 inhabitants and equalled Byzantium in size. In spite of obvious population decline, mid-15th century Palermo is still believed to be among the top 10 European cities with a population close to 50,000. Naples had gained similar size by then, and Syracuse may not have been much smaller.
    As is indicated by Paulus' missioning, Judaism enjoyed quite a popularity in the hellenisized population of the Roman empire. As such, it wouldn't be surprising if many Southern Italians had voluntarily adopted Judaism already by the time of Paulus' missioning. And, under Arab rule, it was probably better to be a Jew than to continue believing in ancient Greek gods. Or, put differently: If "Catholic" means Spanish/ Roman, "Orthodox" means Byzantine, and "Muslim" means Arab, what do you take for "None of the above" (e.g. former Greek colonists, or post-Vandal ex-Arianist, or "I want my good old Staufen emperors back, not these Spanish papist a..h..s")? Essentially, what I am trying to say is that there were probably hardly barriers to genetic exchange between Sicilian / South Italian Jews and non-Jews between antiquity and the end of Hohenstaufen rule around 1,300 AD, and Lazarides' results support this hypothesis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...Jews_in_Sicily
    The exiles found protection under Ferdinand I of Naples in Apulia, Calabria and Naples. On the death of Ferdinand in 1494, Charles VIII of France invaded Naples. At that time a serious disease, known as "French fly," broke out in that region, and the responsibility for the outbreak was fixed upon the Jews, who were accordingly driven out of the Kingdom of Naples. They then sought refuge in Turkish territory, and settled chiefly in Constantinople, Damascus, Salonica, and Cairo. To remain in Sicily, a significant number of Sicily's Jewish population converted to Catholicism. Many of these converts remained Crypto-Jews, known as neofiti.
    I think that explains why AJ/ Sicilians are quite close to Turkiish Jews, and especially the well-visible fenno-scandian and Mozabite elements in the latter's gene pool, both of which are almost completely absent in Mesopotamian / Caucasian Jews. Cypriots are quite different from Turkish Jews: Much more Caucaso-Gedrosian, no Maozabites, and just a little fenno-scandian element (which might, among others, relate to survivors from the Crusaders' states settling there).

    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    Mizrahim seem to have absorbed a lot of Mesopotamian DNA, this is both apparent in their autosomal DNA & uniparental lineages. This is why they plot with Assyrians and Syriac Orthodox christians... Here again, we're dealing with communities which have been in Mesopotamia-Iran (and the Caucasus later on) for a very long time (at least since the Babylonian exile).
    I do have Mizrahi relatives so they obviously have retained some of the original Israelite admixture... Still, I think the Mesopotamian contribution to Mizrahi Jews is greatly underestimated.
    Some Georgian Jewish communities (e.g. the one in Kutaisi) claim direct descent from the first diaspora, and it is said that some Jews released from the Babylon exile went to Georgia instead of returning to Jerusalem. Considering archaeological evidence of copper trade from the Caucasus into today's Israel since almost 10,000 years, I think there is quite a likelihood of Mesopotamian and Caucasian Jewish communities having been established more or less simultaneously. There has obviously been strong interaction between both areas, not only during Khazar times, but also as Persians have over several periods in antiquity, and in the late Medieval, controlled part or all of the area south of the Greater Caucasus. Moreover, as I have reported in a previous post, a substantial number of Georgian Jews were deported into Iran in the 17th century. So, speculation on Caucasian-Mesopotamian genetic interchange, including the effects on the area's Jewish community, may turn into an "hen and egg" question. Lazarides' admixture analysis clusters them both as Caucaso-Gedrosian.
    Iranians appear to incorporate some South Asian (light green) element, traces of which may be also spotted among Georgian and Iranian, but not Iraqian Jews. That would rather speak for gene flow from the Iranian plateau than from Mesopotamia into Mirzahi Jews. In any case, what distinguishes all Jewish populations most strongly from their host populations is elevated "Bedouin 2" genes. If I recall correctly, that would be Bedouins from the Sinai. Apparently, (proto-) Jews spent more than just 40 years walking through the desert.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    I'd be very cautious with any model implying high amounts of European ancestry, unless you can explain the insane paucity of WHG.
    Indeed, Lazarides' results point at a pretty straight migration of AJ from Sicily into Eastern Europe (though it still would have been nice to have had some Rhineland data for comparison). Strangely, while the biographies of various noted South Italian Jewish scholars demonstrate emigration towards Northern Italy and the Eastern Mediterranean, there is hardly any historical evidence for emigration into Eastern Europe. Might we have had two distinct patterns - the South Italian Jewish urban elite settling in other larger cities, and the Jewish artisan/ farmers rather going into the (newly colonised) Eastern European countryside? That would still leave unanswered why AJ spoke Yiddish, and not some mix of Hebrew and South Italian.

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    Once more, the main problem with a model proposing such a high amount of alledgedly Mesolithic European ancestry is the paucity (not so say absence) of WHG.
    Another problem we face is the lack of IBD sharing between Jews & Italians, that's the most problematic part of the story if you ask me.

    I'd take Alan's K20 admix with a few tons of salt if I were you, not exactly the gospel so to speak.

    Also, there is no archeologic evidence for the Exodus, so it's highly unlikely that the Proto-Israelites spent 40 years in the desert... In fact, the present concensus is that the Israelites were Canaanites themselves.
    What might've happened is that they incorporated the neighbouring Shasu cattle nomads (resulting in high frequencies of J1 & E-M34?).

    Finally, I wouldn't assume a 1/1 correlation between genes and language, though there are some fits they simply don't work the same way.
    All in all, I think Cyprus might've retained much of the pre-Islamic Levant's genetic make up, and this would explain why Western (Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Syrian, etc) and Iraqi Jews cline towards Lebanese-leaning Cypriots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maleth View Post
    The top 10 surnames in Malta make around 25% of the population and all names are listed in high medieval times and deep rooted in Maltese society. These are the results we have so far:-
    G2a x 2
    I2b x 2
    R1b x2
    J x1
    E-V13 x1
    Not tested x2
    Thanks, Maleth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    Once more, the main problem with a model proposing such a high amount of alledgedly Mesolithic European ancestry is the paucity (not so say absence) of WHG.
    Another problem we face is the lack of IBD sharing between Jews & Italians, that's the most problematic part of the story if you ask me.

    I'd take Alan's K20 admix with a few tons of salt if I were you, not exactly the gospel so to speak.

    Also, there is no archeologic evidence for the Exodus, so it's highly unlikely that the Proto-Israelites spent 40 years in the desert... In fact, the present concensus is that the Israelites were Canaanites themselves.
    What might've happened is that they incorporated the neighbouring Shasu cattle nomads (resulting in high frequencies of J1 & E-M34?).

    Finally, I wouldn't assume a 1/1 correlation between genes and language, though there are some fits they simply don't work the same way.
    All in all, I think Cyprus might've retained much of the pre-Islamic Levant's genetic make up, and this would explain why Western (Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Syrian, etc) and Iraqi Jews cline towards Lebanese-leaning Cypriots.
    I thought Ashkenazis plot along with Sicilians and Maltese, in the gap between Cypriots and Greeks, the gap between Europe and the Near East, not next to Cypriots. I wonder why Sicilians and Maltese have no WHG either.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    Once more, the main problem with a model proposing such a high amount of alledgedly Mesolithic European ancestry is the paucity (not so say absence) of WHG.Another problem we face is the lack of IBD sharing between Jews & Italians, that's the most problematic part of the story if you ask me.I'd take Alan's K20 admix with a few tons of salt if I were you, not exactly the gospel so to speak.Also, there is no archeologic evidence for the Exodus, so it's highly unlikely that the Proto-Israelites spent 40 years in the desert... In fact, the present concensus is that the Israelites were Canaanites themselves.What might've happened is that they incorporated the neighbouring Shasu cattle nomads (resulting in high frequencies of J1 & E-M34?).Finally, I wouldn't assume a 1/1 correlation between genes and language, though there are some fits they simply don't work the same way.All in all, I think Cyprus might've retained much of the pre-Islamic Levant's genetic make up, and this would explain why Western (Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Syrian, etc) and Iraqi Jews cline towards Lebanese-leaning Cypriots.
    Whether it's Alan's admix, the original Lazarides one (as I said- on visual inspection identical to Alan's, you just can't spot smaller admixture elements that well there), or the admix Excel table that JS Bach has linked to, they all show AJs genetically very close to Sicilians, and further away from Cypriots. Below are, for easy comparison, the respective results from JS Bach's table (smaller admix components combined; AJ1 from Dodecad, AJ2 from Behar):

    Component
    AJ1
    AJ2
    Sic
    Cyp
    Pal
    Mediterranean (peak: Basques) 37.8 37.5 40.4 36.6 25.6
    SW Asian (peak: Yemen Jews) 20.6 20.4 17.6 23.9 36.4
    W Asian (peak: Georgians) 22.4 23.1 23.7 33.6 29.2
    North European (peak: Lithuanians) 16.7 16.0 16.5 5.1 0.7
    Arctic, Siberian, Amerindian, East Asian 1.4 1.8 0.2
    E African, Australasian 1.1 1.3 1.1 0.8 4.6
    W African, Paleo-African 0.4 2.8
    S Asian (peak: Paniya) 0.6
    Clearly, AJ are as "northern European" as Sicilians, and much more than Cypriots. Whether that means they were originally like the Cypriots, and picked up another 10% of "northern Europeaness" in the Rhineland & CE Europe (JS Bach's assumption), or obtained that mix in Sicily / Southern Italy, and maintained it mostly unchanged, except for a bit of North Eurasian inflow, in CE Europe - who knows. Admixture analysis can't tell it.

    I don't get the WHG argument, but that may be because I don't think you can trace such old ancestry via admix analysis. Over the last 8,000 years, mankind has grown from a few 100,000 to close to 10 billion - just too much additional genetic diversity to find that handful of original HGs in the mix. I mean, look at that tiny "Australasian" element that always pops up alongside "East African", even in cases (e.g. AJ) where such an admixture is extremely implausible. Of course, there are very basal, Palaeolithic lines that East Africans and Australasians (and for all we know, all other humans) share. For some reason, admix analysis seems to recognise these lines as Australasian instead of East African. In a similar way, European Mesolithic ancestry gets somehow pooled into "Mediterranean" and/ or "North European" (probably into both), but that does not mean that every "North European" has Mesolithic ancestors.

    I certainly don't believe that genes and language are 1/1 correlated. Otherwise, Germany would have around 1/3 each speakers of German, Celtic and Slavic, with the remainder speaking Latin. Those figures actually represent quite well what was going on German territory at certain points during the last 3,000 years, but they are linguistically absolutely meaningless today. My point was simply that AJ must have learnt (Middle Low) German somewhere before turning it into Yiddish, and that was most likely neither on Cyprus nor on Sicily...
    Last edited by FrankN; 11-07-14 at 21:08. Reason: Table didn't show correctly

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
    I thought Ashkenazis plot along with Sicilians and Maltese, in the gap between Cypriots and Greeks, the gap between Europe and the Near East, not next to Cypriots. I wonder why Sicilians and Maltese have no WHG either.
    They do plot with them, between Greeks & Cypriots. In the meantime, they cline towards Cypriots like most Jewish populations (even Iraqi Jews) for that matter... Which is suggestive of some sort of divergence from a source population lying at the end of this cline.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankN View Post
    Whether it's Alan's admix, the original Lazarides one (as I said- on visual inspection identical to Alan's, you just can't spot smaller admixture elements that well there), or the admix Excel table that JS Bach has linked to, they all show AJs genetically very close to Sicilians, and further away from Cypriots. Below are, for easy comparison, the respective results from JS Bach's table (smaller admix components combined; AJ1 from Dodecad, AJ2 from Behar):

    Component
    AJ1
    AJ2
    Sic
    Cyp
    Pal
    Mediterranean (peak: Basques) 37.8 37.5 40.4 36.6 25.6
    SW Asian (peak: Yemen Jews) 20.6 20.4 17.6 23.9 36.4
    W Asian (peak: Georgians) 22.4 23.1 23.7 33.6 29.2
    North European (peak: Lithuanians) 16.7 16.0 16.5


    5.1


    0.7

    Arctic, Siberian, Amerindian, East Asian


    1.4


    1.8


    0.2

    E African, Australasian


    1.1


    1.3


    1.1


    0.8


    4.6

    W African, Paleo-African


    0.4


    2.8

    S Asian (peak: Paniya)


    0.6

    Clearly, AJ are as "northern European" as Sicilians, and much more than Cypriots. Whether that means they were originally like the Cypriots, and picked up another 10% of "northern Europeaness" in the Rhineland & CE Europe (JS Bach's assumption), or obtained that mix in Sicily / Southern Italy, and maintained it mostly unchanged, except for a bit of North Eurasian inflow, in CE Europe - who knows. Admixture analysis can't tell it.

    I don't get the WHG argument, but that may be because I don't think you can trace such old ancestry via admix analysis. Over the last 8,000 years, mankind has grown from a few 100,000 to close to 10 billion - just too much additional genetic diversity to find that handful of original HGs in the mix. I mean, look at that tiny "Australasian" element that always pops up alongside "East African", even in cases (e.g. AJ) where such an admixture is extremely implausible. Of course, there are very basal, Palaeolithic lines that East Africans and Australasians (and for all we know, all other humans) share. For some reason, admix analysis seems to recognise these lines as Australasian instead of East African. In a similar way, European Mesolithic ancestry gets somehow pooled into "Mediterranean" and/ or "North European" (probably into both), but that does not mean that every "North European" has Mesolithic ancestors.

    I certainly don't believe that genes and language are 1/1 correlated. Otherwise, Germany would have around 1/3 each speakers of German, Celtic and Slavic, with the remainder speaking Latin. Those figures actually represent quite well what was going on German territory at certain points during the last 3,000 years, but they are linguistically absolutely meaningless today. My point was simply that AJ must have learnt (Middle Low) German somewhere before turning it into Yiddish, and that was most likely neither on Cyprus nor on Sicily...
    The K20 analysis makes little sense since the components are derived from WHG, ANE, EEF, BE, ENA, etc... Which is why these ancestral components are so crucial to our understanding.
    The paucity of WHG in Jews makes any amount of Northern European ancestry highly doubtful, unless you're willing to count the WHG contained within EEF... And even then, you'd have to weed it out perfectly so as to avoid mixing it up with other HG components.
    I seriously doubt Cypriots have any Northern European ancestry, especially since they get negative WHG scores.

    The lack of WHG in Ashkenazim above noise level is the biggest problem with any model implying a high amount of N. Euro admixture.

    As you pointed out, Yiddish is merely Middle Low German infused with Hebrew & Aramaic expressions written in the Aramaic script... Which fits precisely in the pattern of Jewish languages, consider Ladino for instance, pretty much the same story, yet another language frozen in time with Hebrew & Aramaic expressions.
    Same thing for Judaeo-Arabic, Judaeo-Berber, Judaeo-Georgian and so on.
    So Yiddish isn't really that odd, it merely reflects classic linguistic patterns Jews exhibit in diaspora.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    The K20 analysis makes little sense since the components are derived from WHG, ANE, EEF, BE, ENA, etc... Which is why these ancestral components are so crucial to our understanding.The paucity of WHG in Jews makes any amount of Northern European ancestry highly doubtful, unless you're willing to count the WHG contained within EEF... And even then, you'd have to weed it out perfectly so as to avoid mixing it up with other HG components.
    Considering that Sardinians are the prototypical EEF (80% or so) - yes, I think that a lot of Cantabrian LGM refuge HG DNA is contained within EEF. Sardinians were ne ver really famous for farming. Instead, they exported their obsidian across most of the Western Mediterranean during the early Neolithic, and supplied their copper to most of Europe, including Scandinavia and Greece, during the Bronze Age. So, to me, EEF looks more like EEMT (Early European Miner & Trader). And that might blend quite well into Jewish traditions (the trading part more than the mining part, obviously). Remembering furthermore that a good part of the show was later on run by Phoenicians and Punics, the link gets even more obvious.

    North Europeans, especially those in the admix in my table above, which peak in Lithuanians, are some kind of mix of Steppe people, NHG (the Motala DNA, not considered further by Lazarides), HG from the Pontic refuge, and those early farmers that didn't enter Europe along the Mediterranean coast, but along the Danube (split at latest around 6.500 BC, sufficient to develop a different genetic profile). They would have come to the Mediterranean as retired Germanic / British / Belgian legionnaires, with the Goths and Vandals, as Varangian traders, Normans, and Crusaders. Possibly, the Celtic incursion into the Balkans and Anatolia in the 4th century BC, and Avars and Slavs on / near the Dalmatian coast also played a role. And, don't forget that the Motala NHGs had yDNA I2a-Din, which today peaks on the Dalmatian coast. Some of these "North Europeans" must have gotten there rather early, or the other way round - anyway, "North European" has quite a bit of Balkan in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    They do plot with them, between Greeks & Cypriots. In the meantime, they cline towards Cypriots like most Jewish populations (even Iraqi Jews) for that matter... Which is suggestive of some sort of divergence from a source population lying at the end of this cline.
    I see. I heard that that divergence between Ashkenazi/Sephardi Jews and Mizrahi Jews happened around 2,500 years ago in the Middle east/Mesopotamia, perhaps during the Babylonian captivity?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    The K20 analysis makes little sense since the components are derived from WHG, ANE, EEF, BE, ENA, etc... Which is why these ancestral components are so crucial to our understanding.
    The paucity of WHG in Jews makes any amount of Northern European ancestry highly doubtful, unless you're willing to count the WHG contained within EEF... And even then, you'd have to weed it out perfectly so as to avoid mixing it up with other HG components.
    I seriously doubt Cypriots have any Northern European ancestry, especially since they get negative WHG scores.

    The lack of WHG in Ashkenazim above noise level is the biggest problem with any model implying a high amount of N. Euro admixture.

    As you pointed out, Yiddish is merely Middle Low German infused with Hebrew & Aramaic expressions written in the Aramaic script... Which fits precisely in the pattern of Jewish languages, consider Ladino for instance, pretty much the same story, yet another language frozen in time with Hebrew & Aramaic expressions.
    Same thing for Judaeo-Arabic, Judaeo-Berber, Judaeo-Georgian and so on.
    So Yiddish isn't really that odd, it merely reflects classic linguistic patterns Jews exhibit in diaspora.
    The authors of the study did say that the WHG component isn't exactly absent from Ashkenazi Jews/Maltese/Sicilians, but that it's inside the EEF ancestry.
    As for the second part, it's true, Yiddish is basically Judeo-German, just like there's Judeo-French, Judeo-Provence, Judeo-Latin, Judeo-Greek etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
    I see. I heard that that divergence between Ashkenazi/Sephardi Jews and Mizrahi Jews happened around 2,500 years ago in the Middle east/Mesopotamia, perhaps during the Babylonian captivity?
    Indeed, the Babylonian captivity probably resulted in the current split we can observe between Mizrahim & Western Jews... That's the best explanation as to why they overlap with Assyrians & Syriac Orthodox christians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
    The authors of the study did say that the WHG component isn't exactly absent from Ashkenazi Jews/Maltese/Sicilians, but that it's inside the EEF ancestry.
    As for the second part, it's true, Yiddish is basically Judeo-German, just like there's Judeo-French, Judeo-Provence, Judeo-Latin, Judeo-Greek etc.
    Absolutely, yet the fact that WHG doesn't actually show up per se in AJs/Maltese/Sicilians is very troubling, since other Near Eastern populations also end up having high amounts of EEF even though we're pretty much sure they don't have any WHG. In some populations, WHG are even negative... Populations such as Cypriots for instance (or N. Caucasians).

    Either way, if we are to quantify the total amount of WHG in Jews we barely end up with an amount warranting any large-scale N. Euro contribution. Which is why I think most of the admixture took place in the Eastern Mediterranean (there clearly was a lot of intermarriage going on prior to the Tanna'im's shift to matrilineal descent, which led to the emergence of sizeable Jewish communities in the Mediterranean along with the subsequent Kitos war).

    As I said, Yiddish is underwhelmingly normal in regards to other Jewish languages, it's basically the same story in a different place from a purely linguistic POV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    Either way, if we are to quantify the total amount of WHG in Jews we barely end up with an amount warranting any large-scale N. Euro contribution. Which is why I think most of the admixture took place in the Eastern Mediterranean (there clearly was a lot of intermarriage going on prior to the Tanna'im's shift to matrilineal descent, which led to the emergence of sizeable Jewish communities in the Mediterranean along with the subsequent Kitos war).
    Which leads us back to the high possibility of the European admixture in Western Jews (as well as Sicilians and Maltese) being mainly pre Slavic migration Hellenistic East Mediterranean like pre Slavic migration Hellenistic period South Greeks or Pre Slavic migration Hellenistic Greek Islanders, as a reminder, during that time many Jews followed the Hellenistic denomination of Judaism, known as "Hellenistic Judaism" (which tried to mix Jewish and Greek religious and philosophical outlooks yet falling short of completely severing the Jewish roots as Christianity did later), the day to day languages of most Jews by that time were Aramaic and Greek, and usually many Jews back then had both Hebrew and Greek names, and of course the fact that back then Judaism passed from the Dad, making it much easier to marry non Jewish women, and in this case, possibly Greek women.


    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    Indeed, the Babylonian captivity probably resulted in the current split we can observe between Mizrahim & Western Jews... That's the best explanation as to why they overlap with Assyrians & Syriac Orthodox christians.
    Thanks for the clarification. BTW when you said "That's the best explanation as to why they overlap with Assyrians & Syriac Orthodox Christians" did you imply the Mizrahis when you said "they"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
    Which leads us back to the high possibility of the European admixture in Western Jews (as well as Sicilians and Maltese) being mainly pre Slavic migration Hellenistic East Mediterranean like pre Slavic migration Hellenistic period South Greeks or Pre Slavic migration Hellenistic Greek Islanders, as a reminder, during that time many Jews followed the Hellenistic denomination of Judaism, known as "Hellenistic Judaism" (which tried to mix Jewish and Greek religious and philosophical outlooks yet falling short of completely severing the Jewish roots as Christianity did later), the day to day languages of most Jews by that time were Aramaic and Greek, and usually many Jews back then had both Hebrew and Greek names, and of course the fact that back then Judaism passed from the Dad, making it much easier to marry non Jewish women, and in this case, possibly Greek women.
    Absolutely, that's definitely a possibility we must entertain and the fact that many Jews had Greek names when they appear in Europe's historical record for the first time further reinforces such a model if you ask me.
    Which is troubling in the end as well because we'll end up splitting hairs: We'll be dealing with Eastern Mediterranean populations all the way through, it would be much easier to distinguish between them if there were clear traces of N. European introgression.

    Thanks for the clarification. BTW when you said "That's the best explanation as to why they overlap with Assyrians & Syriac Orthodox Christians" did you imply the Mizrahis when you said "they"?
    Absolutely, you can see for yourself:



    Iraqi Jews are contained within the red cluster, Iranian Jews in grey, Kurdish Jews in light blue and Assyrians+Iraqi Mandeans in pink.
    Keep in mind that Syriac Orthodox cline towards the west and end up just within the reaches of the Iraqi Jewish cluster.
    I think Mizrahim absorbed a lot of Mandean-like admixture, since Mandaens probably fit right where Babylonians once were.

    So I think it's anything but delusional to assume that Mizrahim have absorbed a fair deal of Mesopotamian genes, in fact that's the most likely scenario.
    Not really surprising, they had at least a thousand years to intermarry prior to the emergence of christendom & Islam, by then they probably plotted the way they do nowadays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    Absolutely, that's definitely a possibility we must entertain and the fact that many Jews had Greek names when they appear in Europe's historical record for the first time further reinforces such a model if you ask me.
    Which is troubling in the end as well because we'll end up splitting hairs: We'll be dealing with Eastern Mediterranean populations all the way through, it would be much easier to distinguish between them if there were clear traces of N. European introgression.



    Absolutely, you can see for yourself:



    Iraqi Jews are contained within the red cluster, Iranian Jews in grey, Kurdish Jews in light blue and Assyrians+Iraqi Mandeans in pink.
    Keep in mind that Syriac Orthodox cline towards the west and end up just within the reaches of the Iraqi Jewish cluster.
    I think Mizrahim absorbed a lot of Mandean-like admixture, since Mandaens probably fit right where Babylonians once were.

    So I think it's anything but delusional to assume that Mizrahim have absorbed a fair deal of Mesopotamian genes, in fact that's the most likely scenario.
    Not really surprising, they had at least a thousand years to intermarry prior to the emergence of christendom & Islam, by then they probably plotted the way they do nowadays.

    Thanks for the explanations and confirmations.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    Absolutely, that's definitely a possibility we must entertain and the fact that many Jews had Greek names when they appear in Europe's historical record for the first time further reinforces such a model if you ask me.
    Which is troubling in the end as well because we'll end up splitting hairs: We'll be dealing with Eastern Mediterranean populations all the way through, it would be much easier to distinguish between them if there were clear traces of N. European introgression.

    Well there is a way to distinguish Western Jews/Maltese/Sicilians from other Pre Islamic East Mediterraneans, the fact that they plot between Europe and the Near East (between Greeks and Cypriots), not in the Near East (While not in Europe either). Suggesting perhaps that if at first they (Western Jews) were next to Cypriots on the tip of the Near East, something got them into the gap between Europe and the Near East, and I guess the best answer would be intermarriage with Greeks during the Hellenistic period, because if modern Greeks have around 6% of visible WHG ancestry i.e after the Slavic migrations during the early middle ages, then the Greeks of the Hellenistic period would probably have even lower WHG ancestry, so low that it would not be visible in the case of intermarriage, let's not forget that Western Jews/Maltese/Sicilians, while having 0 WHG ancestry, don't have negative ancestry like for example the Cypriots, who provide the best example of pre Islamic East Mediterranean Near Easterners. Also, of course, they have WHG ancestry in their EEF ancestry, and they (Western Jews/Sicilians/Maltese) do seem to have more WHG ancestry than for example the Stuttgart bloke who also plots in the gap between Europe and the Near East.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
    Well there is a way to distinguish Western Jews/Maltese/Sicilians from other Pre Islamic East Mediterraneans, the fact that they plot between Europe and the Near East (between Greeks and Cypriots), not in the Near East (While not in Europe either). Suggesting perhaps that if at first they (Western Jews) were next to Cypriots on the tip of the Near East, something got them into the gap between Europe and the Near East, and I guess the best answer would be intermarriage with Greeks during the Hellenistic period, because if modern Greeks have around 6% of visible WHG ancestry i.e after the Slavic migrations during the early middle ages, then the Greeks of the Hellenistic period would probably have even lower WHG ancestry, so low that it would not be visible in the case of intermarriage, let's not forget that Western Jews/Maltese/Sicilians, while having 0 WHG ancestry, don't have negative ancestry like for example the Cypriots, who provide the best example of pre Islamic East Mediterranean Near Easterners. Also, of course, they have WHG ancestry in their EEF ancestry, and they (Western Jews/Sicilians/Maltese) do seem to have more WHG ancestry than for example the Stuttgart bloke who also plots in the gap between Europe and the Near East.
    There must be a way, of course... And if you ask me, the best way to do so is to get good coverage of the Eastern Mediterranean archeogenetic record.
    The main problem when quantifying the actual amount of admixture, especially if pre-exilic Judeans were Cypriot-like as I suspect they were, is that we'll have to split hairs since we're dealing with fairly similar populations here... That is to say that the actual amount of admixture will not be easy to uncover since it will've come from a similar Eastern Mediterranean population in the first place.

    Depending on the admixture models we'll end up with using a Cypriot-like population mixed with a Hellenistic proxy, estimates can vary from ~75% "Judean" + ~25 "Hellene" to ~80% "Hellene" + ~20 "Judean"...
    ^^ That's not good news if you ask me... I'd rather have Jews with obvious amounts of European admixture, at least it would give clear estimates and the mystery would finally be solved.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    The issue of Yiddish has been brushed away a bit lightly here as "well, just another adaptation to the local language such as Judeo-Georgian or Judeo-Berber". It's actually not as simple as that:
    1. In Eastern Europe, which was the prime settlement area of Ashkenazi from the 14th century onwards, the dominating local language wasn't German, but Slavic (Polish/ Ukranian) or Baltic (Lithuanian). However, Ashkenazi didn't develop Judeo-Polish or Judeo-Lithuanian, but Yiddish. This means they must either (a) have previously settled in Germany, or (b) have come to Eastern Europe together with German colonists, or (c) if already present in Eastern Europe since Khazar times, their settlement focus must have come under significant German cultural influence. Option (c) implies concentration on the major cities, many of which (including Kiev) adopted German law in the 14th/15th century and attracted significant German merchant and craftsmen communities. From a linguistic point of view, I think we can exclude the possibility of a significant spread of Judaism into rural CE Europe under the Khazars.
    2. German language is far from being homogeneous. It is split into various dialects. A simplified division runs from north to south. Low (northern) German has preserved the original Germanic consonants that are still found in English or Dutch today, e.g. English "to eat"->Low German "eten", but High German "essen". Conversely, Upper (southern) German has undergone a number of consonant shifts. Dialects spoken in the area in-between are classified as "Middle German" but in fact consist of several zones that have adopted some, but not all of the High German consonant shifts. In addition, a special feature of most Middle German dialects is replacing "g" by "j", e.g. Berlinish "jut" for "gut" (good).
      As the German colonialisation of Eastern Europe has been carried out by settlers from specific regions, the dialect differentiation was also transferred into Eastern Europe. Below is a simplified Wikipedia map of the German dialect landscape that had emerged around the late 19th century. As we know that Yiddish was derived from Middle German, we can conclude it didn't form in Bavaria, Austria or Hungary, nor north of Warszaw.
    3. In addition to the north-south division, there are a number of features that change from west to east. I save you the details, but instead invite you to watch the video below. The Bavarian origin of the German guy is easily detectable (at least for a German), so I hope at least the Jewish guy has a half-way authentic pronunciation. Pay attention to Yiddish "ich" (I), the pronunciation of "g" (e.g. "morgen"(tomorrow) at 1:50), and the Yiddish vowel shifts in otherwise similar German words:

      Let's start with the Yiddish vowel shifts: They are typical for (now mostly extinct) East German dialects that used to be spoken in Silesia and East Prussia (Ost-Preussen->"Ast-Preissen", schön->"scheen"), and probably reflect sound adaptation to local Slavic and Baltic dialects. Another feature of Silesian German was its maintenance of the "g" sound, instead of the shift to "j" that is found in most other Middle German dialects. Both features attest that Yiddish has mostly been formed in CE Europe.
      Yiddish has hardened the "ch" sound into "kh", which is uncommon in German dialects. Most dialects have either dropped the sound completely, similar to English (Bavarian, Austrian), use the "k" instead (Low German), or have "celticised" the sound into "sh" (Rhineland, Hesse, Swabian). The High German "ch" is actually only found in Saxon-Thuringian and Silesian dialects. And there is only one dialect region, namely Alemannic (Swiss German, Alsatian, Baden) that uses the hardened "kh" instead of the softer "ch". So, if the guy in the video really speaks authentic Yiddish, then I an quite certain that AJ must have spent some time along the upper Rhine before moving on into CE Europe. I assume Hebrew has a similar 'kh' sound, which helped Ashkenazi to maintain that Alemannic feature amidst German colonists that used the softer "ch" instead. If they had come directly into CE Europe from somewhere in the Mediterranean, they would most likely have taken over the local soft "ch", as they have done with most other features of Eastern German dialects.

    Anybody wanting to get a feel how Swiss German sounds can use the link below (I am only allowed to embed one video per post):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_HilyK7YAE

    Otherwise, I assume people are acquainted with this thread: http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads...diversity-maps
    As Sparkey notes:
    Eastern Europe data came entirely from the FTDNA Project. Eastern European I2c is dominated by Jews, many of whom are diaspora who have taken tests on their own

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    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post
    There must be a way, of course... And if you ask me, the best way to do so is to get good coverage of the Eastern Mediterranean archeogenetic record.
    The main problem when quantifying the actual amount of admixture, especially if pre-exilic Judeans were Cypriot-like as I suspect they were, is that we'll have to split hairs since we're dealing with fairly similar populations here... That is to say that the actual amount of admixture will not be easy to uncover since it will've come from a similar Eastern Mediterranean population in the first place.

    Depending on the admixture models we'll end up with using a Cypriot-like population mixed with a Hellenistic proxy, estimates can vary from ~75% "Judean" + ~25 "Hellene" to ~80% "Hellene" + ~20 "Judean"...
    ^^ That's not good news if you ask me... I'd rather have Jews with obvious amounts of European admixture, at least it would give clear estimates and the mystery would finally be solved.
    I see. Thanks again for the deep explanation.

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    FrankN:

    There actually was a Judaeo-slavic language, Knaanic... But it became extinct during the late middle ages & was eventually replaced by Yiddish.
    The retention of Yiddish was mainly due to the fact that Ashkenazim were highly endogamous and rarely interacted with the locals, they kept to themselves for the most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Semitic Duwa View Post

    The retention of Yiddish was mainly due to the fact that Ashkenazim were highly endogamous and rarely interacted with the locals, they kept to themselves for the most.
    For exactly same reason we can wonder why they switched to Yiddish in first place?

    Perhaps in the future will see two separate Jewish migrations to Central Europe. One (Yiddish) mainly the city dwellers and other population who came from South/East and lived mainly in rural area. I have no clues myself just thinking outloud. In many Polish cities official language was German till pretty much 17-18 century, making Yiddish very useful in the cities.

    Did rural Jews from Ukraine and Russia (east part of Siolo) use Yiddish or Hebrew?
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    For exactly same reason we can wonder why they switched to Yiddish in first place?

    Perhaps in the future will see two separate Jewish migrations to Central Europe. One (Yiddish) mainly the city dwellers and other population who came from South/East and lived mainly in rural area. I have no clues myself just thinking outloud. In many Polish cities official language was German till pretty much 17-18 century, making Yiddish very useful in the cities.

    Did rural Jews from Ukraine and Russia (east part of Siolo) use Yiddish or Hebrew?
    As far as I know,Hebrew was a dead language only used during services,in fact it is the only dead language that has been successfully revived .

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    Quote Originally Posted by AgnusDei View Post
    As far as I know,Hebrew was a dead language only used during services,in fact it is the only dead language that has been successfully revived .
    Possibly, it's been basically dead as a day to day language from the Babylonian captivity to the 19th century. The language which replaced Hebrew was Aramaic, soon after another language was added to the Jewish vocabulary, Greek. In fact, I read somewhere that an early Ashkenazi Jewish community leader in the Rhineland, during the times of the 1st Crusade, wanted to fight back at those that rioted against the Jews, he gathered the men and they fought until they had to "sanctify the name", the connection is, that his name was Greek, Kalykomos or something like that.
    Perhaps the Ashkenazi Jews adopted Old High German and mixed it with Hebrew/Aramaic and some Greek/Latin before the first Crusade, i.e before the great persecutions began, while it's true that under the Frankish empire (including East Francia which would turn into the Holy Roman empire), Jews were regarded as foreigners, property of the king/kaiser, and as heretics by the church, but before the Crusades, until the late 11th century, the church still had a difficult time placing it's authority in the region (in fact, one of the reasons Pope Urban the II called for a Crusade in response to the request of a few experienced mercenaries was to expand his authority), and so Jews had it easier until that time, and perhaps they adopted the local language by interacting with the locals via trade, money landing etc.

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