"Brit-Am Now"-569: DNA-3
Continuing Answer to Letter no.1
Letter From Subscriber:
"I have to respond to these letters concerning the Y-DNA evidence and the conclusions that it does not support Brit-Am's position. I disagree. In my research I have found precisely the opposite. What I see occurring is that the general public is accepting the testing organizations' estimates of mutation rates as well as migration theories without asking these researchers to substantiate their claims. The problem is that they cannot substantiate them. They base their mutation estimates on a certain theories of evolution that they cannot prove and they base the theories of evolution upon the mutation rates that they also cannot prove.
"I am the administrator for a family Y-DNA research project and we have found, within our family, that the mutation rates occur much more rapidly than the researchers indicate. I don't have time to elaborate more at this point at this time, but I will say, be very careful that you do not accept the theories of the scientists just because the scientists say it is so. The scientists were not here 4000 years ago so when they try to tell you what was happening and to whom it was happening at that time, the best information they can give you is their theories. And their theories may be false.
"There is one thing that you may want to think about. Jews have been a persecuted people for thousands of years. There has not been a time since the "glory days" of King Solomon when there would have been a mass conversion to Judaism and at that time, marrying outside of the tribes was discouraged. Yet, the explanation that we receive from Family Tree DNA and others is that many people converted to Judaism which explains the widely different alleles and haplogroups among Jews today. But that simply does not make sense. When did this great conversion occur. During the Babylonian exile? During the persectution of Jews in Rome? During the Crusades? During the holocaust? When was Judaism so attractive that thousands were converting in droves and marrying into the "Assembly." It didn't happen. It never happened. The idea is preposterous to anyone who knows Jewish history. In fact, it went the other way. People have always left Judaism because of the persecution. And we also have to deal with very specific well kept family genealogies that show different haplogroups from the same ancient male ancestor. So how did Jews get such divergent Y-DNA if the population geneticists are correct in their theories? They couldn't have. There is only one explanation, Y-DNA mutations occur much more rapidly than population geneticists believe and the Torah account is true. Could it be that Y-DNA research has been given to us for two reasons 1) help the faithful understand 2) distinguish the faithful from the unfaithful for the assignment of responsibilities during the redemption?"
After taking a DNA test and receiving results your markers in many (but not all) cases will more or less fit into a pattern that is similar to those of others and together you are classified as belonging to a particular "haplotype".
"Haplotype" should not be confused with "haplogroups". "Haplogroups" are more stable. A greater percentage of the population can be classified as belonging to a specific haplogroup and therefore "haplogroups" are usually used to compare different populations. We will return to haplogroups later but it is to be remembered that haplotypes are also significant in evaluating one ancestral group against another.
You mentioned being tested for the "R1b haplotype". This is an error. R1b is a haplogroup. You were however tested for a halpotype (I would guess for only 10 or 12 markers) and your results assumedly were the same as (or similar enough to) those that in every other known case (or nearly every other, or in most cases) when their bearers tested also for haplogroup gave the R1b result. They therefore told you that you were R1b and you probably are. There are however certain haplogroups (e.g. J, G, I) wherefor the same haplotypes could belong to either one of them. Haplogroups are determining by one aspect (SNP) of DNA whereas haplotypes by another (STP). Haplotypes ARE NOT always subsections of haplogroups though theoretically they should be and sometimes they are (mistakenly) described as such.
R1b is also found amongst Ashkenazic Jews (ca. 6% to 12% depending on source) and Sephardic Jews (ca. 12%) but amongst descendants of Sephardic Jews it is claimed to be much higher, e.g.
"The percentages of R1b among the crypto-Jewish Sephardim of Central, South and Carribbean America are running between 30% to 70% according to the folks I've been in contact with." Beth
The haplotype that is considered to be overwhelmingly that of "Sephardic" Jews more than that of any other group is also the 2nd or third LARGEST "haplotype" amongst Gentiles in the Western World. [Haplotypes are quite numerous. In a population that has only one or two haplogroups there may be thousands of different haplotypes. The relative figures may be small but they are large when compared to others and by implication a related ancestry could affect a large portion of the population] e.g.
1.35 for Spain, 1.79 for southern Portugal, and "3.82 for central and northern Portugal, 4.80 for Belgium and 4.48 for southern Netherlands (Holland and Zeeland), ... 2.18 for the northern Netherlands (Friesland and Groningen), 0.87 for Hamburg 2.41 for five sites in western Germany, 6.06 for Strasbourg [Eastern France], on the Rhine River, .....1.45 for seven sites elsewhere in Germany, 1.35 for Rome, 1.22 for four sites in northern Italy, and 0.27 for five other sites in Italy. London, England and Dublin, Ireland, had respectively 2.83 and 1.87."
"There was a 6.35% match… for Copenhagen, Denmark..0.67% for Norway and 0.57% for Sweden. Finland was 0%. The percentage was 0.62 for eight sites in Poland, and 0.16 for four sites in Eastern Europe…
("DNA and the Sephardic Diaspora: Spanish and Portuguese Jews in Europe" By
Abraham D. Lavender Ph.D. from HaLapid Winter, 2003
The tendency is for the highest results to be found in Western Europe. Belgium, Holland, and Denmark have the highest results of all.
What does all this mean?
Sephardic Jews were Jews who lived in Spain and Portugal for centuries and then were expelled. Many however converted to Christianity and remained and in Portugal before being expelled their children were taken from them. Even so the relative figures for Spain and Portugal average about the same as the gentiles of London and are much less than Copenhagen (Denmark) and Strasburg (Alsace, Eastern France).
Abraham D. Lavender: "It is possible that these DNA patterns go back thousands of years to very early migrations to western Europe, and long predate a Jewish presence in western Europe"
These results you may say are not necessarily anything to get excited about but they indicate results that can be classified and compared with each other. 2% here and 6 per cent there do not sound very high but THEY ARE HIGHER than most other results available. The results show that one historically important section of the Jewish People has offshoots amongst Western Gentile nations. This is only taken ONE factor into consideration and this factor should perhaps be multiplied by its percentage representation. The results take one factor found amongst a large number of Sephardim and considered an indication of "Sephardic" ancestry though it only affects a minority (albeit a significant one) of Sephardim who themselves are a minority amongst Jews. To find the "Jewish" (before even beginning to speak of the "Israelite" factor) contribution to the populations in question we could well need to multiply the percentages given many times over.
"Haplogroups" are determined by the DNA sequence on a section that is much more stable than that used to determine your paternity and haplotype. Many many more people have the same haplogroup. The haplogroup sequence is considered to be much less vulnerable to mutational change than the haplotype sequence. "Haplogroups are "older". In theory a haplotype is a subtype of the haplogroup. In practice the same haplotype can be belong to either of several different haplogroups. Sometimes researchers take one marker in the haplotype sequence and assume to is typical of a haplogroup, i.e. statistically most people with that specific "marker" will be found to belong to the one specific haplogroup but it does not always work that way. This is analogous to researchers assuming that everyone with blond hair has blue eyes and maybe 70% (?) they will right. In some areas however it may occur that most of the blondes are brown-eyed. A recent study in Germany was accused of using "haplotypes" (easier and cheaper to test) to estimate haplogroups. The study claimed to find differences in haplogroups on each side of the German-Poland border. This result contradicts previous studies. Because of the method used however the results have been generally rejected. It seems that researchers in general do not recognize haplotype as a valid indication of haplogroup.
"Are today's Jewish priests descended from the old ones?"
* The Cohen modal haplotype is the most common haplotype among Southern and Central Italians*1, Hungarians*2, and Iraqi Kurds*3, and is also found among many Armenians*4 and South African Lembas*5. This calls into question the notion that the haplotype was a marker for the ancient Hebrew population."
Note that Zoossmann-Diskin has an agenda. He WANTS to believe that neither Jews nor a small branch of them (i.e. the Cohens) have a common ancestor. This is reflected in the title of his article and remarks within that article.
Neverthless his research is accepted. So too, those who claim the opposite also have agendas.
Agendas are natural.
They help research since we are all humans and someone looking for an answer and interested in finding it has more chance of doing so if the answer is there. This also of course means that there is danger of contrary results and indications not receiving their due attention as also happens quite often.
Brit-Am also has an avowed agenda but this in itself should not negate Brit-Am research in any field.
[To Be Continued]
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