Volume 60 Number 91 
      Produced: Mon, 25 Jun 2012 09:43:01 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

No Rape Evidence in Our Genes (4)
    [Harry Weiss  Yisrael Medad  Robert Israel  Shoshana L. Boublil]
Women and Tallitot 
    [Steven Oppenheimer]


From: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 19,2012 at 03:01 PM
Subject: No Rape Evidence in Our Genes

In MJ 60#90, Joshua Burton replied to Yisrael Medad (MJ 60#89):

> The Jewish European history you review tends to imply that rape
> during pogroms, seduction and abandonment were all practiced by
> non-Jewish men against Jewish women, rather than the reverse,
> whereas Kevin is citing alleged genetic proof that Jewish ancestry
> shows intermarriage primarily in the opposite sense.  When you say
> that you "wonder what proof" exists, are you doubting the published
> genetics, doubting that Jews were victims rather than perpetrators
> of pogroms, or simply ignoring or misunderstanding the evidence
> as already described?

Whose genes are being tested.  When there was the seduction and female marrying 
out, many of them whether voluntary or not, they went with the non-Jewish male, 
so are no longer in the Jewish gene pool, but in the Polish, Russian etc.

When the Jewish male intermarried, the woman apparently followed the husband, 
thus the result matches with what we have.

Hopefully there were always proper conversions.

From: Yisrael Medad <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 19,2012 at 04:01 PM
Subject: No Rape Evidence in Our Genes

The claim "No Rape Evidence in Our Genes" is patently wrong, false and in
error, whatever "evidence" the genetic study claims, if the conclusion from
it is that there were no rapes.
I think that is fairly clear.
How anyone can sanely claim there were no rapes is beyond me.

Yisrael Medad

From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 20,2012 at 12:01 AM
Subject: No Rape Evidence in Our Genes

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz (MJ 60#90) wrote:

Yisrael Medad wrote (MJ 60#89):

>> Kevin Williams writes (MJ 60#88, thread "Limiting genealogic inquiries"):
>>> Moroccan Jews look like Arabs, German Jews can have light hair and blue
>>> eyes.  There must have been significant ancestral admixture.  How did it
>>> happen?  I had assumed through rape during pogroms, plus seduction and
>>> abandonment.  But thankfully, there's not much evidence of those horrors
>>> in our genes.
>> While indeed inter-marraige through conversion or otherwise is a 
>> contributory factor to physical resemblance between Jews and the general 
>> surrounding population, I wonder what proof there is that there is "not 
>> much evidence of these horrors [rape, seduction & abandonment] in our 
>> genes"? Reviewing Jewish European history, I would think that not the 
>> case.
> The point is that the genetic analysis shows that the part that came via 
> the *father* (such as the Y chromosome) shows a much lower amount of 
> mixture from the local populations that the Jews lived among than would 
> otherwise exist had many children been the product of rape (for 
> example). However, the mitochondrial DNA (which comes from the mother) 
> shows a higher level of mixture than might have been thought. Thus, it 
> appears that more of the physical resemblance comes through the female 
> line rather than the male.

The genes expressing physical resemblance may have been subject to 
selection pressure: those Jews who looked like the surrounding population 
may have been more likely to have surviving descendants. There are various 
reasons for this, including the following:

 - those who looked more like the general population might be considered 
more beautiful/handsome and therefore might be more desirable marriage 

 - members of the general population might be more inclined to have 
business dealings with those who did not look very different from them

 - in pogroms and other times of persecution, being less easily identifiable
as a Jew would make survival more likely

 - in sunny climates, darker skin offers more protection against the sun, 
while in northern Europe lighter skin produces more vitamin D.

The recent genetic studies use material that, as far as I know, is not 
linked to physical traits and thus not subject to selection pressure. 
Therefore it would be a more reliable indicator of ancestry.

Robert Israel
University of British Columbia

From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 20,2012 at 12:01 PM
Subject: No Rape Evidence in Our Genes

In MJ 60#90, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz wrote...[see post previous to this one --

Over the past few months, I have come across several reports of how Jewish
communities were established in places like Indochina, China, East Africa,
and elsewhere. In all cases, the description included the following: Rabbi
X/Mr. Y - a merchant, came through a few times establishing a market, and
then came back later with his relatives M and N and married local women and
started a community which grew as more merchants came through and some
settled until at year N there was a minyan....

So, while rape is one way in which the genes could mix, not every rape
yields a child (and many of the rape victims were murdered). But when the
merchants settled in new lands, sometimes they married local women, and this
matches the finding of a higher level of mixture through the mitochondrial

Shoshana L. Boublil


From: Steven Oppenheimer <steven.oppenheimer@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 21,2012 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Women and Tallitot

Much has been written of late regarding women and wearing tallitot.  In a
previous post (MJ 60#87) I quoted a responsum from HaRav Moshe Feinstein, z"l who
wrote that al pi din a women may wear a tallit as long as the tallit does
not resemble a man's tallit but rather has a distinct appearance that shows
it is not a man's garment.

This appears to be the compromise reached by the authorities at the kotel.
Women are only allowed to wear a "female" tallit, which is described as
a multi-colored tallit that is draped around the neck.

Yesterday, a woman who had been warned before decided to violate the
compromise agreement and wear a "man's tallit."   She was arrested and told
if she repeats her action she would face a fine in the future.  47 other
women in the group that prayed at the Kotel wore colorful distinctive
tallitot and were not detained.  The woman who was arrested said she knew
her action was confrontational but that she wanted to make a point.

See the following article:

Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.


End of Volume 60 Issue 91