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Litvaks and Galitzianers, Lay Down Your Arms;
Science Finds Unity in the Jewish Gene Pool
Histororically [sic] speaking, Jews have hardly been strangers to the art of drawing sharp distinctions among themselves. But according to a mounting body of scientific evidence, Jews â genetically speaking, at least â may have more in common than anyone previously suspected.
A year ago, Michael Seldin, a geneticist at the University of California Davis School of Medicine, and his research team made a remarkable discovery: Studying how Europeans grouped genetically, they found that Ashkenazic Jews formed their own distinct subgroup. Northern and Southern Europeans fell into two clearly separable genetic cohorts, and although the Ashkenazic Jews had more in common with the Southern Europeans, they formed a recognizable, relatively homogenous group of their own.
This finding was particularly striking, as the place of origin for an individual Ashkenazic Jewâs grandparents turned out to be completely irrelevant. âThere is no correspondence to the grandparental country of origin,â Seldin remarked: âWe see differences in other European populations when, for example, someone says she has four grandparents from Italy versus someone who says he has three grandparents from Italy and one from Germany. But for Ashkenazic Jews, it doesnât matter if their grandparents are from England or Hungary or Russia or Italy. The only thing that matters is that theyâre Ashkenazic Jewish.
Or you could watch this video about your Ashkenazi landsman, ‘Duvid Crockett, King of Delancey Street’ by Yinglish superstar Mickey Katz. He actually mentions ‘Litvaks and Galitzianers,’ and rhymes them with ‘wild Indianers!’