Genetically Mapping Hereditary Priesthood

The question of whether the Kohanim of core Median Judaism (Alawism, Alevi-Bektashi, Alianism, Druzism, Samaritanism, Yarsanism and Yezidism) are genetic Kohanim is not determinative of them being actual Kohanim in religious terms but is nevertheless of great interest from the perspective of Jewish history. Kohanite families of core Median Judaism should be tested for genetic patrilineage and this testing should be extended to hereditary priests of other historical branches of Median Judaism worldwide such as the Japanese Kannushi and the Hawaiian Kahuna irrespective of whether they are now halakhically Jewish or not which is determined by whether or not such populations converted to religious imperialism whether Islamic, Christian or Buddhist religious imperialism. The case of the priestly cast of the Lemba people in southern Africa shows that such testing is worthwhile and this should be systematically pursued globally. Indeed, the testing should be extended to hereditary priests generally on all continents for who knows what forms of religion actually are well-disguised Median Judaism? This is also relevant for Median Aliyah as identifying endogamous populations that remain halakhically Jewish is an urgent worldwide anthropological task indeed.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization

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