Now it will be interesting if this genetic test is applied to Palestinians expelled from their land by Zionists and proving they are of Jewish ancestry, which is probably the truth for 90% of Palestinians.
The mass immigration of Jews from the FSU to Israel was seen as a welcome blessing, but many have experienced difficulties proving their Jewish identity.
A new ruling in Jewish law permitting a specific genetic test to be used as proof of Jewish descent for certain Ashkenazi Jews is being promoted as a possible solution for potentially hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens from the former Soviet Union (FSU) having difficulty proving their Jewish status.
The ruling comes from Rabbi Yosef Carmel, who is both co-head of the Eretz Hemdah Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies and a senior rabbinical judge on the private Eretz Hemdah rabbinical court in south Jerusalem.
The mass immigration of Jews from the FSU to Israel was widely seen as a welcome blessing for the country, but many of them have experienced difficulties proving their Jewish identity for marriage and other personal status requirements due to the suppression of religious activity by the former Soviet regime.
This has caused, and continues to cause, severe problems for these immigrants and their descendants, and threatens to become a wider social problem if ever-greater numbers of such people have their Jewish status rejected by the rabbinical courts and the Chief Rabbinate, as has been happening of late.
A new volume of responsa on matters of Jewish law, written at the Eretz Hemdah Institute under the direction and guidance of Carmel and Rabbi Moshe Ehrenreich, who also co-heads the institute, deals with a case in Munich, Germany, several years ago in which a woman sought to join a Jewish community and claimed to be Jewish.
She was asked for proof of her Jewish status, but much of her family had perished in the Holocaust and her living relatives would not help her since her maternal grandmother had survived and vowed not to have any further connection to the Jewish people. With no other way of proving her Jewish lineage, the woman took a mitochondrial DNA test and submitted it as evidence that she was indeed Jewish.
Carmel explained to The Jerusalem Post the scientific rationale behind the claim.