Published On: Sun, May 28th, 2017

Breakthrough Study by Israeli Experts Say ‘Jewish Gene’ Be Proven With a Simple Saliva Test

Experts say they found a 'Jewish gene' that could prove Jewish roots; mitochondrial DNA receives from the mother could establish the connection to Judaism.

 

A breakthrough study by Israeli experts on genetics and Jewish Halacha (the religious law) claim that the so-called “Jewish gene,” can be identified by “Using a sample of saliva, and can save a long  and complicated conversion process.”

The breakthrough study will present at a special conference held by the Puah Institute in Jerusalem on June 6.

Rabbi Yosef Carmel, head the Eretz Hemdah Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies and of the Gazit rabbinical court told Ynet News that the “Jewish gene,” can help prove one’s “Jewishness” in line with Jewish religious law.

The Eretz Hemdah Institute is preparing a paper to submit to the Chief Rabbinate n Jerusalem, detailing the Halachic-scientific breakthrough that claims: anyone whose Judaism can be proven genetically is legally (in the Jewish legal sense, that is) Jewish.

People who wish to get married in the State of Israel via the Chief Rabbinate must be recognized as a Jew and prove own Jewish dynasty.

According to the Jewish law, one considers as a Jew only if he was born to a Jewish mother. Otherwise, he has to provide proof of Judaism several generations back in the form of documents—such as birth and marriage certificates.

This has already made a problem for over 400,000 immigrants especially from the former Soviet Union, who couldn’t provide all family files.

Jewish people without the proof for their Jewish roots called “undefined,” and must undergo a long, hard and toilsome religious conversion according to the “Halacha.” This frightening process many trying to avoid.

Rabbi Dov Popper is an adviser at the Puah Institute, an Israel-based international organization that helps Jewish couples with fertility problems. He explained Ynet News that researchers in Israel and the world have been studying mitochondrial DNA—structures within the cells— which a person receives only from his or her mother.

“We can find the gene with a simple blood or saliva test. As soon as you find the mitochondrial gene in a person, this serves as a considerable piece of evidence in proving his Jewish roots,” Rabbi Popper went on to say.

“If the Chief Rabbinate accepts the gene research, this would be a significant change” for the hundreds of thousands who considered “undefined,” Rabbi Carmel said.

Rabbi Menachem Burstein, the head of the Puah Institute added “We began researching this because of the issue of egg donation and the ramifications that would have on the Jewishness of the newborn baby.

“However, it’s important to note this (discovery) would not have a practical use until the Chief Rabbinate approves it,” he added.

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