Ancestors and Relatives: Genealogy, Identity, and Community

DNA And The Quest For Identity
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Ancestors and Relatives : Genealogy, Identity, and Community

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Ships to:. Read preview. Genealogies are also recorded in genealogy books. Genealogy has long been one of humanity's greatest obsessions. Shop Our Brands. New Book.

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Jewish genealogists often act on the same impulse to untangle the fragments that compose the stories that children of Holocaust survivors act on. Religiously, historically, and culturally, much about Jewish experiences pertains to how the past helps to understand the present, whether through biological ancestry or social. In fact, staff of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem followed strict genealogical guidelines Rottenberg The concern was that, without complete and accurate genealogies, ancestry could be forged, elevating the forgers to undeserved social and priestly positions or demoting others.

This concern did not dissipate over time; histories of Jewish anthroponomy indicate that surnames were sometimes for sale Kurzweil ; Zax par. These seventeen types derive from etymons for place of birth or residence, physical characteristics of the person bearing the surname, profession, and being the son or daughter of someone. In this way, surnames can provide genealogical information: where a person is from, what the person looked like, what the person did for a living, and who the progenitor of a family is.

Some families gained status with their newly acquired, yet unconventionally bestowed, surnames, and others lost status. That Jewish culture places emphasis on lineage or pedigree suggests the priority given to genealogy. Sometimes, pedigree refers more to a non-biological affiliation than a genealogical relationship might intimate. The more admired an ancestor or instructor, the more admired the descendant or student.

Ancestors and Relatives:Genealogy, Identity, and Community

Learning this fact might indeed surprise a Jewish genealogist who previously believed himself to be descended from the priests. In addition to the rituals associated with taking surnames, rituals associated with giving first names to children also indicate that ancestry plays an important role in Jewish identity formation. In Ashkenazic—Eastern European—communities, parents typically name their children after family members who have died.

In Sephardic—Iberian— communities, parents name their children after living relatives.

Ancestors and Relatives: Genealogy, Identity, and Community - Eviatar Zerubavel - Google книги

In both cases, names are not necessarily exact but may instead allude to those of family members by having the same first initial or the same meaning. Such naming practices are integral to Jewish genealogical research in two ways. First, children know who their ancestors are and can carry on their family traditions; second, genealogists are sometimes able to determine relationships based on names. This technique is helpful if researchers have names but not exact relationships, and it can lead to other identifying information. For example, ArtScroll. That he channels the excellence of his teachers through his writing likely encourages followers of chasidic Judaism to purchase his books.

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Genealogy has long been one of humanity's greatest obsessions. But with the rise of genetics, and increasing media attention to it through programs like Who. Ancestors and Relatives. Genealogy, Identity, and Community. Eviatar Zerubavel. Examines our conception of "relatedness" to answer.

This focus on the lineage of Jewish religious leadership to prove credentials signifies the exigence of genealogy in Jewish culture. Tanakh, the aggregate text central to Jewish liturgy, and Talmud, the collection of rabbinic commentaries on Jewish law, supply many directives for Jews to conduct genealogy. The references to genealogy in Tanakh are numerous and important, usually explaining the origins of people or reminding people to acknowledge their origins.

Job In this case, the legacy from which Job can glean may not necessarily be of his direct ancestors, but of members of earlier generations who may have experienced some of what Job himself experiences. Another instance that both explains the importance of genealogy and reminds practitioners to consider their ancestry and their descendants is the prayer central to Jewish worship, the Amidah. In traditional prayer services, Jews are expected to recite the Amidah at least three times every day and on holidays. Why should I not also plant them for my children?

Although these ancestors tend to be immeasurably distant, Jewish liturgy does encourage Jews to think of themselves as their descendants, which the passage from the Amidah indicates.

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To observe these holidays, Jews traditionally perform certain rituals that evoke what their ancient ancestors withstood. Remembering what the candle-lighting represents leads to commemorating the reasons why limited amounts of oil concerned Jews at the time and why Jews were unable to obtain more oil. Thus, contemporary Jews recall the experiences of Jewish forebears and acknowledge the hardships along with the successes. Similarly, the symbolic gesture of refraining from consuming leavened food during Passover, as well as the performance of the Passover meal itself, ultimately commemorates the suffering of slavery and the joy of freedom experienced by other Jewish forebears.

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Judaism teaches its adherents to value their forebears, to recall the experiences of their ancestors, and to try to replicate their contributions with younger generations in mind. In fact, many Jewish genealogists claim that they undertake their research so that younger generations will know and appreciate their origins. Because the internet is a relatively new medium, and because it is in constant flux, the research on this medium is in constant development.

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This monograph is one of the first describing social uses of the internet. In fact, Jewish genealogical Web sites make use of electronic mail, computer conferencing, access to remote databases, and file transferring. Indeed, all— and not just Jewish—genealogical Web sites need to ensure that each component works together to provide a trouble-free experience for users. Web developers aim for seamlessness, such that users do not encounter broken links or crashed pages.

When users click on a link to take them to the ship manifest on which their ancestors appear, for instance, any misdirection or stalled application can be frustrating and discouraging. Berners-Lee and his colleagues intended for the Web to be available to anyone with access to a computer to use the internet, and to use it cooperatively and noncompetitively. These goals may not have come to fruition— although many Web site designers work with each other in the citing of information or the development of technology, many designers compete with each other for donations, purchases, and visitors—but Jewish genealogical Web sites epitomize them.

The sites refer to each other and share content, forming a strong intertextuality that more conventional texts cannot and do not rival. The social and technical dynamics of the internet make it a great resource for exploring the presentation of self.