Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Past and Present Unite

Ancestry is quite interesting. Where your loved ones came from, why they left there, and where they went to is always a fascinating topic of conversation.

Sometimes you know the exact dates involved, down to the last decimal point, while other times it's more fuzzy. My cousin spent a long time researching his side of the family, and created an intricate family tree, allowing me hours of tiSme to reminisce and pour over the interesting facts and names.

On my other side of the family, less is known. Less is remembered, records are more hazardous, and the people involved are slowly forgetting what exactly happened. Still, you never know, and the family stories that are known about my great-grandparents have been passed through the generations.

In Israel- there are people who are 7th generation Yerushalmis. Some of their grandchildren are now heading into the 9th generation. Can you believe that?

It's so amazing- they know when they came into this land, and have stayed here since! My family is Litvish- so they headed from Lithuania and Russia into the US; no one came to Israel.
But these families headed right over here- some Sephardi, some Yemenite, and some Ashkenazic Jews as well.

I've read some phenomenal books about the old Yishuv of Yerushalayim- I'm sure most people who are the least bit curious have read some.

But it's always amazing to walk into a holy site, start up random conversation with a fellow Yid (Jew) and find out that his family has been living here since Turkish times, or even before.

Ancestry is important- but it's wonderful to see it come to life.

Oh, and a very large thank you to Mrs. M- who was my favorite teacher of Israel history, and a
7th generation Yerushalmi herself.

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