Identifying the Y-DNA Genetic Signature of the Shpoler Zeida – A Tzaddik Who Touched the World #dna #rabbinic
Jeffrey Mark Paull
For nearly a decade now, I have been conducting genetic genealogy research studies of the esteemed rabbinical lineages and Chassidic dynasties that have positively influenced and shaped Jewish history. After the first of these Y-DNA research studies was published in 2013, I assembled a research team of dedicated Jewish genealogists and rabbinical scholars to assist me in conducting these studies.
The goal of these research studies is to identify the unique Y-DNA genetic signature of these historic rabbinical lines, and thus far, we have succeeded in doing that for the Katzenellenbogen, Polonsky, Rappaport-Cohen, and Shapiro rabbinical lineages; the Twersky and Wertheim-Giterman Chassidic dynasties, and the lineages descending from Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev, Rabbi Raphael of Bershad, Rabbi Yehuda Kahana of Sighet, and the Shpoler Zeida.
The famed rabbis and tzaddiks who founded these lineages are long gone, but their DNA lives on in their descendants. By testing and analyzing their descendants' Y-DNA, we can identify the unique Y-DNA "genetic signature" for their bloodlines. Much like a fingerprint, each genetic signature is unique and belongs only to patrilineal descendants of that particular lineage. The Y-DNA genetic signature can then be used to validate the pedigrees of descendants who have well-documented paper trails and to identify previously unknown descendants of the lineage who do not have any paper trails.
Since I identify with and formerly belonged to the latter group, I have always been interested in helping people connect with their lost Jewish heritage. Identifying the Y-DNA genetic signature for the Shpoler Zeida's lineage, coupled with traditional genealogical research, has enabled us to connect hundreds of descendants with partial, missing, or lost paper trails to the Shpoler Zeida family tree, which has been immensely gratifying.
If you would like to read more about how we identified the Y-DNA genetic signature for the Shpoler Zeida's lineage and how we used it to connect entire branches of descendants to his family tree, here is the link to our newly updated Y-DNA research study: https://tinyurl.com/bdhpamcy.