Thursday, November 25, 2010

Burning Question

How come 'lost Roman tribes' look like Romans...

"Genetic testing of villagers in a remote part of China has shown that nearly two-thirds of their DNA is of Caucasion origin, lending support to the theory that they may be descended from a 'lost legion' of Roman soldiers... Many of the villagers have blue or green eyes, long noses and even fair hair, prompting speculation that they have European blood." (Genetic tests may prove theory of China's lost Roman legion, Nick Squires, Telegraph, London/ Sydney Morning Herald, 25/11/10)

... but 'lost Jewish tribes' are indistinguishable from their fellow countrymen?

"A 19-metre-tall Jewish menorah... rises from a mountain overlooking the city of Manado, courtesy of the provincial government. Israeli flags decorate motorcycle taxi stands, one near a six-year-old synagogue... Long known as a Christian stronghold and more recently a home to evangelical and charismatic Christian groups, the Manado area in northern Indonesia has become the unlikely setting for increasingly public displays of pro-Jewish sentiments as people have embraced the faith of their Dutch-Jewish ancestors... They researched Judaism at an internet cafe in Manado, turning to Google for answers... 'We're just trying to be good Jews', said Toar Palilingan, 27, who, wearing a black coat and a broad-brimmed hat in the ultra-Orthodox style, led a Sabbath dinner at his family home recently with two regulars. 'But if you compare us to Jews in Jerusalem or Brooklyn', said Mr Palilingan, now also known as Yaakov Baruch, 'we're not their yet'." (Indonesia's novice Jews turn to Rabbi Google, Norimitsu Onishi, The New York Times/Sydney Morning Herald, 24/11/10)

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