Re: The death of the RTB model

From: <>
Date: Thu Feb 16 2006 - 07:50:02 EST

In a message dated 2/15/2006 8:02:49 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:
With regard to Isreal, one could make a strong case that God was more
concerned about cultural distinction than genetic isolation; he wanted Israel to
maintain its faithfulness to God.
There is no more important thing to orthodox Jews than their lineage and that
is obtained by genetic isolation.
From my review of Darwin's Cathedral:

"Wilson goes on to make a statement that I will quote in full because it
requires clarification:
“The fact that Jewish populations around the world are genetically more
similar to each other than to the populations among which they reside therefore
demonstrates an extraordinary degree of isolation achieved by cultural
mechanisms. Especially interesting is the fact that Judaism opposed the biological
interests of the most powerful members of the community – men – by restricting
their ability to import women from elsewhere. The genetic data shows that these
constraints were largely successful.”45
Wilson is not denying that Jewish communities import and export women from
elsewhere, but the exchanged women are specifically Jewish women. The men are
only restricted from importing non-Jewish women. This is the tradition
established by Abraham in Genesis when he finds Canaanite women morally unsuitable and
sends Eliezer to find the right bride for Isaac among the members of his
family and the house of his father. In the Middle Ages, Jewish matchmakers, or ‘
 “Traveled from city to city in an intricate network of cross pollination,
telling the father of a young man that a perfectly suited young lady had been
discovered two hundred miles away… Jewish law recognized this aspect of the
shadkhan’s function and stipulated that he was to be paid a higher fee when the
bride and groom [came] from widely separated communities. In this way he
literally interrelated whole communities and provinces.”46
There was also an additional consideration:

“From the days of the Talmud and for centuries thereafter, it was the
headmasters of the Higher Torah Academies who were customarily asked to recommend
eligible students for marriage. The reason is obvious. In addition to possessing
the necessary moral qualifications, these rabbis were also intimately
acquainted both with the elite young scholars who were considered the prize grooms and
the leading families of the community who supported the communal institutions.
 “Matchmaking” elite young scholars with the daughters of the wealthiest
entrepreneurs over many generations produced superior offspring. Prohibiting the
importation of non-Jewish concubines into Jewish communities ensured that all
of the community’s resources went only to the offspring of those carefully
arranged unions. In this way, superior lines were preserved and lavishly
nurtured. Jewish men were prevented from importing non-Jewish women from surrounding
populations because these non-Jewish women had not been carefully bred for
generations. Though a Jewish man’s short-term biological interests were opposed,
due to the religious restrictions, his community’s long-term evolutionary
interests were served."

This is a most interesting point for discussion.

rich faussette
Received on Thu, 16 Feb 2006 07:50:02 EST

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