Re: [tied] Re: Croatian: Etymology

From: Mark Odegard
Message: 3019
Date: 2000-08-08

My information is mostly what the online Britannica gives, plus the web sites they provide:
Yes, if your mother was Jewish at the time of your birth, you are Jewish.
But one can also convert to Judaism, and it is conversion, at least among the upper classes, which is the present case. The child of a converted Jewish mother is as Jewish by birth as any other Jew.
The Khazars are obscure, and would be virtually forgotten was it not for the religious connection. While their language is said to be Turkic, when dealing with Steppe peoples, language and ethnicity have to be carefully looked at. The Khazars certainly did not meet the usual expectation of nomadic Turkics wandering west, but were rather sedentary. Their center was also the Volga-North Caucusus, which raises additional questions. This region is an ethno-linguistic goulash. Language replacement would seem to be a factor here. Turkic may have been their chancery language/lingua franca.
As for the religious issue, it is to be noted they fought off the Islamics near the Caspian; they also seem to have not been on the best terms with the Byzantines. Instead of Christianity or Islam, they seem to have chosen Judaism as a way to keeping apart from either.  It should also be stressed, I think, is that normative Rabbinical Judiasm was not the monolithic thing it is today.
There is a lot of controversy here. It's a fascinating question, though.
----- Original Message -----
From: Pavel Iosad
Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2000 1:30 PM
Subject: RE: [tied] Re: Croatian: Etymology

Hello everyone,
This is my first post, so sorry for any slips ,
As far as my knowledge of the Khazar Caganate (not Khanate, definitely) lasts, the Khazars were a people akin to the Mongols. They established a powerful state around the 8th century in the North Caucasus and lower Volga. However, the country was subject to an influx of Jews due to its strategic position, and finally the state authority passed to the Jews.
The "original" Khazars couldn't possibly become Judaists, since Judaism is not a proselitic religion (you can't become a Jew unless you're the child of a Jewess).
The power of the state passed to the offspring of Jewesses and Khazar nobility, and the hereder Khazars lost all rights. The Caganate was crushed by the Kiev princes only in the beginning of the 10th century.
-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Odegard [mailto:markodegard@...]
Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2000 4:36 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Re: Croatian: Etymology

From: John Croft

Interesting from a Biblical mythology point of view.  Strange how the
"kurgan fact" parallels "medieval myth".  In modern times, Arthur
Koestler also tried similarly to connect Ashkenazi Jews to the
medieval Jewish Khazar Khanate.
Tried to connect?  It's my understanding that the Khazarian influx, mixing with Sephardim originating from the west, has been proven by genetic testing. The Khazars, from my reading, were quite fair.