Pacific Jewish Center | Rabbi

The Rabbi on the Beach @ The Shul on the Beach

We’re All Family


This morning I found this article in my inbox. From time to time, PJC board member, Judd Magilnick sends me (and everyone else he knows) interesting links from all around the web, stretching to the outer limits of the blogosphere and conventional media.

Today’s link covers something that is always on my mind.

The column discusses the latest research in DNA testing to identify if one is Jewish. There is a gene that is only passed from the mother to the child and it can be tested using a cheek swab DNA test.

Jewish roots are cropping up in the least likely of places. Al Qaeda spokesmen, Catholic Priests, a former Buddhist Catholic Radio Host to name a few. Historically, Fidel Castro, Madeleine Albright also claimed Jewish ancestry.

Now, it is testable.

DNA testing makes it possible to identify your Jewish gene as well.

What is fascinating to me is the idea that we are all related and it is scientifically “trackable”. The first time I went to Israel as a teen I experienced a profound feeling. I felt like I was among family. Everywhere I went was family. Every person I saw was a relative. I have always felt this way and in Israel it was an elevated sense of consciousness.

When I worked at University of Southern California for Ashreinu I felt it every time I met another Jewish student.

Now, at the Pacific Jewish Center, and especially when we are at the Shul on the Beach, I feel it whenever someone new wanders in to our Shul.

Frequently, I remark to fellow Jews the first time we meet, “We’re cousins ya know! We’re all cousins.” I don’t need DNA tests to prove it to me. I can feel it.

Taken to the next level. Not only are all Jewish people one family. The entire human race is one family. Yes, we have our disagreements about things, but in the end we are all family.

I think this is a powerful idea. I think we should consider this when hate creeps into our minds. I think we should teach this to our children. I think the more we see our similarities in one another the more peaceful our world will be.

Just last week I blogged about a tragedy that happened to one of our “closer relatives”. I think a lot of us felt strongly about the issue raised then because we innately feel that this happened to family. This is a fair reaction.

We must treat our “closer family” like the closer family that we are. But we must also not lose sight of our broader family. The entire world is family, because “we are all related”.

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Filed under: All Posts, Musings & Observations, My Links, , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. Jack says:

    Very interesting.

  2. ….the theory of relativity

  3. It is fascinating to see biological connections between unlikely groups. Years ago I was a bone marrow match for a woman in Spain which means we had a common ancestor although she was not Jewish and I don’t do flamenco or chow on paella. On a more serious note, it is irksome when Jewish links to the Castros, Al Qaeda creeps and sometimes (incorrectly!!!) to gmach shmo himself are made. It’s as though we have some responsibility for the evil they wreak. Your idea that we are all part of one big human family is a nice idea in concept but there are just too many people out there whose actions and ideas are not exactly in synch with Torah values.

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