Jewish Genetics

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein looks at genetic studies that smash the myth that Ashkenazi Jews are not Semitic–a myth perpetrated in our day by Arthur Koestler. He links to a NYT story that reports,

The shared genetic elements suggest that members of any Jewish community are related to one another as closely as are fourth or fifth cousins in a large population, which is about 10 times higher than the relationship between two people chosen at random off the streets of New York City….Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews have roughly 30 percent European ancestry, with most of the rest from the Middle East, the two surveys find. The two communities seem very similar to each other genetically, which is unexpected because they have been separated for so long.