About 3300 years ago the Jewish tradition
of the Kohanim
(priests) was founded. God instructed Moses: "Bring near you Aaron
and his sons with him from among the Children of Israel to minister to Me" (Exodus 28:1). Since that time, the heritage
of the Kohen
has been passed from father to son, generation after generation, to this day.
If all the Kohanim descend from one man, do they have common genetic markers? Amazingly, the answer is positive. A DNA study of Jews from North America, Britain and Israel (see Nature, vol. 385, 2 January 1997, p.32) has found clear differences in the frequency of certain male Y-chromosome haplotypes (neutral mu
Furthermore, the same significant differences in the genetic markers were found for Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, indicating that the genetic markers predate the diaspora. The genetic mixing that has taken place in the diaspora over the last 2000 years has affected the appearance of Jewish people around the world, but the unique Kohen gene is shared.
The Torah s
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