July 13, 2003
1. Letter from Australia
2. Article on Geneaology and Brit-Am Comment
3. Question: Aliyah for Israelites?
1. Letter from Australia
To have an Aussie as great Scholar of this important historical work and
for him to be an orthodox Jew makes me proud.
We are also Jewish Aussies like yourself and as a family we look forward to
the news letter that your organisation may send from time to time. But we
as Aussie Jews are naturally proud that an Aussie Jew is doing this great
work with others which is significant at this time in Human History.
We have been aware of the national identities of the Lost Tribes for 37
Years now and we are proud that our people in Israel are now putting this
altogether through the Torah itself.
2. Article on Geneaology and Brit-Am Comment
From: Joan Griffith
I thought this article was interesting in light of all the DNA items that
keep popping up.
There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity. General
The Atlantic Monthly | May 2002
The Royal We
The mathematical study of genealogy indicates that everyone in the world is
descended from Nefertiti and Confucius, and everyone of European ancestry
is descended from Muhammad and Charlemagne
by Steve Olson
few years ago the Genealogical Office in Dublin moved from a back room of
the Heraldic Museum up the street to the National Library. The old office
wasn't big enough for all the people stopping by to track down their Irish
ancestors, and even the new, much larger office is often crowded. Because
of its history of oppression and Catholic fecundity, Ireland has been a
remarkably productive exporter of people. The population of the island has
never exceeded 10 million, but more than 70 million people worldwide claim
Irish ancestry. On warm summer days, as tourists throng nearby Trinity
College and Dublin Castle, the line of visitors waiting to consult one of
the office's professional genealogists can stretch out the door.
I suspect that many people have had a fling with genealogy somewhat like
mine. In my office I have a file containing the scattered lines of Olsons
and Taylors, Richmans and Sigginses (my Irish ancestors), that I gathered
several years ago in a paroxysm of family-mindedness. For the most part my
ancestors were a steady stream of farmers, ministers, and malcontents. Yet
a few of the Old World lines hint at something granderthey include a couple
of knights, and even a baron. I've never taken the trouble to find out, but
I bet with a little work I could achieve that nirvana of genealogical
research, demonstrated descent from a royal family.
Earlier this year I went to Dublin to learn more about the Irish side of my
family and to talk about genealogy with Mark Humphrys, a young computer
scientist at Dublin City University. Humphrys has dark hair, deep-blue
eyes, heavily freckled arms, and a pasty complexion. He became interested
in genealogy as a teenager, after hearing romantic stories about his
ancestors' roles in rebellions against the English. But when he tried to
trace his family further into the past, the trail ran cold. The Penal Laws
imposed by England in the early eighteenth century forbade Irish Catholics
from buying land or joining professions, which meant that very few
permanent records of their existence were generated. "Irish people of
Catholic descent are almost completely cut off from the past," Humphrys
told me, as we sat in his office overlooking a busy construction site.
(Dublin City University, which specializes in information technology and
the life sciences, is growing as rapidly as the northern Dublin suburb in
which it is located.) "The great irony about Ireland is that even though we
have this long, rich history, almost no person of Irish-Catholic descent
can directly connect to that history."
While a graduate student at Cambridge University, Humphrys fell in love
with and married an Englishwoman, and investigating her genealogy proved
more fruitful. Her family knew that they were descended from an
illegitimate son of the tenth Earl of Pembroke. After just a couple of
hours in the Cambridge library, Humphrys showed that the Earl of Pembroke
was a direct descendant of Edward III, making Humphrys's wife the King's
great-granddaughter twenty generations removed. Humphrys began to gather
other genealogical tidbits related to English royalty. Many of the famous
Irish rebels he'd learned about in school turned out to have ancestors who
had married into prominent Protestant families, which meant they were
descended from English royalty. The majority of American presidents were
also of royal descent, as were many of the well-known families of Europe.
Humphrys began to notice something odd. Whenever a reliable family tree was
available, almost anyone of European ancestry turned out to be descended
from English royaltyeven such unlikely people as Hermann Göring and Daniel
Boone. Humphrys began to think that such descent was the rule rather than
the exception in the Western world, even if relatively few people had the
documents to demonstrate it.
Humphrys compiled his family genealogies first on paper and then using
computers. He did much of his work on royal genealogies in the mid-1990s,
when the World Wide Web was just coming into general use. He began to put
his findings on Web pages, with hyperlinks connecting various lines of
descent. Suddenly dense networks of ancestry jumped out at him. "I'd known
these descents were interconnected, but I'd never known how much," he told
me. "You can't see the connections reading the printed genealogies, because
it's so hard to jump from tree to tree. The problem is that genealogies
aren't two-dimensional, so any attempt to put them on paper is more or less
doomed from the start. They aren't three-dimensional, either, or you could
make a structure. They have hundreds of dimensions."
Much of Humphrys's genealogical research now appears on his Web page Royal
Descents of Famous People. Sitting in his office, I asked him to show me
how it works. He clicked on the name Walt Disney. Up popped a genealogy
done by Brigitte Gastel Lloyd (Humphrys links to the work of others
whenever possible) showing the twenty-two generations separating Disney
from Edward I. Humphrys pointed at the screen. "Here we have a sir, so this
woman is the daughter of a knight. Maybe this woman will marry nobility,
but there's a limited pool of nobility, so eventually someone here is going
to marry someone who's just wealthy. Then one of their children could marry
someone who doesn't have that much money. In ten generations you can easily
get from princess to peasant."
he idea that virtually anyone with a European ancestor descends from
English royalty seems bizarre, but it accords perfectly with some recent
research done by Joseph Chang, a statistician at Yale University. The
mathematics of our ancestry is exceedingly complex, because the number of
our ancestors increases exponentially, not linearly. These numbers are
manageable in the first few generationstwo parents, four grandparents,
eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparentsbut they quickly
spiral out of control. Go back forty generations, or about a thousand
years, and each of us theoretically has more than a trillion direct
ancestorsa figure that far exceeds the total number of human beings who
have ever lived.
In a 1999 paper titled "Recent Common Ancestors of All Present-Day
Individuals," Chang showed how to reconcile the potentially huge number of
our ancestors with the quantities of people who actually lived in the past.
His model is a mathematical proof that relies on such abstractions as
Poisson distributions and Markov chains, but it can readily be applied to
the real world. Under the conditions laid out in his paper, the most recent
common ancestor of every European today (except for recent immigrants to
the Continent) was someone who lived in Europe in the surprisingly recent
pastonly about 600 years ago. In other words, all Europeans alive today
have among their ancestors the same man or woman who lived around 1400.
Before that date, according to Chang's model, the number of ancestors
common to all Europeans today increased, until, about a thousand years ago,
a peculiar situation prevailed: 20 percent of the adult Europeans alive in
1000 would turn out to be the ancestors of no one living today (that is,
they had no children or all their descendants eventually died childless);
each of the remaining 80 percent would turn out to be a direct ancestor of
every European living today.
Chang's model incorporates one crucial assumption: random mating in the
part of the world under consideration. For example, every person in Europe
would have to have an equal chance of marrying every other European of the
opposite sex. As Chang acknowledges in his paper, random mating clearly
does not occur in reality; an Englishman is much likelier to marry a woman
from England than a woman from Italy, and a princess is much likelier to
marry a prince than a pauper. These departures from randomness must push
back somewhat the date of Europeans' most recent common ancestor.
But Humphrys's Web page suggests that over many generations mating patterns
may be much more random than expected. Social mobility accounts for part of
the mixingwhat Voltaire called the slippered feet going down the stairs as
the hobnailed boots ascend them. At the same time, revolutions overturn
established orders, countries invade and colonize other countries, and
people sometimes choose mates from far away rather than from next door.
Even the world's most isolated peoplesPacific islanders, for
examplecontinually exchange potential mates with neighboring groups.
This constant churning of people makes it possible to apply Chang's
analysis to the world as a whole. For example, almost everyone in the New
World must be descended from English royaltyeven people of predominantly
African or Native American ancestry, because of the long history of
intermarriage in the Americas. Similarly, everyone of European ancestry
must descend from Muhammad. The line of descent for which records exist is
through the daughter of the Emir of Seville, who is reported to have
converted from Islam to Catholicism in about 1200. But many other,
unrecorded descents must also exist.
Chang's model has even more dramatic implications. Because people are
always migrating from continent to continent, networks of descent quickly
interconnect. This means that the most recent common ancestor of all six
billion people on earth today probably lived just a couple of thousand
years ago. And not long before that the majority of the people on the
planet were the direct ancestors of everyone alive today. Confucius,
Nefertiti, and just about any other ancient historical figure who was even
moderately prolific must today be counted among everyone's ancestors.
Toward the end of our conversation Humphrys pointed out something I hadn't
considered. The same process works going forward in time; in essence every
one of us who has children and whose line does not go extinct is suspended
at the center of an immense genetic hourglass. Just as we are descended
from most of the people alive on the planet a few thousand years ago,
several thousand years hence each of us will be an ancestor of the entire
human raceor of no one at all.
The dense interconnectedness of the human family might seem to take some of
the thrill out of genealogical research. Sure, I was able to show in the
Genealogical Office that my Siggins ancestors are descended from the
fourteenth-century Syggens of County Wexford; but I'm also descended from
most of the other people who lived in Ireland in the fourteenth century.
Humphrys took issue with my disillusionment. It's true that everyone's
roots go back to the same family tree, he said. But each path to our common
past is different, and reconstructing that path, using whatever records are
available, is its own reward. "You can ask whether everyone in the Western
world is descended from Charlemagne, and the answer is yes, we're all
descended from Charlemagne. But can you prove it? That's the game of
Brit-Am Comment: The above article has made some valid points. On the
other hand, historically for long periods of time most people only married
members of their own or the neighboring village. More than that, in many
cases most people only married a first, second, or third cousin. This went
on for generation after generation. People did not always mix in so much.
Even now, we only really move in much smaller circles than we are really
God promised that He would preserve the seed of Israel:
Remember what we said on our commentary to Amos?
[Amos 9:9] FOR, LO, I WILL COMMAND, AND I WILL SIFT THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
AMONG ALL NATIONS, LIKE AS CORN IS SIFTED IN A SIEVE, YET SHALL NOT THE
LEAST GRAIN FALL UPON THE EARTH.
The dispersed of Israel and the exiled will always stay together or if
not will somehow intermarry with each other or if not their children (even
from mixed marriages) will still be counted as Israel. We do not know
everything (Quote of the year?). Our studies and what we have shown of
them demonstrate very well that somehow or other most of the northern
Tribes managed to stay together. A Talmudic sources say that the Jews of
Judah were destined to be dispersed all over but the Ten Tribes to remain
together in one or two or three places or more places but at all events as
3. Question: Aliyah for Israelites?
>Shalom from Kansas Mr. Davidiy,
>One simple question. Are the doors in Israel going to open for us
>Israelites? Is Aliyah a possibility for us in the near future? (ok, two
Really looking forward to hearing from you.
Before any changes become possible the Brit-Am message has to become
generally recognized and accepted.
Even after that it will not be straitforward.
At all events, getting the message out is an initial step and this is what
must be done.
What the future holds we do not know.
A friend told me about a recent study concerning climatic change suggesting
that movements of people in the west could become imperative much sooner
than we could imagine.
Our studies of Biblical passages have indicated that Lebanon and Syria
could be the areas the Lost Ten Tribes initially return to.
The Ten Tribes are referred to as a Brit-Am.
[Isaiah 42:6] I THE LORD HAVE CALLED THEE IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND WILL HOLD
THINE HAND, AND WILL KEEP THEE, AND GIVE THEE FOR A COVENANT OF THE PEOPLE
[Hebrew: Brit-Am], FOR A LIGHT OF THE GENTILES;
The Israelites will return and re-habilitate wasted heritages such as those
of Lebanon and Syria that are potentially very fertile.
[Isaiah 49:8] THUS SAITH THE LORD, IN AN ACCEPTABLE TIME HAVE I HEARD THEE,
AND IN A DAY OF SALVATION HAVE I HELPED THEE: AND I WILL PRESERVE THEE, AND
GIVE THEE FOR A COVENANT OF THE PEOPLE [Hebrew: Brit-Am], TO ESTABLISH THE
EARTH, TO CAUSE
TO INHERIT THE DESOLATE HERITAGES;
The Israelites were promised all the land between the Nile River and the
Euphrates River and beyond.
[Genesis 15:18] IN THE SAME DAY THE LORD MADE A COVENANT WITH
ABRAM, SAYING, UNTO THY SEED HAVE I GIVEN THIS LAND, FROM THE RIVER OF
EGYPT UNTO THE GREAT RIVER, THE RIVER EUPHRATES:
[Exodus 23:31] AND I WILL SET THY BOUNDS FROM THE RED SEA EVEN UNTO THE
SEA OF THE PHILISTINES, AND FROM THE DESERT UNTO THE RIVER: FOR I WILL
DELIVER THE INHABITANTS OF THE LAND INTO YOUR HAND; AND THOU SHALT DRIVE
THEM OUT BEFORE THEE.
[Deuteronomy 1:7] TURN YOU, AND TAKE YOUR JOURNEY, AND GO TO THE MOUNT
OF THE AMORITES, AND UNTO ALL THE PLACES NIGH THEREUNTO, IN THE PLAIN, IN
THE HILLS, AND IN THE VALE, AND IN THE SOUTH, AND BY THE SEA SIDE, TO THE
LAND OF THE CANAANITES, AND UNTO LEBANON, UNTO THE GREAT RIVER, THE RIVER
[Deuteronomy 1:8] BEHOLD, I HAVE SET THE LAND BEFORE YOU: GO IN AND
POSSESS THE LAND WHICH THE LORD SWARE UNTO YOUR FATHERS, ABRAHAM, ISAAC,
AND JACOB, TO GIVE UNTO THEM AND TO THEIR SEED AFTER THEM.
[Joshua 1:3] EVERY PLACE THAT THE SOLE OF YOUR FOOT SHALL TREAD UPON,
THAT HAVE I GIVEN UNTO YOU, AS I SAID UNTO MOSES.
[Joshua 1:4] FROM THE WILDERNESS AND THIS LEBANON EVEN UNTO THE GREAT
RIVER, THE RIVER EUPHRATES, ALL THE LAND OF THE HITTITES, AND UNTO THE
GREAT SEA TOWARD THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN, SHALL BE YOUR COAST.
Referring to "Ephraim" and the Returning Lost Ten Tribes, Zechariah says:
[Zechariah 10:10] I WILL BRING THEM AGAIN ALSO OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT,
AND GATHER THEM OUT OF ASSYRIA; AND I WILL BRING THEM INTO THE LAND OF
GILEAD AND LEBANON; AND PLACE SHALL NOT BE FOUND FOR THEM.
Lebanon is present-day Lebanon and Gilead is Syria. The Tribes east of the
Jordan occupied Lebanon and Syria and at times parts of present-day Iraq.
Is the proposed present invasion of Iraq connected to the future return of
Joseph to Gilead?
In the End times, there will come about a reconciliation and reunification.
Matters of religion and other differences will be decided in the Messianic
Era. Our task is to prepare the way and make both Judah and Joseph aware of
the real identity of Joseph. This is a first step that we must take and we
need your assistance and participation.
There may not be much time left. It is very important that this message
goes out. It is important for the Jewish people and it is important for the
Lost Ten Tribes. Zechariah (10:10) spoke of Ephraim inheriting Lebanon and
Micah says that when the Israelites return they shall inherit Bashan and
Gilead as in former times (7:14).
[Micah 7:14] FEED THY PEOPLE WITH THY ROD, THE FLOCK OF THINE HERITAGE,
WHICH DWELL SOLITARILY IN THE WOOD, IN THE MIDST OF CARMEL: LET THEM FEED
IN BASHAN AND GILEAD, AS IN THE DAYS OF OLD.
BASHAN AND GILEAD mean the present-day regions of Syria and Jordan.
Zechariah 10;10 says that Ephraim will possess Lebanon and Gilead meaning
Lebanon and Syria! These areas actually also include parts of Turkey and Iraq.
Part of the Return involves recognition of Israelite Identity. This is a
prerequisite and a duty:
[Malachi 4:5] BEHOLD, I WILL SEND YOU ELIJAH THE PROPHET BEFORE THE COMING
OF THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD:
[Malachi 4:6] AND HE SHALL TURN THE HEART OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN,
AND THE HEART OF THE CHILDREN TO THEIR FATHERS, LEST I COME AND SMITE THE
EARTH WITH A CURSE.
This verse refers to the Lost Ten Tribes returning and
identifying their ancestral fore-fathers from the Tribes of Israel. The
Lost Ten Tribes of Israel will be made aware of their Brit-Am Hebrew
identity. Judah will also know. This will be accompanied by a mutual
arousal towards repentance, reconciliation, and re-unification.
Brit-Am is working towards this goal and requires the assistance of
everyone to whom this truth has been made known. We believe in Divine
Providence and there is a reason why each one of you (and not others) have
come to realize this truth and have the duty of assisting us (to the degree
that you are able) to spread this message.