We (all Ashkenazic Jews) are the children of Ashkenaz – as seen in the words of the poskim

(Continued from Three things that point to a common origin for various ‘tribes’ of Ashkenazic Jewry)

רבש”ה also pointed out, that not only those cultural hints mentioned earlier (such as our calling ourselves Ashkenazim, sharing the Yiddish language, and teitching a posuk of chumash) are proof of our common descent, it’s also the expressions which the פוסקים, like the רמ”א, the לבוש, the ב”ח, the ט”ז…….. down to Reb Moshe Feinstein, use, saying that we are מבני בניהם של אשכנז (descended from Jews of Ashkenaz), therefore we are bound to the poskim of Ashkenaz. That’s why we do not follow the בית יוסף, who has the Sepharadi heritage, which is parallel to Ashkenaz. We follow the Ashkenaz poskim because we are descended from them.

Note that none of the poskim mentioned above resided in Germany (אשכנז), at least as far as I know. They were from Central and Eastern Europe. And yet they still considered themselves the continuation of the Jewry of אשכנז.


4 Responses to “We (all Ashkenazic Jews) are the children of Ashkenaz – as seen in the words of the poskim”

  1. curious cat Says:

    Whats the difference whether you are descendants of Ashkanez or not? Its not descent which established minhag but makom. Until fairly recently, if you were an Ashkanazi jew that was moving to sefardi lands or the vice versa, you would switch your minhag to the place in which you now resided. this is why people with the last name ashkenazi are sefardim. its because their ancestors came from ashkanez and then rightfully switched their minhagim to the place where they lived. thats why today, you’ll have Kimchis and Maimons that are Ashkanaz.
    There ancestors were sefardi but they had accepted the minhag of the place they moved to. This state of affairs was largely undermined due to a few historical factors, firstly, many Jews had moved to America and Ashkanazim had assumed that America had no established minhag (in truth the sefardi minhag was established in America very early on as many Jews escaping from the inquisition found themselves on American soil) or they simply didn’t care. The same went with Israel where Ashkenazi Jews simply didnt care for the Makom that was considered the territory of the Beit Yosef and just stuck to there own minhagim nonetheless. this basically took the old minhag as to how minhagim were to be followed and threw it out the window. So much for keeping minhagim huh?

    • Treasures of Ashkenaz Says:

      “The same went with Israel where Ashkenazi Jews simply didnt care for the Makom that was considered the territory of the Beit Yosef”

      But if you ask other people, they will tell you that the רמב”ם is the מרא דאתרא in ארץ ישראל! See this post.

  2. Timothy Yacob Says:

    Question. Since Ashkenazim Jews are decended from Ashkenaz who was the son of Japheth, wouldn’t that make you a Japhetite? The Hebrew Israelites in the bible were decended from Shem.

    • Treasures of Ashkenaz Says:


      When I wrote that Ashkenazic Jews are basically all children of Ashkenaz, I didn’t mean it literally in the way you took it.

      What was meant was that they are basically descendants (to one degree or another) of Jews who lived in the territory dubbed Ashkenaz, which is the territory inhabited by certain non Jewish tribes called by that name, or thereabouts. Just like French Jews are not descendants of the Franks, but rather Jews who live in their land.

      You are correct that the Biblical Ashkenaz was not part of the Jewish ancestry, which went through Shem, son of Noah.

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