Polish Jews. Galician Jews. Lithuanian Jews. Ukrainian Jews. Hungarian Jews. German Jews. French Jews. English Jews. Russian Jews. Latvian Jews. Czech Jews. Slovak Jews. American Jews.
Different groups or are they basically of a common origin?
רבש”ה maintains that all Ashkenazic Jews (basically) share a common origin.
He points to the following as supporting this contention.
1) They all label themselves as Ashkenazic Jews. People who self-identify as Ashkenazic Jews (e.g. if you ask them, are you Sepharadic or Ashkenazic?), are (often unknowingly) stating that they are German Jews in origin (although you may have to go back hundreds of years and many generations to reach that point), as אשכנז = Germany.
2) The Yiddish language that they (or their parents, or grandparents) share. Yiddish is basically a medieval German dialect, albeit mixed with Hebrew words, and some from other languages as well.
3) When studying Torah, they ‘teitsch’ a posuk of chumash.
Question: What does teitsch mean? Can anyone teitch word teitch? What is the derivation and etymology of the word?
Teitch. Teutsch. Deutsch. Daytsh.
Answer: Teitch is a heavy Southern German pronunciation of Deitsch or Deutsch, which means German. So when we ‘teitch’ a posuk chumash, we basically are translating it into German (Judisch-Deutsch dialect, aka Yiddish).
True, there were other types of Jews as well in Europe, and some Sepharadim came to Ashkenazic lands at times. But generally speaking. And even when Sepharadim came into Ashkenazic lands, if they stayed there, usually after a while they intermarried with the locals and became Ashkenazic basically.
Sometimes people raise the question of the ספרדים, the Spanish Jews after their expulsion from Spain in 1492. Did they not settle in Ashkenazic lands then? I believe the answer to that is that they mostly, or perhaps I should say overwhelmingly, went to the Ottoman empire, and only a relatively small amount went to Ashkenazic lands.