Tuesday, October 26, 2004

A Genealogist's Dream

Genealogy is one of my hobbies. However, I have only been able to trace my own family back to about 1840 in the "Old Country". It has always been a dream of mine to know the complete history of my family -- from their exile from Eretz Israel after the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash to their wanderings through Europe before winding up in Russia.

I have always thought it would fascinating if we Jews, who are not Cohanim or Levi'im, would know which tribe we descended from. I have wondered if having this knowledge would give us enlightenment into our own individual personalities.

I recently came across an interesting teaching in Rambam's Mishneh Torah. It said: "When he [Moshiach] defines the lineage of Israelites, he will make known their tribal lineage alone, stating; "He is from this tribe and he is from another tribe."

So here it is - every genealogists dream! Maybe we should stop searching for birth certificates, death certificates, census records, and immigration records and start putting our emphasis on something else ;)


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