Khazars-Türks and Khazar Jews
The letter sent by the Kiev Jewish community in the middle of the 10th was written in Hebrew. Only the word «son» (bar) was of Aramaic origin. Maybe, in this context, it means belonging to the clan.
Let’s look at the names of these Kiev Jews of the 10th century. The letter refers to 12 names:
0) Mar Jakob bar Hanukah (Mr. Jacob, son of Hanukkah) — the person to whom the letter (request for cash assistance) was dedicated. His name is mentioned in the text. This name is biblical, and the name of the father (middle name) is derived from the name of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.
1)Abraham the parnas (Abraham the breadwinner), that is, a rich person, possibly a merchant, thanks to whom the community was fed.
2)… jel bar Manas (…jel son of Manas). His father bore a Turkic name, while he himself most likely received a Hebrew name.
3)Reuben bar Gostiata (Reuven son of the Guest). A man with the biblical name Reuven, whose father bore the Slavic name «the Guest» (the second meaning is «merchant»).
4)Bar Kybar Cohen (Son of Kyabar, or Kaibar, Cohen). This is the son of a man with a Turkic name, and the Jewish priestly title of cohen. The name of this person is not indicated at all.
Maybe he really was a cohen, whose ancestors held a high position in the Khazar state and gave their children «prestigious» Khazar names. It is more likely, however, that he was a Khazar-Turk who, in Kiev, joined the Jewish community that existed there. After the capture of Kiev by the Varangians, the remaining Khazars had to go to the service of the new masters, or join the Jews.
In this case, a Khazar named Kyabar joined the Jews. As a representative of the former “titular nation”, he sought recognition as a “genuine” Jew, claiming the highest priestly title, which was inherited only.
5)Samson Judah “called Swarth” (Samson Judah nicknamed “Swarth”). This man has two names, both biblical. The nickname is translated from the Scandinavian Germanic language as «black». A hint that the Scandinavian dialect was a living language among the people of Kiev at that time.
Klyosov may deny the Norman theory as much as he pleases, but historical reality stubbornly peeps out from the Jewish document of the mid-10th century.
But maybe Swarth was a Varangian? This is unlikely: why would a person from a dominant group join the Jewish community? In Kiev at that time it was more profitable to be a Varangian than a Jew. The Jewish community lost revenue from trade through the Khazar empire, and was even forced to ask for help from the richer community in Egypt.
6)Hanukah bar Moses (Hanukkah son of Moses). Again the name Hanukkah as a personal name. The father of this man bore the most common Jewish name of all time, Moses.
7)Qufyn (Qufyan?) Bar Yoseph (Kufyn son of Joseph). A bearer of a Turkic name, whose father bore a common biblical name. Most likely, these are converted Khazars who joined the Jewish community, or a clan of mixed origin.
8)Manar bar Samuel Cohen, (Manar son of Samuel, cohen). A man with a Turkic name Manar, whose father bore the common biblical name Samuel. As in the case of (4), it claims the highest priestly rank, which is inherited. Either «real» cohens, close to the Khazar authorities, gave their children Khazar names, or Khazar rulers who converted to Judaism proclaimed themselves cohens for the sake of prestige. Most likely, both of them got married to each other.
9)Judah bar Isaac Levite, (Judah the son of Isaac, Levite). Ordinary (most likely “genuine”) Jew, claiming only the modest title of Levite (temple minister).
10)Sinai bar Samuel (Sinai the son of Samuel). The name of Mount Sinai as a personal name, and the father bearing the usual biblical name Samuel.
11)Isaac the parnas (Isaac the breadwinner), see also (1).
Turkic runic inscription: Okhqurum — “I read it” follows the letter.
And now let’s take a look at history, arithmetic and genetics.
Of the twelve people mentioned, seven bear Jewish names only. Two of them are “breadwinners,” most likely wealthy merchants. «Jewish Sloboda» of Kiev was located at the «Jewish» (Lviv) gate at the western entrance to the city. From here the road led west to Europe.
Let’s recall that the city of Kiev flourished because the northern branch of the Great Silk Road from Europe to China passed through it. Perhaps the Khazars adopted Judaism in order to “drag” the Silk Road from the Muslims to the north, and to receive large incomes?
For the time being, the leading role in this trade was played by Jews. The Khazar empire also held onto this trade, until the Varangians cut this path precisely in Kiev. Having conquered Kiev, the Norman prince Oleg “cut off” Khazaria from Europe, and at the same time opened a new trade route through Kiev: “from the Vikings to the Greeks”, which was controlled by Scandinavian merchants. It was then that the Jews of Kiev lost their basic income.
But let’s back to the letter. It was read by an official who signed a letter in Turkic with a runic letter: “I read this”. Which Kiev official could read a letter written in Hebrew and sign in Turkic with a Turkic letters? Well, of course, this official was Khazarian.
It turns out that, despite the hostile relations between the Kiev princes and the Khazar Khagan, competent Khazar officials served in Kiev. By the way, the West European sources of that time called the Russian Kiev prince a Khagan …
The new Varangian rulers needed competent officials, and only Khazar officials were at hand. Perhaps Princess Olga invited Christian missionaries from Constantinople and Western Europe to get rid of the Khazar dependence.
One of the main reasons why rulers invited missionaries and converted to Christianity or Islam was the need for competent officials. Priests taught literacy to the ruling elite, merchants, clerks.
In Kiev, before the adoption of Christianity, only Jews and Khazars were literate, but Jews cherished their knowledge for themselves, for their trade and money. The Khazar state was the only one where Jewish literacy became the property of the ruling class and officials, thanks to the conversion of the top to Judaism.
And yet, was the official who checked the letter a member of the Jewish community, or were there two separate communities in Kiev, Jews and Khazar Turks? Most likely, there were two communities. The Kiev district of Kozary (Khazars) was located in Podil, in the east of the city, while the Zhidovski Gate, where Jews lived, was the western gate.
Now let’s back to arithmetic.
The seven “purely Jewish” names can be divided into two groups.
One group, the names (1), (5), (9) and (11), are the “most common” biblical names that are used by all Jews, wherever they (we) live.
The second group, the names (0), (6) and (10), are the Hebrew names and patronymics that contain, along with the “usual” biblical names, the name of Hanukkah (twice) and the name Sinai. For comparison, let’s recall that in those days when Kiev Jews wrote their epistle, the Khazar commander Pesach defeated the army of Prince (or Khagan?) Igor in Samkerts. Is that why lustration (verification) of this letter was needed? Maybe, these Jews conspire with their fellow believers, the Khazars, against the prince …
Today, the names Hanukaev and Pisakhov are the most common among mountain Jews, while absent among other Jews…
The second-largest group of names includes people whose names or patronymics have nothing in common with Hebrew: these are (2), (3), (4), (7) and (8), a total of 5 names.
Four of them contain Turkic names or patronymics. Two of the Turks consider themselves to be cohanim. These claims for dignity may indicate the Khazar, perhaps even royal, origin of their birth.
Why, then, did these people enter the Jewish community and not the Khazar community of Kiev? Probably, they did not find a place in the administration of the Varangians. Perhaps they were not trusted because of their high descent (belonging to the royal family of the Khazars). On the other hand, they could be of mixed Jewish-Khazar origin.
The name (3) “son of Gostiata (the Guest)” is obviously Slavic. It is understandable, the Slavs, along with the Vikings and the Khazars, were the main and long-standing residents of Kiev. Here is an example of how one of the Slavs joined the Jewish community, and his son became a Jew. By the way, the word «guest» actually had a second meaning: «merchant». Maybe a Slavic merchant married a Jewish girl? And there is an additional conclusion: the Slavic language was in use in Kiev along with Varangian and Khazar.
Let’s consider, how mountain Jews were connected with the Khazars? Briefly speaking — initially. Shortly after the Khazar royal family fled from the center of the Western Turkic Khaganate to its outskirts, to Northern Dagestan, Jewish refugees from the great Persian Empire arrived there. The empire was engulfed in turmoil, or revolution, as anyone likes, led by revolutionary Mazdak. Supporters of Mazdak demanded that the property and the wives of wealthy people be divided fairly.
About one million Jews lived in Mesopotamia at that time, and many of them were wealthy, mainly due to trade with China along the Great Silk Road. They became refugees.
From Mesopotamia and Iran, Jews moved north to Armenia, Khorezm, Caucasian Albania and Dagestan. It is possible that these wealthy merchants, who maintained ties from China to Europe, were looking for alternative trade routes to bypass Iran in turmoil. In the north of Dagestan the Khazars “met” with the Jews.
Iranian-speaking «Mountain Jews» initially took part in the creation of a new Khazar state. Jewish merchants needed a military empire that could secure trade routes. The army of Khazaria, including the commanders, was largely composed of mountain Jews. The Jews also controlled trade, which brought the main income to the treasury (and not some symbolic tribute paid by the «conquered» tribes).
While creating their own vast empire, the goal pursued by the Khazars, was not tribute, but peace and the prevention of robberies on the paths of trade. Jews and Khazars — this was a symbiosis, the purpose of which was to receive income from trade.
Nevertheless, the Khazar-Turks did not accept Judaism voluntarily. Both sources, describing the history of the Khazar state, mention the violent revolution carried out by the commander Bulan (according to the Khazar king Joseph), aka Sabriel (according to a letter from a Khazar Jew living in Constantinople). During the revolution and the seizure of power, Bulan «restored the religion of his ancestors, Judaism.»
Sure, for the Khazar Turks, Judaism was not the religion of their ancestors. It turns out that the Jew Bulan \ Sabriel seized power and imposed Judaism on the Khagan and his clan, as well as, possibly, some other Turkic clans that ruled the Khazar empire.
At the same time, the Khagan moved his headquarter from Dagestan to the Volga, closer to the nomadic Turkic tribes. The unilateral reliance on the mountain Jews of Dagestan as the basis of the army and the apparatus of officials turned out to be dangerous for the Khazar rulers, and they tried to balance the influence of the Jews by opposing them to the Turks.
The complete merger of the Khazar Turks with the Jews of Khazaria never happened. This is noticeable by the existence of separate communities for Jews and Khazars in Kiev. Knowing the Hebrew script, Khazar officials continued to use both their runic script and their Turkic language.
Tsar Joseph (or his scribe) wrote his letter to the Cordoban Jewish nobleman Hassday ibn Shaprut in Hebrew, but the Khazar scribe in Kiev (a contemporary of Tsar Joseph) read a letter from Kiev Jews written in Hebrew and wrote in it a resolution in Khazar in runes.
Khazaria was not a Jewish state. It was a multi-tribal state in which the Khazars ruled, and the Jews enjoyed great influence. The Khazar Turks, those who accepted Judaism, were rulers.
The Jews of the Khazar empire “mingled” with the ruling Khazars-Turks due to marriages, but continued to be a separate community, the main occupation of which was trade and craft, as well as maintaining the Jewish religion and teaching literacy.
In the last period of the Khazar empire, the Khazar Turks converted to Islam, while the Jewish community retained Judaism. In connection with the destruction of the empire, the Jews left its capital Itil, which was depopulated.
The remains of Itil were not discovered because there were no massive stone buildings. The ruling Khazar group maintained a semi-nomadic lifestyle. Ordinary people, including small merchants and artisans, lived in light temporary houses, the remains of which burned down, decayed and were covered with flood silt.
The old Jewish communities on the outskirts of Khazaria remained in their places: in the North Caucasus (Mountain Jews), in the Crimea and Tmutarakan, and, as we see, in the large multinational trading city of Kiev.
The composition of the Kiev Jewish community, judging by the names, was as follows.
More than half of its members (7 out of 12) were “traditional” Jews, among whom three had obvious Mountain-Jewish names or patronymics. Four can be attributed to the Khazars-Turks (most likely converts mixed with Jews), and one of Slavic origin. And we do not know who the mothers of these people were.
Let’s turn to Behar and Kliosov, or more precisely to the genetic data.
Among Ashkenazi Jews, 13% carry the male R1A gene. Behar and Klyosov claim that all Jews received this gene from their Middle Eastern ancestors via Rom or Spain. In fact, this gene possess 6% of Arab men and 4% of Jews who left Spain. Where did the «extra» 9% came to Ashkenazi Jews from?
Here we must consider the results of Behar’s investigation, that the Ashkenazi men bearing R1a-Y2619 Ashkenazi Levite Y-DNA (total 7.9%) are of Iranian origin. Such a result fits the Khazarian hypothesis with one important correction: this gene belonged to the Khazaria Jews who came from Iran and Mesopotamia, not just to the Khazar-Turks. It means, that Eran Elhaik/Das’ hypothesis may appear partially correct, too.
If so, we must find another Khazar Turkic gene, and most suitable appears to be Q-M378 Jewish gene. According to Wikipedia, «It is widely distributed in Europe, South Asia, and West Asia. It is found among samples of Hazaras and Sindhis. … It is also found in the Uyghurs of North-Western China in two separate groups. The Q-M378 subclade and specifically its Q-L245 subbranch is speculated to be the branch to which Q-M242 men in Jewish Diaspora populations belong».
Having 7.9% of R1a-Y2619 plus 6% of the Q-M378 Jewish subclades, we obtain about 14% of «Khazarian» genes among Ashkenazi men. This figure is «minimalistic», since Jews of Khazaria may bear J1, J2 and other genes of Middle Eastern origin, too. The genetic studies of Mountain Jews may resolve the dispute about Ashkenazi Jews» origin.
Regarding laughable «yiddish-Iranian language» hypothesis of Elkhaik, the explanation of the German language of the «Iranian» (Scytian=Ashkenazi) men is simple: «Mame loshn» was indeed Mame loshn, that is kids of «Scythian» fathers spoke German, like their moms…
Non-Jewish subclades of the haplogroup R1A are carried by the Turks and Scythians, the predecessors of the Turks throughout the Great Steppe, and the predecessors of the predecessors, the famous arias. Hey Hitler, aren’t you occasionally Khazar? But no, his relatives turned out to be North Africans …
We, Ashkenazi men, could receive an “addition” of 6% of Turkic genes from the Khazar Turks, through Jewish communities, to which the Khazar “gers” or their mixed descendants joined. An example is the Jewish community of Kiev.
The «Khazar» hypothesis of the origin of the Ashkenazi of Eastern Europe can be partially true, if we take into account that the Khazar Jewish communities existed separately from the Khazar Turks, although Jews «mixed» (married) with the Khazar-Gers. And that more than half of the Khazar Jews were “genuine” Jews, who came mainly from Mountain Jews, who in turn were descendants of immigrants from Iraq and Iran. 8% of the «extra» R1A in Ashkenazi men is the final result of all mixings and relocations.
And finally, to get the true genetic picture, let’s back to arithmetic. Let’s take into account our female half, which Klyosov for some reason wants to ignore (such a chauvinist!). According to recent genetic studies, most of the Ashkenazi female genes came from Italy. Khazaria does not play here. 14: 2 = 7% of the entire Ashkenazi population. There are Khazars among us, but not so numerous.
Mixed marriages for Jews were a way to avoid degeneration and genetic death. Glory to God, but even greater glory to our grandfathers and grandmothers who married “strangers” in violation of Jewish traditions. However, marriages with “Gers” (converts to Judaism) were quite in line with tradition. The exception was for the Cohens, who were allowed to marry only among themselves. If this establishment was respected, today the Cohens would be all mutants. Since this did not happen, it means the Cohens broke the rules, thank God. The rabbis who decided to determine our nationality by mother legitimized many «mamzers». These were smart people …
Jews of Western Europe could get to Khazaria along the Great Silk Road. 9th-century Arab historians briefly mentioned Jewish merchants from Marseilles, whom they called the Radanites. When Muslims blocked the southern routes from Europe through the Middle East to China, the Radanites moved to Germany and led trade with China through Krakow, Kiev and Khazaria.
It is known that Charlemagne greatly encouraged Jewish trade. Most likely, then the Jewish merchants moved the center of their trade to Germany. Those four “signatories” of the Kiev letter, which bore purely biblical (and not Caucasian-Jewish) names, could well include Jews of European descent.
The self-name «Ashkenazi» simply means «Scythians», and is taken from the Bible. As we know, the Turks not only subjugated their Scythian predecessors, but also mingled with them. It seems that the Jews called all the steppe inhabitants of Eastern Europe, including the Khazar Turks, «Scythians.»
But why did the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe decide to call themselves the «Scythians», while the Jews of Spain and France took other biblical names (Sfarad and Tsarfat)? Perhaps the Jews of Germany and Eastern Europe wanted to explain in this way their difference from the Jews of Western Europe.
Maybe they actually considered themselves descendants of the «Scythians», that is, the Khazars? In those days, the highest “Ihes” (prestige) was considered to be the descendants of the royal Khazar family! Or vice versa, the Jews of Khazaria ranked themselves as “Scythians”, that is, as a population subject to arrogant Khazar Turks?
It is also possible that the name Ashkenaz was originally the Hebrew name of the country of Khazaria. Geographically, the country of the Scythians was exactly where the vast Khazar empire subsequently spread. When this empire sunk into oblivion, the name Ashkenaz was transferred to the Jews of Germany and Central Europe, and then to their new place of residence, Germany. This happened in the 13th century.
The conclusion is that the Khazar hypothesis of the origin of Ashkenazi may be true, but a correction is needed: genetically, the Jews of the Khazar land were Mountain Jews, who partially mixed with the Khazars-Turks. The proportion of carriers of the Turkic-Khazar genes among Ashkenazi men does not exceed 6%.
Most male Jews who arrived in Europe through Rome were of Middle Eastern descent, as indicated by the predominance of male genes J and E, both among the “Spaniards” and among Ashkenazi. Since the Jews of Khazaria carried genes of both Iranian and Middle Eastern origin, it is difficult to establish the proportion of male mountain-Jewish genes among Ashkenazi Jews,
Ultimately, Iranian and Turkic genes carry up to 14% of Ashkenazi men, which is 7% of the Ashkenazi population. Spanish Jews are represented by the same Middle Eastern J and E genes as Ashkenazi, plus 4% of R1a genes of Middle Eastern origin. Doron Behar and Anatoly Klyosov ignore the possibility, that Jews of Eastern and Central Europe could receive both Middle Eastern and Iranian and Turkic genes through immigration from the east (from Khazaria) and from the southeast, from Armenia, Kurdistan, and Iran (according to Eran Elhayk»s hypothesis).
Geneticists have found that all 4 million Ashkenazi men came from 350 men who lived in the 13th century. Why there left so few Jewish men in 13th century Europe? One can only guess about this. Maybe it was a plague that Jewish merchants brought from the east? The «goys» accused of the plague just the Jews. But these were the Jews who suffered from the plague more than everyone else. Maybe the rabbis decided to recognize the “mamzers” as Jews with the purpose to restore the dying communities?
Among the Ashkenazi women, Turkic-Khazar genes were not distinguished. It turns out that Jewish men from Khazaria arrived in Europe without families, like refugees or single traders, and found brides in a new place of residence. Their descendants began to be called «Ashkenazi», that is, «Scythians.» They spoke German, the language of their mothers …