The Ashkenazis: Jews or Khazars?

J-M's History Corner

Here, at long last, is the article I promised you in The Forgotten Jews almost 3 months ago.

The Ashkenazis, otherwise known as the Ashkenazim, make up the vast majority of world Jewry.  They come from Eastern Europe, particularly (but not exclusively) Germany.  The second-largest group is the Sephardim, who come from Spain, followed by the Mizrahim, who stayed in the Middle East.

However, there is a theory – founded in the 1800s, and holding some small degree of popularity today – that the Ashkenazim are not Jews; but rather, Gentile descendants of the Khazars.  The Khazars were a Turkish people whose empire, known as Khazaria, lasted from about 650 AD to 969 AD.

Is this claim true, or false?

THEIR NAME

This argument is used fairly frequently for arguing a Khazarian (or at least Gentile) origin for the Ashkenazim.  It derives from the following passage:

The sons of Japheth

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