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Judaism
History of Judaism

Are the Falasha Jews the original Jews?

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May 22, 2011 8:35AM

On the evidence, no, although traditional beliefs among the Falasha Jews is that they are from the tribe of Dan.

A 1999 study of the DNA of 38 unrelated Beta Israel (Falasha Jew) males living in Israel and 104 Ethiopians living in regions located north of Addis Ababa demonstrated that the male ancestry of Falasha Jews was from Ethiopia, not Palestine.

A 2002 study of Mitochondrial DNA (which is passed through only maternal lineage to both men and women) showed that the most common mtDNA type found among the Ethiopian Falasha sample was present only in Somalia. Thus the female ancestry of Falasha Jews was also not from Palestine.

The ancestors of Falasha Jews were converts to the religion.