Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Biblical Babes: Regarding Rivka (aka Rebekah) by Baruch Kogan

Arranged marriage was common among European aristocrats until pretty recently.

Inbreeding is not deleterious in and of itself, except when it concentrates deleterious recessive traits. However, over time, these traits wash out. Advantageous recessive traits do not. Examples of successful sustained inbreeding in humans include the Egyptian Pharaohs. In other mammals, you have the Naked Mole Rats, which are eusocial and where the queen breeds with her offspring, with no ill effect.

In any case, this is not totally relevant to us, because in our society, cousin marriage is combined with a steady inflow of converts.

For instance, the tribe of Judah is descended from Tamar, a Canaanite woman. Joseph married Asenath, a Egyptian noble girl, and the tribes of Ephraim and Menashe come from her. Moses married Tzipporah, who was either a Midianite or a Kushite. The Davidic dynasty comes from Ruth, a Moabite convert. Etc., etc.

Your Pakistanis are not Semitic but Aryan, by the way. Cousin marriage is also practiced in Iran, and has been from the time of the Ancient Persians, and is common among Hindus. So you might as well refer to it as a "despicable Aryan practice"

The mentality of Abraham, who sends Eliezer to find a wife for his son, is not "find him a hot wife." This is the normal thinking in a society of sexual anarchy, where people mate like wild dogs coming together, i.e., the modern West. You should not project it onto our patriarchs, who were completely different people living in a different time with a different mentality. In a normal, functional society, this is not how things are done. You look for a good family, if possible (Abraham didn't have this option,) and good character traits. When you put people together who are generally compatible, and their marriage is a fait accompli, they learn how to love each other with the years. Notice that when they were married, Isaac was 40. When a man marries late, he does not look for the same things that he does when he marries early, and in any case, Isaac was subject to his father's authority in all aspects (notice how his life was an almost complete parallel of Abraham's).



Thanks for your response, I was hoping you would chime in.  I appreciate your comments on marriage in a more holistic patriarchal context.

I should have credited Moldbug for the inbreeding comment, but I was trying to draw you out and it worked.  I am over 13% Ashkenazi myself, and grateful for the admixture, granted to me by my great-grandmother who was trafficked by fellow Jews to the remote tip of South America as a burlesque dancer and prostitute.  Her village in Eastern Europe was later targeted for a pogrom, so I guess it worked out after all.  August beginnings!

Pakistani Muslims tend to be either conquered Hindus of any caste, or else converted members of the lowest castes, seeking social equality as Muslims.  I don't know what kind my neighbors might be, but the level of inbreeding is staggering.  It takes a long time and a large population to wash out deleterious genes, the Paki's aren't there yet, obviously.  Hindus are highly endogamous within their castes but not so much into cousin marriage, the rampant inbreeding among Paki's has to be the Muslim/Arab (hence Semitic) influence I think.  

Thanks again, Baruch, hope to hear from you more.

(c) 2017 Lynn Lockhart & Baruch Kogan


  1. Maternal great-grandmother?

    Cousin marriage is common among Hindus in some parts of India:

    Incest and cousin marriage were lawful in pre-Islamic (i.e., very Aryan) Persia, for instance, this:

    There are many different sorts of Pakistanis, from the Pashtuns (a lost Hebrew tribe, btw) of the Northwest to the Baluchi of the Southwest, to the Tajiks of the North to the Punjabis of the East. Much of Pakistan was not part of South Asia culturally, but rather Central Asia/Greater Persia. Hard to make a generalization. Odds are your neighbors are Punjabi or Pashtun...

    Marrying your cousin makes sense, if you don't have any majorly bad recessive traits running in the family. Nothing inherently disgusting about it. The Europeans think it's gross because the Church cracked down on it to keep familial dynasties from getting too strong many centuries ago.

    Incest is disgusting to us only because it was forbidden in Judaism and its mutant offspring. Apparently, the highly advanced civilizations of ancient Egypt and Persia (and I hear China, though don't have details) were not repulsed by it.

  2. She was my dad's grandmother, can I still sign up for an Israeli passport? I think my dad's brother has one.

    Do you see much cousin marriage in your community? I seem to remember a study done in Israeli kibbutz that showed that the kids brought up in communal families did not marry each other later in life, that is they picked up the sibling aversion to sexual relationships. Sibling marriage vs cousin marriage would seem to be a bright line.

    My neighbors speak Pashto, and really, B, I don't think you want to claim them. I have met enough of their friends and family to know that the cousin marriage has taken its toll, though the husband and his brother are highly intelligent. My point is also that first cousin marriage is the default preference for them, compared with being acceptable but much less common in India. Even going out to second cousin, the genetic similarity is much lower, except perhaps after many generations.

    Ashkenazi had a better genetic basis to start from, but there are quite a few genetic conditions (as I am sure you know) that are almost exclusive to that population and can be quite devastating. If those mutations also provide a benefit, they stay in the population at some equilibrium level. Endogamy has risks, especially when the population is small.

  3. I think the Law of Return only goes as far as grandkids. Converts are welcome, though.

    I liked the Pashtuns I met in Afghanistan, in general. Wild people, but very kind and cultured in their own way. I also liked American and Balkan hillbillies. What can I say?

    There are genetic conditions we have which the other nations don't (many of them neurological-Cochran and Harpending theorized that these were linked to intense selection for higher IQ) but on average we are very healthy and live a very long time:

    I'm aware of the kibbutz study. This doesn't say very much, though-you spend a lot more time with the neighbor's kids than with your cousins from the next village over.

    Cousin marriage is very rare in today's Israel. Lots of intermarriage between Ashkenazim, Sepharadim, Yemenites, etc.

    1. Thanks, B, I enjoy your contributions. Look out for the next installment of Biblical Babes, would love to hear from you on that, or any other, topic!