Answers to Questions by Yair Davidiy (7 September 2017, 16 Elul, 5777)
Are sephardic Jews the most noble linage of Jews?
All Jewish communities are a mixture of Jews who came from different places.
Â The Sephardim derive their name from Spain, i.e. "Sepharad" in Hebrew.
Â When the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492 many went to North Africa and the East.
Â They joined Jewish communities that already existed in those places.
Â Perhaps because they were more learned and culturally advanced the guest communities often adopted the customs the Spanish Jews brought with them.
Â For this reason all North African and Eastern Jews are often referred to as "Sephardim."
Â Don Isaac Abarbanel was a government minister to the King and Queen of Spain before the Expulsion.
Â He was also very learned and wrote a copious and thorough commentary on the Bible along with other works.
Â Abarbanel relates a tradition that after the Destruction of the Temple many descendants of King David came to Spain.
Â King David had had numerous descendants and was to have more.
Jeremiah [NASB] 33:
Â 22 As the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.
The present day Jews mainly descend from the Tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, with a minority representation of the other Tribes.
Â Despite the presence of aristocratic elements from Judah among the Sephardim they may be dominated more by Benjamin whereas the Ashkenazim incline more to Judah.
Â Sephardic Jewish society in some communities may emphasize more the importance of family affiliation.
Â Among the Ashklenazics family is also very important but someone who is very learned or has money or a combination of the two or something else can climb upwards more easily.