I wrote an earlier article showing the unbroken chain from the Exodus in Egypt (circa. 3300 years ago). The article takes us through the end of the biblical era (circa. 2500 years ago), over 1500 years in Babylon (aka. Iraq/Iran) (in this case, ending about 1000 years ago), Spain (ending about 600 years ago), and then through Eastern Europe (ending circa. 75 years ago) through today’s Jews in the United States and Israel.
Further to the written article, slides are provided below with some more details such as the Yehoakhin Ration Document linking the written Bible to the chronology in Babylon, as reported by “independent third parties” (e.g. those of the Babylonian kingdom), and The Chronicle of the Cid from the Spanish in the 1500s.
A higher quality version (easier to read) can be downloaded here in PDF format. The “private” version for my family’s seder actually continues to my youngest daughter. If you shoot off from this tree somewhere, I am also happy to provide an editable version that you can freely markup and continue to your own family. Just contact me and I’ll get back to you.
We start with the Genealogy in Ruth – this takes us from Nachshon, brother-in-law to Aaron who was at the Exodus itself.
There’s Nachson. 🙂
Now we take it through the first temple. These are the Kings of Israel. This is lifted straight from the written Bible as well as Talmud where this is recorded.
Here’s a depiction of the kingdom of Judea and Israel near the end of the First Temple Period. After this, the Jews become dispersed, mostly to Bablyonia and later to Italy.
This tablet was found in Iraq corroborating the name and the description of what happened to one of the last kings of Israel, taken into exile.
The descendants were then heads of the yeshivas, courts, and Jewish people in exile where we prospered under the Saasinid Empire.
Here’s a picture of such a yeshiva with a map showing the location. Today, these locations are Falluja, Baghdad, and other places heard in the news.
The story of Mar Ukva, told in the Talmud, is that he used to give to the poor anonymously and avoided getting caught at all costs, once throwing himself into a fire because that was better than embarrassing someone who was receiving. (He apparently seemed to trust that he’d live, and he did.)
Here’s the rest of the Babylonian line … though there are other branches that can be used, this is the shortest and probably one of the best documented and many of these are great scholars known in the Torah.
When Babylon became less friendly under Muslim rule (their friendliness fluctuated), Jews found refuge in Spain under Christian rule. This went very well, but didn’t take long until the Jews did better under the Muslims once again.
Now the lineage starts to fan out into Eastern Europe, especially with the welcoming of Jews in Poland with laws more favorable towards Jews than non-Jews!
In this family tree, the migrations became more common though still ‘only’ happening every few generations.
This takes us to very modern history…
… with no more than about 40 distinct seders to take us back to Nachson, the first in the water.