Are You a Descendant of King David?
A Look at Rabbinic Sources
A number of Chassidic works include
genealogies of admorim (leaders) referring to descent from King David.
To name a few:
(The Vineyard of Solomon), by Reuben Zak of Ustila (Lublin, 1930) tells
of the descent of Mordechai of Chernobyl (Twersky) and Israel of Ruzhin
(Friedman) from a number of great rabbis, like Moses Isserles and Samuel
Edels, who were themselves descendants of the Davidic line.
Raza (Decoder of the Mysteries), by Itzhak Halevi (reprinted in Jerusalem, 1965), includes a genealogy of the Zbidachov-Komarno dynasty.
It, too, tells of descent from the Lurias, Rashi, and Judah
Elder, leading both ways to King David. The family names of this
dynasty are Safrin and Eichenstein, with Klingberg a derivative family.
Ha-Yachas Mi-Chernobyl ve-Ruzhin (The Genealogy of the Chernobyl and
Ruzhin Dynasties), by A.D. Twersky (Lublin, 1938), deals with the
Chassidic families Twersky and Friedman, and related families. It
mentions descent from King David of Nathan Nota Schapiro ABD Grodno,
Aaron of Karlin, Abraham (Twersky) of Chernobyl, Isaac of Drohobycz, and
Abraham Joshua Heschel of Opatow.
the many more sources I'll add this one because it is so rich in names: Rabbeinu
Moshe Isserles (REMA), by Asher Siev (New York, 1972). His maternal
grandmother was the daughter of Jehiel Luria ABD Brest-Litovsk (d.
1470), a descendant of Rashi. This is stated in the first few paragraphs
of the book. It has two chapters about his descendants, too many to name
them all. Here are a few: Morgenstern, Reines, Meisels,
Mirkes, Ehrenreich, Friedland, Rabinowitz (of Lida),
Zifferstein, Heilprin, Margulies, Rokeach, Parnas,
Schor, Horowitz, Itinga/Ettinger, Rubin, Glickman,
you are a descendant of one of the above-mentioned families you may be a
descendant of King David. I stress the may. It will remain a
probability until some more old scrolls or records are found that will
fill the gaps and confirm it. In the meantime, let's study the sources,
listen to the many rabbis who were certain that this is so, and not
dismiss it lightly with a doubt or a joke. I presented here a sampling
of sources, and modest number of family names. It may be worth your
while to inquire whether you are related to one of these families. You
may not be. But if you are, you certainly would want to know it.
1 | 2
| 3 | 4 |
David Einsiedler has
devoted his retirement years to rabbinic genealogical research and is a member
of the JGSLA. He is a native of pre-war Poland and lives in Los Angeles,
California. This article was originally published in the Spring 1988 edition
of Roots-Key: Journal of the
Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles (JGSLA) and is reprinted
with kind permission.