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Are You a Descendant of King David?
A Look at Rabbinic Sources

Page 4

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Chassidic Sources

A number of Chassidic works include genealogies of admorim (leaders) referring to descent from King David. To name a few:

Keren Shlomo (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.

Pinu'ach 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 Lowe the Elder, leading both ways to King David. The family names of this dynasty are Safrin and Eichenstein, with Klingberg a derivative family.

Sefer 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.

Of 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, Ehrlich, Moskowitz.


If 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.

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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.