Genetic testing, Jewish style.

I have no idea how genetic testing works outside the Jew-on-Jew baby-making bubble, but for us in the family it’s a fascinating tour through Jewish history.

We went today to get checked out, just in case. I’m a mutt from one Turkish/Bulgarian parent and one Eastern European chulent mix parent. This automatically helps decrease the chance of conceiving a child with the typical Eastern European all-in-the-family diseases, but you never know. My husband is a hybrid of Romanian/Austrian and Polish genes.

Now, what do all those details matter, right? If you’ve thought like me your whole life, you’re thinking, Ashkenazi or Sephardi? Spit it out. But actually, they really ask about the specific countries your parents and grandparents are from. After the nurse gets all the details, she enters them into this giant chart; your genes go in the grid and then your partner’s genes go into the grid accordingly. Then she matches them up and checks out what the chances are as well as which of the many tests you should take.

So a rough sketch of this chart looks something like this:

I couldn’t believe it. I thought this was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. It’s like a map of Jewish exile and diaspora throughout the ages.

We were handed a printed form of about six tests to take and thankfully, we passed through all of them without any high risks. I guess in humans, mutts are valuable to have around. Unless you’re Hitler, of course.






One response to “Genetic testing, Jewish style.”

  1. Shira Avatar

    I can totally relate to the ‘better to be a mutt’ thing. Tsadi and I only needed 2 tests since I’m 3/4 Lithuanian 1/4 Ukranian and he’s 100% Iraqi. And we probably didn’t even need those.

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