ScionologyThere's going to be a meeting of descendents of King David on October 19th in NYC at the inaugural of the Davidic Dynasty organization. And, then, a mass meeting is planned for May 2007 in Jerusalem.
Speaking of which, about ten years ago, I learned from my father, who had been in touch with the association of extended cousins with the same last name (in variant spellings), that our family was - reputedly - descended from the Baal Shem Tov. I had no idea if this was correct, I hadn't researched it myself, but I thought it was exciting at the time. The Baal Shem Tov is, after all, the founder of Hasidism and a very important mystic in Jewish history. And at the time I was researching a Ph.D. in early Jewish mysticism.
And, gee, at least there was someone back there of whom I had heard. Before then, it had been a huge black hole of geneology that ceased a very few generations back.
Sometime later, I mentioned this to a friend.
"My family is reputed to be descended from the Ba'al Shem Tov, " I said.
"Who? That peasant," he replied, eyes twinkling. He was from a litvisch family himself - from an anti-mystical branch of Lithuanian Judaism and also - as it turns out - he had real ichus - his family was descended from the Davidic line.
"Better than no one," I muttered and promptly shut up about it.
But - heh! - now it turns out the Ba'al Shem Tov is descended from the Davidic line as well!
Other illustrious Jewish figures down the centuries who traced their ancestry back to David include Hillel, Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi, Yochanan Hasandler and Yosef Karo. More contemporary leaders include the Baal Shem Tov, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the Lubavitcher Rebbe and former president Chaim Herzog.Take that Phillip S!
Here is the site that is associated with the meetings, but it doesn't list information for the October meeting, just for May. Or if it does, I haven't found it yet. Or maybe all the invitations have already gone out and the meeting is closed now.
And it gives information about who to contact for blood tests, to see if your geneology matches.
Meanwhile, I haven't found my last name on the list - despite that family tradition. Grr Argh!
Of course - keep hope alive - it's an incomplete list!
I'll just have to make a male relative do the blood test thing!