The ancient city of Ur, in Mesopotamia, was the birthplace according to tradition of Abraham, the main prophet and first patriarch of the Jews, as well as the first person to whom Yahweh appeared.
From this first monotheistic religion, an ethnic division of around 70 groups can be made, among which the Sephardim, Mizrahi or Ashkenazi can be found.
The latter will be mainly established in Central Europe, especially in the countries of Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Russia. Because of this, the Ashkenazi language, Yiddish, is a mixture of Old Hebrew, Old French, High German, and Northern Italian dialects.
The Ashkenazi are about 80% of the world's Jewish population (about 11 million people) and differ from the Sephardim in their pronunciation of Hebrew, in songs and liturgical rites, in cultural traditions and in language.
Due to the refusal to mix blood with individuals of other ethnic groups, Ashkenazi Jews have had a high percentage of inbreeding for many centuries. This can lead to the appearance of diseases of genetic origin, as well as perfect examples for tracing ancestry and some diseases through chromosomal changes.
Despite being 0.25% of the world population, Ashkenazi Jews have been winners of 29% of the Nobel Prizes since 1950 with illustrious names such as Einstein, Bohr or Goldstein. This may be in part because Jewish culture stresses the importance of effort, culture, and learning.
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