I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Dayan Family, y-dna, Hillel and Calabria: A Crypto Jewish Journey

The Dayan family are a famous Jewish family originally from Aleppo in Syria. Aleppo is also famous for the Hebrew version of the Bible known as the Aleppo codex. Aleppo has been hit hard by all the turmoil in Syria in recent months. The Dayan family has always claimed Davidic status from their descent from a branch of the Babylonian Exilarchs. However like the House of Hillel the Dayan family has Davidic status only through a female ancestress who was a Davidic heiress of the Babylonian Exilarchs descended from the House of David of R1b L21 ydna. The Dayan male line is of the Tribe of Manesseh of ydna R1a Z2123 a branch of R1a Z93 (the y-dna signature of those descended from King Osee the last King of Israel and his Manassehite warrior horsemen who went into the East after the fall of Israel to the Assyrians). Many of the Dayan family were learned rabbis and prosperous merchants.

The Dayan ancestor David Soslan was briefly the Babylonian Exilarch as David V in the late 12th century as the maternal grandson of Chasdai V Babylonian Exilarch (born 1106 d.1150). He was deposed by a faction that did not approve of having an Exilarch who was only of Davidic status on the maternal line. He was replaced by Samuel II (of Mosul) who was the son of Natronai III who had been deposed by David Soslan when his faction had proclaimed him Exilarch on the death of Daniel II the maternal uncle of David V Soslan. David Soslan later married Queen Tamar of Georgia. David Soslan was descended from the branch of the Georgian Royal House that descended on the male line from the Khazar Princes descended from the lost Tribe of Manasseh who had re-embraced Judaism in the 8th century. 

The first to use the name Dayan in the Aleppo family was Moshe Dayan who was born in 1500 who was a descendant in the direct male line from David X Babylonian Exilarch (b.1305) who reigned in the 14th century.  David X descended from Hisdai (or Chasdai) VI the son of David V Soslan by his first wife his maternal cousin Chana the daughter of Solomon V Babylonian Exilarch (d.1165).  David X was deposed in 1341 and his family moved to Aleppo the home of his wife Lady Tzadika the daughter of Rav Sadaya II of Aleppo. His son Mar Sadaya of Babylon married Ada the daughter of Rav Moshe II of Aleppo who descended from Azarya (Azariah) the Babylonian Exilarch (d.1000). The descendants of Mar Sadaya were known as the Sadayan claimants to the throne of the Exilarchy. Sadayan later became Dayan. The name Dayan means "Judge" in Hebrew.


The Dayan family were the leaders and Rabbis of Aleppo for many centuries. The Aleppan Jewish community was joined by many Sephardi Jewish families after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. The leading family of the Sephardi Aleppan Jews was the Kassin family. They were later joined by many Francos (French and Italian Jews) from the 17th century onward. The Francos were much less strict and were more modern in their lifestyle than the older Aleppan Jewish families. In the 18th century two factions arose in the Aleppo community- the more rigid group led by 
Rabbi Linaido and the more liberal group by Rabbi Yehuda Kassin. Aleppo also started to decline with the lessening of trade with Persia so that many of the more liberal group left  Aleppo towards the end of the 18th century. Many of these families traded throughout Europe and had branches of their extended families in Spain, France, Italy, England, Poland, Ukraine and Ireland. Rabbi Yehuda Kassin's reform minded son Raphael became the Chief Rabbi of Bagdad and a supporter of those Jews who were more modern in their interpretation of Jewish law and custom.

Joseph Dayan (b.1670) a prosperous Aleppan merchant established a merchant base in Messina in Italy in the first half of the 18th century and he sent his two Francos sons-in-laws Eliyahu Hillel of Bagdad and Rafael Safra of Aleppo to Sicily with their wives Sarah and Zeraphia. Eliyahu Hillel took the name of Andrea Aiello and his wife Sarah became Seraphina and Rafael became Rafaele Seraphino and his wife changed her name Zeraphia to Sophia. They joined the other crypto-Jewish families in Messina and practiced Judaism in secret. Andrea and Seraphina Aiello's two children Yosef and Shoshana born in Aleppo became Guiseppe and Rosa Aiello. Guiseppe Aiello married his cousin Sarah (Serafina) Seraphino the daughter of Rafaele and Sophia. His sister Rosa Aiello married the Jew Guiseppe Montefiore of Toscano near Belmonte in Calabria. Guiseppe Aiello's son Serafino was the crypto Hazan (worship leader) or Rabbi of the crypto-Jewish communities of Calabria (with his friend Angelo Martini) who had spend time in Modena with Rabbi Cohen (Laudatio Sacerdoti) in study and married the Rabbi's niece Guiditta (Judith).

Joseph Dayan the merchant's grandson Joseph Dayan with his wife Esther Dayan the daughter of Rav Joseph Dayan (b.1730) moved to Poland and the Ukraine areas. His son Isaac Dayan who was married to Chana Kassin, the daughter of Rav Yehuda Kassin of Aleppo, had a daughter Sarah who married her cousin David Morel of Krakow. David Morel was the son of Liebel Morel (aka Yehuda Samuel or Semel or She'muel) of Krakow and Malka Dayan the sister of Isaac Dayan. David and Sarah's daughter Chana (Anna) Morel (b.1812) was to marry Michele Aiello the son of Francesco Aiello of Messina and his wife Rosa Montefiore of Cozenza in Calabria. Joseph Dayan(born 1670) had a grandson Saul or Sha'ul Dayan who was a merchant in Sicily who took the name Paulo Diana and also used the name Paulo Daino.

Guiseppe Aiello aka Joseph Hillel born 1728 as a Jew in Aleppo Syria married Serafina Seraphino aka Sarah Safra born in 1730 as a Jewess in Aleppo. Their children* were:

1. Serafino Aiello aka Serach Hillel born 1750 in Messina Sicily. He married Guiditta (Judith) Sacredoti. Their children were: Maria Aiello (born 1775) who married a crypto-Jew Pasquale Nero of Conflenti in Calabria descended from the de Castro and de Neira families of Spain; Sarah (Serafina) Aiello (Jakes) (born 1780) who married a crypto-Jew John Taylor (Schneider) of Derbyshire in England of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry; Carmela Aiello (born 1782) who married the crypto-Jew Andrea Serra of Naples the natural son of Prince Pasquale Serra of the Davidic House of Serra; Francesco Aiello (born 1790) who married the Jewess Rosa Montefiore of Calabria descended from Mexican crypto-Jews.

2. Salvatore Aiello aka Mordechai Hillel born in 1752 at Messina in Sicily.

3. Serafina Aiello aka Sarah Hillel born in 1755 at Messina in Sicily. She married Benvenuto Sacredoti (born 1753) the son of Jacob and Benvenuta Sacredoti (ha Cohen/ Coen) of Modena. They had a son Giacomo (Jacob) Benvenuto of Calabria (born 1773).

4. Carmela Aiello aka Malka Hillel born in 1760 at Messina in Sicily. She married Rafael Montefiore of Cozenza in Calabria. Their daughter was Rosa Montefiore who married her cousin Francesco Aiello.

The Hillel family of Bagdad in Iraq were known as a Jewish Francos family and most likely their ancestor came to the Middle East from Italy with other Jewish Francos families who settled in Syria and Iraq beginning in the 17th century. The Hillel or Aiello family claimed descent from the Davidic House of Hillel. They go back to the Ayala family of Spain to the Kings of Pamplona who descended from Jimeno (Sh'mon) the Strong the Mothman Atlal (aka the Hillel of Mumhan) who was the son of Ecgric or Athelric (the Ruler Hillel) King of East Anglia (d.636) whose father was Malfdarta the Hillelite Nasi of Mumhan (Munster) in Ireland. These Hillelite Nasiim came to Munster in the 4th century from Palestine (Israel). Variants of Hillel are Aiello, Ajello, Ayala, Aillil, Atlal. In Ireland the initial "h" sound was transferred to an "a" sound becoming Aillil and in Spain the final "l" was dropped. My own maternal grandfather was named Hillyer but his sisters pronounced his name as Illya.

Gamaliel VI the Nasi of Palestine came to Ireland in 415 AD where his daughter Morag (Mongfind) was the first wife and Queen of High-King Eochaidh. Gamaliel VI's son Mar Nathan (aka Crimthann Mor) and his younger daughter Merab (aka Meadaib or Mira Davida) accompanied him to Munster (Mumhan). In Munster was re-established the dynasty of the Hillel Nasiim (Ua-n-Aillil).

 Nasi was originally the title for a Presiding Prince of Davidic status in the Jewish Sanhedrin and later the Davidic leader of a Jewish community. The Jewish term Rosh Galuta or Rosh Golus means Davidic Head of the Exile and is also translated as Exilarch in English. The Babylonian Exilarch was the Davidic Prince with authority over all the Jews in the East. The Jewish Kings of Narbonne were the Exilarchs of Western Europe descended from the Babylonian Exilarchs. The Palestinian Nasi or Davidic Prince from the House of Hillel was also the Nasi or Presiding President of the Great Sanhedrin. When Gamaliel VI died in 426 the authority of the Great Sanhedrin went into abeyance and Judaism lost its magisterial teaching authority. 

Many ultra-orthodox Jews today think that the Dayan family of Aleppo and Rabbi Yosef Dayan (born 1945 in Mexico) are direct male line descendants of King David and they claim that Rabbi Yosef Dayan is the heir and Davidic Nasi. He is supported by the preparatory ultra-orthodox Sanhedrin established in Tiberias in 2004 as candidate for Jewish King. While Rabbi Yosef Dayan does have Nasi status it is through a maternal heiress not the direct male line. 

* They also had other children which may have included Rafaele Aiello and Michele Aiello. I have seen at least one Aiello descendant who has tested for ydna and belongs to R1b ydna.

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