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Jews whose ancestors lived in the Middle Ages in Germany and the surrounding countries, as distinct from those with a Spanish or oriental ancestry, the Sephardim. The name Ashkenaz in the Bible (Genesis 10: 3) was identified in the Middle Ages with Germany, hence Ashkenazim, ‘Germans’. There are no doctrinal divisions between Ashkenazim and Sephardim but each community preserves its own traditions.

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