Kerala Nairs and Jews 9 Surprising Similarities

Kerala Nairs and Jews 9 Surprising Similarities



  • This is purely prepared based on my creativity and imagination and its doesn’t represent any community or persons.
  • No cultural,historical  or social authenticity and base to this article. Just my imagination write up.So take it in that sense.

The Word “Jews”  been doing rounds  in media for quite long time. So very accidentally i strike this similarities of our Kerala caste Nair and Jews.Nair is  Hindu Religions caste and Judaism is a religion and we can’t equate or compare it technically. But what i am doing here is just listing out few similarities which i accidentally came across.



  • What is Judiasm ?

Its Ancient Semitic religion.

  • What is Nair community?

A Kerala upper class caste in Hindu religion.


1. Sur-names used as last name with so much proud

  • People Still use surname as a last name in both communities with head up with so much proud.

Common Example of surnames used in Nair community.

  • Nair:Achan,Adiyodi,Asan,Elayidom,Eradi,Ilayidam,Kaimal,Karnavar,Kartha,Kunnath,
  • Kitavu,Kurup,MannadiarMenokk,Menon,Nambiar,Nayanar,Nayar,Nedungadi,Padanayar,
  • Panicker,Pandala,Pillai,Saamoothiri,Thampi,Thankkal,Unnithan,Valiathan,Vallilath,Vazhunnor,Vellodi

Nair surnames were traditionally carried through matrilineality(mothers surname) although most modern Nairs  societies follow patrilineal name

Common Example of surnames used in Jew community.

  • Jews:Levy ,Peretz,Mizrahi ,Weinberg, Goldberg, Einstein, Hofstein, Rabinowitz, Horowitz, Metzenbaum, Himelbaum, Blumenthal, Eichenthal, Adler, Winkler, Seinfeld, Berkenfeld, Weissblum, Rosenblum, Goldberg, Silverstein, Mizrach, Cohen, Levy, Miller, and Rothschild

Some Jewish people got their last names from their profession, while others got their last names from the street or area that they lived in. This made it easier for people to find them and use their services.

2.Both are Strict Endogamy Community

What is Endogamy ?

  • Endogamy is the practice of marrying within the same caste and community.

Even in 2014 both Jews and Nair community strictly marrying from their community only.They claim that endogamy encourages group affiliation and bonding and also it helps to preserve their cultural values and  beliefs etc.

Proponents claim that endogamy encourages group affiliation and bonding so both communities have high degree of endogamy.


3.Community Welfare and bonds 

  • Jews and Nairs  believes that, they are uniquely connected with their community members each other. Regardless of where they live in the world. Both community have that community spirit.

4.Subclasses with in the Community

Both have different subdivisions with in their community.

  • The Nair class name also encompasses Menons, Panickers, Pillais Unithanz, Thambies, Nambiars etc. too.
  • Jews have 4 denominations with in their community  Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist. Within these denominations themselves, however, there is a great degree of variation in practice and observance.

5.Still Exist Origin Dispute 

Origin of both community is still a research topic. 

Orgin Of Nairs :

  • Nairs are not indigenous to Kerala, One theory is that Nairs are actually the descendants of the Newars of Nepal.
  • There exists another disputed view that the Nairs and Rajput (A dominant Hindu military caste in northern India) are related, moving south and thus becoming the Nairs .There is no real proof behind this claim, which may or may not be true.
  • Yet another theory is that the Nairs are indigenous to Kerala, but gained the sharper features and fairer complexion due to intermarriages with the Namboothiris (The namboothiris are the brahmins of kerala….)

Orgin Of Jews :

  • Abraham, his son Yitshak (Isaac), and grandson Jacob (Israel), are referred to as the patriarchs of the Israelites. All three patriarchs lived in the Land of Canaan, that later came to be known as the Land of Israel.(also called the “Jewish People”).

6.Consanguinity (Marrying first-cousins)

  • What is consanguinity ?

Marrying uncles daughter or cousins.

  • Marrying uncles daughter is common  In Nair community as part of matrilineal culture. By imposing such a custom the forefathers had this secret agenda to keep the wealth confine inside that family itself. But due to DNA issues none is following such customs nowadays.
  • Owing to their dispersion among populations professing creed different from their own, Jews have married ear relatives more frequently than the rest of the world.The marriage of first cousins and even of uncle and niece is quite legal and usual among them .The tendency seems to have begun early, since Abraham is represented as having sought a wife for Isaac in his mother’s family. It has been contended that the neurotic tendency of Jews is due to these consanguineous marriages.

The consanguinity rate among the couples was 2.3%, including 0.8% first cousin marriages, with the highest consanguinity rate among Eastern Jews (7.1%).

7.Matrilineal Societies

Both Nair and Jew community Followed Matrilineal system.

What is Patrilineal societies:

  •  Are societies in which inheritance and royal succession trace through the father of the family. 

What is Matrilineal societies:

  • Are those in which royal succession and inheritance trace through the mother.


Matrilineal System in Nair community

  • In the Matrilineal system, the family lived together in a Tharavadu (joint-family system) which was composed of a mother, her brothers and younger sisters, and her children.The oldest male member was known as the Karanavar and was the head of the household, managing the family .Lineage was traced through the mother, and the children belonged to the mother’s family.All family property was jointly owned. In the event of a partition, the shares of the children were clubbed with that of the mother. The Karanavar’s property was inherited by his sisters’ sons rather than his own sons.

Matrilineal System in Jew  community

  • The Jewish culture is an example of one that has matrilineal descent. For example, in many communities, if a person’s mother is Jewish and father is not, the child still counts as Jewish since the line traces through the mother. In some matrilineal societies, matrilineal surnames are passed down from mother to daughter instead of the more traditional patrilineal surnames that go from father to son.


8.Hollywood and Mollywood domination’s of Jews and Nairs:

What is Mollywood ?

  • Mollywood is a film industry in Nairs populated Kerala.

What is Hollywood ?

  • Hollywood is a film industry in Jews poplated (5 milllion jewws in america ) USA.

What are common about Jews and Nairs in Mollywood and Hollywood ??????????

Jews in Hollwyood ?

  • Hollywood is ruling,controlling and managing my Nair.example:
jews actors
jews actors

Nairs in Mollywood ?

  • Mollywood is ruling,controlling and managing by Nairs
Nair actors
Nair actors

9.Cochin Jews had same status of that Kerala Nairs

Here i am going to explain the topic based on Cochin Jews and kereala Nairs.

  • The Jews do not see themselves as part of the Hindu caste system, but in the past the Hindus did treat the Jews according to their traditions.
  • According to tradition Hindu belief  any one who does not belong to the four Varnas (castes) is an outcast and untouchable.It means, all foreigners and non-Hindus are all supposed to be untouchables.But in reality neither all foreigners nor non-Hindus were treated as untouchables.Different religion followers got different status in different parts of India.
  • The Bene Israels had a different status from the Cochini Jews. The Bene Israels professed oil pressing and they had a status equal to a Hindu caste called Somvar Teli, which also professed oil pressing and were part of Sudra level (see caste system). Some orthodox Hindus treated anyone who wasn’t one of them as untouchable and therefore treated the Jews also as untouchables. But even though the Jews in west India had low status there were among them some who were landlords, businessmen and high rank officers in local armies.
  • The Cochini Jews had higher status. The Jews in Kerala were the business community of Kerala. They even ruled a small principality. They had aristocratic rights, such as use of elephants and sedans. They even had servants whose job was to announce their coming to the streets so that the low castes could move away from their way.
  • The relations between the Jewish communities of India are sometimes explained as affected by the Indian caste system but these relations can also be explained according to Jewish religious laws. The Baghdadi Jews were much strict about religious laws than the Bene Israel Jews. The Baghdadis did not mingle with Bene Israel Jews. The Baghdadis did not allow marriages between their children and the children of Bene Israel. They did not eat food prepared by Bene Israel and they refused to count the Bene Israel as part of the Minyan (the ten necessary to start a Jewish prayer). Many explain these relations as an influence of the Indian caste system on the Jewish communities.

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