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October 24, 1966

Mosaic Dietary Laws

Author Affiliations

Portland, Me

JAMA. 1966;198(4):488. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110170200041

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To the Editor:—  Although Armenians consider themselves pure Caucasians, their resemblance to Jews is well known, as both groups frequently have the same physical features and same mental abilities. A partial common ancestry between them is related to the inhabitation of the center of Armenia by the Bagratid tribe, mostly of Hebrew origin, which finally settled in the Caucasian mountains. The medical news of The Journal(197, July 11, 1966 adv p 30) establishes more than a resemblance, as both have the same affinity for an inborn error of metabolism, the cause of the familial Mediterranean fever. There is no doubt in my mind that Jews and Armenians are genetically related.The point I want to demonstrate is the questionable value of the Mosaic dietary laws. I am amazed to read even in medical literature (JAMA173:323, 1960) that these laws were "a sound program of preventive medicine," and