I’ll add that using the word ‘Ashkenazim’ for Northern and Eastern European Jews and ‘Sephardim’ for Jews from Spain is separate from the idea that the Ashkenazim aren’t really descendants of persons from Israel. Ordinarily they are just considered two different groups who have ancestral connections with Israel (and that’s what I was agreeing to, not to theories about the Khazars).
Good gravy. Are there still people who believe that?
"'Ashkenaz" is a traditional Hebrew name for Germany. 'Ashkenazi Jews are simply German Jews, just as Sefaradi Jews are Spanish Jews.
The 'Ashkenazi rite is furthermore based on the rite of 'Eretz Yisra'el while that of the Sefaradim is based on Babylon. And (though this is the opposite of what most people think) the 'Ashkenazi pronunciation may actually be closer to the ancient pronunciation of 'Eretz Yisra'el than that of the Sefaradim who are now more associated with it.
Thank you very much.