Friday, November 09, 2012

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Story After Story.

at the Western Wall with Reb Gutman Locks on Mystical Paths

     They walk up to the Kotel. It is seemingly endless. Each comes with his own story, his own life. Each Jew has a different history, all are important, in fact, all are essential, each is unique, and yet we are all one.

     He is a Philadelphia business man with a home in New Jersey who did not know if the storm destroyed his house.

     A lawyer who lives in Germany…during the War his family fled from Poland.  After the war they were not allowed to immigrate to America because the authorities thought that his Russian father was a communist. He also has a home in Tel Aviv which shows his great attachment to the Jewish people. His young son speaks only german. He had to translate to the boy when I told him that he had to marry only a Jewish girl.

     I asked him where he was born. He said that he was born and raised in Chile. I asked where his parents were born, thinking, as with so many Jews from Latin America of their age, that they must have fled Europe during the War and immigrated to Chile. He said that they were born in Chile, too. He told me that his family has been in Chile since the Spanish expelled them. I tried to recall when the germans reached Spain, and how they were forced to leave. Then he told me that he was talking about the Spanish Inquisition![i]

     This Jew is from Holland where he has lived all of his life. He was born in 1932 in Hague. His family fled to the north where they hid out until the end of the war. Most of his family was able to survive by pretending to be Xians.

He is a retired emergency doctor from S. Cruz, California.

A Popular Latin American Singer Who's Making It in Israel

     The father and son put on tefillin for the first time. He is from Denmark and moved to France many years ago.

     Ted is American. His mother is Jewish, but he did not know that meant that he is Jewish. This is the first time he has ever seen tefillin. He said that he is a "Torah observant Xian." He is married to a non-Jewish woman and has children. He really believes that he is doing what the Torah tells us to do! 
And you… what's your story?

[i] The Spanish Royal decrees issued in 1492 ordered the Jews and Muslims to convert or leave.

1 comment:

  1. The gentleman from Chile is most likely from the Jews who were expelled at the time of the inquisition, but remained Jewish throughout. Read about this particular group (think, 'Chueta' or something like that is what they are called). They didn't intermarry out of their group and married only from within to maintain their Jewish identity and kept the laws. He might be from that group. Many of the anusim did lose their identity from marrying outside, but this particular group, that he might be from, remained 100% Jewish.


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