03 December, 2008

Who are you judging?

Forewarning: Jew rant! If you aren't Jewish, well, this may not be interesting to you at all. If you are, well, it may be just a little interesting.

I recently came across an interesting post by the descendant of an Anusim on Daas Torah: http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/08/descendants-of-marranos-anusim-iii.html

Before I get started here I want to thank Nancy for posting that. Like Nancy, I am also a descendant of Puerto Rican Anusim (on my father's side-so hi! we're cousins!) and Mexican anusim on my mother's side.

Now then, I am pissed off by the responders that took apart her post point by point and 'refuted' it. First, that person does not actually know what they are talking about. ncyid enough to reply to those points, and someone again tried to refute what she had to say. Um, get over yourself? Customs need to be entirely and absolutely Jewish in origin? Stop cutting your son's hair on their 3rd birthday then. Have fun researching the rest of your customs too, you might be surprised. Even horrified! Fun for the whole family!

Second, as someone descended from people who fought and struggled to hold on to who they were, some of whom very recently began to give up only to have people in my generation say "wait! This is important!" how dare anyone question if we should be 'part of the Jewish people', or as another poster put it, although more compassionately, 'rejoin the Jewish people'. Excuse me? Rejoin? If y'all want Rabbinic sanction on us, then make it happen. I'm more than willing to do whatever little dance a rabbi thinks I should do to convince them that, 'yeah, really Jewish!' for the sake of my kids, but dude, treating us like outsiders? Like Gentiles who aren't actually Jewish? Step off. I know who I am, I know who my family is, and I'm going to raise my kids to be PROUD of who they are, thankyouverymuch.

Third, 8 generations of documentation isn't enough for you? Oh really? How far back is your documentation? Where did you get that straight blonde hair? How about those sparkling blue eyes? Don't tell me your bloodline is 'pure' and then tell me and my cousins that having actual written records of where our family comes from that it isn't 'enough' because YOUR rabbis can't agree with each other (Sephardi rabbis FTW!). You want documentation? How about our genealogies. Heck, how about a DNA test? (MtDNA For the win, I did it, you can too!) Makes me wonder how many of my 'accepted' brethren would pass a DNA test? (I'll still accept you! Much love!) I'm not sorry we didn't live in a shtetl, I unashamedly do not teach my son Yiddish (Ladino for us, thanks, bye) and our history and struggles are just as real as any other group of our people. We are Sephardi and PROUD OF IT, so whatever issues you have with having to prove just how Jewish you are, keep them to yourself. You want to change the world? You want to make sure our people don't disappear and that horrific acts like the Holtzbergs deaths mean something? a Jew is a Jew. Accept it, get over it, and figure out how to bring us all together instead of trying your hardest to continue to keep us all apart. Peace out! (Oh yeah, and? PR Jews FTW!!!!!)

Next time: Hanukah! Yay! Much happier ;)


M. Miriam Herrera said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean--and can really empathize. I am a Chicana Jew and didn't feel truly Jewish until I went to live in Israel in the mid-80s. In Israel there was no question about my Jewishness--there were so many others like me, from Mexio, Puerto Rico, Argenting, Chile, etc.--and all descendants of conversos. Too bad that Jews in the US are too slow to get this message because too many so-called Messianic Jews (in reality, Christian Missionaries) are targeting our people and taking them in with promises of "true" Judaism. Nice to hear of you, hermana!

nava said...

Wow! Seriously? People here keep making me think it would be even harder for us in Israel. Good to know that my dream of someday heading over could actually be a good one! Thanks so much for commenting!

M. Miriam Herrera said...

I don't think things would be hard in Israel because there are so many there likeus--but I was there in the mid-80s. Let's hope things haven't changed that much. I did go through an "offical" conversion, which made my status unquestionable, especially because I couldn't prove an unbroken lineage. (BTW, this is so hard for mestizos to do!) I know that now there are some reputable organizations trying to help Spanish anusim to return, but you have to be careful that they are not hiding their Messianic connections. You can google " Juan Mejia," who I think is still in rabbinical school. Look up his website, "Kol tuv sefarad." His advice would be terrific. All the best, Miriam