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Tzina



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Join date : 2013-10-20
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PostSubject: Jewish.... again   Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:42 pm

Shalom. I was born to a Jewish mother in Italy; she passed when I was four. My father was agnostic/non-Jewish, but later converted to Catholicism when I was about six. I was raised Catholic and then married one.

The only tiny memories I have of being Jewish are lighting Shabbat candles, the Sh'ma, and not too much more Sad

My Rabbi considers me a "forced/coerced conversion" (to christianity) and I will need to go through a reversion process that parallels conversion. My classes begin in January.
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: Jewish.... again   Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:48 pm

Welcome back home Tzina!

I personally have never heard of a "reversion" process, but then again there are probably a lot of things I've never heard of!

If you don't mind me asking, what was it that made you decide to "return"?
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Tzina



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PostSubject: Re: Jewish.... again   Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:48 am

Thank you searchinmyroots :)

The process of returning in my situation is part of "Anusim" Halachic Return. As I understand (which is not much), it covers returns ranging from those who were stolen away by missionaries, to those who were forced to take an oath to a foreign creed, or a child whose faith is withheld for various reasons, amongst other nuances which are way over my head.

And why the decision? A trip to Israel in 2007 unraveled me. While everyone else wanted to tour the Sepulcher, I wanted to cling to the Kotel. For the first time, I felt at Home. I feel it's my identity, imprinted on my soul. I want to be joined to my People, to do what HaShem asks of me. The more I study the riches of Judaism, the more thirsty I am for truth. It's overflowing!

Do you have your story posted here?
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daniel eliezer

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PostSubject: Re: Jewish.... again   Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:31 am

Tzina,

Your story immediately brought to mind stories of rescuing Jews from convents after the Holocaust. You'll identify with the stories below totally.

Regarding your needing to undergo so-called conversion, one of my deepest desires is that every single Jew everywhere also undergo 'so-called conversion'. I don't say this because of doubt, but from the belief that having to affirm our identities of who we are, "I am a Jew" followed by immersion in the mikveh will give us, as individuals and as a people, so much - so much renewal and so much re-Jew-venation.

It's the deepest of blessings that you've never forgotten the Jew 'who you are'. Welcome home.

Daniel Eliezer

First Story:

During World War Two, countless Jewish parents gave their precious children to Christian neighbors and orphanages in the hope that the latter would provide safe havens for them. The parents expected that they, or their relatives, would take these children back if they survived the war. The few parents who did not perish in the Holocaust, and were able to reclaim their children, often faced another horror. While the parents had summoned the strength to survive the slave labor and death camps, or had hidden out for years, those who took their children were busy teaching them the ways of other religions.

[Additionally,] many Jewish children who were taken in by orphanages, convents and the like, had no parents or close relatives left after the Holocaust. When rabbis or distant relatives finally tracked down many of these children, the priests and nuns who had been their caretakers insisted that no children from Jewish homes were in their institutions. Thus, countless Jewish children were not only stripped of their entire families, they were also stripped of their souls.

In May, 1945, Rabbi Eliezer Silver from the United States and Dayan Grunfeld from England were sent as chaplains to liberate some of the death camps. While there, they were told that many Jewish children had been placed in a monastery in Alsace-Lorraine. The rabbis went there to reclaim them.

When they approached the priest in charge, they asked that the Jewish children be released into the rabbis' care. "I'm sorry," the priest responded, "but there is no way of knowing which children here came from Jewish families. You must have documentation if you wish me to do what you ask."

Of course, the kind of documentation that the priest wanted was unobtainable at the end of the war. The rabbis asked to see the list of names of children who were in the monastery. As the rabbis read the list, they pointed to those that belonged to Jewish children.

"I'm sorry," the priest insisted, "but the names that you pointed to could be either Jewish or Gentile. Miller is a German name, and Markovich is a Russian name, and Swersky is a Polis name. You can't prove that these are Jewish children. If you can't prove which children are Jewish, and do it very quickly, you will have to leave."

One of the rabbis had a brilliant idea. "We'd like to come back again this evening when you are putting the children to sleep."

The priest reluctantly agreed.

That evening the rabbis came to the dormitory, where row upon row of little beds were arranged. The children, many of whom had been in the monastery since the war started in 1939, were going to sleep. The rabbis walked through the aisles of beds, calling out, "Shema Yisrael - Hear, Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One!" One by one, children burst into tears and shrieked, "Mommy!" "Maman!" "Momma!" "Mamushka!" in each of their native tongues.

The priest had succeeded in teaching these precious Jewish souls about the Trinity, the New Testament, and the Christian savior. Each child knew how to say Mass. But the priest did not succeed in erasing these children's memories of their Jewish mothers now murdered - putting them to bed every night with the Shema on their lips.

(thanks to Miriam Swerdlov for the story)

[http://www.torahtots.com/holocaust/stories.htm]

Second Story:

This story is testimony to what happened to some Jewish children during and after the Holocaust. It should be told for one purpose: to remember what the Christian convents did to our children, namely how they kidnapped them and converted them to Christianity.

This is an account of how “Shema Yisrael” saved many Jewish children hidden by the Church. I heard this story directly from Eli, one of the child survivors.

Eli was born in a well-to-do neighborhood of Budapest, and was only 5 years old when the Nazis rounded up the Jews and transported them and their belongings to an unknown destination. The Hungarian gentiles knew that those Jews were being brought outside their town to be murdered in fields.

Eli told me that to this day, he is haunted by scenes of the vicious Nazis screaming commands, and the Jews hurrying desperately to get ready for the roundup. On a summer morning, the Nazis pushed Eli, along with the rest of his family and neighbors, to the edge of a large pit. Shots rang out. Eli fell into the pit in his dead mother’s arms. Finally, the Nazis left.

A few hours later Eli woke up, choking and faint. All around him were blood and death. His family was dead, and five-year-old Eli was alone with his terror. He cried in silence. Miraculously, the bullets had missed his small body.

The Nazis went to bring acid to decompose the dead bodies. In the meantime, the village peasants stood around the graves and watched. This was a daily routine for them, watching the spectacular work of the Nazis.

The Nazis came, murdered people, and asked the villagers to cover the bodies and collect the clothes left behind. They had already stolen the expensive clothes, silverware and gold.

One peasant woman saw Eli, who was in shock and unable to talk. She took him to the nearby convent, and Eli stayed there for about six years. He was raised as a Christian, and forbidden to talk about his family or the horrors that had happened to him.

The convent wanted to erase Eli’s Jewish background from his memory. The nuns prohibited Eli from speaking to the other Jewish children who had also been rescued from death. This was part of the plan to “save” their souls. Eli recalls how he was forced to recite Christian prayers and work hard cleaning the wooden floors of the alien orphanage.

Then one day, the war was over. Some men arrived at the convent, together with an old Jewish man. Eli’s early life suddenly flashed before his eyes. The strange men were talking to the nuns and telling them that most probably, Jewish children were still being held in the convent and nobody had come to claim them since their parents were dead.

The children felt like frozen pieces of ice in front of the strange men. They didn’t understand the purpose of their visit. They feared that this might be another trap to murder or deport them. The air was heavy with silent apprehension. The nuns insisted that there were no Jewish children there.

The old Jewish man refused to leave. He started to pray aloud and recited “Shema Yisrael” in such a broken and emotional voice that no heart could resist feeling the prayer penetrating deep within. The old man’s “Shema” pierced Eli’s heart, as he recalled the words that his mother sang to him at bedtime. He saw images of his father and grandfather. His frozen feet started to move, and he walked straight up to the old man, crying in silence. That day, Eli was saved.

Eli remembers that many children didn’t dare respond to the appeal of the “Shema.” But he did. And that’s how he arrived in Eretz Yisrael, and was taken to live on a kibbutz.The children were placed with different families, but Eli always preferred to spend his time with friends. He said, “I had one mother. I can’t call somebody else Ima.”

When Eli was 17, he left the kibbutz to start a life on his own. He was a good tailor, and he opened a store. Later, he married a French Sephardic woman who gave him a happy life and healthy children. When leather was fashionable, he became one of the best leather tailors in town. Then Eli left the business, and we lost contact. I do know that he still lives happily in Jerusalem.

*** Thanks to this old man, many Jewish souls were saved. May we always hear the “Shema” and allow it to penetrate our hearts. May we feel it in our souls and teach it to our children and grandchildren, so that it will form the thread of our identity and our link to G-d. And may the souls of the lost children be brought back soon to receive Moshiach in Eretz Yisrael. May it be now!

[http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/how-shema-yisrael-saved-the-jewish-children/2009/09/30/]
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: Jewish.... again   Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:26 pm

Tzina,

Thank you for reply. I guess what they say is true, every Jew has that little "spark" inside of them to return to their roots.

I agree with you. The riches in the study of Judaism are endless and fulfilling. Do you do most of your studying through books, online, at a class or all of the above? I fit in the "all of the above" category.

There is a great online resource called Alephbeta Academy with Rabbi David Fohrman. For some reason, he is one of my favorites as in my opinion, he brings Torah to Life!

Here is a link to the site - http://www.alephbeta.org/

You get 1 hour free a month so you can see if you like it.

May your journey be filled with Torah, life, health and happiness!
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Sarit

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PostSubject: Re: Jewish.... again   Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:34 pm

Dear Tzina,

Everyone of us has its own, unique story. Yours is really moving. Please, share your insights and thoughts whenever you feel like it. Ask whatever interests you - we are all here to learn, and the important part of learning is learning from each other, from our specific knowledge and unique experiences.

Welcome home! :)
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Tzina



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PostSubject: Re: Jewish.... again   Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:47 am

@Daniel, that dissolved me to tears; those precious kindela. My heart aches for them and their mothers ז״ל I also read your posts on Life is a Spiritual Journey, which is truly wonderful.

searchinmyroots wrote:
Do you do most of your studying through books, online, at a class or all of the above? I fit in the "all of the above" category.
Do you attend in-person classes right now, or did you mean online ones (or both)? At present, I'm essentially books/online. My angst at the moment is trying to learn Hebrew. I started about 5 years ago and can Daven most weekday prayers by memory, but I haven't found a solid program to go further.. just bits and pieces here and there. I've tried LearnHebrewPod, but it doesn't seem to isolate individual words (at least I haven't seen it), rather, entire sentences. Do you know any good online programs for it?

Thank you for the alephbeta link. I am going to sign up!

Sarit wrote:
Ask whatever interests you - we are all here to learn, and the important part of learning is learning from each other, from our specific knowledge and unique experiences.
@Sarit, thank you for the generous welcome :)
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: Jewish.... again   Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:50 pm

Tzina wrote:

searchinmyroots wrote:
Do you do most of your studying through books, online, at a class or all of the above? I fit in the "all of the above" category.
Do you attend in-person classes right now, or did you mean online ones (or both)? At present, I'm essentially books/online. My angst at the moment is trying to learn Hebrew. I started about 5 years ago and can Daven most weekday prayers by memory, but I haven't found a solid program to go further.. just bits and pieces here and there. I've tried LearnHebrewPod, but it doesn't seem to isolate individual words (at least I haven't seen it), rather, entire sentences. Do you know any good online programs for it?

Thank you for the alephbeta link. I am going to sign up!
I do try to attend a weekly Torah class on Wednesday night, one in the afternoon on Wednesdays as well and one on Sunday mornings.

I don't know much Hebrew at all and would love to learn if time ever permits. I have a friend that has a free online Hebrew study. Here is the link.

http://www.thehebrewcafe.com/language-forums/

I think it is still open.

You can tell Jason I sent you there. He'll treat you well! :)
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daniel eliezer

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PostSubject: Re: Jewish.... again   Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:45 pm

Tzina and searchingmyroots, I've posted here http://www.jewishbychoice.org/t352-belonging-life-is-a-spiritual-journey-we-didnt-say-religious-journey#3393 a posting called "Hebrew:Language of the Soul which is about Hebrew and learning to pray in Hebrew.

Enjoy,
Daniel Eliezer
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: Jewish.... again   Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:38 am

Tzina,

I come a bit late to this, but welcome!!
Have a great journey home, the forum is here to share and to give advice and...everything :)

Daniel,

Thank you so much for those stories...they touch the heart. Thanks.


Salvia
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aharon

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PostSubject: Re: Jewish.... again   Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:19 pm

And a belated welcome from me too Tzina!

I see parallels in your story to my own. I wish you all the best on your journey.
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Tzina



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PostSubject: Re: Jewish.... again   Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:49 am

aharon wrote:
And a belated welcome from me too Tzina!

I see parallels in your story to my own. I wish you all the best on your journey.
Thank you Aharon :) I would love to hear your story; do you have it posted?
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