Just wanted to share that I recently found out I have some (very distant) Jewish ancestry and how exciting and fascinating it is for me.
Until now, I had never known I was anything other than your typical white Australian, with roots in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
But through research I discovered that I have Sephardic Jewish ancestors who fled Portugal after the Spanish Inquisition. They made their way through France and the Netherlands, eventually arriving and settling in England.
Although an atheist, I’ve always been interested in Judaism, the Jewish people and Israel as a whole. I’ve loved exploring this topic even more since my find. I love that this fascinating history is apart of my DNA, albeit a very small part.
I’ve even bought a kid’s picture book (lol) called “Buen Shabbat, Shabbat Shalom” by Sarah Aroeste, about a Sephardic Jewish family celebrating Shabbat. I’ve had a go at making challah, (obviously this is Ashkenazic, not Sephardic – but hey, it’s delicious!) six strands and all. My family and I plan to celebrate Hanukkah in a small way this year, if anything just to pay respect to our newfound ancestors and the struggles they endured.
I’m not suddenly claiming to be Jewish or anything (I’m aware that my mother’s mother must be Jewish in order for me to be Jewish – that link was broken many generations ago). I’m know there’s much more to being Jewish than Shabbat, challah and Hanukkah. Call me a romantic, but I just love being able to feel connected to my ancestors, even in a token way.
I don’t know if here is the right place to post this, and I know I’m rambling, but I just wanted to share.