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The fallen leaves…

I will preface this by saying I am gentile and was raised “secular”catholic (we just celebrated Christmas but in a non religious way. I’m not catholic or christian either. I’m nothing , or the “spiritual not religious” cliche )

I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood, and remember asking a lot of questions about their religion, Hollidays etc . I had a long term relationship with a Jew guy , those were three years in which I was immersed in a Jewish community. Celebrated Shabbat, Pesaj, went to synagogue, two Ketubah (and one Berberisca although I think this is exclusive Morroccan – Sephardic!) and even kept Yom Kippur. I remember vividly a book about teachings from Rabbi Akiva. It was beautiful. They were something like “flexidox” (lol) so it wasn’t strict observance . (This is south America, so the Jewish community is basically all Sephardic orthodox with different levels of observance) .

This was many years ago. I now have a non religious family of my own . (Note: Religion was not the reason our relationship ended. His mother loved me and gifted me beautiful Jewish themed jewelry, like a Chai pendant, and a star of David, that I still have and treasure . We are amicable and he is now secular / atheist )

Five years ago, through the Spanish law of Sephardic return (I’m sure you’ve heard about that here..) I learned that my family from my mother’s side was Jewish. I learned that I come from a lineage of rabbis.. great men who founded and kept big Jewish communities in Greece, and Germany (after being expelled from Spain) . My great-great-grandma Siddur is part of the Israeli museum in my city.. heck, they even made an Exposition of the “history of the [my last name] Jews in [my country]” because they were prominent members of society.

It all made sense you know ? The curiosity.. the feelings of being at “home” in a Jewish community . But this is all so, just sad. It just makes me so sad. Because I now know I never belong again ( my great-great-grandpa and great great grandma both converted to catholicism a 100 years ago. I’m guessing they were trying to better fit the society, and the matrilineal lineage broke with my grandmother anyway so I’m not Jewish) but still… It feels like that is a part of me.. a part of my story. I don’t belong here because I’m now living in Italy as an expat , but I’ve never really belonged anywhere. It kinda makes sense now. My family separated from it’s tribe and since then we have never belonged anywhere really. We are the fallen leaves . Not in the country I was born into, not where I live right now. I long for a religion and a relationship with HaShem that I can’t have and will probably never have.

I don’t really know what I’m looking for with this post, I don’t need to be validated for something I am not and never will be. Be proud of your lineage, your ancestors, your community .. I guess that’s what I would like to say to you all.

submitted by /u/weird_cactus_mom
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Source: Reditt