The amazing story of the new Jewish communities in Colombia

Girl in the Jewish Community of Santa Marta, Shirat HAyam photograph by Laurence Salzmann
Girl in the Jewish Community of Santa Marta, Shirat Hayam photographed by Laurence Salzmann

As already written in my other posts, I wish now to complete this experience in Medellin by writing my last thoughts about this story.

While journalists should see the “phenomenon”, more than such. I would say  a quest of Christian reality. Many of them stay in believing that Jesus is Messiah but believe in Judaism as the true religion (where all Christianity nurtures from). Others choose to do the full pilgrimage back to Judaism, independently if they can demonstrate their heritage and here I agree with Rabbi Mejia, in that the anusim (converts) should focus in building community and not searching for their link to ancestors when the Spanish Inquisition made the marranos read mar- anus (master in conversion) hide and lose their Jewish identity, even if scholars write and research on it.

I have received in my office from former pastors becoming future rabbis, believers in Kabbala willing to convert, Jews who call themselves such but haven´t gone through conversion, even some coming from  “Synagogues” in the most remote villages of this big country and others seeking to convert with real motives as to formalize their partnership  with an only religion at their future home.

I have lived these years seeing the Jewish School in Medellin celebrating all Jewish Holidays even if only ten percent of the students aren´t Jewish, and Christian parents feeling more than happy that their children have that opportunity.

What is the future of all this, I don´t know.

But while long bearded Rabbis show up offering for those in search of belonging to what for them is the answer to their spiritual journey, and for quite  a big sum of money a dip in the sea and a certificate adorned with flowers in a strange ancient language, this will go on. No matter how much the rabbinate in Israel opposes it. At the end they also will try to make alijah (immigrate to Israel), and then the rabbinate will profit by having them convert again according to their rules.

Everybody seems getting something, but what is Judaism gaining?, hopefully more Jews and not more enemies.

We are up to celebrate Passover, the Feast of Liberty and we learned our lesson in Egypt not to hate the strangers since we were ourselves strangers in a Land not ours. Let us apply that lesson and rebuild a nation we once were, even with strangers among us, this time staying focused in not hating without reason and by all worshiping the One and only God, Blessed be His Name.

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