Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests


On Shavuot, Thinking of Converso Jews

posted by David Klinghoffer
2369050335_37cdc4d848.jpg

This blog entry is being published automatically. I’m off Friday and Saturday for Shavuot, when Jews around the world observe the two-day festival that recalls the giving of the 10 Commandments at Mt. Sinai and the associated mass conversion of the assembled Israelites to the faith of Torah.

I’ll be back with you on Sunday, but I bring to your attention a fascinating report from JTA about a newly ordained Conservative rabbi, Juan Mejia, born in Colombia from a Converso background. Conversos were the Spanish Jews who accepted outward conversion to Catholicism in Spain prior to the 1492 expulsion. They are also called Marranos. Shavuot is a time when Jews re-accept the Torah, and interestingly that’s what is happening too among some Hispanic Catholics in the American Southwest and in South America when they realize their ancestors were Converso Jews who fled Spain long ago, pursued by the Inquisition under the suspicion (often correct) of being secret Jews.

Mejia himself will be pursuing a rabbinic career of outreach to fellow Converso-descendants in the Southwest. Good for him. Excerpt: 

Raised as a Catholic in Colombia and educated at Christian schools, Mejia was on his way to becoming a monk when he discovered as a teenager that his family had Jewish roots. His grandfather would recall men gathering in darkened corners to place towels on their head and pray from a strange book.

After a torturous journey, which involved his rejection by the tiny Jewish community in Bogota and several years of study in Jerusalem, Mejia converted and began training for the rabbinate. Now Mejia is dedicating his rabbinate to helping Jewish descendants like himself who want to reconnect with their roots.

I wrote something on the Marrano theme in an earlier entry, in case you missed it: We Are All Marranos Now.


Advertisement
Comments read comments(4)
post a comment
yossi

posted May 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm


The use of the term “10 Commandments” is unfaithful to the Biblical text, which provides no number and relates that God disclosed
“utterances” to Moses at Mt. Sinai.
(It is the list in Ex. 32- which includes ritual instructions- which refers to “10″.)
The phrase “10 Commandments” is a Christian, especially Protestant, formulation, intended to stereotype the Israelite/Jewish faith as purely legalistic ( a la Paul’s demonizing rhetoric).
Please, DK, use JEWISH language on a Jewishly-themed website!



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted May 30, 2009 at 9:37 pm


WE ARE ALL GOD’S CHILDREN,JEWISH OR GENTILES,EVERYONE WHO WERE BORN
OF MAN ARE CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD.BUT DESPITE THE FACT THAT BECAUSE
DIVERSITY IN RELIGION,PEOPLE CALL THEIR GOD ACCORDING TO THEIR BELIEF, FOCUSING ON THEIR FAITH IS ALL THAT MATTERS.GOD LIVES INSIDE
OUR HEARTS,AND ONLY HIM KNOWS IF HE IS ENTHRONED AT THE CENTER OF OUR
HEARTS.I CAN CONCLUDE THAT PEOPLE SHOULD NEVER JUDGE HIS FELLOWMAN,
IN THE BIBLE IT SAYS”JUDGE NOT THAT YOU SHALL NOT BE JUDGED….”
THE CELEBRATION OF THE SHAVOUT OR KNOWN TO MANY AS THE GIVING OF THE
10 COMMANDMENTS OF GOD TO HIS PEOPLE IS WORTH CELEBRATING OR COMMEMORATING,WHEN IT COMES TO GOD’S PERFORMANCE TO BRING HIS KINGDOM
UPON THE EARTH,IT SURPASSES OVER ALL HUMAN FEAST BECAUSE OF ITS SACRED
NESS,THE IMPACT INTO OUR HEARTS TO THIS EVENT IS SPIRITUALLY UPGRADING
IF I MAY SAY IT FOR THIS EVENT GOVERNS GOD’S KINGDOM ON EARTH.
THANK YOU.



report abuse
 

Mark

posted May 31, 2009 at 2:41 am


With all due respect, David, Jews “around the world” do not observe two days of Shavuot. Jews who live in Israel observe the holiday as commanded in the Torah for ONE day. The two days are a “penalty” for those of you who choose to remain in galut.



report abuse
 

Yirmi

posted May 31, 2009 at 1:47 pm


Shavei Israel is a great organization that sends rabbis to Portugal and Spain to work among conversos (b’nei anousim) who are interested in converting. They also work with groups in various countries who believe they are descended from lost tribes, such as the bnei menashe from India. The head of Shavei Israel is Michael Freund, an American oleh (immigrant to Israel) who runs a political blog in English, Fundamentally Freund.
http://www.shavei.org//en/Default.aspx
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Blog.aspx/2



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Kingdom of Priests. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Kabballah Counseling Happy Reading!

posted 11:24:22am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Animal Wisdom: The Voice of the Serpent
Our family watched Jaws together the other evening -- which, in case you're wondering, I regard as responsible parenting since our kids are basically too young to be genuinely scared by the film. The whole rest of the next day, two-year-old Saul was chattering about the "shark teeth." "Shark teeth g

posted 3:56:33pm Mar. 16, 2010 | read full post »

Reading Wesley Smith: Why the Darwin Debate Matters
If the intelligent-design side in the evolution debate doesn't receive the support you might expect from people who should be allies, that may be because they haven't grasped why the whole thing matters so urgently. I got an email recently from a journalist whom I'd queried on the subject. "All told

posted 5:07:12pm Mar. 15, 2010 | read full post »

The Mission of the Jews
Don't miss my essay over at First Things on the mission of the Jews to the world. This, I think, the key idea that the Jewish community needs to absorb at this very unusual cultural moment, for the time is so, so right. Non-Jews are waiting for us to fulfill the roll God gave us in the Torah. Please

posted 6:14:16pm Mar. 05, 2010 | read full post »

Darwin at the Mountains of Madness: Evolution & the Occult
Of all the regrettable cultural forces that Darwinism helped unleash, perhaps the most surprising and seemingly unlikely is its role in sparking the creation of modern occultism. Charles Darwin himself could not have been less interested in the topic. But no attempt to assess the scope of his legacy

posted 2:04:11pm Mar. 04, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.