Today is the day.
There have been many steps in my journey and now I feel I am ready to embrace a lifelong and forever commitment to Judaism. It is extra meaningful to me that this moment has arrived just a few weeks before Rosh Hashana. I hope and pray this will be a sweet New Year for me as well.
As part of my requirements for appearing before the Beit Din, I was asked to write a spiritual autobiography. I realized that this is actually very difficult, to put my experiences of changing my faith into words.
Anyway I looked back on the days and events, and tried to reflect on the spiritual side of my life. I was born and raised in Manila in the Philippines to a religious Catholic family. My 2 siblings and I were raised in a G-d fearing home with high moral standards by loving parents.
My parents sent me to Catholic schools, known for for their high quality academic excellence. After high school I attended university and in 2002 I graduated with a degree in Physiotherapy.
After university I felt a desire to leave home for “greener pastures” and to broaden my horizons. But to do this I would have to leave my family and friends behind which I knew wouldn’t be easy. However the opportunity presented itself and in 2004 I immigrated to Canada; in 2011 I became a Canadian citizen.
In my early years in Canada I spent the greater part of my working time with Jewish families and sometimes went with them to the synagogue. I ate Matzah at the Passover Seder and lit candles with them and learned how to keep the laws of Kashrut in their homes. I feel I adapted quickly to their way of life. I heard more about the Holocaust – how 6 million Jews perished, innocent souls, murdered by Hitler, so heartbreaking to even think about. I made close relationships in the Jewish community who became almost like my family and I thought the Jewish things they did were cool. I wanted to be like everyone else.