My Spiritual Journey

remToday 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.

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Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman

something-from-nothingSomething from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman
Published by Scholastic Press

When Joseph was a baby, his grandfather made him a shimmering blue blanket adorned with the moon and stars. As the boy grows and the blanket wears out, the old tailor recycles it, in succession fashioning a jacket, a vest, a tie and, finally, a cloth-covered button. But when Joseph loses the button, even his grandfather cannot make something from nothing. With its judicious repetition and internal rhymes, this thoughtfully presented Jewish folktale will captivate readers right through the ending, in which the boy discovers one last incarnation for his beloved keepsake.