Story of Hope
A Short Story Autobiography by Dona Gracia Serrano
The following is an excerpt from a family historical account as seen through the eyes of a Sephardi Anusim (forced one) who did not discover the true roots of her family until her father, at the age of 87, expressed this long hidden secret. It is a typical account of many Sephardic Anusim families who are now discovering their true identity as Jews. This account, a combination of oral history and factual documentational records, in no form is meant to either offend or discredit others perspectives on this subject. The truth, after all, is often a pain staking revelation that must be unfolded on a personal basis.
The following is neither meant to offend any official religion or persons. Forgiveness is a cleansing thing that gives the person giving and receiving it a freedom from the bondage of the past. This again is often a painful process, for one must be willing to go through some pain to receive it. The truth is often hard to face in its rawest form. It is the prayer of this writer, that the following will bring some measure of hope and understanding of the past. This Anusim history and personal account cannot be altered, as it would be as impossible for a holocaust victim to apologize for what they have been subjected to. However, this writing is meant as the beginning of a healing process—a return of lost identity and freedom from past secrets done in the name of often mistaken religious fervor.
This account, as painful as it is to share, is done in the spirit of hope and love. “Love”, in this writer’s opinion, as stated in the Torah, “covers all sins”(Prov. 10:12b). It is the highest hope that this story, as thousands of other’s similar to it, will continue to bring hope to those who have felt the same wandering spirit and loss of identity as this author has experienced. It is that hope that truth will reveal and heal, what 500 years of hidden history have tried to erase.
“May those who sow in tears, reap with shouts of joy” Psalm 12a:5
Uncovering the Lost Root
It was a rainy day on Masada and we had just walked among the ruins in February of 1999. We had just walked in to a little restaurant stop for refreshment. As I neared the counter a middle-aged woman greeted me warmly with a knowing look. “Why you look just like my mother!” she said as she reached out and caressed my cheek. “My family went to Italy from Spain, where did your family go?” Not to appear too shocked I said, “Well, Mexico…”
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