The first podcast from Be’chol Lashon focuses on Anusim, Jews who were forced to abandon Judaism against their will, but now are trying to do whatever is in their power to return to Judaism.
In this podcast, Rabbi Juan Mejia argues that some of the was Anusim are currently treated in the Jewish community are very similar to the way Jews were treated during the Spanish Inquisition by Inquisitors and he talks about how he’s working to change that.
Be’chol Lashon has an interesting, if sometimes controversial, view of the Jewish community. For more information, watch: “A Global Jewish Community”.
You can reach Rabbi Mejia through his website: http://www.koltuvsefarad.com/.
4 thoughts on “Spotlight: Rabbi Juan Mejia and the Bnai Anusim”
Thanks for the free publicity.
Anusim in most cases need to convert since it's almost impossible to prove their Jewishness (just like Ethiopians). It is nice and beutiful that these peoples families were Jewish in the past (as they claim), but if their mothers are not Jewish, then theyre not. Halacha may seem cruel to them and we born Jews may not like it or agree with it sometimes but we have to follow it and also believe in it because it's Hashem's laws. If they have practiced Judaism before, itd be easier for them to come back home. As I mentioned before I know a cuban rabbi who claims to be Anusim and born Jewish and (is neither) and has had a lot of problems with other rabbis, RCA, and the rabbinate in Israel due to his reluctance to convert the Anusim that work with him according to Halacha. That's why it is so important that Anusim convert according to halacha to be Kosher Jews. This rabbi's converts, unfortunately, are not recognized as Jews in Israel and some synagogues in the US because of his minimal conversion standards. Also, look what's happening to Ethiopians in Israel. They are not allowed to study in Yeshiva or marry other Orthodox Jews because the Orthodox community does not accept them as Jews. The pain and suffering is endless but they have to convert if they want to be accepted by Orthodoxy. I wish them all the best in the world. Also to Anusim, find a Kosher rabbi that can help you come back home according to Halacha. Good Luck and Happy New Year!
I think Anonymous, most of what you wrote is so obvious to everyone, it's almost condescending to have you say it. I think the bigger issues being discussed in the video are how anusim are treated. In my experiences, rabbis are much kinder to prospective converts who have Jewish fathers so why don't people who have Jewish ancestry get the same respect. In fact, why don't converts get respect period?
And finding a “kosher rabbi” is a bit laughable to me. I had a very easy time finding a good rabbi who was also a kosher one. It is insane how difficult it is for converts to find a rabbi to work with, even now that the RCA system is supposed to be more streamlined.