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Coming Home with my People

Antwerp, Belgium February 2016

Coming Home with my People

Apart from the testimony that I wrote earlier, the reasons why I decided to become Jewish, and to join the Jewish community are mainly the following:

First of all, I believe with complete faith that Hashem is the only One, the Creator, and there is nothing else like Him in any way. He alone is G-d, Who was, Who is, and Who will always be. I subscribe the thirteen principles of the Rambam (Maimonides) in the ‘Ani Ma’amim’ prayer. Prayer and Tanakh are vital basics in my life since many years. So, I join the Jewish people for Hashem.

I love Hashem with all my heart and with all my soul, and like the Jewish People ‘I have done’ what I read in the Tanakh, and ‘I have learned’ a lot from it (since 1990). Even in the isolation of the medical work in the desolate places in the Andes mountains, I have experienced the favor and blessings, and the protection of Hashem, and His encouraging and strengthening Presence in response to my continual choices to serve Him with what I had to offer then.

I want to continue to keep the mitzvoth even better, and to live Jewish life as revealed to Moshe, and the prophets and sages of Israel through the millennia, because I believe it is the way of life that brings us close to the Creator, and to the plan that He has for humankind, and it makes us secure and deeply happy to live that way.

Based on my experiences also, I am convinced of the truthfulness of this way of life, and its positive effectiveness during a lifetime, and for the afterlife.

I believe that Hashem has made all the necessary ‘provisions’ for a person who wants to join the Jewish community, to be able to do so. And I believe I need the support of the Jewish community to become a wholesome Jewish person.

I have always had a strong affective connection with the Jewish people; which has also led me to visit Eretz Israel several times. What keeps bringing me back to IL is: the strong feeling of the Presence of Hashem, the feeling of coming home with ‘my’ people, and a feeling of connectedness with the communal flow of the nation’s (also prophetic) history.

Also, I believe nations have missions; and the special mission of Israel is to love and worship Hashem with daily life, prayers, festivals, and fulfilling the mitzvoth. This way Hashem can help, protect and favor His people, and it shows the other nations that He is a living G-d, Whom they must fear and revere. For many years I identify with this mission, and with the religious ways of achieving it in daily living. I want to join the Jewish people because their G-d is my G-d, their worldview is my worldview, their goals are my goals in life.

I also believe that every person has a (humble) mission in life. I want to join this community of people who believe in, and do the possible to participate in “tikun ha’olam”, through prayers, through keeping the Jewish festivals, keeping the mitzvoth, being responsible in every way, and joining/serving the community with a supportive presence, experience, a useful profession, etc.

I now live in the Jewish community in Antwerp, Belgium. It is great to have access to all the necessary Jewish facilities, to enjoy the spirit, and to have Jewish friends close by. I am especially grateful to my main teacher and mentor, Prof. Rabbi Ahron Daum, B.A. M.S. who has been guiding me through the gyur process in a very professional way.

Shirah Ahuva, M.D.

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