Stars, Sand and Dust – The Roots
I have felt impressed to put into writing how the Lord has revealed a secret that was kept by my more recent ancestors. By sharing this with others of my generation, it is my purpose, first of all, to exalt the God of my fathers. He led me to discover my roots slowly, preparing me to accept a great change in the knowledge and awareness of my very being. He knew who I was before I knew it.
Another purpose of writing this document is to start others wondering about their roots. The Lord has impressed on me that there are many others like me, which will become obvious to anyone who reads this booklet and studies history.
I loved to read the Old Testament when I was a new Christian (and I still do). I had an inexplicable affinity with Jewish people; I felt as if they were family. Does this happen to you?
The supernatural way that I became a born again Christian had always filled me with wonder. Why would the Lord search me out and speak to me in an almost audible voice, in the middle of a department store, and demand that I buy a book?
When the Lord stood by me at JC Penney in 1977, and told me to “Buy that book!”, I did not know my everlasting future started that moment. I did not know that eventually I would find my carefully concealed roots.
In reading “that book”, I opened the door for the salvation of my soul and for the kindling of a fire in me, which transformed me into a new person.
The Lord graciously shared with me glimpses of His wisdom and knowledge. He is an amazing God. My finite mind cannot grasp how He can know the genealogy of each human being all the way back to Adam and Eve. (This I infer from my personal experience.)
On both my father’s and mother’s sides of the family, we were Catholic, but not very devout, although family members were married and children were baptized in the Catholic church. I remember my grandmother on my father’s side crocheting white doilies for the altars in her church. My other grandmother had a large etching of Jesus on the cross hanging on one wall of her living room, and no one entering the room could miss it. She even had some pictures of Mary in the bedrooms, but she did not go to church. She said God was everywhere, and that she could talk to God in her own backyard.
Everybody I knew in Cuba was Catholic, except for a few Jewish boys I met when studying at the University of Havana’s School of Architecture.
First Paradigm Shift
Since I did not have a “religious” background, when I started reading the Bible, I did not have a preference for the “New” Testament over the “Old”, so I earnestly read the Old Testament as much as the New.
I felt the Old Testament spoke to my soul. God’s words were speaking to me personally, and I wondered why they were not printed at least in blue, since the New Testament had them printed in red.
The food laws are mentioned twice in the Old Testament. As I would read them, the Lord would impress on me, “That’s how I want you to eat!”
Well, my pastor never even mentioned the food laws, and all my Christian friends ate whatever they pleased. However, every time I read those words, I received the same impression. I wondered about it, but slowly I started taking those foods out of my diet. This is not easily accomplished, since family and friends and particularly Christian friends demand to know why you are not eating ham, shrimp, catfish or whatever.
There has been an interest in healthy living in the last years, and with it several books on healthy eating. What a “coincidence!” Many authors advocate not eating the very same foods that God commanded us not to eat. God knew all the time that the “unclean” foods can be toxic to our bodies.
I was still a baby Christian when my daughter brought home a scrapbook of a trip to Israel that a friend of hers had taken with her parents. Although the scrapbooking craze had not started yet in those years, the scrapbook was very well made and well labeled.
I looked through the scrapbook with great interest. The photos of Israel and particularly Jerusalem seemed to speak to me. My soul was stirring. I was entranced by the book. As I immersed in it with reverence, I felt something moving inside of me. It was a gentle swaying back and forth. I knew it was the Holy Spirit in me, but I wondered if this inside sway was also outwardly visible.
I asked my daughter to sit across from me and watch me. I started poring through the book and felt the swaying start. My young daughter saw it and said, “Oh! Weird!”
Now I knew it was visible and was concerned because it had been happening to me during church services also.
Some time later, I saw a documentary about the Wailing Wall, where praying Jewish men were moving more or less the same way. I wondered if I was Jewish but dismissed the thought.
The Deliverance Ministry Reveals Unknowns
In 1980 the Lord called me to the deliverance ministry, that is, casting demons out the way Jesus did. I received deliverance, and also ministered deliverance. In ministering deliverance, the Lord sometimes reveals the reason why the demons entered, and more often reveals this to the person under ministry than to the person ministering.
Once, I was ministered to by a man from the church I was attending. He was paying more attention to his deliverance manual than to the Holy Spirit. As he ministered to me, I started weeping with much grief. I had been delivered of the spirit of rejection before, so I knew it was not that spirit. I asked the Lord what it was, and He said, “The Inquisition.” Then he impressed on me that I had ancestors on both sides of the Inquisition.
I told the minister what it was, but he said, “No, this is rejection,” and proceeded to minister his way, but the insight the Lord gave me into my ancestry sparked curiosity about my roots. Around 1492, the Inquisition was being conducted in Spain by the Catholic Church. The inquisition had started previously to wipe out witchcraft, but later moved on to whomever the Catholic church considered heretics, and later to the Jews.
The Jewish people had been living in Spain for centuries, but now the Catholic Church wanted them converted or eliminated. Because of the ferocity and cruelty of the inquisitors, many Jewish people converted to Catholicism but continued Jewish practices in the secrecy of their own home.
Since it was during the time that Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas, many Jews from Spain (Sephardic Jews) traveled and settled in the Americas to escape the Inquisition.
The revelation that my ancestors had been persecuted, tortured, and possibly forcibly converted to Catholicism made me wonder if they were Jews. I also wondered if I was Jewish, but dismissed the thought because I had a large family on both sides, and no one had ever mentioned it. Not only had they not mentioned it, but I know they would have also laughed at me if I would have raised the question. They were Catholic.
Years later, I was teaching a group of Christian ladies how to minister deliverance. Two of them became friends of mine. Coincidentally, both of them had Jewish maternal grandmothers, but my friends did not consider themselves Jewish. One of the grandmothers kept her grandchildren from knowing she was Jewish until my friend, who was her granddaughter, asked her, and she confessed to my friend that she was Jewish.
This friend of mine was told about the Jewish curse in the Bible by a Messianic Jewish woman. This curse is in Matthew 27:24-26:
When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, “His blood be on us, and on our children”. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
This means, ”We want the responsibility for this death to be placed on us and on our generations to come.”
The majority of “all the people” were from the tribe of Judah. However, it is probable that other tribes were present at this trial. This curse is on all Jews and on any other Israeli tribe represented there that was in agreement with what was said.
My friend asked me to break the curse and cast the demons out of her. (When a curse is broken, the demon or demons that came with the curse have to be cast out.)
I ministered to her, and she received deliverance from this curse. Later, I told my other friend of Jewish descent, and she asked me to come to her house and minister to her.
I went to her house, and we started the ministry by her repenting of what her ancestors did. Then I broke the curse in the name of Jesus and commanded the demons that came with the curse to leave her. She had a stronger reaction than my other friend. When she finished, she looked at me and said, “The Lord told me to do the same for you!”
I was surprised, but since I had been suspecting I was Jewish, I was not overly surprised. The time came to find out. As Ecclesiastes says, there is a time for everything.
She ministered to me, and I had an even stronger reaction than her. I began wailing, but I had never heard wailing before, so in my mind I asked the Lord what was happening and he said, “You are wailing!”
The wailing got louder, and the demon left in a very loud wail. The whole thing did not take long. My friend looked at me with big eyes and said, “Boy, you are JEWISH!!” Now I was astounded. I had a stronger reaction than my friends!
Because the Lord told her to minister to me, I realized He knew all along I was Jewish, even though that knowledge had been lost generations back.
A short time later, I collected my family surnames on both father and mother side. In Cuba, as in Spain, women don’t substitute their surname by that of their husbands, so most people know their surnames for at least three generations.
I drew a sketchy family tree up to my great-grand parents. Then I checked their surnames in the Sephardic website. I found out that five of my eight great grandparents had Sephardic surnames.
My opinion was that a Sephardic surname these days might not necessarily mean that the person is Jewish. I needed more proof.
I found out about Family Tree DNA in Houston. I called them and asked if they could tell by the DNA if a person was Jewish or not. They said that all they do is match DNA from their data base and send me the email addresses from people with matching DNA, what they call “matches”.
I sent my sample and pretty soon I was sent the scientific personal DNA information. Some time later they sent me a match, and then another match. Both were Jewish people living in Israel!
Are You Seed of Abraham?
God promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel that their descendants would be as numerous as the stars of the sky, the dust of the earth and the sand of the sea. God’s promises are true.
And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. (Genesis 15:3-5)
And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:. That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Gen 22:15-18)
Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. (Genesis 32:11-12)
And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. (Genesis 13:14-16)
And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 28:10-14)
Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. (Exodus 32:13)
There are many books written about the migrations of the people of Israel, and this history starts as early as Joseph being taken to Egypt, and how his family settled and prospered in the land to the east of the Nile river delta. The children of Israel built ships and traded along the Mediterranean. Some of them moved to ports where they traded with established colonies there. History says that Joseph succeeded the Pharaoh as Pharaoh, and after Joseph the following two Pharaohs were Israelis. The Egyptians revolted during the last Israeli Pharaoh, and the Israeli people who had the means sailed away in their ships to other ports of the Mediterranean, but the remaining Israelis were made slaves.
During the Syrian occupation of the Kingdom of Israel, the ten tribes of Israel were taken to Syria. When the Babylonians came against Syria, the ten tribes escaped from Syria and migrated to other places including Europe. These are “the lost tribes of Israel”.
There were descendants of Israel living all along the Mediterranean countries and even in the British Isles during the time of King David. But then the Kingdom of Judah fell to Babylon, and the tribe of Judah was taken to Babylon and later returned to Judea.
History says that Joseph of Arimathea (during the time of Jesus) was a wealthy businessman who had many ships. He traded with the British Isles, mostly with the tin produced by their mines. The trading with The British Isles has been traced back as far as Solomon’s kingdom, when British tin was used in the construction of the temple and the palace. Since there was trade with the British Isles, there were also Israeli settlements in the Isles since at least Solomon’s time. So, logically, history also shows that many of the British tribes, such as the Celts and the Saxon, were tribes from Israel.
Centuries later, because of the Inquisition, the Jews scattered again. The Inquisition’s purpose was to convert the Jews to Catholicism. The Inquisition was ferocious in Spain, where Jews were to convert or die under torture. Torquemada, the main Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, was a converted Jew.
Many Jews converted to save their lives and the lives of their children. Many of these Catholic families emigrated to the Americas and today are unaware that their roots are Jewish.
For more information:
Books and maps about the migrations of Israel: www.hoffmanprinting.com
Sephardic genealogy and Jewish genealogy research tool, with list of Sephardic surnames: www.sephardim.com
DNA testing: www.familytreeDNA.com