This is a guest post by Ronald Speelman of Lisbon, Portugal. We are happy to adopt him into the SHJ community and welcome him as a member of the Jewish people. His Hebrew name is Lior.
Why become part of Humanistic Judaism?
It is family.
It gives me a sense of roots and being part of a unique and beautiful culture. It is this feeling that I experienced when celebrating Hanukkah in 2019. Since that time, I have been exploring Judaism. When I discovered the Humanistic Judaism website I found out that most of my beliefs are shared. I can honestly say that I identify with the history, ethical values, culture, civilization, community, and fate of the Jewish people. I just have seen and learned the tip of the Jewish iceberg.
There is strong connection with Judaism in my family for generations. The oldest man we can trace this connection to is named Elias. In every generation for at least seven generations the oldest male was named Elias. My grandmother had her own traditions with Passover and Hanukkah. I remember her menorah in her living room. And the matza with Passover.
And then there’s my very best friend, Akiva. She is Jewish and teaches me about Judaism. She is from Florence and introduced Hanukkah to me. Her niece of 12 years old told me the story of Hanukkah. As she doesn’t speak English she asked my friend to translate. A memory I treasure.
I am eager learn more, participate and give Judaism a place in my daily life.
It feels right!