I had a dream about a new reality show where people who had suspicions that their ancestors were Crypto-Jews, went to Europe together (especially Amsterdam) and sleuthed around trying to discern if there ancestors were among those who pretended they were Christians when in reality, they were Jews trying to avoid oppressive Christian majorities. It was only a dream but hey… it was a good show. The participants were equipped with their notes and the looks on their faces showed there was competitiveness involved as well. A little bit like the television show, “The Amazing Race.”
I think I’ve had this dream, because the race to find Crypto-Jews in our family trees has gained momentum. And I’d like to think that our ancestors had something to do with that. They may not be here now but they left us clues. It may have taken us hundreds of years to look seriously at those clues but the ancestors are there in those clues. It is their faces, super-imposed on ours that I saw in the dream. It is a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes and a conspiracy as deep as any. Our ancestors stories have been frozen in time, their bodies like those in a wax museum. But their clues bring them to life again. Our smiles are their smiles when we uncover their clues. We are working with them.
I have, on numerous occasions, felt that the ancestors watched over my shoulder as my tired eyes poured through history books, Bible concordances and Internet websites. Often, it was as if they shadowed my hands and guided me to the answers. If you suspect that a root of your Christian ancestors is a Jewish one, by all means, take up the hunt. There are a lot of us out there. It is more than just a dream.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy – A How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy II – Uncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors and Secret Genealogy III – From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians. Available here:
Secret Genealogy II: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-II-Christian-Ancestors/dp/1484053222
Secret Genealogy III: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-III-Jewish-Anglo-Saxon-Acadians/dp/148407579X