South Texas and the Holocaust

A number of years ago I visited the Anusim Center in El Paso as part of research on a play I was writing about a young Mexican-American woman facing her Jewish heritage on the eve of her marriage. The Rabbi had spent thirty years assisting Latinos to “return” to Judaism, as no doubt he has assisted me, though at the time I was still calling in from my birth religion of pagan — er, secular — astrology, my father’s handy way of sidestepping Christianity while still merging with the deep world of the Cabala. This wonderful Rabbi spent a weekend showing me around and allowing me to attend services at the synagogue.

Let us imagine how the Marranos (Latinos of Jewish ancestry) felt as they sat in the balconies of movie theatres watching those WWII newsreels or pondered the images in newspapers. As the flickering images unfolded, one can scarcely apprehend the shock of all those skinny people.

The sight of the showers. The cruelty of the deception of stone soap. The piles of teeth with the gold fillings extracted.

I am familiar with a published Latina poet from San Antonio whose uncle served in the Army during that great rescue operation. He was of a family that still had active Jewish spiritual practice, and was of the force that liberated Dachau. She writes movingly about it. Our cousins. We. Have some soup.

Latinos had to shuffle and fight for our space to live in American culture. My grandfather was a charter member of the civil rights organization League of United Latin American Citizens and my father on the Mayor’s Advisory Council in Houston, Texas. I saw Mayor Kathy Whitmire greet him by name and inquire conversantly about his community service involvements on many occasions.

The need for clean water, voting rights, and college degrees was and still is far greater than any sense of involvement with an atavistic religion that can get you bombed.

So I don’t blame anyone.

Now let’s think about this from the standpoint of this blog, which is magic(k).

Jewish spiritual practice and, in particular, the Cabala, allows for the possibility of reincarnation, so it must be at least conceptualized if one is focusing on a mechanism whereby it can take place. Let us imagine all of those hopeless magicians entering a slaughterhouse and wondering what to do. Well, reincarnate into Jewish lives.

There aren’t any around here — that was the whole point of the Holocaust, a genocide into eternity— and no doubt the botttleneck in the finer places CAN STILL GET YOU BOMBED.

The far-flung regions like Latin America might afford such opportunities.

Imagine a very poor family and a father whose intellect can be considered without any boast to be genius, whose own family of North Mexican sheep herders were still able to educate him adequately such that he could read and write both Spanish and English eloquently.

Sephardic surnames may or may not indicate actual Semitic ancestry, but they do lend a bit of identification in the minds of the community and the family with Judaism. Poor people would come to a literate fellow with the funny name with all of their problems that required a gentleman and ad hoc attorney, for that is what a Notary is in Mexico. Many deeds are still registered in the courthouse written by my grandfather with a third-grade education.

Now let’s imagine these poor sots in the concentration camps and their desperate drive to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in new lives where they can flourish.

The idea that some energy work in my family and community has done this for four generations is not unreasonable. Given the many signs, I have to expect that it is not beyond reason that, besides the normal Sephardic people who had come to the region a century and more earlier, what I always see is a German Jew who had emigrated to Mexico in the early 19th century, established himself, with his devotional practices, holy objects, intense imagination, and moved into the soul stream of MEXICO, and that includes but is not limited to Judaism. Mexican law mandated Catholicism. The Amerindians with all of their lovely witchcraft would be available as well, as would the shamanism called Solomonic magic, briefly dabbled in by my grandfather and no doubt perfected by the vecinos who would have backed a community leader with their daimones and had the Deal in some fashion.

A brush with goetia magic has consequences in the formation of the souls of one’s children, and while I am most STOUTly not the new Messiah, as I believed for five minutes in 2003, and decided to remain a secretary instead, it is not beyond the realm of MAGIC that an old cult or family from past lives aggregated desperately in my family’s soul as the inexorable grisly toll mounted, the people slaughtered, the land powers destabilized, the cemeteries desecrated, and BLADE RUNNERS sent after old Jewish souls even in the afterlife.

The point is not what absolutely was, though there are abundant signs in all of our lives, including that of my uncle, who spent his entire adult life in Austria, which still looks like old Deutschland, and is Catholic enough to ride the wave, but what GOOD can we do now?

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