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David Valentin

“My story begins with a rumor on my fathers side of the family”we where once Jews”. I worked on my geneology for years the internet made it all easy as years went by. In 2006 I married my wife a Brooklyn Italian/ Ashkenazi Jew from Brooklyn. My wife kept kosher and many of the traditions . I had a DNA test done and it showed Ashkenazi ancestry including north and subsaharan African,middle eastern, British isles, Iberian , Amerindian and south Asian ancestry. All my genetic relatives on the system shared my genetic background with some variations. Most of my distant “cousins” are morrocan and Algerian Jews while others are from Ukraine, Hungary and Romania . Since 2010 we have been attending a messianic synagogue, and we have a lot of Jewish friends in the traditional streams of Judaism. We keep the feasts, kosher and Shabbat. In the synagogue I feel right at home, I live for the. Torah service!, to touch the Torah is the highlight of my week. I visited israel in 1997as a member of the Us navy, people kept telling me “how middle Eastern ” I looked or how I looked like some of the Israelis. And after meeting Ethiopian and Yemenite Jews I have to agree. Arabs sometimes say I look Egyptian , and in Dubai I had a group of guys incredusly asking me if I was sure that I had no ME ancestry.my grand dad was born in Puerto Rico where I am from,in 1894. I was able to find the names of his parents and grand parents on both sides of the family, the last names are valentin, vega, Hernandez and Perez .my granddad never ate pork even when he was a pig farmer. Unfortunately because my parents families converted to Pentecostal Christianity in the 1930′s any crypto Jewish traditions where tossed out as ” pagan catholic rites” and lost to time. But I remember asking my dad if he had seen people light candles on Friday night for no reason, cover mirrors after a death of a relative or morning on the floor. His answer was ” yes but Catholics do that!” This are traditions asociated with crypto Judaism . That’s all I know, seeking more just to be able to leave a legacy for my 2 boys, who love hannukah and booing haman on Purim blessings to all who read this ,in conclusion ” Yosef said to his brothers, “I am Yosef! Is it true that my father is still alive?” “-Beresheet (Genesis)45:3 Tell me is my after israel still alive even when I been hiding in the open all this centuries? B’H

David Valentin
david.valentin@stryker.com