Tikvah's Journey Home
My journey home.
My Hebrew name Tikvah Ruth was chosen specifically as a promise of hope, to return home to my Hebrew ancestors, and Ruth being the first convert. My actual name is Josette Briffa. I currently live in Brisbane Australia but originate from Malta.
I grew up as a typical Maltese, in the catholic tradition, part and parcel of being Maltese. We never questioned our faith. My mother grew up in a convent during WW2 and never knew her mother. I write this here specifically in order to clarify that at this stage, it is impossible to obtain any hidden information there might possibly be to any Jewishness on my maternal linear descent. All we know is that she was born out of wedlock, a thing of great shame in those days (1930’s), she was raised by her father till she was 5 years of age, then placed in a catholic convent when the war broke out till she was 18. Until then, she was told that her mother had died in childbirth, which she later found out was not the case, but she never had the chance to see her mother as she died just before mum left the convent unfortunately.
I came to Australia when I was 16, and to cut a long story short, I became interested in religion, and became a Christian. This left me with many questions, and after a few years, I started looking into Judaism.
The more I searched, the more at home I felt.
I wanted to commit to this belief with all my being...which was set back after going through a divorce and then losing my dear mother suddenly.
A couple of years ago, I got in touch with a Maltese genealogist who did a search upon my request to any Jewish ancestry on either side of my family. The earliest documentations that he unearthed was of an Eliyahu Peres who left from Spain in 1662, this is on my paternal side.
After that, the surnames continued mostly with Sephardic connections; but due to the catholic church’s strong hold upon such documentations in Malta, it is very hard to get more substantial proof. The catholic church remains a strong hold there till this day.
Any enquiries to any Jewish proof is frowned upon and often times met with closed doors.
I am on the path to converting through an Orthodox Conversion. I had my initial meeting with a recognized Sydney Beit Din earlier last year where I was accepted without hesitations, and look forward to much eagerness to the glorious day where I will enter the final stage of stepping into the Mikve and step out as a fully recognized Jew.
In my heart, in my soul, I honestly believe and know that I am Jewish, there are no words to describe this...but I know that those on a similar journey can relate to this fully. The first promise I made to HaShem upon my decision was that I wanted to become the best Jew there is! May HaShem bless Reconectar, the leaders and those who are working so hard in order to recognize and acknowledge the Bnei Anusim’s long journey back home! Thank you for your time in reading this, and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance.