That afternoon I last but not least acquired to meet some of the protagonists. We drove out of city to Ponta Delgada’s padlocked Jewish cemetery, which incorporates the graves of my ancestors, like José, who I noticed was born on March 4, my personal birthday.
I placed a little stone (truly, a volcanic rock) on the corner of his grave, as is Jewish tradition, and I did the exact same on the graves of his father, Abraham, and spouse, Raquel. The graveyard felt humble, hushed, locked absent behind a high wall on a active out-of-town highway. Symbolic of the privateness of the Jewish local community, I suppose, but also, in my interpretation, a bodily reminder of how Sephardic Jews have been marginalised through the centuries. In truth, although in Sao Miguel I experienced requested concerns about the tale of their historic persecution in Portugal, and uncovered that in 2015 the Portuguese government passed a law permitting descendants of exiled Sephardic Jews to implement for a Portuguese passport. That was a job for a different day, nevertheless.
Very first experience with a distant relative
My ancestry hunt was coming to an close. I experienced lapped this Jurassic Park of an island, twice, I experienced gazed down on turquoise volcanic lakes and trawled by archives, but it felt like there was a lacking piece of the puzzle: I had not (knowingly) satisfied a fellow descendent of José Bensaúde. Through my closing day in Sao Miguel I asked all over if anybody understood any person I could satisfy, just for 5 minutes. And then, on the travel again from the cemetery, a phone simply call. A member of the spouse and children had read whispers in the wind of my ask for (it is a small island), and he was coming to satisfy me at my lodge at six o’clock.