Youth raised as Muslim in eastern J'lem discovers he's Jewish

'Shmulik' dreamt of becoming a 'shahid' - but a meeting with a Jewish plumber changed his life forever.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Arab school in eastern Jerusalem
Arab school in eastern Jerusalem

“Shmulik” (invented name) is a youth who grew up in eastern Jerusalem as a Muslim, and who even wanted to become a “shahid” - until, one day, he was surprised to discover that his mother was Jewish - making him a Jew himself.

Speaking with Channel 2’s Rina Matsliach, Shmulik explained, “I grew up in eastern Jerusalem to a Jewish mother and an Arab father.”

When he was still young, however, his mother died and his father remarried to an Arab woman.

“I grew up with the wife of my father, I was there almost 16 years, not knowing how my mother died and where her parents are.”

Shmulik related that he began working in repairs, during the course of which he met a Jewish plumber - a meeting which changed his life.

The plumber asked Shmulik for his ID number and, after several inquiries, told Shmulik that he was, in fact, Jewish.

Two weeks later, Shmulik turned to the anti-assimilation organization Yad L’Achim.

Shmulik has since cut off contact with his family, and has completely changed his lifestyle. “It’s a really difficult change - I went through a lot of challenges. Even today, there are people who can’t accept it,” he said.

Nevertheless, Shmulik said that he is committed to the path he has chosen. Rabbi Yoav Ze’ev Robinson of Yad L’Achim has been assisting Shmulik on his new journey, even arranging a meeting between Shmulik and grandmother.

“I went into my mother’s room, it was really exciting - I felt like her soul was there,” Shmulik related.

“There’s no going back, I [now] have connections with many good people,” he concluded.