Former Polish president (1990-1995) Lech Walesa, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, wrote on his April 26, 2016 Facebook page that he regrets he is not Jewish and that there are no Jewish members of his family. “I would like to be a part of the Chosen People, but I am not,” the post said.
Walesa’s heroic opposition to Communist rule in Poland surely qualifies him to become Jewish; and ‘Thank God’ there is in Poland today a small but growing Jewish population of Polish non-Jews who have converted to Judaism, both Orthodox Judaism and Liberal Reform Judaism, since the fall of Polish communism in 1989.
If Walesa would like to be a part of the Chosen People and he desires to become Jewish, he would be welcomed by Rabbi Haim Beliak of Beit Polska, the national organization of Liberal Reform Jews in Poland.
The recent revival of Jewish life in Poland is one example of the miraculous ongoing survival of the People of Israel. Since the end of Communist rule in 1989, thousands of Poles have discovered a previously hidden Jewish ancestry two to five generations back, and decided to return to that identity.
In Warsaw today, there are two Progressive Reform Congregations and one Orthodox Synagogue; all of them filled with Poles who found that in some mysterious way, they have a Jewish soul that yearns to come back to the Jewish people.
Of course, those who participate in a large scale miracle have difficulty in seeing it as a miracle. People are human; they always have their faults and weaknesses. Even during the Exodus from Egypt, the greatest miracle in Jewish history, Jews were complaining to Moses about food (Exodus 16: 2-4), drink (15:24, & 17:2-3), danger (14:11-12). and his leadership (14:10-12).
Yet 120 generations of Jews would look back to this event as the greatest of all miracles. Future generations in Poland will look at this generation’s Polish revival in the same way. All those who encourage others to join the Jewish People now, will be part of that Divine and yet very human miracle.