Left Church, Idolatry. Joined Team Hashem.
My name is Jose Luis Alvarez Calvo. I was born and raised in Costa Rica. My whole family was roman catholic and I was raised under that idolatry. My father´s family pretty much sustained that tradition, but my mother´s family did not (apparently, my mother´s mother knew about Judaism and possibly was a crypto Jew, which still I have to find out doing a lot of research). After the divorce of my parents (I was 17 at that time), still I had catholic tradition pretty strong on me, and I attended catholic church youth groups in order to "evangelize" catholics in far communities across the country. I was like this for about 8 years or so, and when I got into the middle of my university career, I became interested on eastern religions and I eventually enrolled on a meditation cult with buddhist background for about 3 years.
During that transitional time, the catholic faith was not sustainable anymore to me due to the lifestyle and inconsistencies of the religion, and I became attracted to eastern mysticism and buddhist and hindu meditation techniques. One of my aunts had begun the first Noahide group in Costa Rica with the permission of a Chabad rabbi, and one day she invited me into a "Shabbat" dinner. At the beginning, Judaism was something completely strange to me since the only information I had was from the catholic side as well as from the buddhist side. Eventually, I became interested in Judaism and formed and then I moved to pursue my graduate degree in the United States from 2002 to 2004. At that time, my brother and me became very interested in studying Judaism. Unfortunately, the only information available was from the Kabbalah Centre and from the books on the university´s library. Still, I had more questions than answers and when I moved back to Costa Rica I decided to join my aunt´s group as a Noahide and relinquish from the eastern sect.
I pretty much knew about Chabad Chassidut and even started to help to translate some of the material for Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg. Some time passed, and unfortunately the Noahide group I was in dissolved due to ideological and sectarian reasons. Still I read some kabbalah material and started to buy books, but somehow I still felt that I was missing rabbinic guidance or the contact with a competent orthodox rabbi. In Costa Rica, the official Jewish community was extremely closed at that time. I got in contact in 2011 to the website Divineinformation.com, and I started to watch Rabbi Mizrachi´s shiurim. I did not miss most of his lectures and for the first time in my life, I saw a competent rabbi that spoke clearly and unambiguously about Judaism, as well as the respect and kindness with which he treated non Jews. I got engaged in by helping for as long as 8 years, and I continued to watch his lectures and seminars everywhere. That gave me the opportunity to start having contact with BeezratHaShem.org since 2016 (almost 4 years), and became part of the official team helping translating and captioning video clips and written material.
Since then, HaShem gave me two great gifts in my life: the first one where I was able to go to give some Cds to Jews and personally meet Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi, shlita, and the second great gift was the opportunity to travel to Erets Israel and to personally meet and talk to Chacham Rabbi Efraim Kachlon, shlita. HaShem also blessed me by helping me creating the first Costa Rican facebook page called Costa Rica kiruv, where many can see the amazing work of BeezratHaShem organization as well as Rabbi Mizrachi´s work and many other orthodox rabbanim that dedicate their lives to kiruv. I write this with tears in my eyes, and I hope the Almighty give me more years to help Jews more and more to make teshuvah and return to Him. I am honored to belong to Beezrat HaShem team and help Chacham Rabbi Yaron Reuven, shlita and Chacham Rabbi Efraim Kachlon, shlita with this amazing endeavor. I want to thank the Almighty publicly, for taking me out of two idolatric cults consecutively and giving me the opportunity to help Jews do teshuva. I also want to thank with all my heart Chacham Rabbi Yaron Reuven, shlita and his wife Rabbanit Reuven for BeezratHaShem.org and their support and their magnificent kiruv work. Also thank Chacham Rabbi Efraim Kachlon, shlita for his constant and magnificent kiruv work and Chacham Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi, shlita for his constant and magnificent kiruv work. May HaShem bless them all and all their endeavors with swiftness, rejoicing and peace.
Jose Luis Alvarez Calvo
Translation & Subtitles