I think of life as a journey. I think of the many journeys that I have gone on. I have the journey I took to pursue theatre. I have the journey I took to move to Israel. I have the journey I am currently taking to become a rabbi (and many more because I do a lot of different things).
In some ways there is no common denominator except for myself.
I was thinking a lot about that idea of myself and my name yesterday, and how throughout my journeys it is the only thing that has followed me (ok, well maybe my suitcases and my stuffed elephant). But I was thinking about the fact that I made a name for myself and it comes with me.
It is rare that I go somewhere and people don’t know my name. They know my name, because of me- not because of other people in my family- but because of me. Even being in the hospital for only 6 weeks, I was talking to a security guard, and another came over and was like “oh…you’re X”.
One of the biggest changes I am seeing as I am getting closer to the end of my studies, especially which my switch in institutions, is that until now I represented myself. My previous institution did not promote us, and most people did not even know it existed, but they did know me. I found ways to get teaching and scholar in residence positions, really around the world. I met with people at conferences and spoke about what I was doing. I am good at being a social butterfly.
In this new institution, it is one that people have heard of. The institution wants to not only promote the students but also their name. All of a sudden when I enter a space, in some ways I am no longer just representing myself, but I am also representing them.
As my journey continues, I think about my name. I also think about how in some ways my journey is not mine alone- at least in this specific aspect. Many people tell me that my journey and fight to become a rabbi is making history. It is a journey that people are following. It is a path that is only just now being made, and so my treacherus journey will hopefully make ways so that others who want to do it will be able, but safely.
I hope that all the fighting and pain that I have experienced on this journey are so others don’t have to feel it. I hope that if anyone else chooses to take this path, they find it smoother and with beautiful scenery on both sides.