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Elizabeth's Blog
Friday, March 18, 2005
Being here in times of loss
Now Playing: REM - Everybody hurts
Yesterday, my grandfather passed away. I had no idea he was sick until the day before. I hate that being here means that people don't tell me what's going on at home, because they don't want to "worry" me for no reason, or because they don't think it's important enough for me to worry about. That's the worst thing I've ever heard. I also hate the distance. If I could go home for like the weekend, just to be with my dad and my grandmother, I would give anything for that. But I can't. And they don't want me to.
So I sit here alone, like several of my classmates that have lost friends and relatives this year, not sure what to feel or do or say, but just feeling a certain emptiness inside. I have a wonderfully supportive community here, like Rochelle and Lisa who came over last night without any question or hesitation, just knowing that I needed the company. For that, I will be forever grateful. But it still doesn't shake this fog, or this quesioning or these thoughts running through my mind about life and death and the frailty of it all.
I was so sad earlier this week when Karen's friend from home passed away from battling cancer for a long time. It hurt me so much to see my friend, Karen, in so much pain. And a lot of the time, I didn't feel like I knew the right thing to say or do for her, I just tried to be there for her. Now, I understand that that's all we can really do for each other. Just BE THERE, with an ear to listen to how a person feels or what the person needs, or a shoulder to cry on, or for nothing at all...just to let them know there is love and support for them, and that whatever they may be feeling is genuine and important, because it is what they are honestly feeling.

I love being here this year, you all know that. But I never imagined that when I said goodbye to my grandfather at the beginning of the year that it would have been the last time I spoke to him. I never imagined how hard it would be to lose someone and not have my family around me to grieve with them, or to be able to comfort them. I never imagined that in a year of such learning and exploring and possibilities and experiences, that some of those experiences would be sad, and challenging and difficult.
I know my grandfather is at peace now, he no longer has to struggle or suffer. I just wish I could have been there, or that I could be there now. Because it's sad here, on my own...not knowing what to do or say or feel. It's just sad.

Posted by Elizabeth at 10:26 AM
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Monday, March 14, 2005
D'var Torah
Now Playing: Stairway to Heaven
In about two hours, I will be giving my first D'var Torah ever. I have to admit, I feel nervous. Not about getting up in front of my classmates, or about making mistakes, or about feeling unprepared. I am worried about what they will think. What if they don't like it? What if they think I don't actually have anything to say? What if I poured my heart and my soul into this, and it's only received half-heartedly? I know that no matter what happens today, this is a learning experience, and I can only grow from here...but I still want people to gain something from what I am saying. And although people always think that I have everything together and I am so confident and that I have nothing to worry about, I am still scared, just like the rest of you. I still care about whether people think it's good or bad. I still care that all my hard work pays off. And it's not that this year has made me feel that way more or less, it's just there have been more opportunities for these totally human and natural fears to be exposed.

I know everything will be fine. In fact, I am looking forward to standing before my classmates today, speaking from my heart, and enjoying giving my view of Torah to them.

But I'm also a bit nervous......

Posted by Elizabeth at 7:55 AM
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Thursday, March 10, 2005
My Heart is in the East
Now Playing: Dan Nichols- Album: It was You
So the thing about being in Israel since July is that I never got a copy of Dan's CD that he released at the end of June at camp last year. He let me hear the preview for it when I was there but never the final version. Luckily, Michael brought it for me today (along with himself!). I forgot how much I love this new album "It was you". I mean, the title song is incredible, but I expected that, I remembered how much I liked it. But I forgot what else was on the CD. The first song was nice, but then his song "My heart is in the East" came on. And I started crying. I'm not sure really. Maybe it's because it made me realize how much I love this country and my time here. Maybe it made me sad to think that all my time will be over soon...all the relationships that I've formed and the connections I've made and all that I've learned. I know that in the next few years I will make tremendous connections and learn more than I can ever imagine...but this year is special, and I can't help thinking about how sad I will be when I need to leave it all. I know that I've changed. I've changed opinions and views and beliefs and changed who I am and the way I interract with others. And I can't wait to see what changes I truly bring home with me.

Having the Meisters and Michael here is sort of surreal. They are two completely seperate but special parts of my life. And they bring me back to my old self, that is still part of me, but that is somehow different now. We walked a bit around downtown Jerusalem today, and seeing it all new again through the Meister's eyes was intense. I had to explain a lot, and I realized that I was not only telling them about the city itself, but about myself, and my life here and my religion. And it was fabulous. But also a little hard to explain everything. How do I describe what has happened to me over the past 9 months? How do I begin to do justice to this place and it's significance and meaning and rich history and feeling. It's hard. But everyone would do it if it wasn't hard. The hard is what makes it great.


I took my rabbinic lit. midterm today...it was really long!!! I wrote 7 pages. It wasn't extremely hard but it was just tiring. That and the other test I had today. And a service rehearsal where I think i might change some stuff in my D'var Torah. And then my guests. It was a nice day, I'm just tired. I am really looking forward to this weekend though and being able to just hang with Michael and meet lots of guests at Rochelle's and just relax for a bit. I'll need to get some work done, but I'm not stressing it.

Anyway, just thought i would write and let everyone know where I'm at....as if you had a doubt in your mind?????? :)

Posted by Elizabeth at 10:43 PM
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Tuesday, March 8, 2005
I got to play with a Golden!!!!
Now Playing: Peter Cetera - Glory of Love
It's true....I got to hang out with a golden retriever for a few hours yesterday. I was in heaven getting to play with a dog again. I know that Amy and I have talked about having a dog next year and how hard it would be with us out of town and stuff, but I just love dogs. It was hard going from living with a doglast year, to not living with one this year. But there were so many changes between last year and this year that it sort of made it bearable. But Beth P. was totally right...you just get used to having the animals around, and it's hard if you move away from that.
So anyway, I was helping walk Tamar's dog yesterday and he was such a funny dog. I played with him at home for a few minutes (where I think he was in heaven because I gave great belly rubs and ear rubs) and then we went on a walk. He loves to roll around in the grass...he was happier than a mississippi pig in July. He also likes to eat lots of trash and rocks, and sometimes he just stops in the middle of the walk, and you sort of have to pull him. A bit weird, but a very very sweet dog indeed.
After that I came home and slept for a bit (still feeling a bit under the weather yesterday) and then went out to dinner for Karen's b-day and for Joel's b-day. Lots of fun had by all!!!! :)

Today I just had lots of class, and now i'm about to work on my various tasks. I have an impossibly crazy midterm in rabbinic literature on Thursday and a vocab test that day in hebrew. Also, my guests are both coming in on Thursday, so I have to have everything clean and ready for them. Also, my D'var Torah (like a sermon) is next Monday, so I'm trying to still work on that a bit. One would think that I would be pretty stressed out, but the truth is...I'm not. I will study tonight a lot, study tomorrow for most of the day (once I'm done with class) and do that best that I can on my exams. And my D'var torah will get to where it needs to be... And hello, my best friend and Mr. Meister are coming to town....how exciting is that???? SO I'm surviving.....and not too stressed out at all!!!!

Anyway, why am I writing all this? I should be off doing some work!!!

Posted by Elizabeth at 9:47 PM
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Friday, March 4, 2005
Pweese pass da kweenex
Now Playing: Beck- Loser
I am sick. And let me tell you, it's no fun. I even missed a few classes (that's when you know i'm truly sick...nothing comes in between me and my learning). And I actually broke down and went to the doctor here in Israel. It was actually surprisingly easy and considering that it was free (gotta love a country with socialized medicine) I'm not really sure why I haven't gone before. Unfortunately, it wasn't too productive of a visit. The doctor told me I have an upper respiratory infection and that it should clear up in a few days by itself as long as I rest and drink lots of fluids. WHAT ARE YOU SOME KIND OF GENIUS??? I could have told you that in my sleep!!! He told me to come back for antibiotics if I developed an ear infection or if I couldn't breathe. Awesome, I can't wait for those symptoms to start without any meds in my body...that should be REAL FUN!
On the plus side, even though my symptoms (i.e. lots of green snot and sore throat) haven't gone away, I feel a little bit better each day. Also, I've managed to write a solid first draft of my D'var Torah which I am giving on March 14th (when the Meisters and Michael are here!!!) That's taken a lot of stress off of me. Now, I just have to send it out to my advisor (who's in Rome meeting with the sick Pope right now...why is he so cool?) and to others and begin editing and reworking it to my liking. I'm also chanting torah, again, on saturday morning. I've come to realize, that I love the challenge of chanting torah. Honestly, I've learned a lot this year, but Torah chanting is the most applicable, tangible skill that I've really grasped and that makes me feel more rabbinical. Thank you, Tamar Havilio.
In 6 days I have three guests coming in to town (well, two sets of guests really). I'm excited to see all of them, but I know that guests can often change daily routine and life can get a bit busy when they are here...but I am so looking forward to it. As my wise friend Courtney said, it's better to have many people who love you fly halfway around the world to see you all at once, rather than no one at all. so true, Courtney Hachachama.
So this weekend I am just resting, writing, chanting, catching up on a bit or work and working ahead. I hope to be productive!!!!
Have a great weekend!!!!

Posted by Elizabeth at 11:02 AM
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Saturday, February 26, 2005
Golan Trip & other stuff
Now Playing: Three dog night - Joy to the world
Last week, our class took a trip to the Golan Heights. It was awesome. The thing that I forgot about the Golan was how absolutely gorgeous it is up there. Everything is lush and green and mountainous and the weather hasn't gotten too hot yet so it was lovely and temperate. Just amazing. I had a really good time with my friends too!!! They are amazing, my classmates, and I'm lucky that I'm reminded of that every day.
We left Jerusalem at about 7am and ended up at Tel Dan for most of the morning and early afternoon. It's a very famous archeological site where the House of David inscription was found and many ruins have been uncovered there. It was beautiful getting to walk around, see the ruins, and be out in nature. Then we went to Tel Faucher, which is sort of like an army outpost that was important in the 1960's. Syria used to hold it, and then Israel was able to gain it. The actual land was so interesting because there were all these bunkers and tanks everywhere and we were all climbing all over them and everything. It was very cool, and pretty interesting. Right near there were a lot of mine fields, from leftover mines that the Syrians had planted. The fields are well marked though and no one wandered off. ALthough, there were lots of cows grazing by and every once in a while a cow will step on it and become BBQ. I, however, didn't witness that...
From there we went to go see this movie about the Golan (which I think i've defiantely seen before when I was here in 2001) and heard this woman speak who is a settler at one of the kibbutzim in the Golan. Her manner was a little abrasive, to me, and we were all pretty tired, so it was nice when we got to leave and head to the fieldschool where we were to stay that night. We had dinner in the dining hall, and then a bunch of us went into town to check out the happenings. Well, it wasn't happening...at all! So we went to a little convenience store and bought some snacks and bummed around a little bit. Rose, one of our staff members, warned all of us about the wild pigs that sometimes come out night...but again, I wasn't lucky enough to see one. I saw a dog that looked a little pig-like...but no actually pigs.
When we went back, my friend's Joel and Rachael adn Kevin and I went to the edge of the fieldschool where the bright moonlight was illuminating the rocks leading down to a wadii (deep valley with water running through the bottom) and it was abosultely gorgeous to look out at the country through the moonlight. Unbelievable.
I was rooming with my friends Erin Ellis, Amy Rossel, and Jason Kaufman. Even though it was only for one night, we had fun!!!! Lots to talk about and joke about.
The next morning our group split up into two: those that wanted a smaller hike, and those that wanted a more challenging strenous hike. I chose the latter, hoping for a good adventure.
What a good choice I made. We hiked into this valley that had a stream running though it that eventually lead to a waterfall. The way down was awesome. It was really rocky and rough terrain and it was so much fun to climb all over. Once we got down to the waterfall, a few people went in. The water was freezing though, so although I would have loved to have dipped in, I knew i would have been miserable being super cold and very wet. The hike back up the mountain wasn't so much fun, but whenever you go down...you must come up!
Then we had a picnic lunch and headed off to the Golan Winery where we had a fabulous tour of the grounds (and a not so fabulous movie beforehand). At the end of the tour we got to taste test three wines and got some information on great ways to open wine bottles, how to check if a wine is good, etc. Too much fun.
Then, we all gathered out on the lawn as the sun was setting (and I have to admit I took a bit of a nap) and waited for everyone to be done purchasing their items (I got a nice Pinot Noir for my parents). After that we headed back to Jerusalem!!!! It was such a great tiyul, and so good to get out and see the country.

Now I'm just procrastinating writing my D'var Torah (like a sermon). It's not until March 14th, but I'm hoping to have a rough draft out in the next few days so that I can begin the big long editing process. I have a ton of research done, and I know exactly what I want to say..I just have to do it. It's sort of harder than just writing a paper, because it's something I have to deliver. I have, in fact, never delievered a D'var Torah, so I'm a bit nervous. But it'll happen. Anyway, not much else is new. Having a lovely shabbat as usual!!!
Hope you all have a good rest of your weekend/good week!!!

Posted by Elizabeth at 5:24 PM
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Saturday, February 19, 2005
Politics and Relationships (but not together!)
Now Playing: Bette Middler- The Rose
Today was an excellent Shabbat. I truly feel rested, which is more than I can say for some other Shabbatot that I've had recently. But today was just beautiful. For one thing, the weather is gorgeous right now. We've gone from the threat of snow and cold yucky gray days, to beautiful sunny 70 degree weather with clear skies and yummy smells of spring. How could you not be happy and content on a day like this?

Second, I finally cashed in on my "Sex & the City" day. Back in Septemeber, I paid money at a silent auction (for charity) to have a day of watching a "Sex and the City" season with four friends at my classmate's apartment (who own the DVDs). It took me a while, but we finally did it today. We had bagels and lox, tuna and egg salad, and hand-dipped strawberries and wine. It was exquisite. I decided to invite some girls that I truly enjoy and that I often don't get to hang out with.
The meal started off with us talking about very causal things. But then, we started talking about Palestinean and Israeli relations (because one of the girls took a tour of East Jerusalem yesterday) and things started to get a little heated. We talked about human rights, and America's involvement, and other countries interests in the Middle East. That's when I had this huge realization. There is conflict EVERYWHERE. Including at the lunch party we were having. We all had different opinions on the situation and on elements of the situation, and that's why these issues are so difficult to deal with. We are all human beings with our own opinions and ideas and it's hard to find a middle ground in conflict.
Then we began talking about 9/11 events and how that has changed America and even the way we think about the Arab world and the rammifications of that day. It was sad and heavy (on a day that felt very light and springy) but it was important. These things are important to remember and to bring up and to stuggle with. Otherwise, we just forget, and we become numb and lifeless.

It also made me think about an issue that i've been struggling with lately: Zionism. Last night the President of our college spoke to 100 high school American NFTY exchange students (EIE program) about Zionism, and I led a discussion group with about 10 students and we talked about the role of Israel in our lives. Although I was more than happy to talk about it, it's still an issue for me. I didn't grow up in a particularly strong Zionist household. Judaism was always important, and being concerned about the state of affairs in Israel was important in my synagoge, but the actual idea of being in, living in, or knowing much about Israel was never stressed to me at home, at synagogue, or even at camp. And I don't blame anyone for that...not by any means. But as a future Jewish leader (in a movement that is really trying to reintegrate Zionism back into it's agenda) I need to think about what Zionism and the land of Israel mean to me. For instance, I would come back here in a heartbeat...no matter what the situation may be like politically, socially, or religiously. I feel that it is my duty to support Israel and it's land and inhabitants in whatever way I can. And although I value people's opinions and different views, I no longer feel the need to completely listen to people's views on Israel if they've never been here, never lived here, and never experienced it's richness, beauty, hardships and struggles. I want them to experience it for THEMSELVES! I guess I'm beginning to realize that I am a Zionist. I support the building and maintaing of a peaceful Jewish state in the land of Israel. I think supporting Israel in every sense of the word is one of my biggest responsibilities as a Reform Jew and as a Jewish leader. And I think it's important to promote that idea for others.


So then, we started watching "Sex and the City". I forgot how much I loved it. We watched a few funny episodes (Charlotte's Jewish wedding is absoultely hysterical) and then we watched the last few episodes of the last season, that are a little more serious. And it made me think too (of course). It made me really miss my friends at IU. Particularly my friends Kari, and Karen, and Ashley and Jenny T. who were really my support for the past few years. The more touching episodes made me think of them. We were there for each other through a lot...lots of laughs and good times, and lots of cries and hard times. It really made me miss them.
There's this line in the last episode that talks about all the relationships that people have in their lives. "Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous."
And this made me so happy. Because I truly feel that. Living in a place that is so far from my loved ones has made me realize how important everyone is in my life. My parents. My brother. My grandmother. Michael, Phyllis, and David. My friends. My mentors. My life.
But I've also been able to experience new friendships...and even new loves. A new love of the unexpected and the unknown. A new love for my classmates and friends. And most importantly, for me. I've learned so much about myself this year, and I've really learned to love myself..in all ways. I love that I love it here. I love that I miss home. I love that I struggle with my life here.
And I know that by finding out who I am and truly accepting it all, the relationships that I have in my life will only get stronger. And people will love and do love me for the me that I love! And that's the greatest blessing of all......

Posted by Elizabeth at 7:50 PM
Updated: Sunday, April 11, 2010 9:15 PM
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Mikor Baruch
Today was awesome.

Every Wednesday we HUCers drag our tired bodies out of bed and come to school for our "Israel Seminar Day". It's a day when we don't just have to sit in the classroom (although we do a bit of that too) and learn but rather we get to go out into Israel and learn about different aspects of it's culture, language, religiousity, politics, etc. Lately, it's been a little stagnant, feeling like we got stuck in this routine where we go to school, sign up for a mini-field trip and return to debrief.
I thought today was going to be like that too....but it wasn't. I mean, yes, we did meet and get lectured to, and then go off around Jerusalem, and then come back to debrief...but today was just cooler somehow.

We all broke up into small groups of our own choosing, and we went into different neighborhoods around the city in order to talk to people. Not just to be taught, but to actually listen to them...to take a survey of the socio-economic conditions of the area, the inhabitans views on politics in Israel (which are always complex and ever-changing), and to figure out what people's lives were like in these different areas.
I had an incredible group. My friends Dave Reiner, Rachel Bregman, Noam Katz, Joel Simonds, and Kevin Kleinman and I went together to a religious community called M'kor Baruch. We started off by walking around together in a big group, going into some stores to check stuff out and try to talk to people, but then we decided it would be better if we split up. Kevin and Joel went into a Yeshiva and had a cool experience watching what they were doing and seeing what was in it. Rachael and Dave walked around and went into a store where a man taught them a Midrash when they inquired about economic conditions.
Noam and I had experiences too!!! We met this lovely old woman at a bus stop who was very sweet, but wasn't so helpful in the information department. Then, we went into this guy's office under the guise of wanting to look at apartments in the area. This guy was a tax collector and had lived in the area his whole life. He was so fascinating. He was also willing to talk to us about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING we wanted to know. It was really cool.

Now, I have to admit that Noam's hebrew is much better than mine. But I was finding that I was understanding a lot of what he was saying, and I was doing well enough communicating with him on my own. No one in that area of town spoke any English...which was great. It forced me to use my Hebrew and that was really cool too.

After that, we met up with the rest of our group and did a little more talking and walking and observing and then headed back downtown to eat lunch and walk around before we had to head back to school.


I just really love what we did today. Jerusalem, and Israel for that matter, is such a diverse place and because I tend to spend about 8-10 hours each day at school, I rarely get a chance to see it all on a regular basis. I live in a very secular, english-speaking, yuppie area and it was nice to see a different type of neighborhood. It was also great to have an excuse to interact with Israelis. I'm so sheltered here, in this little bubble of HUC and although I mostly love it, I would hate to regret not getting to meet more Israeli's this year. I mean, I have less than 4 months left, and I don't feel like I've truly experienced it all, lived it all, or seen it all. And I know that I can't possibly do it all in the next few months. But, I also can't get lazy. Now, is a critical time for me to do this. I know the city and the language and the culture well enough to be confident and to understand my interactions with Israeli's at this point. So I can't just stay in my bubble because it's easy and it's what I know. I still need to challenge myself all the time and get out of my comfort zone and experience it all...because trust me, there's a lot to experience!!!!!

Posted by Elizabeth at 7:04 PM
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Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Struggles
Now Playing: Shawn Colvin- Sonny came home
Some days, I just struggle.

I struggle with it all. I mean, that's what I'm here for, right? That's what I'm doing in rabbinical school...taking time to understand and learn and to figure myself and the Jewish people out in order to help others do the same. And I know that there's nothing more important to Judaism (or at least Reform Judaism) than the struggle. We need to stuggle with it and with ourselves each day in order to always better ourselves. And even Jacob wrestled with God. I know all this.
But some days it's hard.

Like today, I just kept thinking...how did I get here? What am I doing here? I feel like rabbinical school was just this momentum in my life and for a while I was in charge of it and had control over it, until one day i realized that it really had control over me. All the stuff getting ready for it, looking over and gathering stuff for the application (all the while just thinking, let's see where this goes) and then filling out the application and interviewing and waiting and getting in and going to israel....and now HERE! And here I am and I sort of don't remember how I got here.

I'm starting research for my D'var Torah that's in about a month. And I was in the library today looking at all sorts of commentaries and texts and getting nowhere and feeling frustrated and confused and I thought.....wow, I REALLY don't know how to do this. And I'm not used to feeling that way in my life. That's when I realized that rabbinical school has made me feel that way a lot this year. I don't know what I'm doing. But I always learn. I feel so much more confident in calling myself a "rabbinical student" now than I did at the beginning of the year. And I know after the D'var Torah process is over, I'll feel more confident there too...but right now, it's hard, and i'm struggling.

In my portion, Vayikra, it says "And he was called"...talking about Moses being called to recieve the laws of sacrifice. Was I called to this profession, or did I just happen upon it? And if I was called to it...why do I stuggle? Why do I feel like this is sometimes the one and only thing I could see myself doing, and other times I feel like this is so weird and such a bizarre thing to make my life out of. I feel so removed from my choice to enter into this profession because I get so caught up in the biblical grammar, and hebrew verbs, and i can't see what i'm doing.

I know this is right for me. I do. There is no where else I'd rather be than here. And I love it..i can honestly say I've loved my experience here so far and I would never trade it for anything. But still, I struggle. I struggle with my Judaism, and with my beliefs, and with God, and with my studies, and with myself. And most days it's a joy to struggle and to question and to discover new things. And some days... it's hard. And I have to remember that it will not always feel so bad, and that the hard days are good too. Maybe even better and more fruitful than the easy days. But sometimes, it's a struggle.

Posted by Elizabeth at 7:48 PM
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Thursday, February 10, 2005
The "Elizabeth" Dilema
Now Playing: "A Mighty Wind" soundtrack
"What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet..." ~WS


I've been thinking a lot lately about names. Well, actually for the past 7 months. And no, I'm not pregnant!!!! I've been thinking about my name.

Everyone here knows me as Liz Wood. But my entire life I have been Elizabeth. In fact, when I was younger and my brother called me Liz all the time, I hated it so much that I trained him to call me Elizabeth. And various friends throughout the years called me Liz..but they didn't do it on a permanent basis and it never really stuck. I always introduced myself as Elizabeth and thought of myself as Elizabeth. That's who I am.
Then something happened in college. I started experimenting with "Liz". At certain events or in certain places I tried it out. I think this was becasue my very, very close friends Michael and Phyllis Sommer called me Liz. And part of me really liked it. Maybe it's because no one else called me Liz, so it was like their special name for me. Heck, their son calls me "Auntie Liz" beause it's easier for a 3 year old to say that than "Aunt Elizabeth".
Then this year, I started living with my roommate Leah who knew me through Michael and Phyllis and knew me as Liz. When we got here to Israel, she kept calling me Liz, and I thought...okay, I'll try it. I still occasionally introduce myself as Elizabeth, but mostly I introduce myself now as Liz Wood.
I struggled with this at the beginning of the year, thinking, well I need to make a decision NOW, because these are my future collegues who will know me the rest of my life and call me either Liz or Elizabeth. Although I was a bit uncomfortable with it as a permanent answer, I went to Liz.
EVERYONE here knows me as Liz. I mean, when my brother came to visit and he called me Elizabeth (because I trained him so well, he can't bring himself to call me anything but that) people snickered and laughed and teased us. And the more I've been thinking about it, the more I love that my name is Elizabeth, and not Liz.

Here's what really broke the camel's back: We got e-mails from the college asking us to verify information that they were sending on to donors and stuff, and they wrote my name as LIZ WOOD. Then, I realized that they always use Liz. The institution, without me even telling them, began assuming that I am Liz, and not Elizabeth...even though I write Elizabeth on absolutely everything official and unofficial that I give to HUC. That's when I realized that this Liz thing has gotten a little out of hand.
So what's my conclusion???

Liz is okay for my friends and close loved ones to call me. Even faculty here and rabbis that I know and people in the community. Liz is okay. But it's not my name. I'm Elizabeth. And i will always continue to introduce myself as Elizabeth. And although my classmates and future collegues may always refer to me as "Liz"...that's okay. I see it as a term of enderment, and closeness. But it's not the real me. I'm really Elizabeth, and I think it's a beautiful name, and so what if it's not as easy as Liz or if it seems too formal. It's my name, and I don't want to give it up.

So call me what you want (within reason) and expect that it won't always be black or white whether I go by Liz or Elizabeth. (Don't ever ask me to pick one over the other.) But know that either one is acceptable, and I have come to love and appreciate both for what they stand for.

Posted by Elizabeth at 6:45 PM
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