To be honest, my full name is Rachel Beth Stein. Oy. Before my husband and I got married, I was a church-going, Italian meatball-making girl. There was one boy in my school who was Jewish and the extent of my Jewish knowledge was that I got off for the high holidays from school and that macaroons rocked my world.
When my husband and I got married, I didn’t realize what a huge change it would be to take on that name. Everyone asks me what Yeshiva I went to, which temple I grew up attending, and I was granted the Jewish holidays off from work without asking (OK, that last one was great but you get my point). My name seemed to give me a reputation I was totally unprepared for. I finally had to come up with a one-liner to let people down slowly that the girl with the very Jewish name did not know how to read Hebrew and could not understand most of what was going on at services except for the “Amen” part. I would sometimes say jokingly, “Oh, I’m new to the old testament.” Read the rest of this entry →