Carolyn Steinman

Expiration Dates

I took a tub of techina out of the refrigerator yesterday and happened to glance at the expiration date.

Serendipitously it matched the date of our aliyah flight. Was this a sign? Was there a hidden message here?

And what happens to things when they expire? They change form — not for the best — and need to be discarded.

And then I realised that I too have an Aussie expiration date. What would happen to me? Would I change form — oh please let it be a 10kg weight loss — and need to be discarded?

I feel the change will not be so skin deep, but rather more profound. I have been pondering the idea of shifting identities for a while now. Are we the same people in different contexts, is there some core part of us that  remains  unchanged. And if so, is this even desirable? Should we want to reinvent ourselves, desire change and perhaps even lose who we once were? And were we actually the person we thought we were, or is that just subjective?

When we land I want to embrace my new identity and new home. I am determined to change to my Hebrew name. Why? Because I believe I will be as whole as I can be as a Jew. I will be living in our land, in the holiest city, brokenly speaking Hebrew and in this situation, only my Hebrew name will do. I want to throw my lot in with my people, I want their destiny to be my destiny. I want to feel the rhythms of life in Israel. The highs and G-d forbid, but the inevitable lows.

I cannot but become a new person with different perspectives and emotions attached to my new experiences.

There will be memories of people, times and experiences.  Emotions that are still attached to those memories. They will all go along with me on the journey. They are a part of who I am now and will shape how I interpret meaning there.

But there will hopefully be a shift. A new identity. Israeli to add to Jewish.  A deepening of my connection to our collective Jewish destiny.

This has been a  dream from which I am slowly awakening. A profound yearning that I pray comes to fruition. 6 weeks, 5 days and 7 hours and counting!

As so as I scooped out the last spoon of techina, I made sure to save my flight details on my phone. And set a reminder to pick up our passports from the aliyah office.

About the Author
Carolyn was born in South Africa, lived in Australia and has now realised her dream of making Aliyah. She has taught in schools and university across two continents and four cities. Carolyn, now officially Gavriella, blogs her journey and it’s quirky and profound moments, from one side of the Yarden to the other.
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