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What does a name mean?

25 Jun

Today I legally changed my name (in Israel) from just Berger to Berger-Burcat. I added my husband’s family name to my name. Ironically it took me almost a year of marriage to take this step.

I wasn’t hindered by the idea of “losing myself” by changing/adding his name. In my mind, I’ve been Berger-Burcat since we got engaged. Maybe even a bit before that. Now that I have a bit of free time on my hands, it was time to make this change.

It was time to make it “legal”.

A bit of background history …. when my mother married my father she wanted to do the same thing. Hyphenate her last name with my father’s last name and have  her family name Kaufman-Berger. My maternal grandmother was dead set against it and out of respect for my Bubby Leah, she didn’t hyphenate her last name. What she did do instead was give all of her girls double middle names. Each of us have double Hebrew names and double English names. All of us have only gone by our Hebrew name. There was a time early in my career that I used my English middle name. I needed an alias, and I thought – might as well use the name I never use. At least I’ll respond to it.

All three of us share one of our middle names – Kay. Kay, as in Kaufman. In America, you cannot write an initial on a birth certificate. You need to spell out the initial and that is exactly what my mother did.  My full middle name is Erica Kay.

Back to the present. I didn’t want to stop using Berger. My paternal grandfather’s family was almost wiped out during WWII. Our family name isn’t even our real last name (it was shortened to gain entry into Canada). But the “Berger” name was going to end with my father and his brother.

Now as the oldest sibling, I wanted to carry on our name and hope to pass it along to the next generation.

Berger-Burcat. It has a great ring to it, doesn’t it?


You have to love. You have to feel

2 Sep

“Life will break you.
Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning.
You have to love.
You have to feel.
It is the reason you are here on earth.

You are here to risk your heart.
You are here to be swallowed up.
And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness.
Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

~ Louise Erdich, The Painted Drum


I understood the message found in this poem last year at what I thought was my darkest moment.  My darkest moment led me to the tunnel filled with light. As the upcoming Jewish New Year looms ahead of me, I wonder what G-d has in store for me, for us and for my newly created family.

Needless to say, G-d blessed me greatly this past year. May the future hold even more blessings for my family and friends.


(h/t unscrupulous man eater for posting this poem on her blog)

So Whats Been Going On With Me

15 Jul

Well first off, I got married. Yeah, you read that correctly. I got married. MARRIED.

You know, it doesn’t feel weird to say it at all.  Nor does it feel weird to call Eitan my husband. Well, seeing it in writing actually makes my heart jump. Eitan is *my* husband. I am the luckiest girl  in the world IMHO

We are Mr and Mrs Burcat. Well, unofficially right now. You see, my little (I should really start to refer to her as my younger sister since she is 26 years old) sister got engaged the day after our wedding and is getting married mid October please Gd. Since we are traveling to the States and I need my American passport, I am not changing my last name until we return from our honeymoon and the wedding. So as of right now I am Berger-Burcat which kinda has a nice ring to it. We joked about changing both our names to Berger Burcat because it just rolls off the tongue nicely but I think I’m going to stick with just changing mine.

Oh and July 14 marked my 8 years of making Israel my home. I think after this year I am going to stop – as we are currently building a Bayit Ne’eman B’Yisrael. No more looking to the past but rather, going to keep my eyes on the future while holding my husband’s hand.

To see our wedding pictures  click here