The bima has been the only place where I have been addressed by my Hebrew name-- a variation of Yeshayahu, Hebrew for Isaiah—Yeshaya. What would it mean for me to be called Yeshaya elsewhere? What does it mean for me to be called Yeshaya in my heart?
I started to answer that question earlier this year—quite spontaneously. I arrived at a retreat where they handed me a blank name tag and a pen. This was a totally Jewish environment, a spiritual haven. With a little hesitation I wrote in large block letters Y-E-S-H-A-Y-A. “Let’s see what this feels like for five days!” It took some practice. to say it to hear it and when I did, it felt wonderful. Since then Yeshaya keeps showing up-- as a participant at the Jewish Renewal Kallah as a member of the shul’s new men’s group as a volunteer at the Stanford Jewish Chaplaincy Yeshaya shows up wherever I let him in.
There’s nothing wrong with Doug . There’s something special— soft and sweet and spiritual— about Y e s h a y a .
I want to expand the sphere where I hear that vibration. Not at work just yet, but in shul— why not here? why not now? This is the perfect time and place to take that step.
So in shul I request-- Call me Yeshaya.
May you feel connected body, mind, heart, and soul to the highest manifestation of who you are.
May you have the courage to reclaim, reinvent, and rename yourself as many times as you want.