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Have you ever had the phone slammed down by an old woman?


How about simply because she doesn't approve of your name?


I did, yesterday.


Here's what happened...


One of my client's amazon accounts had been related to another account.


I was doing some 'FBI' research to try get in touch with the account he's related to.


I noticed this account was registered at an address with a store.


I decided I would give a call to the store to see if I could get in touch with the owner of the account.


After a pleasant chat with what I figured was a Jewish lady, it appeared that the company I was trying to reach uses the address as a PO Box and this sweet old lady said she would be kind enough to pass on my information and tell them to contact me.


As we were nearing the end of the call, I gave her my number and told her my name is Rochel Giter.


The tone of voice changed instantly.


She started shouting 'your name isn't Rochel if you want to sound professional your name is Rachel'


I tried cutting in but after just getting out the words 'my name is Rochel, I'm a proud Jew...' she continued yelling 'you aren't a proud Jew, you are a brain washed Jew my name is Rochel too' she says 'in fact my name is Malka Rochel, but now my name is Margaret. You live in America, stop being brainwashed and talk like a normal person.


She continued...'you must be from London or Manchester or Australia (I'm not, I'm from Leeds) you went to Bais Yaakov (I didn't) you sound Chaseedish (I'm chabad with an English accent not sure how accurate that is)


After about 3 full minutes going on how I'm brainwashed and should go by the name Rachel instead of Rochel she slammed down the phone.


I guess she didn't pass my information on as I never got any call from the company... :)


The reason I'm sharing this story isn't to share negative energy, on the contrary I feel quite sad for her.


However, after being in business for a while, this topic has come up multiple times.


Majority of my clients are religious Jews, yet even when I introduce myself as Rochel they often call me Rachel. I immediately correct them and they usually say, 'oh you could call me Shmueli too if you want, I just go by Sam because it's easier.'


Why is it easier?


Why is it easier to lose your identity then have someone try to pronounce your name awkwardly for 5 seconds?


Why is it easier in America 2022 when Elon Musk's son is called X AE A-12 Musk but I have to change the letter O in my name to an A?


As we enter Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, let's not lose our identity, our name, our neshama by choice. Let's stand proud and own it, and when we do, others will accept it!


Tonight as I pray, I will pray that we feel warm and proud of our Yiddishkeit, I will pray that we stand for what we believe in and I will pray for Malka Rochel.


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