I hinted last year that I was planning on choosing a Hebrew name when we made aliyah. I picked it out a few years ago, and I believe, among other things, that it was my great-grandmother’s name.
I have now used this name on our (successful) aliyah application, and it is the name that will appear on my visa, Teudat Zehut (citizenship card) and other legal documentation.
Here’s the name:
צִיבְיָה / Tzivia
This is a pretty old-fashioned name… in fact, there is a more hip/trendy variation, pronounced “Tzvia,” which is now far more common.
Which means that I am going to have to fight tooth and nail over that first little yud. (It’s often spelled without the yud, but then if you leave off the vowels, it will inevitably be pronounced Tzvia, which is a nice enough name… but not “my” name.)
Strangely, I like the idea of being the Hebrew equivalent of “Anne-with-an-e,” just a little particular about something I care deeply about, even if it is a little off the beaten path.
Also weirdly, we haven’t really given any thought to changing our unwieldy last name. While we were in Israel on the pilot trip, we actually met an Irish-named former Torontonian living in Ma’alot – who also didn’t seem perturbed at having a really ODD last name. So he’ll be Mc___ and we’ll be Mac___ and together we will populate the North with our hardy Celtic-Canadian stock.