The Time the Teacher Refused to Use My Name

I get it. I have an exotic name, and people have loved giving me trouble over it. “That’s not a name. It must be [insert similar but not the same name here].” Because I don’t know my own name, obviously. So I feel the pain of the people with these stories:

This first one is a seminary stereotype. Except in happened in Brooklyn. Granted, the teacher was probably just back from seminary, and teaching second grade — possibly as an assistant teacher.

I had a teacher who insisted that I spell my name with a kuf and a hyphen because “Elisheva” contains shem Hashem in Hebrew.

And this one:

OMG the same thing! My first name is Gabby and my second is Chava but I went by Gabby. My teacher decided my name wasn’t yeshivish enough. So the next day she came in and announced to the class that I’d be called Gabby Chava. The reason she gave to the class is that a bas Yisroel should have such a goyish name like Gabriella.

And this one, which is weird because this name is very clearly in Bireishis:

In seminary, one of my teachers decided my first name was too modern sounding (“Eden is such an unusual name. i don’t understand, why did your parents give u such a name?”)
Hence she would only call me by my second name. (Sarah).


The Time the Teacher Refused to Use My Name

3 thoughts on “The Time the Teacher Refused to Use My Name

  1. DF3 says:

    Well, it’s her domain, she had the academic education of a seventh grader, wasn’t exposed to the world beyond her daled amos, and probably wasn’t encouraged to read unless it was some cheesy tales of Jewish women type book. Apparently they skipped “kavod habriyos” in her religious training.. Then again people in that world make up their own religion a little bit. Maybe Kavod HaBriyos isn’t part of their religion, so cut her a break.


    1. Zorm says:

      To be honest, in her mind she probably thought she was giving someone without kovod (because a not yeshivish sounding name is a terrible lack of respect for a human) back their kovod. She probably thought she was making someone who feels upset about her name happy again.

      Because only people with yeshivish names can truly be happy.
      Its part of being-yeshivish-101.


  2. rosesarered says:

    To point out the painfully obvious, Eden is the name of a place in Bereishis, not a person. I can hear that it sounds strange to someone encountering the word as a name for the first time. I have never met anyone named “Gerar” “Sedom” “Bavel” etc and would consider those extremely unusual as a person’s name even though they are place names in Bereishis. (Otoh I have heard “Moriyah”. “Efrat”…)


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