Friday, January 12, 2007

Hebraic negotiations

So, I, um, jewed my Yiddish teacher down to three letters today. My name has, thus far, been spelled with four letters, but when you're a modern maydle on the go, you want the shortest possible way to write. Who has time for an extra letter?

Alright, I admit it, it wasn't about the letters...It was about the Bible.

Not much in my life is related to the Bible, except for the entirity of it being LIVED IN SIN. But when we went around the room on the first day of Yiddish class, there was a line drawn between those of us with Biblical names, and those of us without. The kids with Biblical names (let's call them the bibblekinder) - Aaron, Rachel, Adam, Daniel - have very specific spellings, spelled the same way for five thousand years.

Aaron: Alef, Reysh, Vov, Nun
Rachel: Reysh, Khof, Lamed (with a Hey added on for diminutivity, "Rockhele")
even my Mom: Daled, Veys, Reysh, Hey

But me and all the Buffys? I get my damn name spelled PHONETICALLY, as if I'm some Jonah-come-lately and named after a soap star (Alexis, by the way, is named after the Russian, not the Denver Dynasty). My name has shofar been spelled with four letters: Shin, Alef, Nun, Alef.

So, I finally confronted my teacher this afternoon...She tried to get me to accept "shayna" (Shin, Pasekh Tvey Yudn, Nun, Ayin) as an alternative, which means nice, or pretty. I've always hated that pronounciation, and I'll do anything to avoid being called "pretty".

So, I told the partial truth that I've told many a time: that my name is short for Shoshana. Which it is, in concept, but isn't, in reality. This, my friends, is an actual biblical name, and I am now claiming the second half: Shin, Nun, Hey.