Sunday, December 23, 2007

What's Your Name?

I just spent a nice Shabbos in the Spring Valley (incl. Monsey etc.) area, including going to my family's old shul, the Young Israel of Spring Valley. It hit me in the middle of Musaf that I hadn't set foot in the shul for more than twenty years. Wow.

The other thing I noticed during my sojourn in Greater Jewish Monsey Spring Valley is that Hhareidi Orthodox Jews have no problem conceiving of 'Steg' as a name. My gracious hosts would introduce me as Steg, and the Hhareidi people I met wouldn't even blink. Which is a big change from the usual, when Modern Orthodox Jews, or other non-Hhareidi people, always ask "whatwhatwhat?" and then I have to explain that Steg is my nickname, and my actual name is «BEEPnotforpublication». And then there are all the questions about how I got it, does it mean anything, does it have to do with dinosaurs, blah blah blahdee blahdee blah.

Any theories why Hhareidim are less fazed by unusual names than others are? Could it be because 'Steg' sounds Yiddish? Any other theories?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's because, in Monsey, they've seen everything - Your nickname is probably on the tame side of weird things over there ;-)

12/23/2007 3:03 PM  
Blogger Lipman said...

Or they think they're just not mumche in non-chareidi names. Ian, Pablo, Xui Li, Steg - what's the difference? Slight regret that you don't have a misSinai name such as Velvel, but what can you do.

12/24/2007 3:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

monsey is a pretty cool town of live and let live. i hung out there for a couple years

12/24/2007 1:32 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

hmm... thanks for the theories

12/25/2007 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Balabusta in Blue Jeans said...

Suspect that it does sound Yiddish--it SOUNDS like a word, even if it isn't a word.

But about haredim and tolerance of names: A woman Reform rabbi of my acquaintance ended up registering her children for a time in a quasi-haredi preschool, in part because when she explained that the children had a combination of her surname and her husband's--he's Stein, she's Metzger, the kids are Steinmetzes (example only), the woman behind the desk said "Oh, what a nice way to honor the families!" rather than "What? I don't understand." which she'd gotten at a few more modern places.

Possibly it's just that anything that isn't "Shmuel ben Avraham" is basically an alias, so why sweat it?

12/25/2007 3:47 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...


that name-blend is brilliant! i am a fan of such things.

12/25/2007 4:27 PM  

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