-,(. ), (בת-חמה) (מלכה שכטמן), Bat-Chama (previous hit Malka Shechtman)

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A Marriage Made in Heaven

The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and Yiddish

NAOMI SEIDMAN

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS
Berkeley Los Angeles Oxford
1997 The Regents of the University of California



Other women writers chose names from nature, as did many men. Malka next hit Shechtman, for instance, called herself Bat-Chama, daughter of the sun.[44] Again, in cases like these, the feminine version of the Zionist model often contained an additional revolutionary element, since the women were clearly setting up a personal rather than a dynastic or family model of name transmission. A brief perusal of a collection of articles by Zionist women workers published in 1930 suggests how widespread such name changes were among women: of forty-five contributors, ten used only their first names and three used a single initial as a surname. Among these ten, two names are of Yiddish origin while one is European; the others are Hebrew names (it is impossible to decide whether these names were adopted, though names like Carmela and Techiya have a distinctly Zionist ring). Of the family names, one, Bat-Rachel, is a matronym. One woman signs herself Dinah Bat-Chorin (Dinah the Free Woman, or Dinah the Daughter of a Free Person), while another one is called Nechama Bat-Tsiyon (Nechama the Daughter of Zion).[45] A woman taking a name like Bat-Chorin or Bat-Tsiyon was doing more than transforming a Yiddish family name into a Hebrew one; she was also rejecting the patriarchal transmission of family names. To adopt a family name with a clear feminine marker, even as a pen name, was to declare independence from husband and father.

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