Бат-Хама,(наст.имя Малка Шехтман), (בת-חמה) (מלכה שכטמן), Bat-Chama (previous hit Malka Shechtman)
A Marriage Made in Heaven
The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and Yiddish
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. 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). 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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