Friday, February 26, 2010

Naming Names

To the pantheon of things intolerable that women bring with them just by living has been added that they have names. Already last year many Jewish publications, who had already banned pictures of women, were also banning mentioning their names. This lead to some very skewed announcements of the following kind. "Mazel tov to Rabbi Meir Yungerman on the birth of his son." "Thanks to Meir Baal Tzedaka and the person he is married to for donating a new Aron Kodesh to the shul." "Mazel tov to Meir Bochur on his marriage. May they be zocheh to build a bayis ne'eman b'Yisroel." I made a comment on a different blog on a tsnius posting that I'm surprised that someone hasn't legislated to change the name from Megillas Esther to Megillas Mordechai. Someone else commented that hadn't I noticed but the trend now is just to call it the Megillah, no name attached. (Wonder just what they would do with Megillas Rus?)

But I do have a solution to the problem--give women numbers instead of names. Can't be anything untsniusdik in saying 258893 [note: this is her nickname; for the real name see below]and I will be happy to come to lunch at your home. Not only that, but it would be of undoubted help in shidduchim.

The system could be set up as follows. The first two numbers would represent the year of birth--no more being told someone is one age and they turn out to be another age. The next five numbers would represent the zip code where the girl is presently residing--boys would know right away whether or not the girl lives in the right area. The next three numbers would be the first three digits of the zip code where the father grew up and the three digits after that would be the first three digits of the zip code where the mother grew up--no getting stuck with family not to your liking.

Ah, but we're not finished yet. The next two digits would represent the girls height in inches. This would be followed by the digits representing her dress size. (This is a slightly problematic set of numbers as a change in dress size would also mean a change in identification number, but I'll let the computer geeks work on this part.)

Still not done. The next digits would represent the amount of money a girl's parents are willing to give in support of a son in law. These digits would be followed by the mean top salary for the profession the girl is preparing for/has prepared for so as to be able to support her family. This would be followed by the digits representing how much money the girl has saved up towards supporting her husband.

To be a really useful name we would also have to include the digits representing the elementary school, high school and seminary that a girl attended. Also useful would be the digits representing the camp or camps attended.

Of course, once married there would need to be additional digits added to the identifying number. Certainly we'd need to add the letters/numbers of the car purchased for the husband by the in laws and/or the wife. You'd need to enter a digit for the number of boys the woman gives birth to (obviously no need to add a digit for the number of girls). For really older couples we would also need to include digits representing the number of grandchildren, with separate letter identifications for those who are sitting and learning. And if a man really wanted to "brag" about his wife, we could add a digit for the number of times in one week she cooks the husband's favorite foods. Note: this would have to be a single digit--making it a two digit number would be a breach of tsnius.

So congratulations Meir Bochur on your marriage to 91-11230-112-112-63-6-30000-68000--27934--17-17H-46-390. May you have years of happiness together. Meir's grandparents are celebrating their 50th anniversary today but our newspaper has run out of room to print his grandmother's identification number, so we'll just say congratulations Sholom Zayde on fifty years of marriage.

Purim Torah? Maybe.

20 comments:

mother in israel said...

Mao Zedung assigned numbers to the peasants as well.

Lion of Zion said...

and the germans too

but still a funny (sad) commentary on reality

Anonymous said...

This is definitely not tznius—too much information about women.

Kalman said...

I'll agree with Lion that this is a sad commentary on where some people are going, sad and frightening. And then they'll think that this is still too much information, as mentioned by anonymous, and they'll go to the ultimate non-name. Why not just call all women "It." I see the humor and I can imagine that others will too. It's the ones who won't see this as a send up that I worry about.

JS said...

I'm glad I don't read these types of publications, I'm upset enough with frum Jewry as is, no need to add fuel to an already substantial fire.

Rae said...

They won't print a woman's name when it has to do with a simcha or nice occasion but let something awful happen and watch them flip flop their position as they scream aloud A refuah shelaimoh for Yaakov ben Sarah Chaya.

Purim Torah with way more than a grain of truth to it.

Aryeh said...

Not surprisingly my wife and I reacted to this piece differently. I thought it was funny but can see where there is some truth to where some groups seem to be heading. Her reaction is not printable.

Anonymous said...

Was surprised that they still allow both parents names on wedding invitations until my husband pointed out that that is only in the English print. Most of the invitations in the Hebrew only put Chaim Cohen v'rayati.

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Megillat Rut is about a (noun deleted here) ?!

I thought it was a history by Alex Halley!

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

In the interests of promoting and furthering tzniut, in our beit midrash we have dropped the feminine ending. We no longer refer to 'the megillah'; rather we read the 'megill'.

Sima said...

Oh my gosh I love it Mordechai! Just be careful who you tell about the Megill change--there are nuts out there who will take you seriously.

Kaylie said...

I'm all in favor of tsnius but just how does not mentioning a woman's name in public have anything at all to do with tsnius?! If calling out a name or printing it is untsniusdik then that should apply to men as well--tsnius and tsniusdik behavior applies to them too. Either you apply it to both or you apply it to neither one.

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Sima, one of our hevra from the beit midrash declined to go to Columbia and chose McGill because he thought the latter was being strict about feminine endings. I'm proud. I taught him well. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Mordechai,
Don't you mean your 'hevr'?
Really - I am torn about whether to fight these battles or just let some people float right of the deep end and let things take care of themselves!

Anonymous said...

I think M[name redacted] Atwood had the right idea in her novel _The Hand[inappropriate word redacted] Tale_. Don't give women a first name at all. Until they are married, refer to her as "bas ploni" (if a man is unfortunate enough to have more than one daughter, add a number as necessary); after marriage refer to her as "of Meir", or whatever her husband's name is.

I wish this were a purim joke, but that's definitely where we are headed.

Eli said...

And yet, shock of shocks, they still refer to Kever Rochel. Vaguely remember there was a Shlomtzion Hamalka street in Jerusalem. Or is that now just plain Malk street? Don't want to even think where this will all end.

Lon said...

Er, they still make misheberachs, no?

Although less informative, it might be shorter to just translate the name into ASCII. Very few people would be able to understand it, as there are only 10 types of people in the world: those who get binary, and those who don't.

Bored Jewish Guy said...

I like the idea but it's not necessary for me as I plan to call my wife "woman".

Fine said...

Technically it seems simple enough; just use 2D barcodes with predetermined data ranges. ;) It will even save printing space!

Shades of Grey said...

Very interesting, and funny. But, this seems very male -> female centric. Would men also get numbers, or is this encouraging the getting married = purchasing cattle sort of mentality?