Friday, March 14, 2008

Sa'adiya Rabinowitz

One of the focuses of my professional activity these past 15 years has been dealing with recording the names of Jews murdered in the Shoah, and other groups of individuals. I find that even now, having changed careers, to some extent I'm still dealing with archives of names. Throughout the years I regularly used a mythological figure whenever there was the need to discuss how records function and so on. The figure is a man named Sa'adia Rabinowitz, and the reason I never had any compunctions about holding him up as an example is that with such a name, surely he doesn't exist. Sa'adia is a not particularly common name among some Jews from Arab countries, while Rabinowitz is, of course, deepest Ashkenazi, straight out of Eastern Europe.

Think Ivan Wolstoncott or something like that.

This morning I noticed a death announcement for an obviously elderly woman whose name was - I mislead you not - Sa'ada Rosenblum.

After 15 years, I stand corrected.


Yitzchak Goodman said...

I know an Ashkenazi young man named Saadya. His parents, at the suggestion of a name dictionary, named him after a relative named Howard.

Anonymous said...

A good family friend's parents are split, one Ashkenazi one Sephardi. She calls herself an AshPhart.

Guess that makes that name an ashphart too...