On My Last Name: Shochat

My last name is with me everywhere I go, notably, although I have attended many political events, I did write out my name in full, when I did not have to. Why? I am deeply connected with my Jewishness.I love being Jewish, and I love my last name. (Again, my Twitter has it spelled out fully!)

My last name (Shochat) translates to mean “ritual slaughterer.”


Page 103 from this book, actually has it with my last name spelled correctly, but “shochet” and “shochat” essentially the same thing. And there are other variants.

Whom Do I Share My Last Name With?

Other such people whom I share the name with include Israel Shochat, and his wife, Manya, Israel’s brother Eliezer, and his wife, Hannah Maisel-Shohat. Professor Ella Habiba Shohat of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University (she identifies as Arab Jew). World renowned Chabad scholar and academic, Rabbi Jacob Immanuel Schochet, as well as his children, Toronto Rabbinical Council president Rabbi Dovid Schochet, Rabbi Yosef Daniel Schochet, “The Rosh” Rabbi Ezra Schochet, Rabbi Gershon Elisha Schochet, and Rabbi Meir Ovadia Schochet. Knesset Member Avraham Shochat.

In line with Jewish culture, I do not proselytize. I am prone to say “Who cares?” I respect the privacy of others and wish my privacy also be respected.

Jewish law has great respect for privacy. If you want to build a home overlooking another home, you cannot do it in such a way that you would be able to see into your neighbor’s courtyard from your window. It would be an invasion of privacy. Gossiping about others or making judgments about their behavior is also prohibited because it means you are looking into an aspect of their existence that is not open to your scrutiny. It’s private, between them and G-d; and if you judge them, you’re trespassing.

When a poor man knocks at your door and says, “I’m hungry,” and your first thought is, “Why can’t you get a job?”, you’ve invaded his privacy. Why would you need to know why he can’t get a job? He didn’t come to discuss his inabilities or bad habits; he came to discuss his hunger. If you want to do something about it, feed him. But don’t probe where you’re not invited. Don’t look behind the curtain he so carefully put up to protect himself.

In marriage, our most intimate relationship, respect for privacy is fundamental. A husband and wife have the right and the need for a curtain that says, “Yes, you can come into my life, for better or for worse, till death do us part, but don’t peek where I don’t want to be seen. Don’t look at what I’m not comfortable exposing about myself. And don’t expect from me what I don’t want to give.”

If we want to create an intimate relationship, we have to remember one simple rule of etiquette: “Be thankful for what you get, and do not expect what the other person doesn’t have.”


2 thoughts on “On My Last Name: Shochat

  1. Pingback: Reflections On: Meeting Daniel Arrigg Koh | The Progressive Democrat

  2. Pingback: My School Experience, Part V: Religion, and Prostitution | The Progressive Democrat

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