Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Tobie

What’s common in Yom-Tov, Eid, Tobie, Zaki and Theophile…?

I was born of two Jewish parents. Tradition wanted the first-born boy to be named after the paternal grand father, and the second boy after the maternal grand father. I am the second son, and it happened that mother was not in good term with her father after he remarried six months only after her mother died.

My mother’ father Zaki (for Yaacoub) had this reasoning: “I am meat eater, and it is such a waste to keep having wet dreams…”

Before I was born, mother had her great grand father (Yom Tov Israel Sherezli) visit her in her dream. Rabbi of the Jews in Egypt (1867-91) asked my mother to taste all kinds of jams that she had prepared…My mother aunts interpreted the dream as the grand father inviting himself to the house, and the second boy must take the name of Yom-Tov (Holy Day).

As my father was carrying me to the civil department to register my name, a violent demonstration was sweeping the streets: Israel was just voted in at the UN (by a single vote) as an independent State in part of Palestine. My father had to name me Eid (Holy Day in Arabic).

I was Tobie at home and Eid officially. When we immigrated to France, and at the age of 21 for my naturalization as French citizen, I had to change my name to one of the French calendar acceptable names: names from the Bible were of no consequence and totally irrelevant.

After a week of reflection, I decided on Theophile (Lover of God). I am still Tobie at home.

Hi Tobie. Now that you selected Theophile, all the meat in the world won’t be enough


Note: This post is a childhood story that Tobie Nathan contributed to the French book “A Jewish childhood in Moslem Mediterranean States”. Tobie was born in Cairo in 1948 and immigrated to france in 1957 after the coordinated attack of France, England, and Israel on Egypt to recapture the Suez canal…Tobie is a into ethnospychiatry and published “The new interpretation of dreams, 2011”, “Who murdered Arlozoroff, 2009”, and “My patient Sigmund Freud, 2006”




May 2023

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