Monday, February 25, 2008

PLEASE name this blog...

...because I just can't.

What’s in a name, you ask? Far too much, it seems, because after two months here I still can’t come up with a name I like for this blog.

Maybe it’s because I want the name to convey too much:
-That this blog is a place where I can talk about things that are going on in the Jewish and greater world, or in my own life;
-That this blog is a place where I can post derashah and class material;
-That this blog is a place where I can have a little fun… but not so much fun that I am no longer the rabbi. People from my shul have to be able to read this without being embarrassed.

A name, in Jewish thought, is a display of one’s ideals and actions, synonymous with one’s reputation. Think of Pirkei Avos and the “crown of a good name.” Think of Moshe asking Gd “When they ask me what His Name is, what shall I tell them,” and of that grandly eloquent Divine response. Your name is your first interface with the world.

This is particularly true on the blogosphere, where people see a link to your blog and decide, often on that basis alone, whether or not to click through and read what you have to say. That’s the problem with the “Rechovot” title – it says a lot to me, but it’s too vague or too serious for many readers. The current title, “Please extinguish all cell phones,” is all right, I guess, but it still seems to be missing something.

Among the titles I’ve rejected so far:
Rabbi 42: On life, the universe and everything (Too corny.)
The shul at the end of the universe (Too irrelevant.)
Shul Daze (Too cute.)
Torchblog (Too juvenile.)
A Rabbi’s Blog (Too dull.)
Rabbi in the House (Too Huh?!)
Tales out of shul (Too plagiaristic.)
Rabbinic Ruminations (Too I-take-myself-very-seriously.)
Rabbi on the loose (Too too.)

So you see the problem: a combination of failure of creativity and failure of language and, perhaps, failure of nerve. I’m tempted to just title this “Another Blogging Rabbi” and leave it at that…

Your ideas would be more than welcome. Please save me from myself.


  1. What is wrong with "Rechovot?" I also like the Extinguish Cellphones.

  2. Hello Anonymous,
    "Rechovot" just seems too dry, to me.

    The cell phones title is a little more what I am looking for, but it really says nothing about the content (other than to a rabbi who has heard far too many cell phones go off during weddings, funerals and the like, despite all advance requests for people to silence their phones...).

  3. I actually read this post yesterday and thought that after 24 hours and a pretty large shot of Starbucks™ Coffee Liqueur I'd have some gevaldik suggestion for your blog. Sadly, I only came up with "Shed Some Light". I'm no whiz at naming blogs, but the truth is that actually liked "Torchblog", but you don't want your bio to read "Rabbi Torczyner is the spiritual leader of .... and maintains several web based Torah projects including,daily..., daily...., WebShas, and Torchblog".

    I will say that you want a blog name that you like. "Shed Some Light" also references both the 'torch' idea, as well as the last three letters of your last name. Hatzlacha!

  4. Neil,

    Thanks, but I can't see Torchblog either. Perhaps "A Light Unto Me," since I would settle for being a light to myself, let alone nations...

  5. FWIW, I agree. An easy blog name is good from a marketing point of view. Using "A Light Unto Me", while reflecting the personal aspect of a blog, doensn't really say much about, for example notes on the parsh, daf yomi, etc. You could try, "Ohr L'Atzmo" (my wife would probably tell me this isn't the proper way to phrase it and my hebrew makes me sound like a a cave-man. Good thing she's not into blogs).

  6. First of all Rechovot is davka "wet." If you know your chumash, dear Rabbi.
    Second of all, why not just call it "Mordechai Torczyner's Anonymous Blog"

  7. View from the Bima
    The Rebbetzin's Husband
    The Third Tablet
    YARB (Yet another Rabbi's Blog)

    I'm just getting started :)

  8. Old friend-
    Do you see any deep holes dug in this blog?

    JACKPOT! Now, those are names. You win... um... you win... something. Not sure what, but I'll let you know when I come up with it.