Thursday, January 5, 2012

What Kind of a Name is Tabor?

People ask me this all the time.  So, here is the answer.  I am named after a place, Mt. Tabor in Galilee.  It is not the most impressive mountain geographically (only about 500 meters high), but it does have a significant history.

Mt. Tabor is mentioned several times in the books of Joshua and Judges and is a place that sings with joy in Psalm 89.  According to tradition, it was also the site of the Transfiguration (see Matthew 17:2-9). 

For more detail on the site and some pictures of it, you can check out: Mount Tabor.  I have not been there, though my parents have.  It remains on my list of things to do. 

I have been to several other sites which were named after it, of which my personal favorite is the town of Tabor in the Czech Republic.  It has a delightful website.  The town played an exciting role in Hussite history.  Its churches, square, museum, castle, and underground tunnels merit a visit, and not just because I am biased in favor of things named Tabor.

It has been interesting for me to have a first name without an obvious gender.  People generally assume that I am a man.  Especially when they know that I am a doctor.  I have had several clinic patients make first-visit appointments with me and then express surprise when we actually meet.  I am not exactly what they were imagining.  People at scientific conferences have mistaken my husband for me and addressed him as Tabor.  But no, it’s me!  The short little woman.

My parents wisely gave me a more “normal” middle name, just in case I preferred to go by something more straightforward.  But I like being contrary and challenging people’s expectations.  So, I will stick with Tabor, even if I have to keep explaining it.     

1 comment:

  1. I've always thought it was an awesome name.