The past few weeks have been a true period of blessing for our family. Just over a week ago our daughter, Rachelle, and her husband, Zev, presented us with an enchanting granddaughter.
While my husband and I dislike being apart, for the second time in less than a month we are miles from each other (see previous entries, Graternity Leave, and Eat, Pray, Eat, Love, Eat.). I am helping with a newborn in New Jersey while my husband is at home, focused on our work.
Jewish girls get named when their fathers are called up in public during the reading of the Torah. Giving a child a name is one of the first responsibilities parents have, and our children took that responsibility most seriously.
This past Shabbat, the baby was given the name, Aliza Malya. Aliza means ‘joyous’ in Hebrew and carries the meaning of Zev’s grandmother’s name. Zev knew his grandmother well and in naming their daughter after her, he and Rachelle want to bestow on her the delighted way her namesake approached life. Malya was my husband’s mother, and Rachelle was gifted with years of knowing her grandmother as well. My mother-in-law was a woman with qualities of strength, leadership and faith – along with a marvelous sense of humor.
Bearing the names of these two women is a weighty legacy for a teeny girl. She has yet to find her thumb or sleep through the night. She doesn’t even have a proper belly button. As she passes those milestones and ever so many more, I pray that she will grow into her name and admirably carry on the values her great-grandmothers enthusiastically embraced and the qualities they exemplified. With their names, she has been given a precious gift to accompany her throughout her life.