Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Has Busted

From a few days ago:

On the one hand, I could really use twenty million dollars. (Heck, I could use twenty thousand.) I certainly need it more than that ridiculous caliph-wannabe in Ankara.
On the other hand, I really disapprove of assaulting IDF soldiers, which is apparently the way to make 20 mil these days. What is a boy to do?
I am put in mind of this, of course, by the bereaved families protesting down the block for the remains of their sons, God strengthen their hands.
But it also occurs to me that this ridiculous amount (not ridiculous for government, of course- you know, "A billion here, a billion there...") is basically yet another sop to ridiculous Muslim ideas of honor. I'm reminded of the time when our great friend King Hussein signed a peace deal with Israel. Wouldn't you know that he managed to find two small scraps of land supposedly belonging to his fake country (which of course is legally all part of Israel) which had been captured in 1948 and which he demanded back (and of course got), just so no one could say that he had signed a deal and gotten "nothing"? (He got plenty else as well, of course, but to the primitive mind land is the main if not only thing that counts.)
True peace will come when non-Muslims have the gumption to tell Muslims to get over their "honor." I imagine it'll really be here when Israel gets those scraps of land (and others) back. It would be symbolic at least.
From last Friday:
On June 5, 1975, the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to join the then-European Communities.
A few months later, a hotel owner in Torquay, in Devon, confessed the following to a group of Germans visiting his establishment: "Didn't vote for it myself quite honestly, but now that we're in, I'm determined to make it work." Devon had approved by a margin of over 72%, so he was in a small minority.
Yesterday, Torbay, which includes Torquay, voted to pull out of the EU with over 73% of the vote. To be fair, South Harris, right next door and also part of Devon, voted even more overwhelmingly to stay, but it looks like Basil Fawlty, at least, gave up on trying to make it work, voted the same way he had over forty years earlier, and maybe even convinced some of his neighbors. I imagine he had no luck (if he needed it) with his wife or staff, but he's probably insufferably happy today. I'll raise a glass of sherry to him.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tribal Flags

Full disclosure: I'm back-dating this one to make it match the parsha which we read, in actuality, yesterday (although it won't be read for another week outside Israel), not to mention to make an entry for last month. Here it's Yom Yerushalayim, and the young man, a budding vexillologist, much to his father's delight, has begun to identify every Israeli flag as that of "Shalayim." This Shabbat, with the help of a flag-spangled shirt of his mother's, I taught him Gibraltar as well. More to come later this week!

It reminded me that 13 years ago exactly I submitted a long post about the flags of the tribes of Israel to the Flags of the World Mailing List, which I would later manage for a while. It was essentially a translation of the commentaries on Parshat Bamidbar, of course- hence the timing both then and now. You can read it here; I present an edited version below.

The two rabbinic commentaries concerning the flags of the tribes are Numbers Rabbah and Pseudo-Jonathan.

Numbers Rabbah is a Midrash, part of the collection called Midrash Rabbah, the Great Midrash. A Midrash (there are about a hundred) expounds (which is the meaning of the word "midrash") on verses in the Bible, whether to determine Jewish law or, alternatively, non-legal matters such as history or lore from them. They were written over a large span of time, from about the first century until about the tenth. (Some collections date from the next few centuries after that) Numbers Rabbah, on the Book of Numbers, was written in about the ninth century. It's in Hebrew, and the somewhat loose translation below is my own.

Pseudo-Jonathan is a Targum, that is, a translation of the Bible (here, of the first five books, including Numbers) into Aramaic. There are several Targums, of different style. Some are simple translations with minimal exposition, but Pseudo-Jonathan gives much commentary among its translation- all of what is below is not in the actual Biblical text. (The text here was actually called the "Jerusalem Targum, "as it was written in Israel, but someone mistook the initials for Targum Jonathan, another Targum, and the name stuck, hence the use of the term "Pseudo-Jonathan.) This Targum was written in about the seventh or eighth century. The translation from the Aramaic is my own; as my knowledge of Aramaic isn't as good as my knowledge of Hebrew, it's a bit rougher.

An important note: Although the two works were written at the above dates, each uses sources that were much older, dating to the first or second centuries. These sources, in turn, may have been based on even older traditions, perhaps dating back to the time of the writing of the Bible and/or the events described therein. Going back that far, one would have to see what the vexillological customs of the ancient Mesopotamia (the place of origin of the Israelites), ancient Canaan/Phoenicia (where they had originally come from and where they were going back to) and ancient Egypt (where they had just come from) were. Of course, it is hard to tell what portions of these two works have long traditions behind them and what portions do not, and one cannot discount the fact the descriptions of flags here are undoubtedly influenced by flags that existed in the early Middle Ages, when they were written. The word "flags" here may thus mean "banner" or "strip of cloth" or "vexillum" or perhaps even "flag" in our modern sense. However, the original standards, if any, may have been an object (a vexillloid) of some sort. (Note that the Midrash attributes the widespread use of colored cloth flags to the example of the Israelites!)

Numbers Rabbah, 2:7, commenting on Numbers Chapter 2, Verse 2: "The Israelites shall each camp according to his degel ["division", modern: "flag"] under the otot ["symbols"] of their fathers' houses."

Each tribe had a symbol, a mapah ["cloth," "spread," hereafter "flag"], and the color of each flag was the color of the precious stone that was on the chest of Aaron [the High Priest]. [The breastplate of the high priest contained twelve precious stones, one for each tribe. The exact definition of each is not known, so the Hebrew is given here; possibilities may be guessed from the colors described here and are given as well.] From this the kingdoms of the world learned to make flags and have a color for each flag.

- Reuben's stone was Odem [carnelian? ruby?], and his flag was red, and mandrakes were drawn on it. [Mandrakes figure in a story about Reuben, the founder of the tribe, Genesis 30:14. I'm not sure where the image of a rising sun sometimes seen comes from.]

- Simeon's stone was Pitedah [emerald?], and his flag was green, and a picture of the city of Shechem was drawn on it. [Simeon, together with Levi, destroyed that city, Genesis 34.]

- Levi's stone was Bareket [topaz? carbuncle? smaragd?], and his flag was a third white, a third black, and a third red [as a banded stone], and  the Urim VeTummim [that is, the twelve-stone breastplate containing the Urim VeTummim- square, with four rows of three stones each, usually horizontal but sometimes vertical] was drawn on it. [The priesthood was drawn from the tribe of Levi, and the whole tribe participated in holy service. Levi is omitted from the list by some, as he was not counted among the others, with the two tribes of Joseph making up the total of twelve.]

- Judah's stone was was Nofekh [carbuncle? topaz?], and his flag was sky blue, and a lion was drawn on it. [Judah, from whom the monarchy descended, is compared to the king of beasts in Genesis 49:9, the blessing of Jacob.]

- Issachar's stone was Sapir [sapphire?], and his flag was azure [some: black], and the sun and moon were drawn on it, because [quoting I Chronicles 12:33] "And from the sons of Issachar were those who knew the wisdom of the times [i.e., astronomy and calendars]". [Jacob's blessing calls Issachar a "laden donkey," and sometimes the symbol is shown as that or as a man with a burden.]

- Zebulun's stone was Yahalom [beryl?], and his flag was white [according to some, silver, alluding to his wealth], and a ship was drawn on it, because [quoting Genesis 49:13] "Zebulun shall dwell by the seashore” [i.e., engage in trade].

- Dan's stone was Leshem [jacinth?], and his flag was the color of sapphire [others: black], and a snake was drawn on it, because [quoting Genesis 49: 17] "Dan shall be [as] a snake [when he attacks from an ambush]." [As Dan's descendants were judges, scales are sometimes shown as well.]

- Gad's stone was Shevo [agate?], and his flag was not white and not black but a mixture of black and white [gray?], and a picture of a military camp was drawn on it, because [quoting Genesis 49: 19] "Gad shall camp in troops" [a reference to his fighting strength]. [Sometimes actual troops, not tents, are shown.]

- Naftali's stone was Achlamah [amethyst?], and his flag was the color diluted wine whose red color was no longer strong, and a deer was drawn on it, because [quoting Genesis 49: 21] "Naftali shall be as a swift  deer “ [i.e., he was a fast runner].

- Asher's stone was Tarshish [chrysolite?], and his flag was the color of  an expensive stone women decorate themselves with [pearl? opal?] [others: olive, or the light given by olive oil], and an olive tree was drawn on it, because [quoting Genesis 49: 20] "From Asher will come rich bread” [i.e., he will live in a fertile area]. [Sometimes other signs of agricultural wealth, such as a cornucopia, are shown.]

- Joseph's stone was Shoham [onyx?], and his flag was very black, and drawn on it for the two tribes of Ephraim and Menasseh was Egypt [a pyramid?], because they were born in Egypt. And on the flag of Ephraim was drawn an ox, because [quoting Deuteronomy 33:17] "His first born is his ox," a reference to Joshua who was from the tribe of Ephraim [in addition, although the younger brother, Ephraim was considered the senior tribe, and Genesis 49:22 calls Joseph an ox as well]. And on the flag of Menasseh was drawn a re'em [a wild ox], because [quoting Deuteronomy 33:17] "And the horns of the re'em will be his horn," referring Gideon son of Joash who was from the tribe of Menasseh. [Was there one black flag with an overall picture of Egypt plus the two animals, or a flag with Egypt for the whole Joseph plus a flag for each tribe, or just a flag for each tribe each with two symbols?]

- Benjamin's stone was Yashpeh [jasper?], and the color of his flag was all the colors of the twelve flags, and a wolf was drawn on it, because [quoting Genesis 49:17] "Benjamin is like a scavenging wolf".

Therefore the word “symbols” is used, for there were symbols for each tribe. [End of Numbers Rabbah translation.]

Targum Pseudo-Jonathan interprets the verse as giving not one flag to each tribe, but one flag for each camp- that is, each of the four groups of three tribes each. He also sees the stones on the breastplate as being arranged for the tribes not in the order above (by mother, then by age) but according to the camps. Thus his commentary on the following verses:

- Numbers 2:3: "...[the camp of Judah's] tekes (lit. "troop", here clearly "flag") had three stripes, each like three of the stones of the breastplate, odem, pitedah, bareket. On it was written the names of the three tribes, "Judah- Issachar- Zebulun" and the verse (Numbers 10:35) "Arise, Lord, and may Your enemies be scattered, and may those who hate You flee before You!" And there was a picture of a young lion (Genesis 49:9, "Judah is a young lion...") on it..."

- Numbers 2:10: "...[the camp of Reuben's] flag had three stripes, each like three of the stones of the breastplate, nofekh-sapir-yahalom. On it was written the names of the three tribes, "Reuben- Simeon-Gad" and the verse (Deuteronomy 6:4) "Hear Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One." And there was a picture of a young deer (or ram) ("rams" symbolizing Israel; originally to have been a calf, but changed because of the sin of the golden calf) on it..."

- Numbers 2:18: "...[the camp of Ephraim's] flag had three stripes, each like three of the stones of the breastplate, leshem-shivo-achlamah. On it was written the names of the three tribes, "Ephraim-Menasseh-Benjamin" and the verse (Numbers 10:34) "And the cloud of the Lord was above them during the day when they traveled from the camp." And there was a picture of a young boy (Jeremiah 31:19, "Ephraim is my dear son...") on it..."

- Numbers 2:25: "...[the camp of Dan's] flag had three stripes, each like three of the stones of the breastplate, tarshish-shoham-yashpeh. On it was written the names of the three tribes, "Dan- Naftali-Asher" and the verse (Numbers 10:36) "Return, Lord, the myriads of thousands of Israel!" And there was a picture of a snake (Genesis 49: 17, "Dan shall be [as] a snake…”) on it..."

Monday, April 04, 2016

Welcome to the World!

Here is the tekes and talk we delivered last Friday to welcome Nesyah:

Nachum: Good morning! We’d like to thank everyone for coming- some from some distance away- and taking the time to celebrate Nesyah Yonit’s joining our family.

We will begin with a short ceremony welcoming Nesyah into the Jewish people and our family, followed by a short talk. A personal summation of the speech in Hebrew will be available for those who wish during the seudah.

First, a Kabbalat Panim for the guest of honor:

בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ בָּעִיר וּבְרוּכָה אַתְּ בַּשָּׂדֶה בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ בְּבֹאֵךְ וּבְרוּכָה אַתְּ בְּצֵאתֵךְ

Efrat: We continue with verses of thanksgiving:

פִּתְחוּ לִּי שַׁעֲרֵי צֶדֶק אָבֹא בָם אוֹדֶה יהּ:
זֶה הַׁשַׁעַׁר לַׁה' צַׁדִּיקִּים  יָבֹאוּ בו:
אוֹדְךָ כִּי עֲנִּיתָנִּי וַׁתְהִּי לִּי לִּישוּעָה:
אֶבֶן מָאֲסוּ הַׁבּוֹנִּים הָיְתָה לְרֹאש פִּנָה:
מֵאֵת ה' הָיְתָה זֹאת הִּיא נפְלָאת בְּעֵינֵינוּ:
זֶה הַׁיּוֹם עָשָה ה' נָגִּילָה וְנִּשְמְחָה בו:
מִזְמוֹר לְתוֹדָה, הָרִיעוּ לַה' כָּל הָאָרֶץ.
עִבְדוּ אֶת ה' בְּשִׂמְחָה, בֹּאוּ לְפָנָיו בִּרְנָנָה.
דְּעוּ כִּי ה' הוּא אֱלֹקים, הוּא עָשָׂנוּ, וְלוֹ אֲנַחְנוּ עַמּוֹ וְצֹאן מַרְעִיתוֹ.
בֹּאוּ שְׁעָרָיו בְּתוֹדָה, חֲצֵרֹתָיו בִּתְהִלָּה.
הוֹדוּ לוֹ, בָּרְכוּ שְׁמוֹ, כִּי טוֹב ה' לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ, וְעַד דֹּר וָדֹר אֱמוּנָתוֹ.

הוֹדוּ לַאֲדֹנָ-י כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּו:

Nachum: The following pesukim welcome Nesyah into the Jewish people and covenant:

אַׁתֶם נִּצָבִים הַׁיּוֹם כֻּלְכֶם לִּפְנֵי ה'  אלֹהֵיכֶם,
רָאשֵיכֶם שִּבְטֵיכֶם זִּקְנֵיכֶם וְשֹטְרֵיכֶם כֹל אִּיש יִּשְרָאֵל:
טַׁפְכֶם נְשֵיכֶם וְגֵרְךָ אֲשֶר בּקֶרֶב מַׁחֲנֶיךָ,  מֵחֹטֵב עֵצֶיךָ עַׁד שֹאֵב מֵימֶיךָ:
לְעָבְרְךָ בִּּבְרִּית ה' אלֹהֶיךָ וּבְאָלָתו, אֲשֶר ה'  אלֹהֶיךָ כֹרֵת עִּמְךָ הַׁיּוֹם:
לְמַׁעַׁן הָקִּים אֹתְךָ הַׁיּוֹם לו לְעָם וְהוּא יִּהְיֶה לְךָ לֵאלֹהִּים כַׁאֲשֶר דִּבֶּר לָךְ, -
וְכַׁאֲשֶר נִּשְבַּׁע לַׁאֲבֹתֶיךָ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִּצְחָק וּלְיַׁעֲקֹב:
וְלֹא אִּתְכֶם לְבַׁדְכֶם אָנֹכִּי כֹרֵת אֶת הַׁבְּרִּית הַׁזֹאת וְאֶת הָאָלָה הַׁזֹאת:
כִּי אֶת אֲשֶר יֶשְנו פֹה עִּמָנוּ עֹמֵד הַׁיּוֹם לִּפְנֵי ה' אלֹהֵינוּ,
וְאֵת אֲשֶר אֵינֶנו פֹה עִּמָנוּ הַׁיּוֹם 
Efrat: We will conclude with the traditional tefillot welcoming a baby girl and the brachot of her parents:

יוֹנָתִּי בְּחַׁגְוֵי הַׁסֶלַׁע בְּסֵתֶר הַׁמַׁדְרֵגָה הַׁרְאִּינִּי אֶת מַׁרְאַיִּךְ הַׁשְמִּיעִּינִּי אֶת קוֹלֵךְ,
כִּי קוֹלֵךְ עָרֵב וּמַׁרְאֵיךְ נָאוֶה:

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אִמּוֹתֵינוּ שָׂרָה וְרִבְקָה, רָחֵל וְלֵאָה וּמִרְיָם הַנְּבִיאָה וַאֲבִיגַיִּל וְאֶסְתֵּר הַמַּלְכָּה בַּת אֲבִיחַיִּל, הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת הַיַּלְדָּה הַנְּעִימָה הַזֹּאת.

בְּמַזָּל טוֹב וּבִשְׁעַת בְּרָכָה, זאת נסיה יונית בת נחום אליקים
הכהן ואפרת לאה תגדל בִּבְרִיאוּת, שָׁלוֹם וּמְנוּחָה, וִתזַכֶּה אֶת אָבִיהָ וְאֶת אִמָּה לִרְאוֹת בְּשִׂמְחָתָהּ וּבְחוּפָּתָהּ, בְּבָנִים וּבְבָנוֹת, עוֹשֶׁר וְכָבוֹד. עוֹד יְנוּבוּן בְּשֵׂיבָה, דְּשֵׁנִים וְרַעֲנַנִּים יִהְיוּ, וְכֵן יְהִי רָצוֹן וְנֹאמַר אָמֵן.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְמַן הַזֶּה.

היולדת: בָּרוּך אַתָּה אֲדֹנָ-י אֱ-לוֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַגוֹמֵל לְחַיָּבִים טוֹבוֹת, שֱגְּמָלַנִי כָּל טוֹב.
הקהל: אַמֵן. מִי שֶׁגְּמָלֵךְ כָּל טוֹב, הוּא יִגְמָלֵךְ כָּל טוֹב סֶלָה.

אנא האל הגדול והגיבור והנורא, ברוב חסדך אבוא ביתך לזבוח לך זבח תודה על כל הטובות אשר גמלת עלי. אפפוני חבלים וצירים אחזוני. בצר לי קראתי אליך ותשמע מהיכלך קולי והיית בעזרי. ריפאת לכל תחלואי, עטרתני חסד ורחמים. עד הנה עזרוני רחמיך.
אנא אל תטשני לנצח. הואל אלוקי וברך את אמתך, חזקני ואמצני, אותי ואת אישי ונגדל את הילדה אשר נולדה לנו ליראתך ולעבדך באמת וללכת אורח מישרים. שמור את הילדה הרכה בכל דרכיה, חנן אותה דעה, בינה והשכל, ותן חלקה בתורתך ותקדש את שמך הגדול. ואני תפילתי, לך ה' עת רצון, אלוקים ברוב חסדך, ענני באמת ישעך.

נחום: יְשִׂימֵךְ אֱלֹקים כְּשָׂרָה, רִבְקָה, רָחֵל וְלֵאָה,
יְבָרֶכְךָ ה' וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ, יָאֵר ה' פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ,
יִשָּׂא ה' פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם.

אפרת: וִּיְהִּי רָצוֹן מִּלִּפְנֵי אָבִּינוּ שֶבַּׁשָמַׁיִּם, שֶיִּתֵן בְּלִּ בּךְ אַהֲבָתו וְיִּרְאָתו,
וְתִּהְיֶה יִּרְאַת הַׁשֵם עַׁל פָנַׁיִּך כָל יָמַׁיִּךְ שֶלֹּא תחטָאִּי וּתְהִּי חֶשְקֵךְ
בַּׁתוֹרָה וּבְמִּצְוֹות, עֵינֵיִּךְ לְנוֹכַׁח יַׁבִּּיטוּ, פִּיךְ יְדַׁבֵּר חָכְמוֹת וְלִּבֵּךְ
יֶהְגֶה אֵימוֹת, יָדַׁיִּךְ יַׁעַׁסְקוּ בְּמִּצְווֹת, רגְלַׁיִּךְ יָרוּצוּ לַׁעֲשוֹת רְצוֹן
אָבִּיךְ שֶבַּׁשָמַׁיִּם, וִּיְהִּי מְקוֹרֵךְ בָּרוּךְ

Efrat: Thank you for joining us and celebrating Nesyah Yonit’s entry into the world. While she has been bringing all three of us endless joy and nachat for the last three weeks, sharing the celebration with family and wonderful friends increases the joy manifold.

Nachum: We’d like to thank all of the people who’ve helped so much in the time since the arrival of Nesyah. Special mention should be made of Renee and Jay G., who came to care for Hoshen when the time came, which, it should be stressed, turned out to be 2:30 in the morning. Thank you so much! Thanks also to our teacher Bracha W., who happily cannot be here today, as she is at her grandson’s bar mitzvah, but who helped immeasurably with transportation and other details. Thanks to those who helped with the text of the tekes we just conducted. A great thank you to everyone who’s helped in the last few weeks with meals, supplies, and more, including of course Nesyah’s grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, and to all who helped with this seudah today, particularly Jake B., gabbai of the beit knesset. Finally, thanks as always to the staff of Maccabi and Hadassah Ein Karem for taking care to ensure good health and a safe delivery.

Efrat: As is traditional, we’d like to say a few words regarding our choice of name. We had no idea that Hoshen’s name was so remarkable until the betting pools began on our daughter’s name, and we hope we didn’t disappoint.

About two months after our wedding, four and a half years ago, we began reading an Eshkol Nevo novel in Hebrew book club. The book, Neuland, has a main character called Nesyah and I fell in love with the name. Another compact, two-syllable Hebrew name rich with meaning. I suggested to Nachum that we call our future daughter Nesyah. Having never met a person with that name, we decided to hold out until we could confirm that it is a real name and not something that belongs to the world of fiction. Three years later, fortunately, I met a Nesyah.

The plain meaning of “Nesyah,” of course, is “miracle of God.” Nesyah, like every baby born into the world, is indeed a Divine miracle, without any need for further elaboration or qualification, but we have more to add.

Nachum: The theme of miracles is also appropriate to the date Nesyah was born- not only the date itself, the 30th of Adar Aleph, a date so miraculous it appears on the Jewish calendar only once every few years, as regular Adar never has that number of days, but also two days before Shabbat Pekudei. That Shabbat, we noticed that a number of the contemporary parshanim we follow, including R’ Amnon Bazak, pointed out the similarities of the language used for both ma’aseh breishit and the dedication of the mishkan in parshat Pekudei. Indeed, it has long been believed that the details of the construction of the beit hamikdash- the dedication of which was described in the very rarely read haftarah of that week- are symbolic of the very nature of the universe itself. The wondrous creation of the universe and the miracles described as accompanying the dedications in both that parsha- and this week’s- and that haftarah were brought home to us even more when witnessing the miracle of a new life arriving in our family.

Incidentally, the unique date on which Nesyah was born means her actual birthday will only be celebrated every few years; moreover, whether her bat mitzvah will fall on the 30th of Shevat or the 1st of Nisan is a much-debated topic. Fortunately, we have just under twelve years to work that out. Those among you who are devotees of Gilbert and Sullivan will thus understand why “Frederica” was a possible name, but you will also be pleased to learn that we did *not* select it in any form. Finally, the fact that “nes” also has the meaning of “flag” was a coincidental extra for her vexillologist father.

Efrat: Nesyah Yonit is also named in memory of our respective paternal grandmothers, both of whom were called Faygie. Fay Benn, my Bubby, was born in the US, the eighth of eight daughters. A child of the depression, she left school at a young age in order to enter the workforce as a milliner. For much of my childhood, my family lived near my Bubby and Zaidy, and we would visit with them most weekends. One of my earliest, clearest memories of her was when I was about 7 years old and she taught my sisters and me a line dance choreography to New York, New York, preparing us to dance at a relative’s wedding and dazzle the other guests. Continuing with the theme of music, she loved to hum along during shul and the singing parts of the Pesach seder. She had a well-developed aesthetic sense and continued her regular hair and nail appointments into her old age. My Bubby was blessed with longevity; I remember the Kiddush in shul that was sponsored in celebration of her 93rd birthday. Finally, as the child of immigrants from Eastern Europe growing up in a Yiddish speaking home, she was extremely proud of the accomplishments of her son, my father, and her granddaughters. She would relish in our achievements, particularly academic, and regularly expressed confidence in our ability to continue on the path of success.

Nachum: Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to get to know my grandmother as well as Efrat did hers. I am therefore mostly dependent on the accounts of my parents and siblings, and they are remarkable. Fayge Lamm was an exceptional woman, very well spoken and persuasive, with a formal religious and secular education quite unusual for a girl born in Eastern Europe in 1900, one which she continued even after moving to the United States at a young age. She was a teacher of Hebrew- indeed, she met my grandfather as a result of tutoring his family members- and notably devoted to tefillah and the beit knesset. To this day, the davening patterns of our family owe much to her influence and instruction.

Efrat: Dear Nesyah Yonit, we wish you a long life filled with pride in your accomplishments and the accomplishments of your loved ones. We hope that you also develop a love for music and dance, a sense of aesthetics, and a devotion to study and Avodat Hashem.

Again, thank you all so much for coming.