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.

1 comment:

HolyCityPrayer said...

lovely! I see we got there just a minute or few late.