Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Name of the Dame

On Sunday we formally, publicly welcomed Xiao-Ling into the Jewish community. At last, we unveil her names to you:

Given name: Miriam Xiao-Ling Leora Shuchat-Marx

Hebrew Name: Ariel Rina Devorah bat [daughter of] Moshe David v'heHazzan Yaakova Leah

Here's the lowdown on how she got her names:

Miriam = for Mark's grandfather Morris "Red" Shuchat, whom I called Zeyde. Zeyde did live well into meeting and knowing Harry. We have some great photos and film of him all smiles as the wee boy crawls all over him. Also for Mark Whitt and for Marc Orchant, both of blessed memory.

Xiao-Ling = well d'uh, it's her birth name! Means "dawn bell."

Leora = for my paternal aunt Leonie, who raised my father from a pup, prepared his Bar Mitzvah luncheon of calves' foot jelly (in their Orthodox community I'd have to assume it was the front feet) and other South German delectables, cooked for at least five generations of family in her 94 years and could make "Don't fall" sound like "I love you."

Ariel = for my other paternal aunt Anny, who also raised my father from a pup, taught him how to live, and sent him home-knit and -sewn comforts while he fought in WWII - including a double-sized sleeping bag she'd made by fastening two together.

Rina = for our dear friend Renee, a lovely cantor who left us far too soon. Rina was Renee's Hebrew name and it means "singing."

Devorah = for another dear soul who left too early - my sweet Dara, the most loving wife, mother and friend you could possibly imagine, and the funniest too. Her heart was made of Torah.

it was a perfect day, surrounded by family, friends and congregation. What more could we ask?
Don't ask!

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