Sunday, January 08, 2017

Shoshana Ruth Lansey

Our daughter is one year old! I realized I never blogged what I wrote about her name, the way I did for her brothers, so here goes:

Our daughter’s name is Shoshana Ruth Lansey -- we call her Ruth. She is named after Stacy’s Oma (Raizel) Ruth Heidecker and my Grandma (Raizel) Rose Lansey, who both had the Jewish name Raizel, which is Yiddish for “rose” -- Shoshana in Hebrew.

Both of our grandmothers were incredibly strong-willed women, each in their own way. Stacy’s Oma was a woman of strong faith, even in the face of great adversity, and managed to always find the good in people and make new friends at all stages of her life. We hope that our Ruth shares this strength of character and positive outlook. My Grandma truly believed that she -- and all of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren -- could do anything we set our minds to, if only we tried our hardest. We hope that our daughter shares this confidence and work ethic.

The name Shoshana Ruth also has strong historical connotations. The biblical Ruth was also a woman of profound faith. She took action when needed, which ultimately led to rise of King David. We hope that our Ruth will share the biblical Ruth’s immense faith in God and commitment to His people. Additionally, in an allegorical interpretation of Shir Hashirim -- the Song of Songs -- the shoshana is generally understood to represent the Jewish people: “Like a rose amongst the thorns,” God states, “are my nation amongst the others”.

Ruth was born on the 11th of Tevet, the day after (and I recognize this is difficult math) the Tenth of Tevet, a fast day in the Jewish calendar, which commemorates the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem in the times of the First Temple. It is our hope that Shoshana Ruth will contribute towards the coming of a time where the 10th of Tevet will be, in the words of the prophet Zecharia, “לבית־יהודה לששון ולשמחה ולמעדים טובים” -- “occasions for joy and gladness, and happy festivals”, when “Shoshanat Ya’akov tzahala v’sameicha” -- “the rose of Jacob [in context: the Jewish people] rejoice…” once again.

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