Simcha Chaya {Sadie’s Hebrew Naming}

This past weekend we had a Hebrew baby naming ceremony for Sadie at our home with close friends and family. The ceremony was very special as Sadie is named in honor and in memory of my grandfather and my mom. Sadie impressed her mommy so much as she was on her best behavior…not one bit of fussiness from her! And at the end of the ceremony, when the Rabbi blessed Sadie, she looked right in her eyes…. the Rabbi said in 25 years she has never had a baby look directly at her during the blessing. It was precious… my heart melted!

We have given Sadie the hebrew name Simcha Chaya in honor and in memory of her great-grandfather Stanley and her grandmother Jane. In the jewish religion, it is believed that a child will be inspired in her life by the good qualities of the loved ones for whom she is named. Craig and I can’t imagine two people whose lives were better suited for our daughter to emulate.

Simcha means joy. My grandfather Stanley had a special gift of bringing joy to those closest to him and to those he never met. He accomplished great things in his life, but he never lost site of what was most important to him: his family. When Sadie learns about her great-grandfather, she will know him as I knew him, as my Poppy. I will tell her about his morning wakeup calls, our monthly lunch dates, and the dozen roses he would send me every valentines day. She will learn about his giving nature and the difference he made in so many people’s lives, which in turn brought joy back to his life. Well, that and chocolate chip cookies. I will never forget what I was told by an employee of my Grandfather several years ago. She said that “if I could come back in my next life as anyone, I would want to come back as Stanley Tanger’s grand-daughter.” Her words have always stuck with me, and I know just how lucky I am to have been able to call him my Poppy. And even though Sadie will never get to meet him, she will learn about all of his good qualities and will one day realize how lucky she is to be his great-granddaughter. And with the name Simcha, we hope she will give joy to others and receive joy from them.

Chaya means life. My mom was given this hebrew name after she overcame two brain tumors when she was a small child. Her will to live was present then and everyday thereafter, as she never stopped pushing through challenges that came her way, all with a positive attitude. Her zest for life was truly contagious! And as today we celebrate the life of our new daughter, it’s hard to believe that exactly one year ago we were mourning my mom’s death. The biggest challenge that I had to face while I was pregnant and throughout the past 4 months of being a new mom, is the loss I feel on a daily basis of not having my mom here with me. And what hurts even more is knowing that my precious daughter will never have the opportunity to meet her. She will feel her presence though, as my mom’s memory will always be kept alive; she will always know who her Grandma Jane was and just how much she would have loved her. And as it is also believed in the Jewish religion that the soul of a loved one lives on in the child who now bears his or her name, I have faith that my mom’s soul lives on through her granddaughter, her namesake.

Our hope for Sadie Jane, through her hebrew name Simcha Chaya, is that she carries a piece of my grandfather and my mom in her heart, and most importantly, that she is able to find joy in her life.

You can watch (an unprofessional) video from the ceremony here:

Sadie’s Hebrew Baby Naming Ceremony from stacy black on Vimeo.

If the video doesn’t show up above, click this link to watch it: