Friday, July 7, 2023

An Entirely New Thought

Queen T brought it up.  I can honestly say that the thought had never crossed my mind; if it did, it didn't make any impression at all.  That it might have been discussed and I don't remember it is improbable.  As I said this afternoon on the video chat, My head was exploding.

We were discussing the beautiful baby she calls her own, a child named for the earth and the sky.  Her mother grew up in an SSR; she has no religious traditions to speak of.  (In Ukraine, the day on which one chose to celebrate Christ's birth last year was a political statement. )  She has embraced my son's cultural Judaism with enthusiasm and introspection.  

They want the baby to have a Hebrew name.  She asked if her husband had a Hebrew name.  I couldn't answer.  The thought had never occurred to me.  I couldn't believe the thought had never occurred to me.  How was is possible that 40 years after his birth I had never considered the fact that her husband had no Hebrew name.  Not only that, neither TBG nor I had ever considered that one way or the other.... not that either of us would have been opposed one from being given.  We just didn't think about it.

As I said, my head exploded.  

I went back to the genealogical album G'ma created.  It's filled with sepia photos of relatives she knew, some of whom I knew, and of those who died, of cholera or in the Warsaw Ghetto, before they could say hello.  Each of them has a Hebrew name, some echoing TBG's very Protestant, American heritage.  I have a Golde and he has a Golda, and they are just a generation apart.

I'm going to enjoy this new naming opportunity.  I'm not imposing (!).  I was asked to help.

But before I start in on their kid, I'm going to spend a few more minutes wondering why I didn't do the same for my own.


  1. In my youth I was actively rejecting my parents' religious traditions, and therefore most of the attendant cultural traditions. It's something I mildly regret now, mostly because it was hurtful to my parents, but I find myself being curious and wishing I'd paid more attention. Such is life.

    1. Such is life. I spent some hours this week wondering what provoked me to ridicule my sister's accordion playing to the point where she gave it up. Such is life.


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