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May 29, 2006

What's In A Name?

A simple question, but one that has echoed down through the ages.

At Meredith's naming ceremony Friday evening, the Rabbi asked those of us in the congregation about our names. He reminded us that we each have 2 names: the name given to us at birth, which we had no say over; and the name we are continually creating for ourselves as we live in the world. We do have control over the latter. He asked (rhetorically), Would you rather be known as the-one-who-drives-the-gas-guzzler-and-despoils-the-environment ... or the-one-who-protects-the-environment-for-his-children's-children? You get the drift. It was a thoughtful reminder for all of us adults who were there to name a baby, that we are continually naming ourselves through our actions.

Meredith slept peacefully in our midst. Her Hebrew name, Meira, means "one who gives light." That's a tall order for such a little one, but our world certainly needs more people who will bring light. I think she'll be up to the challenge! Welcome to the world, Meredith!

Meredith3_2 wks-b.jpg

Posted by hgroteva at May 29, 2006 6:27 AM | Identity | Life


Good words. I can't help but think of the old Bible school song, "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine." She'll shine.

I remember when my wife was pregnant with our first, I sent out an e-mail to everyone on my list requesting suggestions for names. I got a stern repy from a man who was my camp director when I was a kid. He told me that the name I give my child is a prohecy and that the task of naming a child should not be taken so lightly as asking for names via the internet.

Although I think he may have overstated his point, the point was well taken. Sierra, my daughter, is one who will go to higher places. Canaan, my son, is bound to arrive in a place of promise and plenty. Both were named for arrival places that require long and perhaps difficult journeys.

Posted by: Chris Gonzalez at May 29, 2006 10:55 AM

Chris, Thanks for these thoughtful comments. Just think of what the world might be like if we were all to live up to the potential held in our names! I look forward to meeting your kids this fall.

Posted by: Hal at May 29, 2006 11:22 AM