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Introducing Lily

05/25/2023 10:00:13 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

It was 7:57PM Monday evening, and my wife and I were about to leave the Waiting Room. I said “Let’s wait another few minutes”. One minute later our son-in-law texted that we could come up to room 7.  We knocked on the door and a voice answered “You could come in”. We opened the door, moved aside the curtain, and amidst all of the activity, to our left on a special table being attended to by a nurse was our newly born first granddaughter. I was overcome by emotions as I strained to see this precious human being.  The smile on my daughter’s face as we made eye contact was unforgettable, as was the hug of my son-in-law.  I took the typical one hundred photographs as he held her, then one hundred more as my wife held her. Then came my turn. Words fail me. Unbridled joy. 

I think that one of the reasons for mitzvot is not because God commanded us, but it is to bring God’s presence into the world. Each time we perform a mitzvah, we act in a Godly way, we get closer to God, and we welcome God’s presence into the world. The first commandment is actually placed upon all humanity, when God commands Adam and Eve to “be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth”. Here I was witnessing the most sublime and God-like moment of welcoming the creation of a human being.  But unlike all the prior occasions where I have been privileged to officiate at a Brit milah or a baby naming, this was my family.  

The timing was impeccable, with the specter of the trial hovering, threatening to cast a shadow of gloom over us for two to three months. Holding my granddaughter just melted it all away. There was not enough room on my face for my smile, nor enough room in my body to contain my elation. Holding, even just watching this beautiful bundle, made it all go away. That’s part of the wondrous nature of an infant, that she seemingly casts a safety net over me to keep everything out so that she, and she alone, is the sole focus of my attention. Many had told me what a wonderful experience it would be, but they were wrong, as this surpassed my expectations.  

My gratitude to God is overflowing and overwhelming, for I am alive and privileged to witness this moment in time. Despite the sometimes generic nature of the Shehecheyanu bracha, it said everything that I needed to say at this emotionally farklempt moment in my life. Those who know this bracha might recognize it’s significance.  Praised are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this day.  And permit me to introduce Lily. 

Sun, June 23 2024 17 Sivan 5784