Sunday, August 17, 2008

Welcome to Our Family Azriel!!

We had an amazing weekend. It was a bit crazy, but really meaningful and special. On Friday, food started pouring in for our Shalom Zachar and our Shabbat meals. It’s a tradition to have a get together on Friday night after the birth of a baby boy. People come after their meal to eat desserts and to wish the family a Mazal Tov! In some places, it’s really just the men who get together…while in others the women participate too.

So, we had TONS and tons of food, baked goods, drinks, etc. that came from all of our friends – and even from people that we don’t know very well. We had good friends from Tel Aviv come to visit in the afternoon and they couldn’t believe how the door kept opening and people just kept coming in with food and gifts.

After dinner, we had close to 100 people who came through the house. It was really festive and lovely to share such a Simcha with all of our friends. The Rabbi spoke beautifully and Josh did as well.

Saturday morning, it was time for the brit. I was worried about how I was going to get all the way up the mountain to the shul, and I had someone come to the house to push the double stroller and to help me get there. I’ve barely moved since the baby was born – so this was quite a shlep! We had originally thought to do the brit at a small shul closer to our home, but decided to do it at the main shul. The smaller shul would be very crowded, with many of our friends coming who don’t usually go there, and we thought it would be nice to do it in the venue of the Yishuv at large. There was a bar mitzvah this Shabbat of a family that founded the Yishuv. The grandfather, Chaim, is an amazing man and a real role model to us (as is his son and family) and we thought it was fantastic to be able to share these smachot together.

So, I shlepped my way up the hill and arrived at shul. I had our trusted babysitter, Lexi, meet me there and she took over watching Amichai and Eliav – which was great! It was so nice to see so many of our friends and everyone was excited about the brit and excited to see the baby. There are a number of honors that you can give at a brit, and it was really fun to watch as the baby was carried in to the synagogue by one couple, and then passed amongst a number of our friends for the different parts of the brit. The shul was packed – absolutely packed – and we did the brit in the center rather than at the front of the shul, so it was an amazing thing to see. Josh, the mohel and our honored friends were slightly elevated in the middle and then there was a sea of people on every single side, and above in the balcony, watching our child be entered into the covenant. It was really amazing.

We named him Azriel Dor. Azriel means “Gd is my helper” and Dor means generation. We picked Dor in memory of Josh’s grandmother, whose name was Dorothy. We liked the idea of connecting through the generations – and actually having the name both mean that, and be part of his grandmother’s name.

After the brit, the kids were very excited to finally know their brother’s name and we had a lovely kiddush outside of the shul. We came home for lunch, and then had some people over for dessert. Then…it was time to collapse!
Now, we look forward to a relaxing week with Azriel and the rest of the boys. Everyone is home for two more weeks before we gear up for the school year. Next week, we are doing a small kiddush on Shabbat at the shul that we usually go to, and Josh will give a short speech about the baby’s name.

It was a beautiful Shabbat and an amazing way to welcome Azriel into our family, our community, and our people. Welcome Azriel!!!

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