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From Rabbi Dantowitz, 10/26/2010
Last week my family and I traveled to Boston for the Brit Milah of our new nephew/cousin, Emmett Leo Dantowitz. He entered the world on 10/11/10—though his parents, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Ron and Faith Dantowitz (yes, we share the same first name!) had hoped for 10/10.
Emmett is the Hebrew word for Truth. It is spelled alef-mem-tav encompassing the first, middle and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet (alef-bet). Emmett was born duringParshat Lech L’cha—when God called Abraham to go forth to become a great nation and be a blessing. Emmett was also born on National Coming Out Day. He already is a blessing and I pray that he be true to himself and celebrate his individuality. Living in Massachusetts, he is guaranteed the right to get married to whomever he loves---male or female. Since his name is Emmett—I pray he will bring more truth and understanding into our world. His name is causing me to read the prayers in our Siddur more closely as I notice many occurrences of his Hebrew name which I shared with students while exploring the Torah and Haftarah blessings.
His first name in Hebrew is Simcha which means joy. He is named for his paternal great-grandmother, Frances Dantowitz, a Holocaust survivor, whose Yiddish name Freidel means joy. Just before the Brit Milah service began my brother-in-law, Ron, had his father-in-law Henry Melnick’s tallis placed upon his shoulders. Henry, a Holocaust survivor of two ghettos and five concentration camps, told Ron this was the first tallis he received after his liberation from Bergen-Belsen.
How awesome it was to welcome a new baby boy into the Covenant of Judaism and celebrate the survival of our people.
Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz