Now the story behind the name...
Eight years ago, I walked into Share Tzedek on Ta’anit Esther (Fast of Esther), the 13th of Adar having had a miscarriage. When we left the hospital later that night after the D & C it was already Purim. I turned to my husband in the elevator on our way out and said, “Mazel tov. We didn’t have a baby, but we have a neshama (soul) and after 120 years we will meet this neshama in Shamayim (Heaven).”
Purim, that year was challenging to say the least.
Fast forward six years and my father in-law zt’l passed away on Ta’anit Esther, my husband entered Purim as an avel (mourner) and the whole world turned upside down with Corona.
Purim, that year was challenging to say the least.
The following year, last year, was my father in-law’s one-year yahrzeit. That night started a special three-day Purim celebration in Jerusalem. We listened to the Megillah. The next morning, erev Shabbat Purim, Feb 26th, I awoke early and went to the hear Megillah reading. I returned home and made challah, just in time to get a call from one of my clients that she was in labor.
Shortly after I went to the hospital, Share Tzedek, thanking Hashem that I had been able to hear the Megilla and also take challah. I prayed that it would go smoothly and that maybe I would even be able to make it back in time for Shabbes. It was a first birth and it progressed, but as most first births the baby was taking his time. As it got closer to Shabbat I found myself in a dilemma, for the first time in a dozen years of being a doula I was at a birth and I was supposed to go to the mikvah that night.
Had it been a weekday, I could somehow have arranged to find a way to drive to a mikvah that was opened very late at night or to call a baalanit (mikvah attendant) and arrange for her to meet me when the labor was finished, but it was to going to be on Shabbat and not only that, this was still during Corona when appointments to the mikvah were required. It was also so close to Shabbat, and I couldn't find a backup to take my place at that point.
What would be would be, it was out of my hands, but I had to try.
I made phone calls to figure out which mikvah was closest to Share Tzedek hospital and until when they would wait for me.
At that point my laboring woman decided that she wanted to take an epidural and she wanted to go to sleep. I turned to her and her husband and asked them if it was okay for me to quickly go home, shower and change for Shabbat, light my Shabbes candles, bless my children and then walk back to the hospital. I told them I would hurry and not be long.
They told me, “Go, it’s fine.” The woman went to sleep and I hurried home.
I took my bath, got ready for the holy Sabbath, lit my candles, blessed my children and then started to walk back to the hospital, but first stopped at the mikvah, grateful that I had been able to do, with a bit of mesirat nefesh, the three mitzvot of the woman that day. I walked back to the hospital and a baby boy was born at 10:30 PM that Shabbat, Shushan Purim, Feb 26th night.
I then walked back home, another forty-minute walk, again grateful that Hashem had done such chesed with me that I was able to do all these mitzvas. I had no idea what would be in a year’s time to come…
Three months later we packed up our belongings in boxes and moved to a different apartment. My road to motherhood, and each child that we were blessed with Baruch Hashem, had been one of many prayers, laughter and tears and at 43 I felt grateful that Hashem had blessed me with five children and that it was time to let go. To give away the crib, the baby clothes, the maternity clothes, the nursing items.
We moved and that week Hashem blessed me with another child growing in my womb.
The due date…for the month of Adar.
My father, Shmuel Moshe ben Nechemia z’l, passed away the week before Chanukah and I sat shiva (mourning), six months pregnant, sick with Corona. The already challenging pregnancy became that much more challenging physically and of course emotionally, but b’chesdei (with the kindness of) Hashem, we made it and it was already once again Adar, the month of Purim, the month of simcha, except this year is a “pregnant year” a leap year and we celebrate two Adars.
Many times, I kept thinking that I was in labor, but I was not and then Purim katan passed and so did Shabbes. Another week passed and once again I thought on Thursday that I was in labor and I was not. Friday, erev Shabbes Kodesh, Shabbes m’varechim, Shabbes Shaklim, I awoke early and made my challah. Contractions came and went here and there.
I lit my Shabbes candles and then the labor really began. Shabbes morning, Feb 26th my husband and I were once again in Share Tzedek, but this time for the birth of my son.
The midwife who delivered my baby was named Ayala. Her name reminded me of Ayalat Hashachar, the Psalm that we say on Ta’anit Esther and Purim, the darkest moment in the night, says the Malbim, before the rising of the sun.
Haman drew lots to see which month was the best to destroy the Jews and he came up with the month of Adar. Why? Because it was the month that Moshe Rabbeinu passed away. However, this month was also the month that Moshe Rabbeinu was born…
And so “vayefuchu” upside down. The month of challenge became the month of simcha (joy).
It is written that when a child is born it brings consolation to the family in mourning. It certainly brings bracha (blessing) and simcha to the world.
There is a connection between Chanukah and Purim, the two holidays that are rabbinic and will stay even after Mashiach comes. My father in-law passed away right before Purim two years ago and my father passed away right before Chanukah this year. Hashem blessed us with a baby boy in Adar.
It is also written that within the נשמה, the soul, we have the word שם which is "name". The name is the essence of the person and it is written that parents are imbued with a certain holy spirit, a certain Divine intuition when choosing the name of their child.
Now, we come to the name of our dear son….Moshe Chaim!
The month of Adar, in which Moshe passed away and was born, turned from suffering to celebration. With “life”, Chaim, everything turned around.
Our son’s brit milah, when he was named, was on Shabbes Kodesh, Parshat Pikudah, when Moshe, after seeing that the nation did all that Hashem commanded them to do to build the mishkan (the “dwelling” place of the Divine Presence, and today our home), blessed them.
Moshe Chaim is also the name of the Ramchal (Mesilat Yersharim, Derech Hashem).
May our Moshe Chaim bring blessing to all Am Yisrael and give nachat ruach to Hashem and as my husband pointed out, his initials Moshe Chaim ben Shlomo, מ. ח.ש. also make up the word שמח, to be happy, and when ה, for Hashem, is added it’s SIMCHA שמחה!
משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמה!
B’chesdei Hashem, with gratitude to HaKadosh Baruchu,