5/20/14

My Hebrew Name . . .

Feel free to shorten it to "Mesh". I'll answer to that. Seriously.
Since a handful of people have asked (and thank you very much for your interest) I wanted to clarify why I took Meshullam ben Avraham Avinu as my "Hebrew name" . . . .

Let me clarify the latter parts first . . . ben Avraham Avinu.

"ben Avraham Avinu", indirectly, translates to "of Abraham our Father." It clarifies, to life-long Jews and to temples and synagogues, that I am a proud, proud convert. Why go around my earthly father and go all the way back to Abraham (patriarch of the Torah)? Simple. My father is not Jewish. His father is not Jewish, etc. etc. etc. I have to go all the way back to the first Jew and hitch my wagon to his hard working horse. While not an absolute "must do" but it is traditional - and every now and again I like to do something conventional. For those wondering, if I were a female convert I would likely take ben Sarah Imenu (of Sarah our Mother)) as a "modifier".

Now . . . the (for me) fun part. Meshullam (Meh-shool-lawwm).

While there is no way my namesake would ever be considered a Hero of the Torah (trading cards or drinking glasses - and seriously . . . SOMEONE get me these glasses) that was sort of my point. I didn't want one of the classics - Moses, Abraham, Issac, etc. Why not? I would not ever make the cut as a Hero of the Jews either so why take on that pressure? Right now in America there are over forty kids named Derek Jeter . . . their parents happened to have the surname Jeter and they love them some #2 for the New York Yankees. I'm willing to bet NONE of those kids will ever take a cut in the big leagues and certainly never don the pinstripes of their namesake. I digress.

It turns out Meshullam (mentioned eleven times in the Torah) was a son, grandson, father, grandfather, levite/priest, teacher, and chief. His claim to fame (if he even has one) is building a wall because G-d told him to (again - I rarely follow orders and do what is expected of me but . . . if G-d wants something . . . ).

What is MORE important with Meshullam is the root and meaning of the name. Meshullam means, indirectly, befriended, at peace, and fulfilled. It means the debts are paid, everyone is in good standing, everyone is content (if not happy) with the outcome, and it means that honor and tradition were respected in the process. Listen to the end . . . Shool-lawn = Shalom. Peace.

So there you have it. I took inspiration from an otherwise unnoticed Jew who did what G-d told him to, lived a good life, wore many hats and was many things to many people, and - perhaps most importantly - found fulfillment and peace in his faith and in the traditions of it.

I think it suits me well. Also . . . Schlubby Shlomo Rosenbergensteinenkratz was already taken.