Watching my 6 day old nephew this past Thursday was quite an experience. I don't think I've ever just looked at a baby at such a young age, and admired the result of the amazing nine month life making process. Maybe it's because it's quite relevant to what is about to happen in my life b'h, or just because I'm a wee bit older than the last time I had the opportunity to appreciate the miracle of life. The world must be quite a place for a newborn, but at least he looked rather peaceful and content to be sleeping as the rest of the family celebrated during the Brit Yitzchak.
The next day was his Brit Milah. As he was passed along to Talya's safta (Hebrew for grandmother), she started to cry. Holding her 2nd great grandchild, her first great grandson, must have given this 86 year old Holocaust survivor a tremendous feeling of pride, joy and happiness. The kindness of a family from her village saved her during the Nazi occupation of Poland, and her mom's quick thinking saved her from danger when they returned to their now occupied home (This was all too common amongst the Polish population, with many Jews being killed by their homes' new occupants. For more, click here or here). She managed to start her life in Switzerland, raise two children, who in turn would give her the joy of eight grandchildren. Although I doubt it even crossed her mind at the moment, as I watched the tears stream down her face, I thought to myself, "This is how she beat Hitler."
The Baby's name? Yair Avraham (pictured below with his sister, Noa). His second name is that of safta's brother (May his memory be blessed), who died in the Holocaust ... but whose name Yair will carry from now on.