During my son's brit milah this past Tuesday, the lil one got his name ... Oren* Reuben** Piha.
* Oren Stern z'l was my mother-in-law's late twin brother, who passed away at the age of 18 due to medical negligence while his family was on sabbatical in Israel. When I first heard of his tragic story, I felt it was important that Talya and I honor him in the future.
Oren's photographs always stood out to me - he was always smiling ... a powerful, exuberant smile. It wasn't surprising to hear from my mother-in-law and a family friend that he was always an upbeat, happy person. One of the stories that sticks out to me was that despite attending public high school, he never missed his morning prayers and always wore his tzizit.
Oren passed away at Hadassah Ein Karem in 1972 ... 42 years later, his namesake was born at the same hospital. May our Oren continue in the same path Oren Stern was following - one of happiness, strong connection to his family and being proud of his Jewish identity.
* We decided to honor my late Gramps, Rube (ראובן) Levitt, who passed away on the 1st day of Hanukkah last year (2013, תשע"ד). Gramps was a quiet gentlemen whom I miss dearly. It's a tremendous privilege for me to have Oren carry his name, and I hope he lives his life in the same humble, respectful manner that Gramps did.