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Web site tribute to Rachel and Justin

by Karen and Jonathon Andell

KAREN'S PRAYER ON HIS HEBREW NAME:

We chose Justin Nathaniel's Hebrew name with as much care as we chose his secular name. We wanted a name that would honor both God and his older sister Rachel.

His first name is "Shaul", which means "asked of God". This meaning should be obvious, since no child ever has been more fervently desired.

To explain his second name, we first must discuss our beloved Rachel, who came into our lives nearly three years ago. She immediately bestowed on us many blessings and lessons, the greatest of which was the experience of a love whose purity and gentleness exceeded anything we had ever known. Her untimely death left us devastated and frightened, doubting ourselves, the medical community, and even whether God wanted us to be parents. Even the beautiful memories of her life caused more sorrow at the loss, than comfort from the wonderful blessing her life bestowed upon us.

On this vastly more festive day, with our son to give hope and song to our hearts, we select a name that reflects the joyous memories of our Rachel. Her name's literal interpretation is "ewe", representing the gentleness and purity of Judaism itself. In honor of that spirit, our son's second Hebrew name is "Tzachai", meaning "clean and pure".

By granting him a name reflective of his sister's life, we hope that he will remain aware of her presence and contribution to our family. Because family background has so much impact on our growth and well-being, we want him to share in some of her memories, to integrate into his unique presence as he proceeds to his own future.

Therefore, today and every day we shall pray for the wisdom to help him love and appreciate his older sister, without forcing him to dwell in her shadow. May his own unique life be rich with his own positive experiences, and may it be a long and healthy one. L'Chaim!

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