It’s true! He’s here! David Moshe Haykin was born at 5:43am on 6/12/15. (I was always skeptical of how moms remembered the birth times of their babies… I am no longer. 5:43am will be burned into my mind forever now, in the best way possible.)
I will write more about his birth and him but he had his bris today and I know people are anxious to know his name and the stories behind it. I will share pictures of him on this blog but they will be protected posts so contact us if you would like access to them. We will be sharing images with the general public in a VERY limited way for his safety and to protect the images from people who steal that sort of thing.
So here we are – David Moshe Haykin. Here is why we named him as such:
Moshe – After Talia’s Paternal grandfather Maurice Davis:
We choose to name David Moshe after two very important people.
His middle name, Moshe, is after my paternal grandfather, Maurice. Moshe was his Hebrew name. He was my best friend, pretty much since the day I was born. I was the very first grandchild on either side and my father tells me that I quite quickly had grandpa wrapped around my little finger. It was in him who confided all my secrets, he made up and played silly games with me… like when we would pretend our fingers were people and they would get lost in his copious chest hair. He would play rock, paper, scissors with me for hours on end and then tickle my back with a feather he pulled from his pillow while we watched M*A*S*H* and Murder, She Wrote together. As I grew older, I learned that he was more than just a hairy and fun playmate. He was a very well respected rabbi within the Reform Jewish movement. If you picture a classical Reform Rabbi, it would be a picture of him with his pulpit robes on, commanding the attention of hundreds, thousands on the High Holy Days.
He was the kind of man who, when called, jumped on a plane to Selma, Alabama in March of 1965 to stand and march with Martin Luther King, Jr. and the kind of man who, with crippling blisters on his feet from marching for 12 hours in dress shoes, found a way to his father-in-law’s bedside in Cincinnati as soon as he found out that he was gravely ill. He was the kind of man who when he noticed young people from his congregation disappearing into the cults of the 1970’s he studied the commonalities of these kids and used the information to council parents and assist in the deprogramming of the children. In my memory he will always be a dichotomy. A respected and stately rabbinic presence who was mourned greatly when he passed away and a giant teddy bear who would throw me on his back and let me play horsey with him. I hope that by giving our David Moshe his name, our little boy will find the balance of responsibility and playfulness, be well spoken and kind, and stand for what he believes in.
But, as my grandfather would say, My Dear Friends, this name is so much more than that. The letter M or Mem comes up over and over in my life. My other dear grandfather, Milton’s Hebrew name was Menachem Mendel – for David Moshe, I hope he has the gentleness of Poppa Milton. And the man who became my surrogate grandfather, and who married us, Reb Zalman’s Hebrew name was Meshullam Zalman. For David Moshe, I hope he has the wisdom and insight that Reb Zalman brought to each encounter.
David – After Daniel’s paternal grandfather David Haykin:
We chose to name our son David after my grandfather, David Haykin. I would like to wish my son a healthy dose of my grandfather’s best virtues: his mischievous and fun loving attitude towards life, and his bravery.
When I was a little boy, my parents went to work and I spent all day with my grandparents. My grandfather David would take me for long walks, we would whittle wood and get into adventures. One of my most vivid memories from childhood was the time I watched Granpa David fall out of a tall tree. We were on one of our walks and he said, ‘Daniel, look up there in the tree, there is a bird’s nest. And inside that nest, Daniel, there’s an egg.’ I was intrigued. ‘Grandpa, what color is the egg?’ He said, ‘let’s find out!’ and started climbing the tree. He was probably 70 years old at the time. When he reached the top of the tree, the mama bird spotted the interloper and flew back to defend her nest. She pecked my grandfather’s face and hands, he was startled and lost his grip. I was only three years old and utterly astounded to watch an old man fall from a tree. It seemed like he fell for a long time and when he hit the ground, I thought he was hurt. But he stood up smiled and said, ‘Daniel, the egg is blue.’
My memories of grandfather David were full of smiles, adventures and fun.
Among his many virtues, was my grandfather’s bravery. He was a paratrooper during WWII on the Soviet side. Over the course of five years, he participated in countless jumps behind enemy lines. He was the second highest recipient of medals for bravery in the entire Red Army. It was because of his military past that we ended up in the United States. My father originally wanted to resettle our family in Israel, but my grandfather refused. He has seen too much war and he didn’t want that for his family.
David was a teenager when he left his large, seven-person family to become a soldier. When he came back from war, he learned that the Holocaust had claimed his entire family, leaving him only one brother. Had it been otherwise, the Haykin family would be overflowing with cousins, uncles and aunts. But before this last week, I was the last male Haykin. We name our son David praying that with God’s help and blessings this will be the beginning of the repopulation of the Haykin family. So that when my son David is a grandfather himself, his extended family should seem to him just as God’s promise to Abraham – they should seem as numerous as the stars in the heavens.