A Message from Cantor Hanan Leberman and Ariel Hirsch at the Brit Milah for their son, Leo Solomon
First of all, we’d like to thank the Mohel, Rabbi Hayim Leiter, for being our Shaliach in this important mitzvah, connecting us to thousands of years of Jewish peoplehood, and to the Jewish people’s covenant with G-d.
We’d like to thank our parents – they’ve been our rock leading up to this exciting point, and already over these last eight days, they’ve been our coaches and our cheerleaders as we begin our own journey as new parents, getting to know our beautiful boy and growing even stronger as a family.
We’d like to thank our grandparents – those who are with us in this olam, and those who are in Olam Haba, and are therefore always with us from Gan Eden.
And a big thank you to our siblings: Hemi, Moran, Boaz, Yael, Jon and Ilana. This little guy has the best uncles and aunts around. Please, please, please teach him everything you know. (Oh, and we can’t forget to thank his big, hairy brother – Banksy our dog, who will be his main voice teacher when Leo learns to sing.)
I’d like to share a little bit about the name we chose and the blessings we hope to impart on our son.
The Pshat meaning of our son’s name, Leo, is lion.
In the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, the first mitzvah is to wake up like a lion.
We pray that Leo, our son, will fulfill this commandment to be a lion – and ferociously pursue mitzvot, chesed and justice in this world.
Leo was born in Jerusalem, which is symbolized by a lion. May this beautiful city be your home “ad 120″, until 120!
There have been many memorable Leos that have walked this earth and contributed to the history of humankind:
- Leonardo Da Vinci, THE renaissance man, was the greatest artist to have ever lived, and was also known for his compassion for all living things.
- Leonidas the Great, the Spartan King, was ferocious in battle when protecting his people from harm.
- Leonard Bernstein and Leonard Cohen were two of the modern world’s greatest musicians.
- And, of course, Leonardo – the leader of the Ninja Turtles – was the coolest Ninja Turtle of all time, (Danny, Avi and Ami – this one’s for you.).
As you can see, Leo can be short for a lot of names, and can draw upon a lot of amazing legacies. But a wise uncle named Uncle Boaz once blessed our little Leo and told him that he hopes he will not just follow in the footsteps of those who came before him, but that he will forge his own path and create his own legacy.
And so: we bless Leo that he be expressive, curious and compassionate; that he be strong and fierce in fighting for what he believes in; that he creates beautiful harmony – whether musical or otherwise – throughout his life; that he find endless moments in life to exclaim with glee: Kowabunga; and, most importantly, that he find the strength, love and support to unfold his own unique journey, personality and connection to G-d.
We chose Leo’s middle name, Solomon, with two meanings in mind:
- Shlomo, Solomon, was the greatest judge and king in Israel’s history. Because of his pursuit of justice and peace, he was given the honor and the responsibility of building G-d’s home in Jerusalem.
- Leo Solomon, being from a good Jewish family, also comes from a long line of good Jewish lawyers. Whether or not he decides to go to law school, we hope he will pursue justice and fairness in his own way throughout his life.
And, of course, we chose Solomon in memory of my Saba (grandfather) Solly, who was loved by his whole family. He brought happiness and laughter to all those around him, and he will always be remembered.
We hope Leo Solomon wakes up like a lion every day to serve Hashem, to look for ways to do chesed, to bask in the warmth of Torah, and to approach life with vigor, grace and Godliness.
This picture is of me holding Leo Solomon with the mohel Rabbi Hayim Leiter, and my father in law Joe Hirsch. The tallit Joe is wearing is my father’s grandfather’s tallit. The brit took place at Ohel Nehama Synagogue where I am learning toward becoming a rabbi.
Here is Cantor Hanan’s most recent program with TIS, Jewish Influence on Broadway, featuring Dr. Jay Shir
Enjoy past messages and events
We apologize for the tilt in frame halfway through the video.
Soldiers in the field don’t have dedicated videographers!