Author's note: This piece is deeply inspired by J.K. Rowling's final installment of the Harry Potter series. There will be no spoilers, but the emotionality of completing the book just now compels its own Hadran, its own traditional commitment to return and relearn its lessons.
When my wife and I chose the names of our three precious children, we were committed to naming them after family members we had loved and lost. It struck me immediately, when our youngest daughter was named, that the pantheon of my ancestral family was whole again. My Grandma z"l, my Sabbah z"l and my great-uncle z"l were alive again. There are simply no words for the burn in my heart birthed by their names. Naomi Shemer wrote in "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" that saying Jerusalem's name is like experiencing "the kiss of a Seraph." A Seraph is a fiery angel. Shemer was so right.... continue reading here