The Amazing Story Behind My Baby’s Name

The Amazing Story Behind My Baby’s Name

44 summers ago my mother’s mother, father, and grandmother were killed in a freak car accident.

Since they died before I was even born, as a child I knew nothing about my grandparents (though I was named after my late maternal grandmother, Chana). And as a mother myself, I have never mentioned my deceased grandparents to my own children.

So it was pretty strange when last January, the week I found out I was pregnant, my 7-year-old, Moriah, woke me up one morning with a huge smile on her face and told me about her dream. Moriah isn’t generally a morning person, so when I asked her why she was so unusually chipper that morning, she told me the following:

“Eema, listen, the father of Grandma Gila [my mother] came to me in a dream! In the dream, he told me, ‘I am the father of Grandma Gila. Please tell Grandma Gila that I have entered your home. I have returned to life and I have been healed.”

At that point, Moriah pointed to her arms, and told me that at first in her dream the father of Grandma Gila had been covered with brown wounds, and then she saw the wounds disappear, replaced by healthy skin. When Moriah told me this detail, I remembered that my mother’s father had actually died as a result of the fire following the accident, and realized that these wounds were probably burns.

When I asked Moriah what Grandma Gila’s father looked like, she said that he had a moustache, just like my grandfather did for his entire adult life.

I immediately connected the dream with that week’s positive pregnancy test.

When I told my mother about the dream during our weekly Skype call, she looked stunned. And afterwards, every week she would ask me whether I had found out if I was having a boy.

When I finally found out I was having a boy during an ultrasound in my 6th month, I began to cry. It was one of those rare moments in my life when I have witnessed the curtain between this world and the Next open up for a peek. Before that ultrasound, I had assumed that we were having yet another girl to join my five older daughters. But it appeared that the dream was true…Grandma Gila’s father had entered our home through the soul of this new baby.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, Moriah told me that she had had another dream about my grandfather. She told me:

“I dreamt that Grandma Gila’s father came into our home, and a Torah scroll called out to him to approach it. And then,” Moriah said, “the Torah taught Grandma Gila’s father everything that is in the Torah.”

When I discussed Moriah’s dreams with my rabbi, he explained that when Savta Gila’s father refers to being healed, it is clear that he is not actually talking about a physical healing, because he no longer has a physical body. He is referring to the spiritual transformation and fixing he has undergone as a result of his difficult death and in the World to Come. And I think that this Torah scroll dream hints at that spiritual transformation.

B”H, we had the bris this past Shabbat, and we named our newborn son Yaakov Gedalia Chaim after my grandfather.

I still know very little about my Grandpa Jack, but I do know that he was one strong person. When the school principal mistreated my Aunt Sheila, my mother told me recently, Grandpa Jack marched right down to that school and gave the principal a tongue-lashing she would never forget.

I bless my son that he will inherit the strength of his Grandpa Jack. In today’s world, a Jew must be strong in order to remain holy despite the bright lights of emptiness and impurity trying so hard to draw us in. And to stay strong and keep our heads held high despite the nations determined to destroy us.

Thank You Hashem for this great gift, for my dream come true, Yaakov Gedalia Chaim.

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34 comments

  1. That is an awesome story. Hope you had a wonderful Yom Tov!

    Adina

  2. Amazing!!!

    Rov nachat, an abundance of milk, and great sleep to all of you!

  3. Mazel Tov!

  4. What a beautiful, amazing story!
    Mazal Tov! May you be zocheh to raise him to Torah, Chuppa and Maasim tovim!

  5. WOW first let me say a huge mazel tov and a schach nachas. what an amazing story, i had to wipe away tears as it brought back memories of what my grandmother told me. That my brother once said a certain phrase to her when he was about 6 yrs old that her father used to say to her, it was the exact same wording, expression and tone like her father used. Thing is that my brother never met his great grandfather.

  6. mazel tov! mazel tov! may you raise him to torah, chupah, and maasim tovim!
    you are truly blessed, and your story illustrates that those who leave us in this world are truly connected to us in the next.
    may we all merit to join hands with moshiach and the complete redemption now!!

  7. What an amazing story. And how spiritually sensitive Moriah must be to have merited the dream! Your mother must be so delighted to have a grandson named for her father, too.

  8. your story sent chills over my whole body. what an incredible experience! shep tons of nachas from your beautiful boy and all his siblings, and raise them with ease. may you escort him to Torah, chuppah and maasim tovim. and may he bring comfort to your mother and an aliyas neshama to your grandpa jack. mazal tov!!

  9. I smiled and nodded through your beautiful story with the familiarity of one who had a similar occurrence. Several years ago, right after the birth of twin girls, I had a vivid dream in which my grandfather came to me and gave me the mission to name a baby for him. I held onto that dream for two years, and when I once again became pregnant, I knew without a doubt that it would be a boy. So your story is quite familiar. But when I reached the point where you mentioned your grandfather’s name, I shivered , for you see, my grandfather’s name was also “Grandpa Jack”, and my baby is also named Yaakov. Mazal tov, and may you have much nachas!

  10. Mazal tov! what an amazing story- i have already read it 3 times! The first thing I thought of when Moriah said “the Torah taught Grandma Gila’s father everything that is in the Torah” is that her dream is referring to the whole Torah the angel teaches a baby in utero — and indeed that is exactly what was happening as his soul, now in the little developing body of yaakov gedalya chaim, was learning the entire torah inside of you! may yaakov gedalya chaim bring blessings, joy and nachas to your entire family.

  11. Thank you for sharing this remarkable and moving story. You should have a lot of Nachas from your precious baby and his older sisters.
    Mazel Tov!

  12. Wow! May your son bring lots of light, joy, and nachas into your family. Enjoy your new baby and get as much rest as possible.

  13. That’s an amazing story! We are also told that we learn the whole Torah before we are born, (why we have that indentation over our lip-the angel hit us and we forget what we learn when we’re born) so maybe that too, was what your very special daughter witnessed in her dream. i wish you great nachat from Yaakov and all your children. May you raise him to Torah, Chupah and Maasim Tovim. Mazal Tov!

  14. Chana, I’m soooooo happy for you!!! I was thrilled to hear you gave birth again! without even knowing you’re pregnant! what a surprise! Mazal Tov. Tizku legadlo le Torah, Chupah, uMaasim tovim. and your story – i just dont have words!!! i kept stopping while reading it cause i was crying and had goosebumps all over my body. to have the merit for something like this to happen to you in your house (your daughter having a “real, ruach hakodesh” dream, the WEEK you got pregnant!!!! and then another one1 that’s just amazing! it shows that you and your family are truly high souls. maybe b’zchut that you do so much incredible work helping hundreds or thousands of mothers to be happy in their work in this world… thank you and may HaShem bless you all! Enjoy this time so much with your new baby and all the family. It’s sooooo precious.

  15. thank you for sharing this rare and precious experience, Chana! May you have only nahas, nahas and nahas from all of your children!
    and may you keep “hizouking”so many jewishMoms all around the world for many many years!!

  16. mazel tov. may he grow to be a very big light for the klal.
    a beautiful story that left me with goose bumps!
    enjoy your maternity leave

  17. Chana this is such an unbelievable story! I cannot shake the chills I got reading it. What an amazing, well connected little girl your Moriah is! May your new baby bring you and your family and all of am yisrael much joy, nachat and pride !

  18. Susanna Rossen

    Mazal tov! A blessing was born.

  19. Aviva Cohen

    Mazel Tov on the safe arrival if your beautiful new son.
    I was so touched by your story and your dsughter’s special sensitivity and clarity.
    What didn’t escape me was that of all your older children, it was your 7 year old daughter who brought these telling dreams.

    7-Seven is one of the greatest power numbers in Judaism, representing Creation, good fortune, and blessing. A Hebrew word for luck, gad, equals seven in gematria. Another Hebrew word for luck, mazal, equals seventy-seven.

    The Bible is replete with things grouped in sevens. Besides the Creation and the exalted status of the Sabbath, the seventh day, there are seven laws of Noah and seven Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Several Jewish holidays are seven days long, and priestly ordination takes seven days. The Land of Israel was allowed to lie fallow one year in seven. The menorah in the Temple has seven branches. The prophet Zechariah describes a strange celestial stone with seven eyes (Chapter 4).

    This emphasis on seven continues post-biblically with seven wedding blessings, seven circuits performed about a groom, and seven days of mourning after the death of a close relative.

    Events, prayers,and esoteric observances that involve multiples of seven are also common.Entities both natural (gold) and supernatural (angels) are often grouped by sevens (I Enoch 20; II Enoch 19). Seven is a factor in many occult elements and events.

    The first verse of the Torah consists of seven words and seven is the recurrent number in Pharaoh’s divinatory dreams in Genesis. The walls of Jericho fall after the Israelites encircle it seven times. In the Zohar, the seven lower sefirot are those aspects of God that are present in asiyah, our world of action. Seven is also the preferred number in spells, magic squares, amulets, and the like (Genesis7:2; I Kings 18:43;Deuteronomy 16:9; Pesahim 54a; Sotah 10b).

  20. Wow! we need these stories to keep us going…MAZOL TOV! loads of nachas from this one and all your other children..hope u get some sleep.

  21. ruth cohen

    jenny wow wow wow. this is wow. so amazing – wow.

    its wonderful that your daughter was given those dreams, fabulous. wow that is so great that hashem is opening up your eyes to see the spiritual worlds.

    the first time i saw baby jaacov it struck me how healthy he looks, strong. powerful.

    jenny this is a very powerful moving story. i think the part of the torah scroll has a lot more significance too than the normal understanding – it seems to me its more about the protection your family has had and the stamp of approval from hashem for your holy work for the children here. a torah scroll is a very powerful image.

    for those who dont live here, jenny and joshua have been shining like the sun since baby was born. there is definitely something very special with this baby.

  22. Mazal Tov Jenny that’s such wonderful news and an amazing story. You should have a lot of nachas from him and all your children.

    Rachel

  23. Hindel Levitin

    Mazel tov!! Hashem should bentch you with more and more nachas!

  24. Mazal tov! What a beautiful name and incredible, incredibly moving story of how it came about. How amazing to have such dreams, what an insightful girl and to have her involved in the whole naming as well. It’s just really beautiful and gave me the chills! Mazal tov and may you continue to have such nachas from all your children!

  25. Mazal tov Jenny and Josh! We are soooo happy for you! Lots of nachas, health, long life and Torah!

  26. WOW!!! Mazel Tov! Thank you for sharing your experience. This is the first time I’ve heard a story like this directly from the person it happened to and really gives me chills to read it! You must be doing something right to raise a daughter that received these dreams.

  27. Mazal Tov, Mazal Tov!!!!! What beautiful news for Shabbat Bereishit…. May you have many wonderful new beginnings with Yaacov Gedalia Chaim….
    And the dreams!!! May your peek into the ‘other side’ inspire you for many years to come….

  28. wow- such an incredible story, gave both me and my husband chills. thank you for sharing, and mazal tov! u should have lots of nachas from your son!

  29. Incredible and inspiring- in the zchut of your dedication to supporting Jewish mothers and ensuring a healthy environment for their children you should be blessed with true nachas from him and all of your children.

  30. What an amazing story! May your family have only nachas from your new addition and all of your children.

  31. Jenny what an amazing and moving story. I’m wiping the tears from my eyes! Mazel tov!

  32. Eliana Rahjel Colon

    Mazel Tov !!
    I’m a jewish mother of three boys from Dominican Republic. Your story brings tears of joy from my eyes!
    Blessings for you and your family. Thanks for sharing!
    Enjoy your baby!!!!

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