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Lev Avos Blog

Exploring Tanach while reflecting on parenthood

Shaina Amalya

Yechiel Shaffer

Dear Family and Friends, 

This morning we had the great honor of naming our daughter Shaina Amalya. 

We would like to offer a short explanation as to why we got to that name. 

Shaina was Aliza's paternal grandmother's name. A woman that spent much of her time around some of the greatest Rabbinic characters of the 20th century, she surely felt the presence of G-d in her life. We chose to attach the name Amalya for the following reason. 

At the beginning of Devarim we learn of a major transformation that has taken place within Moshe. He is no longer incapable of fine oratory, in fact, he has much to say. 1/5 of the Torah is dedicated to the words and thoughts of Moshe. The Medrash Tanchuma points out that it is the Torah that heals Moshe's speech impediment. In the same comment, the Medrash Tanchuma describes the moment where Moshe protested G-d's selection of him to lead the Jewish people. 

"Lo Ish Devarim Anochi" - "I am not a man of words" Moshe claims. 

The Medrash records that G-ds responded to Moshe by drawing his attention to Adam, the first human being. Was Adam a man of words? Did someone teach Adam to talk? No! He was the only person alive. So, who gave Adam the ability to speak and name all the animals? Hashem did. If Hashem can teach the first human being to speak, surely he can give Moshe the power of speech. 

Throughout this, it is G-d's continued presence in the lives of both Adam and Moshe that give them the ability to contribute. 

We ask for our daughter she not only be blessed with a close relationship with G-d, but she also recognize the beauty in that connection. The name Shaina Amalya is translated: A beautiful work of G-d. 

We can see how beautiful she is, and we are incredibly grateful to our families for supporting us and to G-d for giving her to us. Our prayer is that one day she will realize not only the Divine Providence in her life - but the extraordinary beauty of connecting with our Creator.