Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Chabad communities welcome baby Breina Majesky


Congregants Pearl Halikman and Lisa Singleton admire newborn Breina Majesky.

"Dear Breina, Welcome to a wonderful world and a warm and loving family - by family I include our wonderful community who truly are family," shared Rabbi Yanky Majesky of Chabad of North Orlando, at the naming ceremony for his newborn daughter, Breina Majesky, at Congregation Ahavas Yisrael on Monday, June 15, 2015.

Rabbi Sholom Dubov presided over the extra-special baby naming ceremony and Torah service hosted at his Maitland shul, on behalf of his fourth grandchild, born on June 7 to daughter, Chanshy, and son-in-law, Rabbi Yanky Majesky (Chabad of North Orlando). Baby Breina nestled peacefully in her mother's arms throughout the Torah service and ceremony, greeting the crowd of more than 200 from time to time with her tiny cries. The fourth Majesky daughter joins big sisters Chaya, 6, Batsheva, 4, and Shterna, 2 ½.

Rabbi Chaim Thomas, a close family friend, read the prayer as the baby was given her Jewish name. Rabbi Majesky explained to the full house of family, friends and congregants that he and Chanshy had chosen to name the baby Breina, joining her mother, Chanshy, and sisters Chaya, Batsheva, and Shterna, with a "Yiddish tongue twister of a name."

In an open letter to his newborn daughter the rabbi explained, "My dear daughter, yes, you heard right, we did just give you the name Breina and yes, for the rest of your life people will be asking you, "is that pronounced Breena or Braina or is your name Brianna?" to which you'll say " Brei - as in Matzah Brei and it rhymes with Rye bread."" 

He shared that the name Breina means brunette, and stated, "After two blondes before you, your sisters Batsheva and Shterna, here you are born with a full head of brown hair." Rabbi Majesky explained that the beauty of the name goes much deeper than hair color. He commented, "The name honors your mother's beloved great-grandmother, Bubbe Breina, a woman of immense strength, who did not live for herself but rather for her mission in life to support her husband, children and the Jewish people."

The rabbi revealed that initially he had a hard time making sense of his daughter's birth date, which coincides with a tragic time of year on the Jewish calendar. He noted, "The 20th of Sivan was a time when some of the worst tragedies befell our people. The pogroms of 1648 went on for two years, and the 20th of Sivan was established as the day commemorating those tragedies." He continued, "Last Saturday night, I was driving Mommy to Florida Hospital, it then hit me that I was about to bring a child into this world on one of the saddest days of the year-a day established as a fast to commemorate these horrible events."

As the couple arrived at the hospital it occurred to him that there was no better name for his daughter than Breina. "Let me explain," Rabbi Majesky stated, revealing that Bubbe Breina was a woman of indomitable strength and was known to say "Dageh Nisht Gut Iz Mit Mir" (Have no fear G-d is with me). She led the family through good times and bad in communist Russia and thereafter, her faith in G-d carrying her through. Breina and her husband, Rabbi Chaim Tzvi, risked their lives to earn a living outside the communist system, which allowed them to take time off to observe the Shabbos. She survived a run in with a KGB snitch, escaped a deadly fire, and traveled to America so she and Chaim could give the family a better life.

He stated, "When you step back and look at her life, you can look at it and see a life of hardships and suffering, but take another moment and realize what she really embodied: resiliency, determination and survival of our people despite all odds. She embodied Am Yisrael Chai. Dear Breina, the same is true about your birthday the 20th of Sivan."

The rabbi noted that even though Bubbe Breina did not have an easy life, "we are all here today because of her perseverance." 

Majesky concluded, "Breina, you were born in to a family where communal life and personal life are intertwined, our home is our shul, and our community our family. We hope and pray that you will continue in the ways of your great namesake, live your life for your family, for your community and for your people. I know you will make Bubbe Breina proud that you carry her holy name."

Following the service, the crowd enjoyed a sumptuous spread of fresh fruit and desserts sponsored by the Dubov family. Chanshy's mother, Devorah Leah Dubov, holds fond memories of her grandmother, baby Breina's namesake. Mrs. Dubov commented, "I have very strong memories of my Bubbe Breina. She was a quiet woman who seemed to have no needs. She held a book of psalms or a siddur prayer book in her hands most of the time and quietly murmured prayers all day. She always had some sort of homemade craft gift to give us when we visited and seemingly only knew one Yiddish children's song that she consistently sang to us. She was selfless, and we were the world to her."

Congregants greeted Rabbi Yanky and Chanshy Majesky with "Mazel Tovs" and good wishes, while "oohing" and "ahhing" over newborn Breina and her full head of dark brown hair, connecting the littlest Majesky to her Chabad family and Jewish community on this blessed day.


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