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His Name shall be Shimon

Chaya Yankelevitz

Names follow patterns and one can often see different customs and trends within families and communities. Yet there’s one name that transcends sociological and biological borders. From across continents, religious affiliations, and cultural divides, there are children who proudly bear the name Shimon. Why Shimon? Because they’re children of promises, children of miracles, children of Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

As Lag B’omer approaches, several women have shared their stories of miracles. These tales are laced with pain and sprinkled with tears, but a common thread runs through them. Couples traveled with heavy hearts to a distant mountain in the north of Eretz Yisrael. There in Meron they promised Rabi Shimon bar Yochai that if he’d intervene for them before the Kisei Hakavod and ask that they be blessed with a son, they’d name that child Shimon. As the gemara in Berachos (9a) tells us, at a time of difficulty, it’s worthwhile to rely onRabiShimon.  
Half the Yeshuah 
ShimonManoachturned five last Erev Pesach. His parents waited over nine years for children — long years full of tefillah and yearning, with no way of knowing when they would end. “My husband was always very connected to Rabi Shimon,” Esther Manoach relates. “We always went to Meron for Shabbos Chanukah and at other opportunities throughout the year. During our long years of waiting, we davened endlessly, tried many procedures and also various segulos. At a certain point, we both traveled to Meron and made our promise that if we had a son we’d name him Shimon. “A number of years passed. You don’t set time limits for Hashem. Yet, I certainly feel our yeshuah was connected to our promise. The promise itself is half the yeshuah! It gives chizuk. Once I made my vow, I was sure that we would eventually have a child. “My husband knows Rav Yaakov Meir Shechter and once traveled with him to Meron for Shabbos. In Meron, the rav gave my husband a brachah and said that we’d have a yeshuah very soon. That type of promise certainly falls under the category of: ‘A tzaddik decrees and Hashem fulfills.’ “In the end, we found out that I was expecting right after my husband returned from a different trip to Meron. He always went there regularly on the 5th of Av for the Arizal’s yahrtzeit, staying an extra two days. I got the good news when he returned.

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