Hi Everyone, and thank you for coming.

I must confess that I am not so good at making speeches. To be honest, Im not so good at listening to speeches, but here goes.

Bob, you can start the timer. My comments today should be between 15 and 17 minutes.

Whats in a name?

This is the first time I had to think of a name for a kid. When the other kids were born, they already had names. Its true. Suzanne told me. She showed me the birth certificates.

There were a lot of names we tried on, but they didnt fit.

I liked the name Salamander Applethorpe, but that got nixed pretty quickly.

I asked Benjamin if he liked the name Jonah. He said, "Like in the VegeTales movie?"

Suzanne was thinking of calling him William Rubin, because of his elevated liver enzymes. Incidentally, guys, do you think it would have been poor taste to serve chopped liver?

We didnt want a name that other kids would make fun of. For example, if you have a name like larry, the kids at school, will call you funny names, like "Larry Fairy"

Phil pill
Foreign Warren
Smelly Elie
Loose Bruce
Allen Gallon
James Flames

Well, the list goes on. We even considered naming him Chuck, Uck, Buck, Cuck, Duck, E-uck...... Maybe not.

So we looked for rabbinical direction. Rabbi Krohn suggested that there are a lot boys being named ELI after the recent super bowl victory. Not so bad.. I dont know if that Eli is Jewish, but I figured that eliezer would be a good name .But then, we got to thinking. We have a next door neighbor, Elie Rosenfeld. It just wouldnt be right to name him after someone who is alive, right? Thats why we settled on Jacob.

Jacob led a tough life. He had issues. Lots of sibling rivalry. He was a tent-dweller and exploited his brother in a moment of weakness in order to steal his birthright. All this with his mothers encouragement and his fathers tacit approval. When Esav figures out what has happened, he asks, Is that why he is called Yakov? Because he tricked me (yakbiani) twice? Later on, Jacob was duped by Lavan, who tricked him into working 14 years to acquire a wife. But Jacob got his revenge. Using some genetic sleight of hand, he managed to take the better part of Lavans flock. In the end, things start to catch up with you. After Jacob had a dozen kids, he wanted to return to Canaan. He received news that Esav had 400 men and was preparing to ambush him. During the night a mysterious person attacks him and he wrestles until morning. The wrestling match is a draw, and Jacob develops the first described case of sciatica. When the stranger leaves, Jacob gets a blessing and his name is changed to Israel (struggled with hashem)

But who was this midnight wrestler? Traditionally, it is an angel of hashem. Mystery writers will probably say that it was Esav himself. Esav set to ambush him and injured him and ran away before dawn so nobody could see him. Personally, I like a more metaphorical explanation. Jacob was wrestling with himself. He had lived a life of deceit, and meeting his brother after a prolonged absence caused him to do a lot of soul searching. By morning he had become a new person. A changed man. He had given up the life of living scheme to scheme and now chose a life rooted in torah and mitzvoth.

Noach, on the other hand, is a pure tzaddik. Tzaddik tamim be dorov. When hashem gave him a task, he just got his axe, collected the wood and built the ark. Never asked any questions. Never looked back. A pure tzaddik.

Jacob, Noach is what I hope you will be. A beautiful, untarnished, guileless child. I hope you grow to meet your challenges without a hint of fear. I hope you achieve your success without an ounce of regret.

But, Jacob, I am also a realist. I know that you will grow up with your very own difficulties. Sometimes, you will do something wrong and get away with it. In our family, that should be pretty easy. At some point you will wrestle with your own conscience and settle down and become a man. (although I hope it happens before you have 11 kids by 4 different mothers)

Now begins the part of the speech where we have the thank-yous.

I would like to thank all of you for coming out today. I know many of you have already been to one simchah today and can hardly eat another thing. We were counting on that.

I would like to thank the members of the community who brought us food this week. We have never eaten so well. Its almost worth it to have a baby just for this marvelous spread.

I would like to thank Rabbi Krohn for coming out today. He was the mohel for Benjamin and Zachary and also for me. Meerts hashem Jacob will have 12 boys, and you can snip them into the world of Judaism as well.

I'd like to thank Jacobs brothers and sister. You have no idea how much babysitting is in your future.

Anyone else? Well, thank you all for putting up with me today. Ohhh right. Yes. One other person. If there were a Nobel prize given out for putting up with scott, it would be given to Suzanne every year. Thank you for four lovely, respectful, well behaved children. You are the best mommy in the world, next to my mommy, of course. I love you and I hope we have many more children together. Actually, Im kidding. Really, four is enough.