Mother’s Day 2020

Rifka Hannah … Suharowitz (1868-1929)

A Mother’s Day gift for Sheela and all the mothers and daughters of our “Matthia” family:

This Mother’s Day I restore to you your indelible maternal identity. I give you a new and unique name to add to your narratives.

As mothers and daughters, you have been culturally conditioned to losing your maternal identity in each generation. This silent and unspoken loss has continued through millennia, but the Father and Mother of Nature never intended this. Your Heavenly Parents have purposed from the foundation of the world that your maternal identity be preserved.

If our culture included a tradition of preserving your maternal nature, nurture, and identity, then your personal and family names might look like this:

Instead, our cultural tradition is to minimize, even deliberately wipe away, maternal remembrances generation after generation. We favor the name and narrative of the most recent male associated with your maternal line. All the while, the narrative of the mothers who bore, gave suck, and nurtured these generations is devalued and fades in obscurity.

The human egg is the largest cell in the human body; it’s even visible to the naked eye! The sperm is, on the other hand, the smallest human cell. In diameter, this means that you’re looking at a difference of roughly 40 times in size. Inside each egg are the “mitochondria” which produce energy for the cell. A mother’s egg provides these “organelles” that nurture and feed each child throughout its life. And inside each “mitochondrion” (singular of mitochondria) is a small circular “chromosome” that becomes the foundation for every cell in a baby’s body. Both women and men are nurtured throughout life by their mother’s mitochondria. Is it any wonder that most of us eventually realize “I am my mother!” Not only was she the most influential person in our early years, but her egg is the foundation of every cell in our body to our dying day. And men cannot pass on their mitochondria nor the DNA that is in those precious packages because their sperm travel light.

Gussie RifkaHannah … Kaiserman (1906-1972)

Not all cultures and traditions favor the male family narrative as in today’s American culture. “The Code of Jewish Law clearly states that a child of a Jewish mother is Jewish, regardless of the father’s lineage (or whatever else may show up in a DNA test), while the child of a non-Jewish mother is not Jewish. Matrilineal descent has been a fundamental principle of Torah since the Jewish people came into existence.” (see “Why Is Jewishness Matrilineal“)

Fay Rita GussieRifkaHannah … Fisher (1925-1948)

Rather than dispute the value of patriarchal and matriarchal narratives, I suggest we recognize the equal value of each. Although our culture has suppressed the matriarchal narrative, God has not forgotten the mothers! He has preserved our maternal name in the package of mitochondrial DNA that both women and men carry in each of their cells, and that name is a unique 16,569 characters (base pairs) long which throughout our lives codes for 37 genes: 13 polypeptides, 22 tRNAs, and more.

Sheela Rochelle FayGussieRifkaHannah… Matthia (1943- )

The gift I give to you all this May 10, 2020 is Grandma’s full 16,569 character maternal name. I have ordered a test kit for Grandma, and when the results are ready, we’ll pass them on to you. The value of this gift will increase as DNA science continues to develop through the years. In the meanwhile, please focus also on preserving the oral and written narrative of the mothers and daughters from this noble line.

So, Happy Mother’s Day!
Love, Kurt / Dad / Grandpa