• Hesh Meister

My Older Daughter

This is my older daughter.

Her name at birth was Bracha Tikva Rosenwasser.

Bracha Tikva
Bracha Tikva

Bracha is a Hebrew word meaning "blessing." It was also my grandmother's name.

Tikva is a Hebrew word meaning "hope." It is part of the Israeli national anthem, "Hatikvah," which means "The Hope."

So my daughter's name can be taken to mean "Blessing of Hope."

Bracha and Abba, Dec. 2011
In Jerusalem, after she saw me perform live, 2011.

She was born on October 2, 1989, at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Her mother's name at time of the birth was Melissa Diane Ancell. She had not taken my last name when we got married. Today, after getting divorced and remarried roughly three decades ago, her name is Melissa A. Kurtzer.

Bracha and parents.
Bracha and her parents, 1989.

My legal name (all stage names and online monikers notwithstanding) is Heshy Rosenwasser.

Bracha's last name, appearing on her birth certificate, is my last name.

Bracha and Abba, Denver 1991
First time seeing her after the divorce, 1991.

In 1994, at the time she was being registered for school, her mother registered her under her stepfather's last name. Thus my daughter became known as "Bracha Kurtzer." This, even though her stepfather never legally adopted her and her last name still remained Rosenwasser on all her documentation.

Bracha and Abba in Sacramento
In Sacramento when she was of kindergarten age, early 1990s.

She called herself "Bracha Kurtzer" throughout her childhood and adolescence. That's how she became known to friends and family, and in school.

Bracha and Abba in Teaneck, c. early 2000s
In NJ during her junior-high years, early 2000s.

When she got married, she took the opportunity to change her legal name to "Bracha Kurtzer Gross," her stepfather's last name and her husband's last name.

This, of course, is her prerogative, and legal right as an adult.

However, the name on her birth certificate remains Bracha Tikva Rosenwasser.

Bracha and Abba, Feb. 2010
Bracha visiting me at work in NYC, 2010.

Neither she, nor her mother, nor her stepfather, nor her husband can change the facts of her birth, any more than they can change her DNA.

She is, and will always remain, my daughter.

Bracha and Abba, 2013
Bracha passing through NY, March 2013.

That is all.

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