Shalviah Tzadika arrived at home on 22 January 2015. Shalviah means “the peace of the LORD” or “the shalom of Yahweh.” Shalom refers to peace in relationships: not just an absence of strife and discord, but personal and familial wellness and wholeness. This is truly that “peace which passes understanding” (Philippians 4.7) which we are able to experience as the peace of Christ.
Tzadika means “justice” and “righteousness.” Every childish cry of “it isn’t fair!” echoes our longing for justice. These days righteousness seems to be “just a church word,” but it simply means being in right relationships vertically and horizontally. And while there may be “no one righteous” and “no one that does good” (Romans 3.10, 3.12), yet we are clothed in Christ and covered with his righteousness. Just as the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1.7), the righteousness of the Father cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1.9). So by naming our daughter Tzadika, we are blessing her with this promise.
Shalom and justice/righteousness: it is impossible to fully have one without the other, and impossible to truly have either apart from God. We pray that our Shalviah will be filled with the peace of the Lord that she might bear “the fruits of righteousness” (Philippians 1.11).
Though we address her as “Shalviah” and “Tzadika,” we have also given her a nickname, Shamirah. This name means “protection” as well as “guardian” or “protector” (it is the feminine form of “Shomer”). We recognize that both peace and justice/righteousness provide protection. We also know that each must be carefully guarded. So we pray that Shalviah’s heart will be forever protected (Proverbs 4.23; Philippians 4.7), that the peace of the Lord will guard her and that she will grow up to be one who protects justice/righteousness and peace.
Our older children had a role in naming their new sister, discussing options with us at length. Alitzah read through a long list of names, with their meanings, suggesting possibilities. While we were reviewing the short list, when Eliana grasped the meaning of Shalviah, she said, “That should be one of her names, because she is a very peaceful baby.” It is true. We also pray that these names both reflect and form her character.