"My Daddy Loves Me" Newsletter

VOL 14


What's In a Name?

July 2, 2003
Email: David Benrexi

Hello precious friends,

I greet you in the Name of Jesus, our redeemer.  Wherever you are and whatever you're going through today, remember He loves you.  Your happiness and well-being mean everything to Him.  You are His beloved and the apple of His eye.  The devil would have you believe that you are not really very important to God and tell you you're a disappointment to Him.  What a liar!  You are not a pawn in some grand scheme that God is trying to squeeze some production out of.  You are the reason He created the stars, the heavens, and the earth.  No one and nothing is more important to God than you, his beloved.

I am often asked about my name, what it means and where it comes from, and today I am going to tell you about how I became David Benrexi.  I invented my last name more than thirty years ago much to the consternation of my parents.  You see I was born in 1949 in New York with the name David Eric Hort.  My father's father was a Russian Jew named Benjamin Gurevich.  (It's pronounced Hoo-ray-vitch, so I could have been named David Hooray in some 'parallel universe'.)

When my Grandpa Ben came to the United States as a young newly married man around 1914, he immediately changed his name to Benjamin Horowitz.  Back then, it was better to have a name that sounded German rather than Russian.  So it was that my father was the second son born to Ben and Anna Horowitz in 1921.  Eugene Victor Horowitz was born in New York, as were his older brother William (1917) and younger sister Beatrice (1927).

My Grandpa Ben was considered crude by my Grandma Anna's large family.  Both came from a family of seven children.  Anna's family were poets, scientists, and teachers.  Ben's were laborers mostly.  Ben was very ambitious and came to America with a young bride and dreams of success.  He started his own printing business and it eventually became a multimillion dollar operation in his own lifetime and created a lot of wealth for his family.

It was around 1939 when my father was eighteen that Ben changed the family name from Horowitz to Hort.  The official family explanation was that it was simply a shortened form of Horowitz, and to get a more distinctive name.  I suspect it may have been for another reason-- to have a name that was not so obviously Jewish at a time when being Jewish was not universally popular.  This was just two years before the US entered World War II.  This was the time that Adolf Hitler had already begun the slaughter of over six million Jews in Europe.

My father became Eugene Victor Hort.  He married Mella Witzling, the younger of two daughters born in 1923 to an Austrian couple that had immigrated to the US several years earlier.  Gene and Mella had three sons born in 1948, 1949, and 1958.  David Eric Hort was the middle son.

Although I learned Hebrew and was Bar Mitzvahed at age 13, I learned early in life that there was no God and that every person had to earn their station in life.  I learned that a good education led to a good job which afforded one the necessities of a successful life.

I studied pre-med in college, hoping to be a psychiatrist upon the completion of my education.  I always preferred playing music to studying biology, but had been "encouraged" for years to quit that foolishness, and get serious about my future.  Rather than "apply myself" in college, I "wasted my potential" on "foolish things" and never made it to medical school.  I graduated in 1971 with a BS in psychology and no desire whatever to "continue my education".  Instead, I pursued a life of singing songs for people while living in the lowest stratus of society.

During this time, I associated with numerous young musicians and played at many coffeeehouses, fraternities, parties, and anywhere else that I could find an audience. It was common for the performers to adopt stage names back then, so many of my friends had more than one name.  Terry Kauffman had a magnificent growth on his face.  He was called Terry Beard.  Michael Mertz played a Martin D-28 guitar.   He was Michael Alden Martin.  I called myself David Benrexi starting in 1972.

I had a dog who was a German Shepherd--Collie mix.  I named him Reuben.  He was the puppy of my girlfriend's roommate's female German Shepherd, Rexi.  So, in jest one day, I called him Reuben ben Rexi, meaning Reuben, the son of Rexi.

I loved that dog, but I split up with my girlfriend, so we had shared custody of Reuben.  He was staying with her that summer while I worked at a summer camp in Massachusetts in 1972.  She called one day to say he had run away.  I was very sad.

When I returned to State College that fall, I began to use the name David Benrexi to perform.  I hired three attractive young women to visit all the frat houses at Penn State with promotional flyers that said in big letters, "IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR SONGS THAT ARE COOL AND SEXY, END YOUR SEARCH WITH DAVE BENREXI"

The slogan seemed to catch on, and after that I began to use the name exclusively.  I remember the first time I ran into someone who said, "You're Dave Benrexi, aren't you?"  Before long I only was David Eric Hort for legal purposes.

In October of 1973, I hired an attorney and had my name legally changed.  At the time, my parents who were already disappointed by my bohemian lifestyle were extremely offended.  ("What? You're naming yourself after your dog?")  I was an embarrassment to my family. 

In 1976, I married a beautiful red-head with a darling six year old daughter.  We moved to the west coast and had another daughter in 1977.  I was the lowest paid musician in America for the next several years, and my musician's lifestyle made being married to me a challenge only one woman could have handled.  Her name is Jo.

Living in a tent in southern Oregon in the summer of 1980, Jo and I were gloriously saved.  God rescued me from a path that was leading to death and taught me how to walk in the light.  Of course, when a Jewish boy meets the Messiah, his parents are not always going to be pleased.  The reaction of mine was: "What's next?  You're moving to Egypt?"

Because of God's love for me and in me, I was able to share the gospel with my father the day before he died in 1993.  My mother just turned 80 and is still trying to deny Jesus' claim to be the Messiah, but she also is drawn to me and Jo and our whole family because of God's love in our lives.  One day, she'll say like I did, "Enough already, I give up!"


One day I realized that this name that I had invented and adopted to promote my singing act meant something entirely different now that I had been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

DAVID is Hebrew for "beloved."

BEN  is Hebrew for "son of."

REX  is Latin for "king."

I  is a personal pronoun for "me" or it's the abbreviation for Jesus in Hebrew on the cross.

So imagine my amazement when I learned that my legal name meant "Beloved son of the King, Jesus".

Romans 8:28 says:  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

Isn't it good to know that God can bring something good out of wherever you've been and whatever you've done?

I'm so happy/ I wanna shout/ Now I know beyond all doubt/ My Daddy loves me/ He really loves me/ My heart is so/ Very blessed to know/ He really loves me so/ My Daddy loves me/ he really loves me/ And the more I know His gentle touch/ The more I find I fall in love/ And my days are filled/ With the joy He gives/ As I live my life for Him/ My Daddy loves me/ He really loves me/ My Daddy loves me/ OH YES HE DOES!!!!!

Visit our web-page at www.mydaddylovesme.org and listen to this song, track #4 on '1949'.

I hope you're happy being loved by Daddy today.  If you'd like to share this message with someone that might be cheered or amused by it, be bold and forward it.  I love you and appreciate you for loving me enough to read this far.  I'd love to share more, but my grandson, Tyler Anthony Horn is very patiently waiting for me to feed him breakfast.  Tyler's six, and he learned how to make scrambled eggs on Sunday.  I also taught him a couple of card games.  Good-bye!

--David Benrexi

If you've been blessed by this message share it with someone else.  If you haven't, call 412-727-2526 for a prompt refund, no questions asked.  We love you, although we don't always know how to express it.  God loves you most of all.  Rejoice!

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