When I was born, I was given the name Ilya Bear, it is my birth name. I was named after my great uncle Benny on my father’s side whose Yiddish name was Ilya Bear. My father is 1 of 3 sons…the youngest, by a bit. He was kind of an energetic child, to say the least. My dad would say that uncle Benny was the only one who ever paid much attention to him as a child. Uncle Benny used to call my father the “nudnik”, which basically in Yiddish is an endearing term for “pain in the ass”. When my father came of age and married, uncle Benny called my mom the “nudnik’s wife”, and when my sister came along, yep……she was the “nudnik’s kid”. Uncle Benny died shortly before I walked the earth, so I never had to be called the “nudnik’s kid”…but I know I am. And, I got to be named after Uncle Benny…….The Ilya Bear label and wines are in honor of my family.