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Why Celebrate My Birthday?

Why Celebrate My Birthday?

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Question:

It's my birthday this weekend but I have always felt funny about celebrating it. My birth was a bit of an accident -- my parents said I was a surprise, and I was born six weeks premature. Is there any meaning in celebrating the day that I wasn't really supposed to have been born?

Answer:

Your birthday is chosen by G-d -- not your parents, your astrologer or the obstetrician. Birth is G-d saying that the world can't go on without you. It is the day that your soul's mission had to begin.

There were already nearly six billion people on earth when you were born. Did the world really need you? Can one more soul really make a difference? Obviously the answer is yes; otherwise G-d would not have sent your soul to this earth. The fact that you were born means there must be some unique gift that you have to offer the world that none of those other six billion people could possibly achieve.

There were already nearly six billion people on earth when you were born. Did the world really need you?Your birthday is an opportunity to reflect: This is the day that my soul was dispatched on its mission. How is the mission going? Have I been contributing my part to the furthering of G-d's purpose to create heaven on earth? Have I been doing my bit to enhance and improve myself and my world? How much time and energy do I spend on meaningful pursuits? How much time could I add to that amount in the coming year?

Far from being an accident, your birth was clearly a deliberate act. The fact that you surprised your parents and arrived early just shows how urgently the world needed you -- your soul couldn't even wait a few weeks for the due date to get down here. G-d had another due date in mind.

Your soul was sent down by priority delivery. Make sure your soul always remains a priority.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
About the artist: Sarah Kranz has been illustrating magazines, webzines and books (including five children’s books) since graduating from the Istituto Europeo di Design, Milan, in 1996. Her clients have included The New York Times and Money Marketing Magazine of London.
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Discussion (30)
October 19, 2014
I want to sit alone wth my family... Today is my birthday... But my near n dear are compeling me to celebrate it...
Sumeet
Jaipur
April 19, 2014
Birthday blessings
Has anyone mentioned this tidbit?

On your birthday, you have the power to bless people.

So be with as many people as possible, and bless as many people as you can.

Isn't that a great way to celebrate the fact that you have a special Gdly mssion?
Chaim
Laredo
April 16, 2014
Beautiful explanation, I can't wait to share this with my children's!
Alexa
Albuquerque New Mexico
chabadnm.org
May 22, 2013
Mark KC MO
Wow! In a lot of ways you are right, birthday celebrations are frequently overdone here. But to just not do anything just makes you look like a cheap curmudgeon. So may I suggest you celebrate the day the way you want?
First, specify no gifts beyond tokens, or no cost gifts of time.
Second, use this day for a bit of introspection. Take an extra few moments to contemplate where you were last year, where you are now, and where you want to be.
Third, this is a special day, you have an extra bit of power, so use it! Think of each of your friends and family members, and give each an extra bracha, for exactly what they need, along with health, wealth, and the ability to use them correctly.
Lastly, A small simple gathering (farbrengen) to discuss the past year, learn a bit, and give out those brachot, is appropriate. It keeps the day spiritual and unifying, so people know you aren't being a curmudgeon.
Sarah Masha
West Bloomfield, MI, USA
baischabad.com
December 28, 2012
Good people,bad people
Abigail, Hashem made Jews neutral,with the potential to do either good or not good.
That is the only free choice we have. Isn't it amazing that he put so much trust in us.
In order to validate that faith which he has in us, we must put our faith in him & try our best to do what he asks of us. Simple, eh?
Leibel
Montreal
November 24, 2012
Why celebrate a birthday
The whole good and evil thing is baloney. Hashem gave us free will, choice. If we do bad, we chose to do bad. If we do good, we chose to do good. It's true that without bad (evil) we all would be the opposite (good) but we wouldn't know we are good as there would be nothing to compare to. If you simply do the right thing, you will always be on the right or good side, Now, go on and do something GOOD!
Anonymous
HI
October 27, 2012
Birthday was planned by G-d
Thank you. This is a helpful reminder.
Anonymous
burlington, vt
September 28, 2012
Interesting!
It is really very very amazing. That is the great answer to such a nice question .Really amazing!
Azka Afzaal
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
February 13, 2011
Birthdays are so Special
I absolutely love this post! I never cared for my birthday (Dec. 31st). It seemed everybody went to a party, but me. When I was a child, school was still in recess so the few parites my parents gave me came a week late. Being so close to Christmas, I got a lot of "joint" presents (Birthday and Christmas combined). It was always just another day.

Then I gave birth to four incredible, precious human beings (one of which was a surprise) and found the importance of not only celebrating their special day, but mine as well. I too believe their souls were meant to be on this earth for they have created such happiness with everyone they meet. And I was destin to be their mother. By some spiritual power (which I believe to be God), our journey was woven among the stars long before we landed here on earth.

Truly beautiful expression. Thank you to whoever wrote this.
Jackie
Los Altos, CA
October 26, 2010
Birthdays are another pointess day for consumption
Birthdays are similar to most American holidays. They consist of 3 rules:

Materialism, gluttony and wasteful consumption.

Birthdays are also a very egotistical and self-centered day. "It's my special day" screams the intoxicated college student while chugging beer at the bar.

I don't celebrate any day that promotes materialism, gluttony and wasteful consumption. Can't we just have family and friend get-togethers without having a financial transaction?

With all the pain and suffering occurring worldwide, it just seems wrong to celebrate surviving 365 days in this spoiled nation.
Mark
Kansas City, MO
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