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Why Celebrate My Birthday?

Why Celebrate My Birthday?

Ask the Rabbi



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?


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
Artwork by Sarah Kranz.
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Blessing September 20, 2016

I thank god that I read this it help me on my thought a lot I can now do something different thanks Reply

Myriam Rockledge, Fl August 18, 2015

Amen! Beautiful answer! Reply

Anonymous dallas December 14, 2014

Beautifully said, Aaron Reply

Sumeet Jaipur 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... Reply

Chaim Laredo 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? Reply

Alexa Albuquerque New Mexico via April 16, 2014

Beautiful explanation, I can't wait to share this with my children's! Reply

Sarah Masha West Bloomfield, MI, USA via 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. Reply

Leibel Montreal 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? Reply

Anonymous HI 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! Reply

Anonymous burlington, vt October 27, 2012

Birthday was planned by G-d Thank you. This is a helpful reminder. Reply

Azka Afzaal Rawalpindi, Pakistan September 28, 2012

Interesting! It is really very very amazing. That is the great answer to such a nice question .Really amazing! Reply

Jackie Los Altos, CA 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. Reply

Mark Kansas City, MO 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. Reply

Anonymous San Jose, CA September 2, 2010

wooow... i always wanted to die and you just made me not to want that anymore... Thank you =) Reply

Anonymous August 1, 2009

Amazing THANK YOU SO MUCH, i really don't know how to thank the one who wrote this answer, it really makes sense. You made my day, thanks a lot. Reply

Abigail Miller St. Louis, MO July 24, 2009

Why are there evil people? One person asked why evil people were made. Well, if there weren't any evil, there would be no good. And plus, nobody is really evil because evil is just the absence of good. So, you can be good, less good, not-so good, but still, everyone is good (or whatever word you want to say). So, God didn't make evil people, he just made people who were less good than others. Reply

Anonymous June 5, 2009

Hmm, interesting answer. That is an interesting answer to a question like that. I was wondering the same thing about myself, and it helped. Thanks to whoever wrote that answer. Reply

Jen Dunseith, ND February 23, 2009

Answer This is a great answer to such an interesting question. I don't think I have ever heard an explination like that. Great job to whoever answered this question. Reply

Anonymous new york, new york February 4, 2009

why celebrate a birthday if it is true that G-d sent us here because we are needed, why are so many evil people born. The world could have lived without them. Reply

Pnina Usherovitz Mercaz Sapir, Israel March 26, 2008

Intruder in the universe? We can all feel that we are "out of place" in the world - because we are - because the world is not yet the place it should be . We are sent to do our work to help to make it right. If we feel "at home" then, there is something wrong with us. So, all of us "out of place people" have to work extra hard to love our fellows and do our work even though we are not always comfortable. Reply

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