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How Do Jews Celebrate Birthdays?

How Do Jews Celebrate Birthdays?

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Questions:

Is there a Jewish way for me to celebrate my birthday?

Answer:

Sure, there's a Jewish way for everything!

Here are some ideas (culled from the teachings of the Rebbe):

Note: All these suggestions should be implemented on your Jewish birthday. Use our Jewish/Civil Date Converter to find out when your Jewish birthday is.

  • Giving charity should be a daily event. On your special day increase the amount of your contribution, especially before the day's morning and afternoon prayers. If your birthday falls on Shabbat or a Jewish holiday when handling money is forbidden, give the added charity beforehand and afterwards.

  • Spend some extra time praying, focusing on meditating and concentrating on the words of the prayers.

  • Say as many Psalms as possible. Ideally you should complete at least one of its five books (Psalms is divided into five books).

  • Study the Psalm which corresponds to your new year. This is your age plus one -- e.g. Psalm 25 if this is your 24th birthday. Click here to study it online. This is also the Psalm which you should try to say daily until your next birthday.

  • Take some time out to contemplate on your past year. Consider which areas require improvement, and resolve to do so.

  • Learn some extra Torah on this day.

  • Study a Chassidic idea and repeat it at a gathering in honor of your birthday. Follow the following links for Short Insights, or some Essays.

  • Partake of a new fruit which you did not yet taste during this season and recite the Shehecheyanu blessing.

  • Take the time to teach another something about Torah and Judaism.

  • Commit yourself to doing a particular good deed. Choose something practical and doable! Click here for some ideas.

  • Men and boys over the age of thirteen: On the Shabbat beforehand, get an aliyah in the synagogue. If the birthday falls on a day when the Torah is read, be sure to receive an aliyah on that day too.

Click here for more information on birthdays.

Have a happy and meaningful birthday!

Dovid Zaklikowski is the director of Lubavitch Archives, a freelance journalist and public speaker. Dovid and his wife Chana Raizel are the proud parents of four: Motti, Meir, Shaina & Moshe Binyomin.
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Discussion (2)
April 10, 2010
birthdays
I go to the Kotel (Western Wall) on my birthday, to thank G-d for the past year and ask Him for many more.
Shoshana
Jerusalem , Israel
September 14, 2009
birthdays
I followed the Rebbe's teaching to host a gathering of friends on my birthday. Eight of us women enjoyed a meal and discussion that I believe touched us all.

We went around the table reading about birthdays from Simon Jacobson's book of the Rebbe's teachings, "A Meaningful LIfe." I talked about my mission and everyone had a chance to discuss theirs. I blessed each of my friends in accordingly.

Before the gathering I'd been feeling a bit low about my advancing age, but after it I felt optimistic, warm, glad to be alive and valued by my dear friends..
Marcia Naomi Berger, LCSW
San Rafael, USA
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