What’s so great about a birthday? Wasn’t it more comfy inside the womb?
But the day you were born was the day you became your very own person—no longer just a watermelon in your mommy’s tummy. That’s why it’s a day to ponder: What have I accomplished by being here? Did the world change because I left that womb?
So, when the Hebrew calendar comes back around to that wonderful day you were born, try some of these great customs:
- Find an enclave in time and space to think about the past year: what went right, what went not-so-right and what can be fixed.
- Take your life to a new level with a new mitzvahTake your life to a new level with a new mitzvah.
- Give some extra charity today. Best just before the morning and afternoon prayers. If your birthday falls on Shabbat or a Jewish holiday, then give before the day begins and after it’s out.
- Spend more time on your prayers. Say some extra Psalms. (Yes, Psalms are Jewish—King David wrote them.) Your mazel shines extra strong on your birthday, so ask for the right things.
- Every year of your life has a corresponding Psalm. It’s your age + 1. Learn it today, and say it each day for the coming year.
- Add to your Torah study time. Share whatever you learn with friends.
- Farbreng. That’s when friends sit together, make l’chaim and encourage each other to be better Jews. It’s also a great way to publicly thank your Creator for creating your life.
- Eat a new seasonal fruit on your birthday, just so you can say the Shehecheyanu blessing, thanking G‑d for granting you life.
- For men: Get an aliyah on the Shabbat before your birthday. If the Torah is read on your birthday, get an aliyah on that day too.
For more about birthdays, visit our Birthday Section.
For a handy tool to find out your Hebrew/Jewish birthday, see our Birthday Calculator.