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What’s so special about your Jewish birthday?

What’s so special about your Jewish birthday?


Be Grateful

First and foremost, a birthday is a day to feel grateful. It's a day for parents to be grateful to G‑d for the precious gift He granted them. A day for the Jewish nation to be grateful for the addition of a new member of the nation-family. And, of course, it is a day for the birthday celebrant to express gratitude to G‑d for the gift of life.

This is the day when you were given the mandate to change the world. The day when G‑d entrusted you with the mission to challenge a world that is hostile to spirituality and transform it into G‑d's private sanctum. And in accomplishing this goal, you, too, were given the ability to achieve incredible spiritual heights—heights unimaginable to the soul before it was dispatched from its lofty heavenly abode to inhabit a physical body.

Celebrating a birthday is also a demonstration of confidenceCelebrating a birthday is thus also a demonstration of confidence. Confidence that you are and will continue to be worthy of G‑d's trust. No matter the obstacles, you will persevere and live up to G‑d's expectations of you.

This day takes on additional significance if you are above the age of bar or bat mitzvah. The word "mitzvah" means commandments, but is also related to the word "tzaveta," which means "connection." Fulfilling G‑d's commandments is the vehicle through which we connect to G‑d. Until bar and bat mitzvah, mitzvot are primarily an educational experience—the commandment element kicking in upon adulthood. That means greater responsibility, but an infinitely greater connection, too. Your birthday is also the anniversary of that momentous occasion. Another reason to be grateful...

Déjà Vu

Time is like a spiral. Annually, on the anniversary of any momentous event, we have the ability to tap into the same spiritual energy that originally caused that event (hence the concept of Jewish holidays).

When you were born, G‑d invested within you a soul abounding with talents and qualities. Your mazel was shining and at full strength. That same energy is present once again every year on the anniversary of that date. On this day you have the ability to accomplish that which would perhaps be very difficult on another day.

Rosh Hashanah is so special because it is the birthday of humankind—it is the day when Adam and Eve were created. Your birthday is your personal Rosh Hashanah—utilize it to its utmost!

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Yehudit Atlanta October 25, 2017

Thank you for this intetesting topic. Could you shed some light if there is any significance for a person such as myself being born on the Jewish “ leap year” date of Cheshvan 30? Reply

Anonymous US October 19, 2017

People wonder why Jews should celebrate a birthday or celebrate on theJewish date.
In the story of Purim, Haman was happy that he chose the month of Adar for his evil plot. He knew that Adar was when Moshe Rabbeinu died but he forgot that it was when he was born, which symbolized mazal for the Jewish people.
Also the Rebbe started the birthday campaign after his wife Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka past away
Instead of dwelling on olam haba, on the rewards a soul gets after passing away, the Rebbe wanted to focus on life and to celebrate and share the gift of life each year.
The first Mitzvah given to the Jewish people as a whole was to establish months. When we celebrate on our Jewish birthdate, we connect with that first Mitzvah and the Jewish people. Reply

Wendy Boca Raton September 29, 2017

Thank You for this beautiful lesson. Will share it now. Reply

Shaul Wolf January 19, 2016

Re: Convert The Lubavitcher Rebbe writes in a letter that he should celebrate his birthday on the day of his conversion. This is based on what the Talmud states (Yevomos 22a) that a convert who converts is like a newborn child. (the Letter can be found in Igros Kodesh vol. 30 p. 18 as well as Shulchan Menachem vol. 3 p 354).

That said, if he wishes, he can celebrate his regular birthday as well, but with respect to the additional customs done on the birthday, he should do so on his spiritual birthday, which is the day he became a Jew. Reply

Anonymous US December 22, 2015

Does a convert celebrate the day he was born or the day he became Jewish? Does he consider both days as hos birthday? Is there a difference if the covert, who converted orthodox as an adult had a Jewish father? Reply

Anonymous California , USA July 22, 2015

Israelites never celebrated birthdays According to the Hebrew Scriptures no Israelite ever celebrated his birthday.
The only birthday mentioned is of pagan king of Egypt
My father was born in Russia in 1910, he mentioned that they never celebrated birthdays Reply

H D Pattison Wrexham July 28, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

Issac had a wooden doll on his birthday that Ishmael broke. Reply

Serah Simah Saloff-Zukin Los Angeles October 15, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

Individual celebrations of momentous events and anniversaries, ...with a noted assemblage of exceptions (not many). Private or personally designated moments like these, we are all free to celebrate, commemorate and publicize (in a tzniusdik way, of course). Our traditions are not meant to entrap or shackle us... just to enhance our life experience as Jews -- as members of a great and consecrated family of neshamos (elevated souls). Reply

Anonymous Jerusalem via April 23, 2014

My birthday :( It's a day when I was sentenced to life. I feel that my life's stuck. There isn't anything to celebrate. I agree with the Talmudic comment:"I shouldn't have been born ..."
My parents weren't religious. More than once more religious Jewish couples offered to adopt/bring me up as a "Mensch". My Mother didn't really want to give me up but she was also unable/unwilling to bring me up as a proper jew. I returned (be-tshuva) on my own merit. If one could ask my parents z"l what they think of me: (biased by their political views) they would agree that I shouldn't have been born.
Mostly, I miss having a home. I rent a flat, but still I can't feel comfortable still I would find a permanent place/home. I don't feel like celebrating. I am rather looking for an opportunity to "break-out"/develop. Reply

Shoshana Seattle July 9, 2013

quotation from where? I am wondering where the quotation posted on the first page of the discussion on birthdays came from "Your birthday commemorates the day on which G-d said to you: "You, as an individual, are unique and irreplaceable. No person alive, no person who has ever lived, and no person who shall ever live, can fulfill the specific role in My creation I have entrusted to you..." Inspiring--thanks for posting! Reply

Genia Long Island, NY July 5, 2013

I am preparing and planning to treat my English birthdate as a special day. I believe in the power of the Hebrew birthdate but everyone around me acknowledges my English date and this year i will, too. I will treat is as a spiritual day and spread my wishes to others and make the best of the day. Everyday is holy and another opportunity for elevation. Thank you! Reply

sarah July 17, 2011

THANK YOU this information was very helpful to me! may you keep inspiring jews all always! Reply

yvette macon, georgia, bibb January 2, 2011

birthday THANK YOU !!!!! I truly understand how important my birthday is and its importance. Reply

Anonymous phoenix, az June 16, 2010

to give thanks Hopefully with prayer, my birthday will absorb the inspirational message posted here. Reply

Chavah February 23, 2009

thank you This article was very inspirational. It reminded me that I am special in a way that has has true meaning, and with a purpose. The purpose to serve G-d and to strive daily to be all that He created me to be!! Reply

Sarah Peters U.K October 6, 2008

Thank you Reply

Anonymous May 29, 2008

Question Does it shine for 7 days after that as well? Reply

darren titan rego park, ny April 4, 2008

thank you that was very nice Reply

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