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The Jewish View on Celebrating Birthdays

This three-part series examines in great depth the Torah sources related to the questions on celebrating a Jewish birthday.

Observing Birthdays: A Torah Tradition or Pagan Aberration?
This in-depth excavation digs deeply into scripture and Talmudic teachings about the observance of birthdays by both royals and regulars alike. Should ancient associations of birthdays and idolatrous rites disqualify us from marking the anniversary of our terrestrial arrival, or did they actually appropriate Torah truisms? Drawing from a wide range of traditional sources, this class pulls no punches in demystifying the subject—stridently leading you to unmistakably clear conclusions about its Torah-true origins.
The Torah Rhyme and Reason for Celebrating Birthdays
Having established multiple Torah sources regarding the significance and potency of one’s birthday, we now move on to look at parties and formal celebrations. Is there an authentic Jewish tradition for such get-togethers, and is the anniversary of birth a cause for joy or sobriety? This frank and honest rumination attempts to present a clear picture of the historic reality, and the rationale the Rebbe shared with us in explaining his calling to observe and celebrate the date of our terrestrial birth!
Are anniversaries of birth relevant and meaningful after death?
We’ve previously established that birthday observances and even celebrations are Torah truisms. Now we explore: do birthdates retain Torah meaning after one's terrestrial passing onto their eternal reward. Intuitively, the start of one's physical life should end when the body is laid to rest; yet perhaps the day the soul occupies its destined corporeal reality continues to resonate even after the spirit separates and leaves its material envelope behind. This nuanced thesis – Halachicly buttressed – conclusively demonstrates that this day’s potency continues to resonate for posterity.
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