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Does Judaism attach any significance to birthdays?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Life Cycle » Birth » Birthdays | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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A Jewish birthday is a very auspicious day. Our sages tell us that on a person’s birthday his “mazel” is dominant. Indeed, according to the Talmud, the miracle of Purim is largely credited to the fact that Moses’ birthday occurs during the month of Adar! Two of our major holidays celebrate birthdays: Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of Adam, and Passover is the collective birthday of the Jewish Nation (see Ezekiel, chapter 16). Your birthday is a day to express gratitude to G-d for bringing you into this world, entrusting you with the mission of illuminating it with the radiance of Torah and Mitzvahs. This day, which is akin to a personal Rosh Hashanah, is the appropriate time to recommit to the mission at hand, resolving that the added maturity and experience gained during the past year will cause the following year to be even more productive and fruitful.

The Jewish people have always kept exact calendars, and it is very simple to calculate your Jewish (lunar) birthday. Click here to find out your Jewish (lunar) birthday, as well as its secular calendar date this year.


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Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
Passover
A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year. An early autumn two day holiday marking the creation of Adam and Eve. On this day we hear the blasts of the ram's horn and accept G-d's sovereignty upon ourselves and the world. On Rosh Hashanah we pray that G-d should grant us all a sweet New Year.
Purim
A one-day holiday celebrated in late winter commemorating the miraculous deliverance of the Jewish people from a decree of annihilation issued by Persian King Ahasuerus in the year 356 BCE.
Moses
[Hebrew pronunciation: Moshe] Greatest prophet to ever live. Led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage amidst awesome miracles; brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai; and transmitted to us word-for-word the Torah he heard from G-d's mouth. Died in the year 1272 BCE.
Adar
The twelfth month on the Jewish calendar. This month (which falls out approx. February-March), is the most joyous month on the calendar due to the holiday of Purim which is on the 14th and 15th of this month.
Adam
The first man, created by G-d on the sixth day of creation. He was banished from the Garden of Eden after eating from the forbidden fruit of the forbidden knowledge. Died in 2830 BCE.
Ezekiel
1. Major Jewish prophet who lived in the 5th century BCE. 2. One of the 24 books of the Bible, containing the prophecies which Ezekiel transmitted.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.