The Jewish way of Celebrating a Birthday

The Jewish way of Celebrating a Birthday

April 8, 2020 0 By Edward H. Howard

Remember the day when everything and everyone was all about you for the first time? Birthdays are never-ending stories that keep surprising us with new exciting plots, traditions, habits, and bring a smile on our faces. If you want an honest answer, the Jews have their way for everything, including for the “happy day.” Respecting religion, tradition, and the modern cultural evolution of celebrating such an occasion holds a vital spot here. We are proud to say that this article is a testimony to the conservation of religious-tradition birthday rituals that grow increasingly interesting to people outside the Jewish community.

Over the years on every continent, country, or city in the world, specific things are expected for this joyful moment. When we are talking about a particular age for a birthday party, this is where things start to get really interesting. Probably the most adored picture you can think of is the first time you celebrated the birth of your child or your own, for that matter. Not many nations can pride themself with tradition-related customs surrounded by religion that exist today as the Jews can.

Young Jewish children at the age of three have their most-recognizable party in the glory of the day when they started their journey on this planet. It is essential to mention that children have their first haircut on this day according to the old religious customs at this age. Contradictory to the theory that birthdays were always celebrated, the Torah only mentions that only Pharaohs had such a privilege in those times.

We tend to forget that time writes new habits and rules that have no boundaries, religion, and attachments to the previously mentioned occasions. Thankfully for that, we have a mix of the best things to implement on every Jewish birthday to make it fantastic.

Puberty for the children going through it is complicated enough. Still, the members of the Jewish community have even a more challenging task. When everything seems to be a huge problem to overcome, on your 12th birthday for girls and 13th for boys, you get a famous Bar Mitzvah. Symbolically addressing the age with the introduction in the life of mature people starts there.

And with the choice and privilege to live their paths relying on all Torah commandments, things rapidly seem to be getting a severe turnaround for children of that age. The gifts on the Bar Mitzvah are expected in a large number, because of the long list of guests that include close relatives, not so close relatives, neighbors, friends, etc. For quality choices of presents, check this.

An innovative and motivating custom on Jewish birthdays is the implementation of self-improvement through assessing the past year. Also connected to the religious tradition from the old days leads to upgrade with the self-awareness to take the next step each year. What were the things you were proud of, and what were the negatives? Your attitude towards the situations, people, finances, and your solutions are just a few frequent questions here.

The answers are given in prayer as the issues are, making it a free moral obligation towards a better version of you to come.  A day of joy also becomes a natural day for self-reflection to develop a new set of skills worthy of an empathetic person. We must applaud such an approach because there is no better longer-lasting birthday present than this.

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Family is invited from the first one to the last party of this kind, especially in more-religious circles. This is not a closed social-circle, and through years close friends are involved in this occasion.  The insisting matter of family presence on this occasion has a long history, attempting to save the Jewish community through harsh times that were upon them. Look, the decision to stick by your own family and other members of the population may sound limiting or unnecessary today. Still, it was a shield that protected the Jewish people all over the globe for as long as we can remember.

Simultaneously, the continuously bounding through “happy day” occasion leads to firmly bond between relatives from the youngest age according to the stats. While receiving a gift on this day, some members tend to make a list so they could return with the same emotional and financial value. Older members even take pride in reading out loud on the party, the name and the gift as an act of respect towards the guests. This may not be so frequent to hear and see today, but don’t be surprised if you encounter such a scenario. For people who are invited to attend for the first time a party of this kind, be prepared to dance to music and style not so popular outside the Jewish community.

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Some people tend to emphasizes the crucial place prayers have on this day. Note, a custom to focus on the spiritual meaning of your birth, so mediation is recommended as a tool. Usually, prayers are done in the morning and afternoon before receiving guests. Men over the age of thirteen are expected to have aliyah in the synagogue, but only if the birthday is before Shabbat. Another way to receive a second aliyah depends on the Torah being read that day.

The Jewish cultural-tradition on such occasions implies charity should be given to those in need of it. Symbolically speaking, these gestures are intended to remind us of those who require help and us to cherish what we have accomplished. Good deeds are hard to find today but there is a must as a token of humanity. A small percentage of people opt to fast on their “happy day” also as an element of gratitude and spirituality.

We have mentioned only a few inspiring examples of things to expect when getting ready for this kind of party for the first time. One thing is sure you will have an excellent time there.