Birthday Customs and Practices, adapted from the teachings of theRebbe:
Note: All these suggestions should be implemented on your Jewish birthday. Use ourJewish/Civil Date Converterto find out when your Jewish birthday is.
· Giving charity should be a daily event. On your special day, increase the amount of your contribution, especially before the day's morning and afternoon prayers. If your birthday falls on Shabbat or a Jewish holiday when handling money is forbidden, give the added charity beforehand and afterwards.
· Spend some extra time praying, with added emphasis on meditating and concentrating on the words of the prayers.
· Recite as many Psalms as possible. Ideally you should complete at least once of its five books. (Psalms is divided into five books.)
· Study the Psalm which corresponds to your new year. This is your age plus one – e.g. Psalm 25 is recited on your 24th birthday.Click hereto study it online. This is also the Psalm to recite daily until your next birthday.
· Take some time out to contemplate your past year. Consider which areas require improvement, and resolve to do so.
· Learn some extra Torah on this day, in both the revealed Torah – Nigleh – and its esoteric teachings – Chassidus. This is in addition to your usual daily study sessions, including the daily quota of Chumash, Tehillim, Tanya and Rambam.
· Study a Chassidic discourse by heart (or a part thereof) and review it at a gathering in honour of your birthday.
· Partake of a new fruit which you did not yet taste during this season, and recite theShehecheyanublessing.
· Take the time to teach another something about Torah and Chassidus, with true Ahavas Yisroel.
· Commit yourself to doing a particular good deed. Choose something practical and doable!
· Men and boys over the age of thirteen: On the Shabbat beforehand, get analiyahin Shule. If the birthday falls on a day when the Torah is read, be sure to receive an aliyah on that day too.