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Publisher's Foreword

Ascending Fortune

The Birthday of the World

The Birthday of a Nation

Pre-natal Nationhood

The Birth of Man

Happy Birthday!

Birthday Celebrations

Birthday - Rebirth - Resolve

Anniversary of Physical and Spiritual Birth

Why Were You Born?

A Custom of Old - Renewed

Birthday Customs and Practices

Birthday Reflections & Celebrations
Birthday Customs & Practices

Ascending Fortune

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  Publisher's ForewordThe Birthday of the World  

On the 25th of Adar, the anniversary of the birth of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, o.b.m. (5661-5748), the Rebbe spoke (after Shacharis) about the lesson to be drawn from the special day - the birthday of the world according to one opinion.

He also used the opportunity to suggest that everyone should celebrate his/her birthday in the manner taught by the Previous Rebbe, with introspection, Teshuvah and increased Tzedakah, Torah and prayer.

Adults and small children should also be encouraged to invite their friends to their birthday gatherings and use the opportunity to encourage others to increase Torah and mitzvos.

A birthday represents the esoteric force of "ascending fortune."

Since the living must take to heart the lessons of the past, here, too, we can draw inspiration from this birthday to increase Yiddishkeit, Torah and Mitzvot.

Every Jew is important and indispensable, and must say: "The world was created for me!"

But the 25th of Adar has unique significance.

R. Yehoshua holds that the world was created in the month of Nissan; man was created on the first of Nissan and the first stages of creation - Bereishis - began on the 25th of Adar.

According to this opinion, this day, the 25th of Adar, is the birthday of the world.

Chassidus explains the rapprochement of the two opinions (Rabbi Eliezer was of the opinion that the world was created in Elul-Tishrei,) in the following way.

The supernal thought to create the world blossomed in the Nissan season, while the reality came in Tishrei.

The "creation" of Nissan therefore carries the quality of thought over action.

Years later, when the Tabernacle was first erected on the first day of Nissan it also brought greater stability to the world (see Bereishis Rabbah 12:11).

This year, the 25th of Adar falls in the Torah portion of Vayikra when G-d spoke to Moshe from the Tabernacle; here we see the function of the Mishkan and the means by which the world is supported.

The Previous Rebbe revealed that on a birthday one should review his life history and seek ways to improve the areas that need improvement through Teshuvah.

It is also customary to increase Tzedakah before Shacharis and Minchah, and likewise to study more Torah - revealed and esoteric - on one's birthday.

It is therefore appropriate on this birthday to publicize all the good customs of birthdays: to increase Tzedakah on this day, to study more Torah and to intensify the Divine service of prayer - these are the three pillars of the world.

Also, good resolutions should be accepted for the rest of the year.

It would be appropriate that families should gather (with friends) in a joyous mood, so that the good resolutions will be accepted on this day, with a sense of happiness and gladness.

This will increase the observance of these good deeds.

Children should be taught the spiritual importance of a birthday and they should celebrate their birthdays with their friends in a way that they will increase Torah and mitzvos and good resolutions.

Small children will be even more impressed by this suggestion and will be more enthusiastic in carrying it out.

This is not a new custom, rather an extension of the responsibility everyone has to encourage others to increase Torah and mitzvos among friends, in a happy and friendly way.

To start off in a positive way I will distribute Shliach Mitzvah dollars to all, so that they may give the money to Tzedakah with their personal addition.

This acceptance of good resolutions in connection with this birthday should speed up the "birth" of the Jewish people in the complete redemption.

Tzedakah will bring the redemption closer, may it be soon: "Today, if you heed My voice" (Tehillim 95:7).

May it be truly "Today," and may "the night [of the golus] be illuminated like the day" (Ibid. 139:12).

  Publisher's ForewordThe Birthday of the World  
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