It seems to have become a popular idea that celebrating achievements, even after successfully realizing a small goal, is important to continue developing and staying motivated.

I'm looking for a Torah source that speaks to this point. I know there are many sources which say that the correct posture for a Jew is to attributing all (good) things to Hashem and to be humble etc. These ideas do not necessarily have to contradict the act of celebrating your achievements, but they could and so I'm looking for sources to begin looking into this.

  • 1
    how about a siyum?
    – ray
    Jun 20, 2014 at 13:10
  • R' Hirsch invokes something akin to this concept in his interpretation of the terumat hadeshen ceremony that takes place each morning in the Mikdash. A handful of the previous day's ashes are offered up in celebration of what we've already accomplished, but the rest are cleared out so that we don't rest on our laurels; it's time for a new day's efforts and achievements. Or something like that. I'll look it up the next time I can and see if I can write it up as an answer.
    – Isaac Moses
    Jun 20, 2014 at 13:56
  • Closely related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/7206
    – msh210
    Jun 20, 2014 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


Breishit 21:8: "The child (Yithak) grew and was weaned. Avraham made a big party on the day that Yitzhak was weaned."

I read this as being the source of the custom to make a party at any happy occasion from a Chaba"d shmooze as well heard this from Divrei Torah given by Rabbi Pesach Krohn at a (what else?) brit, and Rav Binyomin Kametzki at a Bar Mitzvah.


The Lubavitcher Rebbe on Purim 5722 (1962) spoke about the importance of recognizing achievements of students especially in an environment where secular achievements are given such recognition. A tape recording (with translation) is available here.

Note that he mentions that the general practice (at least among Chabad Chassidim) was to not particularly recognize such spiritual achievements [possibly to avoid a sense of arrogance in the accomplisher - ed], and that this was incorrect in light of the recognition of secular studies.

  • Curious ... I'd be surprised if the Rebbe was against awarding children, in particular, on their Torah study accomplishments. It's a huge incentive for them.
    – DanF
    Jun 20, 2014 at 14:19
  • @DanF, I don't think he was. The practice referenced seems to be focused more on teenagers/young adults, but here he was against even that.
    – Yishai
    Jun 20, 2014 at 14:35

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