There is apparently a practice among contemporary Jews of giving out blessings on one's birthday. Is there any source for this in the Jewish tradition?

  • I have heard two conflicting stories re birthdays. 1 - Since is commemorates the minute that the Torah was forgotten (midrash?) and the entry into the world of tum'ah and sin, it should not be celebrated. 2 - Since it commemorates the entry into Olam Ha'asiyah in which there is an opportunity to perform mitzvot and serve Hashem, then there is cause for celebration. – Epicentre Oct 27 '14 at 7:43

R. Elazar of Kozhnitz is cited as finding an allusion to the idea that one receives power of blessing (requesting) on their birthday in the verse (Ps. 2:7-8):

אֲסַפְּרָ֗ה אֶֽ֫ל חֹ֥ק יְֽהוָ֗ה אָמַ֘ר אֵלַ֥י בְּנִ֥י אַ֑תָּה אֲ֝נִ֗י הַיּ֥וֹם יְלִדְתִּֽיךָ׃ שְׁאַ֤ל מִמֶּ֗נִּי וְאֶתְּנָ֣ה ג֭וֹיִם נַחֲלָתֶ֑ךָ וַ֝אֲחֻזָּתְךָ֗ אַפְסֵי־אָֽרֶץ׃

Let me tell of the decree: the LORD said to me, “You are My son, I have fathered you this day. Ask it of Me, and I will make the nations your domain; your estate, the limits of the earth.

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  • Who has sourced it so? – wfb Aug 8 '19 at 15:52
  • @wfb I get the whole “Please source it” thing but sometimes it’s ridiculous. Say nobody else says this and it’s my original theory, does that invalidate the source? – Oliver Aug 8 '19 at 16:38
  • @wfb Here, beg. §10. – Oliver Aug 8 '19 at 17:42
  • Good to know where something comes from. Some sources are more authoritative than others. – wfb Aug 8 '19 at 19:05
  • @wfb Granted, but regarding such a question - what makes R. Elazar of Koshnitz more authoritative than e.g. me, an anonymous character? It’s not exactly a legal question interpreting or applying a halachah. Do the quoted psukim lend credence to this notion or not? If not, just bec. I found a name who says the same thing doesn’t ipso facto make the notion more/less true, unlike a legal question where quoting a halachaik authority adds support. – Oliver Aug 8 '19 at 19:19

I don't know if there's a real mekor (source) for this custom, though those who do, do so based on the face that one's Mazel is empowered on one's birthday.

See Korban Haedah, Yerushalmi Rosh Hashanah 3:8; Chida, Chomas Anach, Iyov 3.

Interestingly, Ohr.edu quotes that the Tiferes Yisrael (Iggeret Tiferet Yisrael 6, Sefer Mayim HaHalacha) "instructed his children that when one of them has a birthday the others should visit and bless him."

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